Title
 Earth Destruction Directive: Godzilla vs. Gigan
International Title
 Godzilla vs. Gigan
Music By: Akira Ifukube
Record Label: Toshiba EMI (Futureland)
 
Running Time: 77:56 Discs: 1
Release: December 1993 CD Number: TYCY-5356
Comments
Anthony Romero
Godzilla vs. Gigan is a controversial "score" amongst soundtrack buffs. To be frank, outside of Susumu Ishikawa's "Godzilla March", there is really nothing new to this soundtrack. As a cost cutting procedure, Toho decided to utilize their large library of Akira Ifukube scores for this 1972 feature. The ending result is a soundtrack made mostly of stock genre themes, but a few outside sources such as Will to Conquer (1970) slip in. Consequently, this whole approach has caused some to cry fowl and dismiss the soundtrack. However, despite what might sound like a lazy and disappointing approach, this disc actually ends up being an excellent stand alone listening experience. The soundtrack acts like a "best of" for Ifukube and, to be frank, actually works well to keep the listener satisfied from start to finish.

To give credit where it's due, the creation of this "score" is not simply repeating these themes, but also creatively editing them together. In total, this soundtrack borrows music from 11 different sources that, coincidentally, span over an 11 year period from 1959 to 1970. Of these films, only three are ones already in the Godzilla series, which include Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964), Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964), and Destroy All Monsters (1968). The rest are a mixture of science fiction productions, with the exceptions of The Big Boss (1959), Will to Conquer (1970), and the music composed for the Mitsubishi Pavilion (1970) at Expo '70. The strength of this is the way that the themes are compiled, creating not only a diverse list of music but also the way they are edited to either extend their runtimes or to compile several different cues together. The result, with the exception of the awkward sounding "Godzilla on Monster Island", is often imaginative and pleasing to listen to.

With such a large body of work being sampled, it's not surprising that it's hard to really pick a few tracks to hail as the best on this CD. Themes like the "Main Title", either version, and the "Fierce Battle Between the Four Giant Monsters" are hallmarks. Overall, the tracks utilizing Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) and Frankenstein vs. Baragon (1965), especially "The Chairman of the Construction Committee", tend to be the strongest offerings. However, themes like "The Space Monsters Attack Tokyo" and "Vicious Attack of the Space Monsters" deserve nods as well. The latter is especially nice, as the cue shifts from the Rodan theme to King Ghidorah's at just the right moment to really add a sense of energy to the transition. Again, the strength of this score is simply that it's enjoyable through out, without a slow point. The new music on this release, the "Godzilla March" and "Defeat Gigan", might be a select taste though. Sung by Susumu Ishikawa with music by composer Kunio Miyauchi, the songs, while far from excellent, are enjoyable for what they are. A few might get a kick out of the "Defeat Gigan" song, a record only release, which also mentions Hedorah alongside Gigan and King Ghidorah.

Now, in terms of this CD in particular, its worth noting that Toshiba actually ordered it according to the original planned "score" for the movie. This means the content from the Mitsubishi Pavilion (1970), which was a late addition, is absent outside of the bonus tracks. Why this was done on Toshiba's part is unknown. It's especially odd as the disc doesn't include the original edit for "The Giant Earth Monsters' Counterattack", which was left off because the disc simply doesn't have enough room for it, it's that filled with music. All in all, it's an interesting choice on Toshiba's behalf, but one that is generally unpopular and for good reason, since many would rather hear the score in the order it was presented in the movie. On that note, it's also interesting that the Mitsubishi Pavilion (1970) content came so close to not being used at all, since for many it's what they associate the most with this soundtrack as so few are familiar with the Expo '70 attraction. For those interested, the later Godzilla Perfect Collection release (G-012) places the cues in the correct order as they appeared in the film, although leaves off the two alternate edits, "Main Title" and "The Tower Destruction Operation", found here.

In terms of the bonus tracks, there is the previously mentioned "Defeat Gigan" record track and the inclusion of the actual themes that were used for the "Main Title" and the climax. On top of this, there is also the record version of the "Godzilla March", which plays the full song, and one that is edited as it appears in the movie, the latter of which is fairly pointless since the ending is already present and this is more or less a repeated track. After this comes one last theme which is an alternate "Ending", taken from Destroy All Monsters (1968), that was supposed to be utilized for the International market releases of the movie in place of the Japanese song the "Godzilla March". As far as I know, though, no prints of the movie, including Toho's own international dubbing, ever decided to utilize this instead of the original vocal song.

On a final note, the booklet included with this release is probably of particular interest as well, as it does a breakdown of where each cue comes from. Oddly enough, the list also makes references to cues beyond M25, which could have been what the music was going to be like before the Mitsubishi Pavilion (1970) content was substituted. For those curious, the music that was likely going to be used for the final battle was originally M23 from Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) along with M16 and M27 from Destroy All Monsters (1968). Sadly, the original version of the final battle has never been released on CD. Granted, it's not a huge loss since the themes that comprise it are readily available amongst their original scores, but it still would have been nice to see how they had planned to edit the three themes together. As a side note, the booklet seems to incorrectly list the Will to Conquer (1970) cue as being used for M2, which is not present and seems to be referencing M3 which has no citation.

Overall, it's hard to really rate this score. For me, this was not only one of the first Godzilla soundtracks I ever purchased, but also remains one of my favorites even after having the soundtrack for more than a decade. It deserves the flack it gets for being comprised of stock music, but at the same time is such a wonderful collection of themes that it's hard for me not to give it a strong recommendation, even to those who own most of the soundtracks that Godzilla vs. Gigan borrowed from. Now, for those trying to decide between picking up this release and the Godzilla Perfect Collection CD (G-012), go for the latter. It's missing the alternate takes, but at the same time the Perfect Collection CD has the score in the correct order, contains the original The Big Boss (1959) theme used for the intro, the "Godzilla March" in karaoke, and also the original Mitsubishi Pavilion (1970) themes.
Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
  1. Main Title (M1) [The Big Boss (M12) - Mothra vs. Godzilla (M20) - Battle in Outer Space (M2)]
  2. Construction of Children's Land (M3) [Will to Conquer (M4)]
  3. Monster Island I (M4) [Destroy All Monsters (M3)]
  4. The Girl and the Tape (M5) [Atragon (M5)]
  5. The Chairman of the Construction Committee (M6) [Frankenstein vs. Baragon (M1)]
  6. The Park at Night (M6A) [The Big Boss (M15B)]
  7. Midnight at the Godzilla Tower (M7) [Atragon (M11)]
  8. Monster Island II (M7A) [Destroy All Monsters (M3)]
  9. Godzilla on Monster Island (M8-1) [Destroy All Monsters (M3)]
  10. The Older Brother's Whereabouts (M8-2) [Latitude Zero (M21)]
  11. Background Check (M9) [Frankenstein vs. Baragon (M21)]
  12. The Accident One Year Ago (M11) [Frankenstein vs. Baragon (M6)]
  13. The Defense Corps Mobilize I (M12-1) [Destroy All Monsters (M20)]
  14. Anguirus Repelled (M12-2) [Destroy All Monsters (M10)]
  15. The Cigarette with the Built-in Transmitter (M13) [Atragon (M5)]
  16. The Assassination Group Attacks (M14) [Frankenstein vs. Baragon (M19)]
  17. The Signal to Space (M15) [Battle in Outer Space (M1)]
  18. The Rescue Operation Begins (M16) [Battle in Outer Space (M2)]
  19. Infiltrating Godzilla Tower (M17) [Frankenstein vs. Baragon (M19)]
  20. The Race from Universe M (M18) [Frankenstein vs. Baragon (M26)]
  21. The Invader's Invitation (M19) [Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (M6)]
  22. The Defense Corps Mobilize II (M20) [Destroy All Monsters (M28)]
  23. The Space Monsters Attack Tokyo (M21) [Destroy All Monsters (M25/M26) - King Kong Escapes (M17)]
  24. Fierce Battle Between the Four Giant Monsters (M22) [Mothra vs. Godzilla (M14/M23)]
  25. Strategy to Escape Godzilla Tower (M22A) [Mothra vs. Godzilla (M20)]
  26. Earth Monsters vs. Space Monsters (M23) [Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (M19)]
  27. Vicious Attack of the Space Monsters (M24) [Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (M11/M15)]
  28. The Tower Destruction Operation (M25) [Frankenstein vs. Baragon (M11)]
  29. Ending · Godzilla March
    By: Susumu Ishikawa, Composer: Kunio Miyauchi

    Bonus Tracks
  30. The Tower Destruction Operation [Mitsubishi Pavilion (M2)]
  31. The Earth Monsters' Counterattack [Mitsubishi Pavilion (M3)]
  32. Ending (For International Market) [Destroy All Monsters (M29)]
  33. Main Title (New Edit) [The Big Boss (M12) - Mothra vs. Godzilla (M20) - Mitsubishi Pavilion (M3)]
  34. Godzilla March (Used Material)
    By: Susumu Ishikawa, Composer: Kunio Miyauchi
  35. Godzilla March (Record Version)
    By: Susumu Ishikawa, Composer: Kunio Miyauchi
  36. Defeat Gigan (Record Version)
    By: Susumu Ishikawa, Composer: Kunio Miyauchi