Title
 Godzilla vs. Biollante (Perfect Collection 4)
International Title
 Godzilla vs. Biollante
Music By: Koichi Sugiyama
Record Label: Toho Music
 
Running Time: 77:17/61:40 Discs: 2
Release: October 2006 CD Number: G-017 (Set)
Comments
Anthony Romero
For the fourth box set, Godzilla vs. Biollante's soundtrack makes the much deserved leap to a full two disc presentation. I will make it no secret that I love the 1989 film, along with Koichi Sugiyama's wonderful score for the picture, so suffice to say this was easily the highlight of this set. Toho has really gone out of their way to make this the most definitive presentation of the film's soundtrack to date too, as a number of never before heard outtakes and cues are included, along with, for the first time, the film's complete score as it was edited for the movie.

Now, the first disc on this release features the original "album" suites as conducted by Sugiyama. These extended themes, which have made their way onto both prior releases of Godzilla vs. Biollante on CD, were the original source material that was then edited to create the final score. Consequently, this also means that some of this music was never used, such as most of the very nice sounding "The Saradia Republic" theme. Fortunately, this first disc goes way beyond just including the normal "suites", as several outtakes and variations of these tracks are also included, most of which have never been heard before. This includes stuff like a Piano Solo for Asuka's theme, along with a version of "Bio Wars" sans the guitar work. For the first time ever, this disc also includes the full "Godzilla Cell Theme", which is most famous for how it was spliced together to create the awe inspiring "Main Title" and one cue near the beginning of the film (called "Gene Cultivation" here). The track, however, isn't the most engaging piece of music when stretched out to the full three minutes, but it's still nice to see something unreleased like this finally included. The disc then rounds out its runtime with three of Akira Ifukube's Ostinato themes, that were also used to create the final score, along with the Ending theme in stereo.

Moving on to the second disc, this CD contains the entire score, in mono, exactly as it appears in the film. Now, if people are wondering why this disc is in mono instead of stereo, they are not alone. In fact, I was perplexed how that even occurred considering that the original album source was done in stereo. The truth behind this, though, is that to create these tracks Toho actually went to the film master and ripped the soundtrack straight from the film. Unfortunately, their way of doing this was crude, to the point where if you turn up the volume high enough you can actually faintly hear the dialogue in the film still being played on a number of tracks. You can't, however, hear any sound effects, as I assume those were being played on another audio channel and the reason why Toho decided to make this disc a mono one. Now to lay some fears to rest, the dialogue in these tracks is hardly apparent, save track 51 on the second disc which is the isolated music from the trailer (a great addition, by the way). In fact, I didn't even notice it the first two times I heard the disc, and it was only on a hunch, leading me to raise the volume very high, did the dialogue become noticeable. Is this still disappointing? Naturally. However, it's not nearly as bad as the description sounds, and even though the score is in mono one can't help but be impressed by the audio clarity here to the point where the single channel presentation doesn't end up being nearly the problem I thought it would.

Now, this isn't the first time that cues from this film, already edited, have been released on CD, as the earlier Toshiba EMI disc (TYCY-5361) also contained 11 cues from the "movie score". Those, however, are in stereo (how Toshiba pulled that off and Toho couldn't is a question for the ages), so I was interested in doing some direct comparisons between the themes on the two releases. The track which was begging for this test was the "Ending" theme, as I had three samples to play with (the Toshiba stereo offering, along with a mono and stereo version from this release). From playing with these, I was generally surprised to find that all three of them were different. The weakest of them was, of course, the mono one. The other two were very interesting, as each seemed to bring out different instruments in the orchestra more than the other, with, for example, the triangle being much more noticeable in this version than the Toshiba one. That being said, I wouldn't really declare either better than the other, just slightly different.

Anyway, in terms of how the "movie score" fares in complete form, there is just something magical about hearing some of these cues as they were utilized in the film, such as the way the "The Super-X 2 Mobilizes" was spliced together. Unfortunately, a lot of these cues are fairly abrupt and short in the way they were edited, making it not the greatest way to enjoy the score, but it still holds up pretty well. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed in track 21 on this disc, "The Return of Godzilla", as there is a lot of annoying static at the start of it. How this made it past whatever quality control Toho Music has is beyond me. Thankfully, it's the only track off this disc, and the set in general in fact, where I noticed a discrepancy. Personally, it was also a little disheartening that this disc left off the "song" heard in Osaka, before it's abruptly cut off as the order for evacuation is given; however, I would assume that my feelings aren't echoed by very many, so it's more of a pet peeve for me.

Overall, it's great to see Godzilla vs. Biollante get the royal treatment in this set. This release isn't perfect, but is still an excellent means of enjoying Sugiyama's great score.
Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
    Disc 1 - Stereo
  1. Suite 1 "Godzilla 1989"
  2. Suite 2 "The Saradia Republic"
  3. Suite 3 "Scramble March"
  4. Suite 4 "Asuka"
  5. Suite 5 "Countdown"
  6. Suite 6 "Love Theme"
  7. Suite 7-T2 "Bio Wars"
  8. Suite 8 "Biollante"
  9. Suite 9 "Requiem"
  10. Suite 10-T2 "Super-X2"

    Bonus Tracks
  11. Suite 4 "Asuka" (Piano Solo)
  12. Suite 4 "Asuka" (Piano Solo · Short Version)
  13. Suite 7-T3 "Bio Wars"
  14. Suite 10-T1 "Super-X2"
  15. Godzilla Cell Theme
  16. "Godzilla Title" (Ostinato)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  17. "Godzilla vs. the Tank Corps" (Ostinato)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  18. "Great Monster War March" (Ostinato)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  19. "Godzilla vs. Biollante" Ending
    Disc 2 - Mono
  1. Toho Logo - Opening (M1 First Half)
  2. Main Title (M1 Second Half)
    Composer: Koichi Sugiyama and Akira Ifukube
  3. Bio-Major (M2)
  4. The Saradia Republic-1 (M3)
  5. The Saradia Republic-2 (M4)
  6. Explosion in the Research Building (M5)
  7. The Death of Erika (M6)
  8. Asuka and Kirishima-1 (M7)
  9. The Mental Science Development Center (M8)
  10. Omen (M9)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  11. Official Announcement: First Alarm (M10)
  12. Asuka and Kirishima-2 (M11)
  13. Gene Fusion (M12)
  14. Gene Cultivation (M13 First Half)
  15. Official Announcement: Second Alarm (M13 Second Half)
  16. The New Plant Disaster at Shiragami's Laboratory (M14)
  17. Miki's Premonition (M15)
  18. Biollante in the Lake-1 (M16 First Half)
  19. The Transaction with the "Alien" (M16 Second Half)
  20. Countdown (M17)
  21. The Return of Godzilla (M18)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  22. The Uraga Sea Battle (M19)
  23. The Super-X 2 Mobilizes (M20)
  24. SSS9 Escapes (M21)
  25. Biollante in the Lake-2 (M22)
  26. The Super-X 2 vs. Godzilla (M23)
  27. The Self Defense Force Line at Lake Ashinoko (M24)
  28. Godzilla vs. Biollante · Ashinoko (M25 First Half)
  29. Biollante's Fiery Death (M25 Second Half)
  30. Anti-Submarine Helicopters on Patrol (M26)
  31. Ise Bay Defense Line (M27)
  32. Godzilla Appears in the Kii Channel (M28)
  33. The Psychic Induction (M29)
  34. Official Announcement: Fourth Alarm (M30)
  35. The Emergency Evacuation of Osaka (M31)
  36. The Saradia Conspiracy (M33)
  37. Godzilla and the Destruction of Osaka (M34)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  38. The Battle in the Business District-1 (M35)
  39. The Battle in the Business District-2 (M36)
  40. Preparing Operation Thunder Beam-1 (M37)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  41. Preparing Operation Thunder Beam-2 (M38)
  42. TC System Standby! (M39)
  43. Start the Attack! (M40)
    Composer: Akira Ifukube
  44. Godzilla vs. the Attack Helicopters (M41)
  45. The Advent of Biollante (M42)
  46. Godzilla vs. Biollante · Wakasa (M43)
  47. The Ascension of Biollante (M44)
  48. After SSS9! (M45)
  49. The Hour of Peace (M46)
  50. Ending (M47)
  51. Preview