Music Webmaster Len Mullenger


MONSTER MANIA Music from the Classic Godzilla Films (1945-1995)VARÈSE SARABANDE VSD5969 [64:23]  


Crotchet (UK)

Godzilla has been enjoying a revival for the last 12 months or so. The bubble will burst no doubt but for now you can still find boxes of videos of the original Japanese Godzilla movies in video shops. Then again we also get albums like this.

Fourteen of the 22 tracks are by Akira Ifukube who wrote the famous bubbly slightly brainless (suitable for dinosaurs) march which has overtones of Prokofiev and Sousa. Much of the music is in a similar 'fun' style even when other composers deputise for Maestro Ifukube.

There is, by the way, nothing which I recognise as typically Japanese in these tracks.

There are dollops of rattlingly golden fanfares from the trumpets and rough-edged raspberries from threatening trombones. In track 6 (King Kong vs Godzilla) Grieg’s In the Hall of the Mountain King was clearly in the compser’s mind at the time. Track 3 has a touching (and tinkling) picture which reminded me of the Russian steppes. Koroku’s romantic love theme from the 1984 Godzilla is extremely successful and must be doomed to appeal to Richard Clayderman’s arrangers. The original suggests the composer had learnt from John Barry. Sugiyama in track 16 (1989, Godzilla vs Biollante) takes John Williams’ Superman music as an exportable model. The last track (22), mysteriously, has a dismally commercial ‘rap’ song by a guttural male vocalist some minutes after the end of Ifukube’s march from Godzilla King Of The Monsters (1954). Can anyone identify the song and the singer? It is not listed on the disc contents.

This collection of new recordings is fine for souvenir collectors and is fun. It delivers great sound and depth. The purists will want the exhaustive 2CD Silva Screen collection of OST extracts. For more general collectors who want to sample the genre there is Silva Screen’s rip-roaring Monster collection.


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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