goes to Robert Storch for the box image!
The third box in the Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection,
and the last for the Showa Series of films. This release,
which like the one before is a six disc set, focuses
solely on the 1970's features with the character.
For this set, Toho Music has included a number of
all new tracks, many of which are outtakes or edits.
The general design of this set mimics the previous
two, with brown tinted booklet covers and with each
disc being given its own jewel case. Of the first
three boxes, this one actually shows the most effort
on Toho Music's part, although is mixed in other areas.
One of the big things touted about the Soundtrack
Perfect Collection is the remastered sound, or was
during the early stages of their release. As each
new one came out, Toho's uneven success with this
became more apparent, as many times the sound was
either on par or actually worse than what Toshiba
had released in the 1990's. This box is an exception,
as Toho Music has done a great job with remastering
the music here, presenting something that sounds far
clearer and more distinct than what was on CD before.
There are a few tracks which are still surpassed by
other CD releases, such as the "record"
songs, but the majority of the music here has been
improved over what was previously available.
In terms of new content, this set also contains a
large amount of new outtakes which have never been
released before on CD. Toho Music has also gone in
and totally redone the Godzilla
vs. Gigan (1972) soundtrack. The original
by Toshiba (TYCY-5356)
was actually based more on an early edit of the score,
and not the final cut. This new release corrects that
by presenting the score exactly as it appears in the
film. The downside, though, is that a lot of those
unused edits are left off, which in turn gives each
release something distinct about it.
Sadly, despite Toho Music's solid efforts in presenting
this set, this release falters in two prime categories.
The first is the content itself. The 1970's were not
the best period for Godzilla music. This decade saw
the rise of Riichiro Manabe, a controversial composer
who tends to have far more detractors than fans. Not
many would argue that the soundtracks for Godzilla
vs. Hedorah (1971) and Godzilla
vs. Megalon (1973) are some of the lesser
ones in the long running series. Maestro Akira
of Mechagodzilla (1975) is also a franchise
low for the composer. This leaves the final two soundtracks.
Of these, Masaru
vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) tends to illicit
the most praise, and is well deserved for its bouncy
energy that Sato brings to the proceeding. Godzilla
vs. Gigan (1972) has a great score as well,
however, it's stock music from some of Ifukube's earlier
work. It manages to be a pretty good "best of",
and the soundtrack is one of my favorites, but at
the end of the day it's still reused and recycled
themes. So the set has the subject matter going against
it, which isn't particularly Toho Music's fault, but
at the same time will of course be factored into people's
The other category going against this set is the value.
These boxes aren't cheap, and once again this is only
a six disc set. Toho Music realized this discrepancy
in terms of price versus content and corrected it
for the later releases, which are all nine discs.
This one comes up short for the price, but does contain
over an hour of additional music than the previous
box at least. Sadly, this isn't helped by the inclusion
of Godzilla 3,
another LP reproduction on CD. To be fair, this is
the first time this LP has been made available on
the format, however, its still a compilation so that's
nothing to really tout. Insult to injury, a lot of
the music is already found in the full soundtracks
in this set anyway, making its inclusion redundant
to anyone who isn't fixated on a nostalgia for the
original record. Thankfully, Toho Music did include
some new music at the end, which does add a bit of
value. It's only a shame that the entire bonus CD
wasn't music that couldn't have already been found
on this release, instead of just the "bonus tracks".
All in all, for old time collectors this is notably
improved over what's already out there. It shows effort
on Toho Music's part and its a shame that in terms
of quality they didn't maintain this level through
all of the boxes. In terms of content, again its not
the best era for Godzilla music and many new collectors
will probably want to get the other sets first, especially
the last three.
It should be mentioned that all of these sets are
sold exclusively online at Toho Music's site, Arksquare.net