Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection - Box 3
International Title
 [Box Set]
Music By: Various
Record Label: Toho Music
Running Time: 382:17 (Total) Discs: 6
Release: April 2005 CD Number: GB3
Anthony Romero
Thanks goes to Robert Storch for the box image!

The third box in the Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection, and the last for the Showa Series of films. This release, which like the one before is a six disc set, focuses solely on the 1970's features with the character. For this set, Toho Music has included a number of all new tracks, many of which are outtakes or edits. The general design of this set mimics the previous two, with brown tinted booklet covers and with each disc being given its own jewel case. Of the first three boxes, this one actually shows the most effort on Toho Music's part, although is mixed in other areas.

One of the big things touted about the Soundtrack Perfect Collection is the remastered sound, or was during the early stages of their release. As each new one came out, Toho's uneven success with this became more apparent, as many times the sound was either on par or actually worse than what Toshiba had released in the 1990's. This box is an exception, as Toho Music has done a great job with remastering the music here, presenting something that sounds far clearer and more distinct than what was on CD before. There are a few tracks which are still surpassed by other CD releases, such as the "record" songs, but the majority of the music here has been improved over what was previously available.

In terms of new content, this set also contains a large amount of new outtakes which have never been released before on CD. Toho Music has also gone in and totally redone the Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) soundtrack. The original by Toshiba (TYCY-5356) was actually based more on an early edit of the score, and not the final cut. This new release corrects that by presenting the score exactly as it appears in the film. The downside, though, is that a lot of those unused edits are left off, which in turn gives each release something distinct about it.

Sadly, despite Toho Music's solid efforts in presenting this set, this release falters in two prime categories. The first is the content itself. The 1970's were not the best period for Godzilla music. This decade saw the rise of Riichiro Manabe, a controversial composer who tends to have far more detractors than fans. Not many would argue that the soundtracks for Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971) and Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973) are some of the lesser ones in the long running series. Maestro Akira Ifukube's Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975) is also a franchise low for the composer. This leaves the final two soundtracks. Of these, Masaru Sato's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974) tends to illicit the most praise, and is well deserved for its bouncy energy that Sato brings to the proceeding. Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972) has a great score as well, however, it's stock music from some of Ifukube's earlier work. It manages to be a pretty good "best of", and the soundtrack is one of my favorites, but at the end of the day it's still reused and recycled themes. So the set has the subject matter going against it, which isn't particularly Toho Music's fault, but at the same time will of course be factored into people's buying decisions.

The other category going against this set is the value. These boxes aren't cheap, and once again this is only a six disc set. Toho Music realized this discrepancy in terms of price versus content and corrected it for the later releases, which are all nine discs. This one comes up short for the price, but does contain over an hour of additional music than the previous box at least. Sadly, this isn't helped by the inclusion of Godzilla 3, another LP reproduction on CD. To be fair, this is the first time this LP has been made available on the format, however, its still a compilation so that's nothing to really tout. Insult to injury, a lot of the music is already found in the full soundtracks in this set anyway, making its inclusion redundant to anyone who isn't fixated on a nostalgia for the original record. Thankfully, Toho Music did include some new music at the end, which does add a bit of value. It's only a shame that the entire bonus CD wasn't music that couldn't have already been found on this release, instead of just the "bonus tracks".

All in all, for old time collectors this is notably improved over what's already out there. It shows effort on Toho Music's part and its a shame that in terms of quality they didn't maintain this level through all of the boxes. In terms of content, again its not the best era for Godzilla music and many new collectors will probably want to get the other sets first, especially the last three.

It should be mentioned that all of these sets are sold exclusively online at Toho Music's site, Arksquare.net or Screen Archives.
Rating: Star Rating

Disc 1:
Godzilla vs. Hedorah

Film: Godzilla vs. Hedorah (1971)


Disc 2:
Earth Destruction Directive: Godzilla vs. Gigan

Film: Godzilla vs. Gigan (1972)


Disc 3:
Godzilla vs. Megalon

Film: Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)


Disc 4:
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla

Film: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)


Disc 5:
Mechagodzilla's Counterattack

Film: Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)


Disc 6:
Godzilla 3