Ben Daglish, legendary Commodore 64 composer, has died

Oct 27, 2017
715
#1
I didn't see a thread for this; please close if one already exists.

Confirmed by his wife and several people in the retro gaming community.


Older heads on here and chiptune lovers will know who Ben is. The stuff he produced with the Commodore 64's bleeps was amazing. I know him from the soundtrack for The Last Ninja, a game that was insanely frustrating but maintains a place in my heart primarily due to the incredible music.


If you've got favorite Ben Daglish tracks, post 'em here.
 
Feb 2, 2018
1,159
#3
Aww man :( RIP

I didn't grow up in C64 era but I've become a huge fan of the music from it over time, so sad to lose someone from that scene at way too young an age of 52

Hadn't heard that Last Ninja theme before, it's terrific
 
Oct 26, 2017
818
Denmark
#8
That's a shame. RIP. He really could make the ol' C64 sound good. The Last Ninja is already mentioned, but have a couple more:

Krakout, a fun horizontal Breakout-like. Memorable mostly for it's peppy soundtrack.

Super Cars a top down racing game with a very aggressive bassline in the menu music.

Two of my mainstay games from back in the C64 days. I think I'll listen the soundtracks a bit today.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,629
#12
Damn. RIP. It's not surprising as he has looked unhealthy for ages. Last Ninja is one of the major gaming soundtracks of my youth.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,433
#13
Damn, that's sad to hear. RIP. Him only being 52 makes you realise just how young he was when he was composing all of these tunes on a regular basis.
 
Oct 27, 2017
25
#14
So sad. I grew up with his tunes, not knowing it at the time.

Here's a game I used to love playing almost purely for the music:

 

Audi

Sekai Project
Verified
Oct 26, 2017
19
Los Angeles
#16
One of the most genuine and kind individuals in game development, and dedicated a lot of his time to events where he played his music live for fans. I was fortunate enough to get to know him quite well over the last few years, and he was one of the funniest people in the world.

Rest in peace, Ben.
 

angel

Banned
Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,333
#20
Oh man. Last Ninja music is still great, do yourself a favour and get it on sidplay if you've any interest in 8 bit music.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,150
#22
Oh no! :(
One of my absolute favorite game musicians, I didn’t grow up playing NES like many here, it was all about Commodore 64. Last Ninja was my favorite game and the soundtrack is still among the best ones available in my opinion. Tragic to see someone so important to so many people go at such a young age.
Rest in Peace you marvelous man.
 
Dec 8, 2017
1,105
#26
:(

So sad to hear this.
Grew up with his classics, he won't be forgotten.

*plays The Last Ninja OST

RIP, Maestro
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,423
#27
Thats way too early, i assume he suffered from a medical condition?

Regardless RIP.

Edit: Read its cancer , dammit.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,021
#29
That's sad. He contributed a great deal to the soundtrack of my childhood.

That's a shame. RIP. He really could make the ol' C64 sound good. The Last Ninja is already mentioned, but have a couple more:

Krakout, a fun horizontal Breakout-like. Memorable mostly for it's peppy soundtrack.

Super Cars a top down racing game with a very aggressive bassline in the menu music.

Two of my mainstay games from back in the C64 days. I think I'll listen the soundtracks a bit today.
Krakout was one of my favourites. Such an odd and fun soundtrack.
 
May 20, 2018
3,018
Ponds
#31
I didn’t grow up in the Commodore era but listening to OPs playlist and I can see why they called Ben a legend. No one deserves to die at 52 from lung cancer, my condolences to his family.
 
Oct 25, 2017
59
#32
RIP. =(

First heard his track for Cobra when I was a kid.

The tune's still stuck in my head after all these years.

 
Oct 29, 2017
1,130
UK
#38
Shit news.

Such a good composer.

The Last Ninja soundtrack will stay with me forever. I first heard it when my cousin bought the game on release in 1987 and we both loved the music.

He composed plenty of other top tunes as well, as others have pointed out.

He and other composers such as Rob Hubbard, Tim Follin, David Whitaker, Martin Galway et al were the soundtrack to my gaming childhood. Those who weren't in the UK at the time may have limited exposure so I'd recommend checking them out if you're into chiptune music in any way.
 
Oct 27, 2017
507
Italy
#40
I'm still shocked in a way hearing of Ben Daglish passing away despite him definitely not looking in good shape. :-(

I realized I've played very few of the games he wrote the soundtrack of, but I guess The Last Ninja is more than enough to ensure chiptune lovers and home computer guys of the 80s like me will always remember him.

RIP
 
Jun 15, 2018
286
#42
I'm actually crying about this, his music was a big part of my childhood, RIP Ben you magnificent bastard :(
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,029
#43
He and other composers such as Rob Hubbard, Tim Follin, David Whitaker, Martin Galway et al were the soundtrack to my gaming childhood.
I know that feel. I didn't buy chart music until I was in my late teens. My entire musical awakening and future taste in music was defined by C64. I'd put on loaders and games just to listen to music from them, or record them to tape for convenience. There was so much of it, and it was amazing what those guys could do with that little chip. A truly expressive and creative music scene with the novelty of being almost completely isolated from the outside world until the internet came along.
 
Oct 29, 2017
1,130
UK
#44
I know that feel. I didn't buy chart music until I was in my late teens. My entire musical awakening and future taste in music was defined by C64. I'd put on loaders and games just to listen to music from them, or record them to tape for convenience. There was so much of it, and it was amazing what those guys could do with that little chip. A truly expressive and creative music scene with the novelty of being almost completely isolated from the outside world until the internet came along.
I'd be really interested as to how people outside of Europe who grew up with the NES react to some of this music. I guess you had to be there, but to me, "The Last Ninja" kills most NES game soundtracks that are held up as being great, such as the Megaman series.
 
Oct 28, 2017
543
UK
#45
Richard Joseph and now Ben, both lost to that same terrible disease (claimed my Father too).
Fifty two is no age really, but the guy left quite a legacy of great work.
 
Jun 15, 2018
286
#46
I'd be really interested as to how people outside of Europe who grew up with the NES react to some of this music. I guess you had to be there, but to me, "The Last Ninja" kills most NES game soundtracks that are held up as being great, such as the Megaman series.
The C64 just had a much much better sound chip than the NES, the SID chip was really ahead of it's time and the likes of Ben Dalglish, Rob Hubbard and others really got the best out of it.
 
Oct 28, 2017
741
#47
Oh no, this is awful to hear. My condolences to his family.

Decades on and Ben is still the first person who comes to mind when I think of video game composers and their work that means the most to me.

Some great stuff already posted; I’ve also got a real soft spot for the music of Switchblade.

 
Oct 27, 2017
1,029
#49
I'd be really interested as to how people outside of Europe who grew up with the NES react to some of this music. I guess you had to be there, but to me, "The Last Ninja" kills most NES game soundtracks that are held up as being great, such as the Megaman series.
I can appreciate both for their respective strengths. While the Famicom's sound chip might not have had the flexibility of SID nor plucky guys doing weird experiments to pull off wacky engineering/sampling tricks, it nevertheless enjoyed a typically Japanese approach to composing that stood on its own and overcame its technical limitations. I really love both scenes and randomly have C64 and NES tunes pop into my head all the time.