CD: Godzilla: Live · Complete Movie Score Collection


Godzilla: Live · Complete Movie Format Score Collection

Japanese CD Title

ゴジラ: ライヴ・シネマ形式全曲集
[Gojira: Raibu · Shinema Keishiki Zenkyokushu]

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Kaoru Wada, Akira Ifukube
King Records
August 2016

Based On:




By: Anthony Romero

I don't buy soundtracks as much as I'd like to these days, and those purchases are generally reserved for the more obscure stuff like what Cinema-kan is doing. That said, my friend and fellow soundtrack nut Robert Storch convinced me to purchase this CD, which is a live re-recording of the complete score to the original Godzilla (1954). I didn't come in with high expectations, being familiar with the conductor's work on the final track on Godzilla: Sound EFX / BGM on Japanese Film. As a result, I was blown away by how great this CD is, breathing life into the 1954 score and creating a stellar stand alone experience as a result.

Now, many cite Akira Ifukube's score to the first Godzilla as a career hallmark. To that point, it did establish the genesis for many of his great themes, chief among them what would become the Godzilla theme and the Great Monster War March. However, it is an older score, done in mono and a little rough around the edges, such as featuring an actual child crying during the "Tragic Sight of the Imperial Capital" theme. Furthermore, Ifukube had a habit of revisiting material, so some of the themes were reintroduced in later films with modern recordings that make it hard to go back to the original.

This is where this, surprisingly, faithful re-recording comes into play. The sound here is fantastic, as the music really benefits from being in stereo with modern recording techniques. Stuff like the "Departure" theme really comes alive, becoming very energetic and conveying a sense of energy. The real treat, though, is hearing stuff that hasn't been as heavily revisited. Tracks like "Godzilla at the Ocean Floor" and "Godzilla Comes Ashore Again" sound great, and I really didn't realize how much I wanted to hear modern versions of these cues until I listened to them here. To his credit, Kaoru Wada has really matured as a conductor, with only minor variants like the heavy symbol used at the start "Sinking of Eikou-Maru".

As a bonus, the CD concludes with a track called "SF Monster Fantasy". This seven minute suite sees Wada conducting other Ifukube themes and weaving them together. It starts off with material from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991), featuring King Ghidorah and then Godzilla's themes, before moving on to Mothra's theme from Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992). The suite then concludes with the Great Monster War March from Invasion of Astro-Monster (1965). Now this track doesn't quite measure up to Ifukube's work in the 1990's, but is a good rearrangement all the same and makes for an enjoyable listen.

Overall, I'd highly recommend searching out this disc. It's well worth the price, and something that's easy to produce a grin from ear to ear when hearing it.

Rating: Star Rating


  1. Main Title
  2. The Eikou-Maru Sailors Rest
  3. Sinking of Eikou-Maru
  4. Sinking of Bingou-Marou
  5. Anxieties on Ootojima Island
  6. The Ritual Music of Ootojima Island
  7. Stormy Otojima Island
  8. Departure (Frigate March)
  9. Theme for Ootojima Island
  10. Frigate March I
  11. Horror of the Water Tank
  12. Godzilla Comes Ashore
  13. Intercept Godzilla
  14. Godzilla Comes Ashore Again
  15. Godzilla's Rampage
  16. Godzilla Comes to Tokyo Bay
  17. Tragic Sight of the Imperial Capital
  18. Oxygen Destroyer
  19. Prayer for Peace
  20. Frigate March II
  21. Godzilla at the Ocean Floor
  22. Ending

    Bonus Tracks
  23. SF Monster Fantasy