Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection - Box 4
International Title
 [Box Set]

Music By: Various
Record Label: Toho Music

Running Time: 592:20 (Total) Discs: 9
Release: October 2006 CD Number: GB4
Toho's long, long awaited fourth entry in the "Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection" line. In between this box and the third, Toho released numerous other soundtracks, while they also distributed and completely sold out of a limited release for the popular Gransazers (2003) show that, like these boxes, was sold only online and came just a month before the third. All of this while the first box (GB1) in the "Perfect Collection" line, which was released more than two years ago, is still struggling to even reach the halfway mark on its limited run. Considering this, one can only imagine that Toho took a look at these results and realized that perhaps they needed to adjust their strategy for these boxes, giving more incentive for collectors to actually shell out the ¥10,500 (about $90, although importers will have to pay $125 with shipping and other added charges) if they already owned one or all of these scores before. The result, after many delays, is far and away the best entry in the "Perfect Collection" line to date, complete with nine discs and almost ten hours of music (in contrast to the almost seven hours found in the first box).

For this set, Toho has really dug deep into the vaults for a lot of rare stuff, releasing tons of material which has never before been available on CD. This includes a lot of singles done for these movies, the very rare "Our Monster Unit" radio dramas and of course the complete score to Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989), as it appeared in the film, among many other things. Unlike previous boxes, though, this set only focuses on four films instead of the usual five, and so Toho picks up this slack by including content for Godzilla and King Ghidorah's appearances on the Zone Fighter (1973) television show. Overall, the selections themselves are great, as one can expect, but they aren't perfect, with this set not having the complete scores to Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) or Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992), while the previous two disc set for the 1992 movie (TYCY-5267/8) is the more definitive release for that soundtrack. It's nothing for more casual consumers to worry about, although the more hardcore collectors might certainly take note of this.

As for the presentation of this set, Toho has really stepped up to the plate, as they leave behind the faded brown designs they had used previously in exchange for full color packaging that really looks fantastic. Well, with the sole exception being the last disc, as it looks like the LP cover that was used as the source was not in the best condition. Anyway, like the previous boxes, the booklets for each CD is also truly amazing, containing in depth information about the scores along with interviews with the individuals behind the films, including director/writer Kazuki Omori who helmed the 1989 and 1991 Godzilla pictures, along with writing the script for Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992).

In terms of the sound quality, this set fares very well. The fact that the second disc for Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) is in mono is a little disappointing, but it doesn't end up being nearly the problem one figures it would due to the clarity present in those tracks. It should be mentioned, though, that this entire set is recorded at a lower base volume than Toho usually uses, and lower than they had been using for the previous box sets in the "Perfect Collection". Looking at some of the tracks digitally, the reason for this seems to be due to the fact that clipping occurs (a loss of performance at the peak parts in a track) if the base volume is increased even a little bit on a few of these cues; so this was definitely intentional on Toho's part. As for how the audio stacks up to previous releases, I'd say it's on par if not perhaps a little better, with the sole exception being in contrast to the superior Bandai surround sound release (BCCE-9001R/2R) for Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991); however, the Bandai set will probably only appeal to the most obsessive audio aficionados considering it has only 37 minutes of actual music on it. Directly comparing this stuff with the previous Toshiba EMI single disc releases from 1993, there are some differences to note, like some of the instruments are more pronounced in this set, although if that makes the particular theme "better" or not will be up to listener preference. In the grand scheme of things, I simply don't think there was a great deal of room for improvement, audio wise, on these soundtracks as the previous CDs were mastered so close to their actual release anyway. Suffice to say, any difference is marginal between them; however, I was very impressed with the audio quality for the Zone Fighter (1973) material, as it sounded much more clear and vibrant than I have ever heard it, even if the selection is a little disappointing in how much it focuses on radio dramas.

Finally, it should be noted again that these boxes are limited, with each being given a run of 1,954 units. Every unit is also given a unique number on the back in the form of a sticker placed above the copyright information. As previously mentioned, though, these more expensive sets are a tough sell, so there isn't that much of a need to rush although it's still something to consider. It should also be mentioned that all of these sets are sold exclusively online at Toho Music's site or Arksquare.net.
- Anthony Romero 

Disc 1:

Film: The Return of Godzilla (1984)


Disc 2-3:
Godzilla vs. Biollate

Film: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)


Disc 4:
Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah

Film: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)


Disc 5-6:
Godzilla vs. Mothra

Film: Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)


Disc 7-8:
King of the Monsters: Godzilla



Disc 9:
Godzilla's History: Zone: The Human Meteor

TV Show: Zone Fighter (1973)