Retronauts Episode 384: Pokémon 2.B.A. Master

Sing Misty, for me

Whether you were caught up in the phenomenon or not, Pokémon was red-hot in the US in 1999. The games, anime, and tons of merchandise had been flown in from Japan and American kids were eating it up. There was only one missing ingredient: An English-language album of licensed music and novelty songs.

Released on June 29, 1999, Pokémon 2.B.A. Master was a hastily-assembled collection of tunes that had little to do with catching or battling magical creatures, but that didn't stop it from flying off the shelves and becoming the top-charting kids album of the year—it was bigger than Barney!

This week, Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert (professional cartoon experts) follow-up their coverage of the Pokémon Christmas Bash album by examining this first hit and breaking down its contents. Also, since Henry mentions it, here's the "perfect" version of the PokéRAP from PAX 2019 by Brian David Gilbert; here is also the Neil Cicierega version because it's way funnier.

Description: If you enjoyed our look at the Pokemon Christmas Bash album (and who didn't?) back in late 2019, then get ready for a thorough examination of where the English-language Pokemon albums began. 1999's 2.B.A. Master was clearly made as a cheap cash-in to capitalize on a fad that could end at any minute, but even so, many Millennials have fond memories of this curiosity and its many, many songs about friendship. This week on Retronauts, join Bob Mackey and Henry Gilbert as they explore all 13 songs of this musical monstrosity.

Retronauts is a completely fan-funded operation. To support the show, and get exclusive episodes every month, please visit the official Retronauts Patreon.

MP3, 50 MB | 1:47:15 Direct download Retronauts on iTunes Retronauts at Libsyn

As with all of the episodes Bob produces, this week’s cover art is by Nick Daniel. Check out his Twitter, or patronize his Patreon!