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Section Header
Godzilla
(1954)
1993 Japan

2004 U.S.

Composed, Conducted and Produced by:
Akira Ifukube

2004 Album Produced by:
Michael V. Gerhard

Labels and Dates:
Futureland/Toshiba EMI Japan
(December 22nd, 1993)

La-La Land Records
(August 17th, 2004)

Also See:
Godzilla (1998)

Audio Clips:
2004 Album:

9. Japanese Army March I (0:31):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (249K)
Real Audio (155K)

20. Godzilla at the Ocean Floor (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

21. Ending (0:32):
WMA (209K)  MP3 (260K)
Real Audio (161K)

23. Main Title (Film Version) (0:36):
WMA (234K)  MP3 (291K)
Real Audio (181K)

Availability:
The Japanese albums, including the standard 1993 issue, are scarce in the U.S., since most Godzilla discs are imported from Japan. The 2004 expanded re-issue is a regular U.S. release.

Awards:
  None.









Godzilla

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Buy it... if you have any interest in Akira Ifukube's music or the concept of Gojira, for the 2004 album is the definitive release of the original film's score.

Avoid it... if you do not value the history of Gojira more than the need for decent sound quality, because the score's incredibly muffled sound is a considerable deterrent for those not prepared for such a degree of muted ambience.



Godzilla (1954): (Akira Ifukube) Surviving the legacy of dozens of progressively sillier sequels, as well as two notable American adaptations in 1956 and 1998, the original Godzilla (Gojira), directed by Ishiro Honda, remains a cult classic around the world but especially in Japan, where the creature to this day stands as a historical relic of an age during which post-war nuclear fears were at their greatest. The monster, though imitated and even mocked in subsequent decades, was originally a completely serious embodiment of the fear of radiation that was all too familiar in Japan at the time. While making a political statement, the prehistoric beast also opened the doors to an all-new genre of massive science fiction destruction films that was eventually exploited by of Hollywood. Japanese composer Akira Ifukube's career will forever be remembered as one of massive creature battles and other fantasy adventure, and, remarkably, Ifukube was honored on the 50th anniversary of the original Godzilla in 2004, just as the retired composer turned 90 years old. Ifukube was once again involved with the modern series of Gojira films in the 1990's, finishing with the death of the original monster in 1995's Gojira vs. Desutoroia, a film which Ifukube incredibly scored while in his 80's. Like the films, the music for the Godzilla concept is a source of pride for the Japanese, and it has stood for many decades as a testament to Japanese ingenuity as well as Ifukube's individual talent. His scores were both tragic and heroic, massively orchestral with choral interludes, and creative in the use of the ensemble to produce the majority of sound effects for the first films in the franchise. His title theme for Godzilla wasn't originally intended to serve as such, but the series of three menacingly descending notes over a stomping rhythm became the memorable anthem for the monster. From the patriotic march of the Japanese Army, performed by trumpets in unison, to the epic scenes of destruction with excruciating strings, it was only a matter of time before Ifukube's music climbed from its purgatory on Japanese record labels and was fully remastered on an international album release.

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the release of Godzilla, the remastered and expanded soundtrack CD hit the shelves in the summer of 2004, finally providing a readily available source of this influential music. Several official and unofficial Japanese albums of the music for Godzilla had previously existed over the years. The most widely attainable in the Digital Age was the official 1993 release of the score by Futureland/Toshiba EMI of Japan. Unfortunately, even this release suffered from the after-affects of dialogue mixes, poor renderings of the sound effects, warbles, and even the sound of a screaming baby that somehow managed to work its way onto the release. Because the recording was made in mono (not to mention the limited recording quality available to the project in 1954), both the composition and recording phases of the original Godzilla were extremely rushed, which proved to be a recurring problem for the sequels as well. Under these circumstances, the sound quality is perhaps poorer than its contemporary counterparts no matter how much you attempt to clean it up. For some listeners, and especially those who are simply not interested in the historical magnitude of the score and film, the distant and muffled sound quality could significantly restrict your enjoyment of the music. Unless the score maintains a relatively conservative volume for a lengthy period, as in "Godzilla at the Ocean Floor," the distortion levels are prohibitive. Unfortunately, there has never existed an adequate re-recording of the entire score to suffice in place of the original. In 2004, however, La-La Land Records edited the best available mono sources of the music from the Toho music vaults and remastered them to remove all of the most annoying artifacts heard on the Japanese versions. With a detailed package and four new tracks, this 46-minute expanded edition has proven to be the most definitive Godzilla album ever to hit the shelves, and it joyously came as Ifukube was still able to actively see his music enjoyed by the masses. Whether you have any of the Japanese editions or not, the 2004 album is the ultimate experience from this film, and while the recording is extremely muffled, it's an easy one to appreciate because of its strong balance between emotional appeal for the beast and its destructive tendencies. Too many have shamelessly imitated this distinctive sound since. *****   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download




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 Track Listings (1993 Futureland/Toshiba EMI Album): Total Time: 36:50


• 1. Main Title (1:32)
• 2. Footsteps (2:10)
• 3. Eiko-maru Sinking (1:08)
• 4. Bingo-maru Sinking (0:22)
• 5. Uneasiness on Odo Island (0:49)
• 6. Ritual Music of Odo Island (1:21)
• 7. Storm on Odo Island (1:57)
• 8. Odo Island Theme (0:34)
• 9. Frigate March I (0:41)
• 10. Horror in the Water Tank (0:42)
• 11. Godzilla Comes Ashore (1:54)
• 12. Fury of Godzilla (2:26)
• 13. Deadly Broadcast (1:16)
• 14. Godzilla to Tokyo Bay (1:28)
• 15. Attack Godzilla! (1:27)
• 16. Devastated Tokyo (2:16)
• 17. Oxygen Destroyer (3:13)
• 18. Prayer for Peace (3:03)
• 19. Frigate March II (0:20)
• 20. Godzilla Under the Sea (6:20)
• 21. Ending (1:41)




 Track Listings (2004 La-La Land Records Album): Total Time: 46:28


• 1. Godzilla Approaches (Sound Effects) (0:49)
• 2. Godzilla Main Title (1:31)
• 3. Ship Music/Sinking of Eikou-Maru (1:06)
• 4. Sinking of Bingou-Maru (0:23)
• 5. Anxieties on Ootojima Island (0:50)
• 6. Ootojima Temple Festival (1:21)
• 7. Stormy Ootojima Island (1:53)
• 8. Theme for Ootojima Island (0:34)
• 9. Japanese Army March I (0:42)
• 10. Horror of the Water Tank (0:42)
• 11. Godzilla Comes Ashore (1:52)
• 12. Godzilla's Rampage (2:25)
• 13. Desperate Broadcast (1:12)
• 14. Godzilla Comes to Tokyo Bay (1:25)
• 15. Intercept Godzilla (1:27)
• 16. Tragic Sight of the Imperial Capital (2:18)
• 17. Oxygen Destroyer (3:11)
• 18. Prayer for Peace (2:48)
• 19. Japanese Army March II (0:21)
• 20. Godzilla at the Ocean Floor (6:20)
• 21. Ending (1:41)
• 22. Godzilla Leaving (Sound Effects) (1:04)
Bonus Tracks:

• 23. Main Title (Film Version) (2:03)
• 24. First Landing (Film Version) (3:37)
• 25. Tokyo in Flames (Film Version) (2:17)
• 26. Last Assault (Film Version) (2:21)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The 2004 expanded re-issue contains detailed notes about the film, composer, and the history of the Godzilla franchise on the big screen.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Godzilla are Copyright © 1993, 2004, Futureland/Toshiba EMI Japan, La-La Land Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/23/99 and last updated 3/31/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1999-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.