GODZILLA - The Ultimate Edition
International Title
Music By: David Arnold
Record Label: BSX
Running Time: 56:14/64:17/49:10 Discs: 3
Release: October 2012 CD Number: BSXCD-8916
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

About five years after La-La Land Records released their fantastic two disc edition with the complete score of GODZILLA (LLLCD-1058), BSX popped on the scene looking to up the anti. On the surface this release seems a little unnecessary, as the La-La Land set, while sold out, was still available pretty readily on the used market... but BSX did infuse this with even more content than its 2007 counterpart, giving us three discs of content for David Arnold's amazing score from a release that merits its "Ultimate Edition" tag line.

For the musical score, composer David Arnold, fresh off his career defining stint on the James Bond series with Tomorrow Never Dies, produced an excellent action score for the picture. Its more lively than other Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich scores that the composer had done, although famously this is also the release that burned the bridge from what was otherwise a running collaboration with Arnold, as he never returned to one of their projects after this. A lot of theories circle regarding this, like the fact that Arnold was given little direction when creating the score, but regardless of what happened behind the scenes the soundtrack that the composer did produce is nothing short of stellar. Tracks like "Godzilla O Park / Godzilla Takes a Dive / Godzilla Versus the Submarine / Egg Discovery", one of my favorite cues for any film is heard for the sub sequence, really pack a dynamic punch while others like "Chewing Gum" are a nice mix of action build-up while hinting at the sometimes more loosely comedic moments in the film.

Now this set was obviously compiled by a completest, to which I can admire being one myself for soundtrack collecting, as it starts with the La-La Land Records content as a base, including all the same tracks across the first two discs. It then adds four new outtakes, which are: "Footprints / New York / Audrey" (Alternate), "Evacuation" (Alternate), "The Garden Gets It" (Alternate) and "Big G Goes To Monster Heaven" (Alternate).

The third disc in the set then includes the "unreleased album score", which was planned for a release before being scrapped and only seeing legit distribution through a rare "For Your Consideration" promo that was mailed to academy members for the 1998 Oscars. This 15 track collection of music is a little different in a number of places, for example the "It's Alive!!" album cue has a totally different ending to the "1st Helicopter Chase / Godzilla Swats a Chopper" found in La-La Land release. Not all of the album tracks are different, but the following ones are: "Gojira Opening Titles", "Joe Arrives", "It's Alive!!", "Audrey Steals the Tape", "Nick Gets Fired", "Final Encounter" and "Taxi Chase". So the selection here includes just about everything, although one complaint I have is that the album "Gojira" track appears twice in this set, at the end of the second disc and at the start of the the third disc which seems redundant: La-La Land included it because the Album wasn't there, but BSX had the Album on disc three.

In terms of sound quality, all of the releases I have, including the bootleg Concorde (9910), sound comparable. Doing "blind listen tests", I couldn't pin point one from the other, and even the choral cues, which are the easiest to note discrepancies in quality, sounded on par.

Overall, soundtrack collectors owe it to themselves to pick up one of the full score releases for this film. While I can't quite recommend dumping the La-La Land release to rush out and buy this one, I can say that the BSX release is truly the superior one and if you don't already have one in your collection this is a great one to fill that void. On a side note, it is kind of sad that the La-La Land release never really got a time to shine in the resale market. To make it clear, I don't even sell my collection, I keep each and every Toho disc that I buy, but just a mere five years after the phenomenal La-La Land set, which I might add was also re-released in the Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection Box 6 (GB6), this one seemed a little too soon. Regardless, it's a fantastic score and simply put this is the best presentation of the music from the film.
Rating: Star Rating
    Disc 1
  1. The Beginning
  2. Tanker Gets It
  3. Chernobyl
  4. Footprint
  5. Footprints / New York / Audrey
  6. Chewing Gum Nose
  7. Ship Reveal / Nick Discovers Fish / Flesh
  8. The Boat Gets It
  9. Dawn of the Species
  10. Joe Gets a Bite / Godzilla Arrives
  11. Mayor's Speech
  12. Caiman's Office
  13. Animal's Camera
  14. Military Command Center / New Jersey
  15. Audrey's Idea
  16. Evacuation
  17. French Coffee
  18. Subway Damage / Command Enters City
  19. Fish
  20. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
  21. 1st Helicopter Chase / Godzilla Swats a Chopper
  22. We Fed Him / Audrey Sees Nick
  23. Nick and Audrey / He's Pregnant / Audrey Takes the Tape / French Breakfast
  24. He's Preparing to Feed
  25. Nick Gets Fired / Nick Gets Abducted / Frenchie's Warehouse / Nick Joins the Foreign Legion
    Disc 2
  1. Chewing Gum
  2. Rumble in the Tunnel
  3. Godzilla O Park / Godzilla Takes a Dive / Godzilla Versus the Submarine / Egg Discovery
  4. Baby 'Zillas Hatch
  5. Nick Phones for Help
  6. Eat the French
  7. Phillip Shoots the Lock
  8. Nick's Big Speech / The Garden Gets It
  9. He's Back! / Taxi Chase & Clue
  10. Big G Goes to Monster Heaven
  11. The End

    Bonus Tracks
  12. The Beginning (No Choir)
  13. Footprints / New York / Audrey (Alternate)
  14. The Boat Gets It (Alternate)
  15. Footprints / New York / Audrey (Alternate)
  16. Evacuation (Alternate)
  17. The Garden Gets It (Alternate)
  18. Big G Goes to Monster Heaven (Alternate)
  19. Gojira (Album Version)
    Disc 3: Unreleased Album
  1. Gojira Opening Titles
  2. Dawn of the Species
  3. Joe Arrives
  4. Leaving Manhattan
  5. Subteranea
  6. Warnings / Fish Bait
  7. It's Alive!!
  8. Audrey Steals the Tape
  9. Nick Gets Fired
  10. Foreign Help
  11. The Babies
  12. Final Encounters
  13. Taxi Chase
  14. Brooklyn Bridge
  15. Finale