Godzilla vs. Megalon (Perfect Collection 3)
International Title
 Godzilla vs. Megalon
Music By: Riichiro Manabe
Record Label: Toho Music
Running Time: 72:35 Discs: 1
Release: April 2005 CD Number: G-013 (Set)
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

Riichiro Manabe is a composer who, at the very least, never fails to leave an impression. For most, he is the worst composer to have touched the Godzilla film franchise and not many contest that statement. His habit of drastic and odd experimentation, along with not really matching his themes to the onscreen action, have left him as a scapegoat. Still, despite his faults, the man is not without his charm. Granted, it seems like for every good theme he does, there are five or more which could be considered bad to awful; however, sometimes that one theme does strike gold all the same. While the composer created a mostly bland score for his debut to the franchise, Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), he does make a slight amend with the more lively score for Godzilla vs. Megalon. It's still not a good score as a whole, but an improvement from his 1971 work that does lend itself better to a stand alone experience.

As far as the music goes, there are actually a few tracks here which are deserving of praise. In fact, a couple of these themes have migrated their way onto my iPod, which is stronger praise than my simple words can give. Leading the pack is the excellent "Highway Road" theme, which so perfectly conveys a lighthearted and carefree tone. The theme is incredibly dated for the 1970's, yet that somehow only adds to the charm. Another nice theme off this CD is the "The Self Defense Force Mobilizes", which is very creepy and foreboding. For what its intended to represent, the military, the theme couldn't have been more misplaced. However, as a stand alone experience it still works.

In regards to the rest of the score, it ranges from bad to incredibly peculiar. Leading the way in this regard is "Monster Tag Match I", which almost sounds like it has monkeys howling at the start of it. The composer's own version of the Godzilla theme returns from Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971), which is a love it or hate it kind of theme. The movie's closing song, "Godzilla and Jet Jaguar Punch-Punch-Punch" sung by Masato Shimon who would later go on to do the songs for Zone Fighter (1974) among other projects, is decent. Its cheesy, and with its charm despite feeling incredibly out of place for the Godzilla franchise. The song definitely works better, though, in its smaller movie version form, and tends to long outstay its welcome on the longer record version also found on this CD.

In terms of this "Perfect Collection" release compared to the other editions on CD, this one has a lot of new content. In fact, there is over 20 additional minutes of music and its easily the most improved of the soundtracks from this box. Now many of these new tracks are outtakes, which in the case of Manabe are actually notably different. Having never been released before, they are great to finally have on CD. The movie edit of "Fly to Monster Island" is also included here. This leaves tracks 54 through 66, the Yamaha Electone Variations. For those unfamiliar with it, the Yamaha Electone is an electric organ and Manabe, always being a fan of experimentation, utilized it during his work on this 1973 film. In total, there are 10 minutes of music here dedicated to him, basically, toying around with an Electone. The end result is actually "Megalon Travels to the Surface", and one can see how he was able to create such an unearthly and alien sounding theme by mixing together various sounds from an Electone. Sadly, this is something that's neat to discover, but not so great to hear. It probably would have been perfect as a DVD special feature that one watches once, but having it at the end of a CD where one is likely going to hear it several times isn't so great.

All in all, this is a great version of an unpopular score to put it bluntly. It deserves praise for a few tracks, but they tend to be "diamonds in the rough" as there are many mediocre, to poor, to straight up bizarre tracks that the viewer has to navigate through like a mine field in order to get to them. Still, suffice to say, this CD easily trumps any other availability of this score on the format.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Opening (M1)
  2. Main Title (M2-T2)
  3. Disaster at the Lake (M3)
  4. Highway Road (M4)
  5. What the Intruder Left Behind (M5, T2 only)
  6. Devastated Room (M6)
  7. The Intruders' Objective (M7)
  8. Chase (M8-T2)
  9. Robot Construction (M9-T2)
  10. Kidnapping 1 (M10)
  11. Kidnapping 2 (M11)
  12. Seatopia's Undersea Kingdom (M12)
  13. Megalon Travels to the Surface (M-X)
  14. Activating Jet Jaguar (M13)
  15. Car Chase (M14)
  16. The Self Defense Force Mobilizes (M15)
  17. Attack Preparation (M16)
  18. Container Crisis (M17-T2)
  19. Megalon Approaches (M18-T2)
  20. Commence the Attack (M19)
  21. Fly to Monster Island! (M20)
  22. Message to Nebula Space Hunter M (M21)
  23. Unstoppable Megalon (M22)
  24. Godzilla of Monster Island (M23-T2)
  25. Megalon and Gigan's Fury (M24)
  26. Jet Jaguar Becomes Gigantic (EX1-T2)
  27. Jet Jaguar (M25)
  28. Godzilla Crosses the Ocean (M26)
  29. Desperate Struggle (M27)
  30. Godzilla Arrives (M28)
  31. Monster Tag Match I (M29)
  32. Monster Tag Match II (M30)
  33. Monster Tag Match III (M31)
  34. Counterattack (M32)
  35. Godzilla's Furious Attack (M33-T2)
  36. Victorious Handshake (M34-T2)
  37. Jet Jaguar Reverts to Normal Size (EX2)
  38. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar Punch-Punch-Punch (M35 #3-T5)
    By: Masato Shimon

    Bonus Tracks
  39. Fly to Monster Island! (M20 Edit)
  40. Main Title (M2-T1)
  41. Main Title (M2-T3)
  42. What the Intruder Left Behind (M5, T1 only)
  43. Chase (M8-T1)
  44. Robot Construction (M9-T1)
  45. Container Crisis (M17-T1)
  46. Megalon Approaches (M18-T1)
  47. Godzilla of Monster Island (M23-T1)
  48. Jet Jaguar Becomes Gigantic (EX1-T1)
  49. Godzilla's Furious Attack (M33-T1)
  50. Victorious Handshake (M34-T1)
  51. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar Punch-Punch-Punch (M35-T1 Karaoke)
  52. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar Punch-Punch-Punch (M35-T2 Karaoke)
  53. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar Punch-Punch-Punch (M35 #1-T4)
    By: Masato Shimon

    Yamaha Electone Variations
  54. A-1
  55. A-2
  56. B-1
  57. B-1-2
  58. B-2-1
  59. B-2-2
  60. C1
  61. C2
  62. Mix B-1-2, B-2-2 (Mix Complete B)
  63. Mix C-1, C-2 (Mix Complete C)
  64. O.L Mix A-2, Mix Complete B (O.L Mix AB)
  65. O.L Mix, O.L Mix AB, Mix Complete C-T1
  66. O.L Mix, O.L Mix AB, Mix Complete C-T2

    Record Version Theme Songs
  67. Godzilla and Jet Jaguar Punch-Punch-Punch
    By: Masato Shimon
  68. Defeat Megalon
    By: Masato Shimon