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Title
 Godzilla: Final Wars (Perfect Collection 6)
International Title
 Godzilla: Final Wars
Music By: Keith Emerson
Record Label: Toho Music
 
Running Time: 77:17/73:38 Discs: 2
Release: April 2010 CD Number: G-028 (Set)
Comments
Anthony Romero
This is the two disc soundtrack to the 2004 film Godzilla: Final Wars "composed" by Keith Emerson. The quotes are because, in reality, the soundtrack was supported by a ton of themes by Daisuke Yano and Nobuhiko Morino, to the point where the two actually dwarf the contributions of Emerson despite him getting top billing. The release of the full soundtrack highlights this fact even further, as much of Yano and Morino's work is released here for the first time while the only new tracks from Emerson are ones derived from his "Crusing the Cirro-Stratus" and "Kazama" themes. Consequently, the score benefits a lot over the previous issue from Victor (VICP-62936) and actually contains some of the best themes from the movie for the first time on CD.

Like with many releases from Toho Music, the track titles have been changed here. The score for this film has always been a "diamond in the rough" in regards to its themes: some great ones mixed in with some awful ones. Many of the poorer ones are attributed to Emerson, although the worst on the score is generally regarded to be by Morino and on this release is titled "Godzilla vs. Hedorah and Ebirah". A lot of the better themes from the Victor release are still stellar here, such as "Godzilla vs. the Undersea Battleship" and "Kazama's Suicide Attack". "The Xilien Arrive" theme, one of the best from the soundtrack, is present in a more bulky version that better represents its use in the film. However, the more appealing album edit is included with the Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. set (G-027), so fear not.

Enough about what has been carried over, though. It's time to focus on what's new and exciting about this release, this being the star attraction of this particular Perfect Collection box set. To start off and be fair, some of the new themes do disappoint, such as the obnoxiously repetitive"Doctor Otonashi" track. However, there are a lot of themes here that are among the best of the score, and why they had previously been left off is anyone's guess. The most obvious of these, from fan discussions, is the "Gigan Awakens" theme, which is just as great as a standalone experience as it is in the film. "Commander Namikawa's Abnormality", "Monster X Appears", and "Keizer Ghidorah Appears" are more great tracks which were tragically left off the earlier CD release. The disc also contains edits of themes previously found on the single disc release, such as "Mothra vs. Gigan" which really benefits from being on its own as it highlights the fact that it is one of the better battle themes from the film. It should be noted that, as complete as the score is, some of the stock themes are missing. Specifically, the Minilla theme from Son of Godzilla (1967), the Mechagodzilla theme from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) and the SUM41 song that was used for Zilla.

In terms of actual bonus content, I will just talk about what is present in this set, discussing the third Godzilla: Final Wars CD in the Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. review (G-027). The bonus tracks here are mostly outtakes, some of which are the edits that appeared on the previous album, while others are 5.1 surround versions of these themes. None of these particularly standout as make or break additions. Some of the outtakes are different enough from the source to be interesting on their own, if inferior to the used tracks. For example, the "Monster X Appears" outtake does not contain the brief guitar work found in the final version and also stresses instruments differently. Sadly, this does mean that this disc contains outtakes for the "Crusing the Cirro-Stratus" and its offspring themes that were edited from it ("Ending" and "Earth Defense Force and the Threat of Monsters"). This means that the second disc alone contains 20 minutes of the video-poker-style theme, which is far too much. In fact, prolonged exposure is known to have the side affect of having one dreamily imagine what the soundtrack might have been like had Emerson never been attached to the project.

As far as audio quality goes, it's slightly below the Victor release. I'm not sure on Toho Music's methods, but running the same tracks side-by-side, with volume levels equalized, the Victor content sounds a bit more rich in this respect, with more range to the instruments. In contrast, the Toho Music stuff sounds marginally more "normalized", which is a running trend with their releases versus the larger record labels. The difference is minute, and only noticeable in such comparison, but it is there for those curious. In terms of the 5.1 tracks, they sound more robust than the others although the difference isn't night and day. For those interested, they do not originate from the DVD-A that was released but are brand new for this CD set.

Overall, this soundtrack is still hit and miss. The added content for the two disc release helps it out, adding more "hits" than "misses", and fleshes out the contributions of Yano and Morino in terms of original music that was left out. To be fair, there are even some good edits of Emerson's "Kazama" motif that work well. The soundtrack will always polarize, though, as most people are outspoken both about tracks that they love and those that they absolutely hate. Regardless, this score highlights some of the positives that were unfairly left out of the previous single disc release and is overall a very worthwhile addition to any fan's collection.
Rating:
Tracks
    Disc 1
  1. Opening (King Kong vs. Godzilla M10)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  2. Godzilla vs. the Undersea Battleship (M1 Edit)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  3. Earth Defense Force and the Threat of Monsters (M2A Long)
  4. Main Title (M2C)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino and Akira Ifukube
  5. Gotengo vs. Manda (M3)
  6. M Organization Combat Training Facility (M4)
  7. Doctor Otonashi (M5)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  8. Gigan Mummified (M6)
  9. Message From Infant Island (M7)
  10. Rodan Attacks New York (M8)
  11. Ebirah vs. the Mutant Forces (M9)
  12. The Xilien Arrive (M10)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  13. We Love X I (5.1 Channel Material)
  14. We Love X II (Crusing the Cirro-Stratus)
  15. Secretary General Daigo's Accident (M11)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  16. Commander Namikawa's Abnormality (M12 Mix)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  17. The Truth About Gorath (M13)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  18. Xilien Conspiracy I (M14b)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  19. Xilien Conspiracy II (M14a)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  20. Highway Battle (M15)
  21. Gigan Awakens (M16 Edit)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  22. Gotengo's Underground Base (M17)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  23. Operation: Final War (M18 + M19)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  24. Gotengo Launch (M20)
  25. The King of the Monsters Returns (M22 Edit)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  26. Gotengo and Godzilla (M23-1)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  27. Godzilla vs. Kumonga · Kamacuras (M23-2)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  28. The Wrath of Godzilla (M24)
  29. Godzilla vs. the Three Monsters (M25 GtrA)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  30. Kazama's Suicide Attack (M26 Edit)
  31. The Gotengo Breaks Through (M26B)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  32. Mothra Flies (M27)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  33. Godzilla vs. Hedorah and Ebirah (M27B)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
    Disc 2
  1. The Xilien's Intent (M28)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  2. Monster X Appears (M29 Add)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  3. Mothra vs. Gigan (M30)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  4. The Fierce Battle of Four Great Monsters (M31-1)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  5. The Fight in the UFO Mother Ship I (M31-2)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  6. The Fight in the UFO Mother Ship II (M32)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  7. Keizer Conflict (M33)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  8. The End of the Xilien (M34)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  9. Keizer Ghidorah Appears (M35-1)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  10. Godzilla vs. Keizer Ghidorah (M35-2)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  11. The Battle is Over (M36)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  12. Godzilla and Minilla Leave (M37 Before End)
  13. Ending (M37 Edit Type 1)

    Bonus Tracks
  14. Godzilla vs. the Undersea Battleship (M1)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  15. Gigan Awakens (M16)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  16. Crusing the Cirro-Stratus
  17. The King of the Monsters Returns (M22)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  18. The King of the Monsters Returns (M22 · 5.1 Channel Material)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  19. The Gotengo Breaks Through - Mothra Flies (M26B + M27 · 5.1 Channel Material)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  20. Keizer Ghidorah Appears - Godzilla vs. Keizer Ghidorah (M35 · 5.1 Channel Material)
    Composer: Daisuke Yano
  21. Earth Defense Force and the Threat of Monsters (M2)
  22. Kazama's Suicide Attack (M26 Tribute Version)
  23. Monster X Appears (M29)
    Composer: Nobuhiko Morino
  24. Ending (M37 Type 2)
  25. Ending (M37)