Trailers for past films are surprisingly enjoyable. A window into yesteryear in how the movie was marketed, while sometimes having Easter Eggs with scenes that only appear in the trailer, as is the case for Son of Godzilla (1967) and Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). Now the music found inside trailers is an aspect of their own. As is the case for Toho trailers, in particular those for the kaiju genre, many will recognize the music from past films, with Akira Ifukube‘s work being particularly prevalent for the Godzilla series. Sometimes Toho is a bit more unorthodox in their choices, such as an early advert for King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) that featured music from The Hidden Fortress (1958). However, sometimes the music is totally alien… feeling like it didn’t come from another Toho movie at all. In fact, this became a growing trend in the 1990’s and beyond, as the company leaned toward using library music from outside sources.
This is the focus of the article: identifying outside music in Toho trailers. This can include content from production music libraries or other movie sources. Essentially the only criteria is that the music has to not appear in a Toho film. To best elaborate, trailers will be shown when possible along with linking to the library source material or failing that a place where one can listen or buy the piece of music. The trailers themselves will be coming from Toho’s source, for optimal compliance.
Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
Composer: Modest Mussorgsky
Source: A Night on Bare Mountain
Many of the Showa era trailers from Toho utilize music from their own film library. Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) is an exception, though. The kaiju genre entry looks toward a classical source, selecting Modest Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. The song, made famous by Walt Disney’s Fantasia, plays prominently at the start of the trailer. Now this particular composition appears to be the 1962 recording done by René Leibowitz as he conducts the The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which he titled “A Night on Bare Mountain”.
This exact version was also used for the Conflagration (1975) trailer.
Godzilla, Mothra & King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
Trailers: Early teasers
Composer: Frederic Talgorn
Source: The Attack Begins
From the De Wolfe Library, composer Frederic Talgorn’s became a centerpiece of the early adverts for the 2001 movie. This includes both the earliest teaser, which features stock footage, and also the second teaser, which uses very early special effects shots such as the source material for what would end up being Godzilla and King Ghidorah’s underwater battle.
This theme was also used in a trailer for Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003).
Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
Composer: “Immediate Music”
While it might not have been the first, 2004 marks a period where Toho seems to have turned their back on the De Wolfe Library they had utilized heavily in favor of the themes coming from the label Immediate Music, who is less forth coming on composer details. Solidifying that transition was the heavy use of the Redrum theme in the trailers for the 2004 Godzilla film, heard in the trailer above at the 39 second mark.