Title
 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (Perfect Collection 3)
International Title
 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
Music By: Masaru Sato
Record Label: Toho Music
 
Running Time: 50:34 Discs: 1
Release: April 2005 CD Number: G-014 (Set)
Comments
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

For the 14th film in the Godzilla series, Toho opted to ramp up the production values a little. In doing so, director Jun Fukuda was given his choice of composer for this 1974 film, which happens to be Masaru Sato for his fourth and final soundtrack in the Godzilla franchise. In true Sato fashion, the man departs the series with a bang and delivers his best work yet based on the character. The score is no doubt dated today, but is nonetheless a rousing "big band" style send off from one of the series' most memorable composers.

From start to finish, this score is a solid entry in the series for those who don't mind a more carefree tone. Infused with a Jazz-like flavor, Sato delivers one of the more distinct soundtracks in the series. Although much of the music is enjoyable, the standout theme is easily "Godzilla vs. Anguirus", which is a fantastically energetic cue. It's over the top, but in a way that makes it hard to resist listening to it over and over again. Sato also gives a bit of diversity to the overall score, mixing action, suspense and more soothing themes together with good results. In terms of the latter, the best soothing cue from this disc is the very majestic sounding "Sea Coral", which captures a slight sense of the exotic. The soundtrack isn't all new, though, as there are two stock themes present. The first of these, track title "Mysterious Intruder", is from Judo Saga (1965) and is sadly the worst theme off the disc. It's far too repetitive, as it takes a one minute cue and extends it to a runtime of two and a half minutes. The other stock theme is from Son of Godzilla (1967) and appears here with the track title "King Caesar vs. Mechagodzilla". This was originally the final battle music for Godzilla and Kumonga, and is such a riveting theme that it's still one of the more noteworthy tracks on this CD as well.

As for how this release compares to previous ones, it boasts a number of new outtakes. "Main Title (M2-T1)" in particular is pretty interesting, and contains a notably different start than what was used. The rest are pretty close to the final versions. In the case of tracks 37 through 40 its kind of overkill to have the "Main Title" repeated so many times and frankly these could have been left off. Beyond this, there is also "Mechagodzilla Appears - Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla", which represents the final movie edit, and "Mysterious Intruder" (Judo Saga M24 Original), which features the unedited cue from Judo Saga (1965) that was used as stock music here.

In terms of the audio quality, it's worth talking about in respects to the previous releases on CD, such as the one from Toshiba (TYCY-5358). Toho Music has an uneven at best track record when it comes to their audio quality compared to the major record labels in Japan, but in the case of this release they actually got it right. The music has all been remastered, so some instruments sound more apparent than before but they always sound crystal clear and are sometimes superior over earlier releases on the format, as is the case with "Terrifying Vision". "Okinawa Folk Song" is also drastically improved, especially the vocals. Sadly, there are a few exceptions as not all are improved. Leading the way in this regard is "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (M11EXT)", which lacks the clarity that it had on previous releases. The other exceptions are the record themes, tracks 46 and 47, which are also more muddled sounding on the vocal side and a step down in sound quality. That said, overall this release sounds better than any other CD with the score.

Bottom line, this is a great swan song from Sato for the Godzilla series. He departs on a high note, while leaving behind a soundtrack that works well both removed from the movie and as a component of it. As for the Perfect Collection release, it's pound for pound the greatest way to get the score on CD, even in spite of having a couple tracks that could have sounded better.
Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
  1. Opening (M1)
  2. Main Title (M2 Title T2 + M2-T1)
  3. Terrifying Vision (M3)
  4. Ornament in a Cave (M4)
  5. The Legend of Caesar (M5)
  6. The Black Cloud Mountain (M6)
  7. Mysterious Intruder (Judo Saga M24)
  8. Disquieting Shadow (M7)
  9. Azumi's Cry (M8)
  10. Godzilla vs. Anguirus (M9)
  11. Godzilla vs. Godzilla (M10)
  12. Mechagodzilla Appears (M11)
  13. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (M11EXT)
  14. Repairing Mechagodzilla (M12)
  15. Sunflower (M13)
  16. Sunlight on the Sea (M14)
  17. Lightning Strikes Godzilla (M15)
  18. Sea Coral (M16)
  19. A Dark Sign (M17)
  20. Mechagodzilla's Repairs are Complete (M18)
  21. Fallen Pipe (M19)
  22. The Attacker's True Identity (M20)
  23. Red Moon (M21)
  24. Keisuke's Return (M22-T2)
  25. The Sun Rises in the West (M23)
  26. King Caesar Appears (M24)
  27. Mechagodzilla Mobilizes (M25)
  28. Miyarabi's Prayer (M26)
    By: Beru-Bera Lin
  29. King Caesar vs. Mechagodzilla (Son of Godzilla M33 Second Half)
  30. Legendary Monster (M27)
  31. Godzilla Comes Ashore (M28)
  32. The Three Giant Monsters: Decisive Battle of Okinawa! I (M29)
  33. The Three Giant Monsters: Decisive Battle of Okinawa! II (M30)
  34. The End of the Invasion (M31)
  35. Ending (M32-T2)

    Bonus Tracks
  36. Main Title (M2-T1)
  37. Main Title (M2 Title)
  38. Main Title (M2 Title T1)
  39. Main Title (M2 Title T2)
  40. Main Title (M2 Title T3)
  41. Mechagodzilla Appears - Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (M11 + M11EXT)
  42. Keisuke's Return (M22-T1)
  43. Ending (M32-T1)
  44. Mysterious Intruder (Judo Saga M24 Original)
  45. Okinawa Folk Song (PS1)
  46. Miyarabi's Prayer (Record Version)
    By: Beru-Bera Lin
  47. Defeat Mechagodzilla
    By: Beru-Bera Lin