Monster Mania
International Title
Music By: Randy Miller
Record Label: Varese Sarabande
Running Time: 64:21 Discs: 1
Release: September 1998 CD Number: VSD-5969
Anthony Romero

It's fairly rare to see rearrangements done of this scale, especially for a Western release. For this CD, composer Randy Miller conducts new recordings of 22 cues from the various Godzilla films of the Showa and Heisei series.

Most of these recordings are dedicated to the music by maestro Akira Ifukube, but Miller also slips in work from a number of other composers who have established themselves on the series, including Reijiro Koroku and Takayuki Hattori. Those looking for an experience to rival, or at least be on par, with the original themes will of course be disappointed though. Regardless, Miller does add his own twist to the material. For example, his "The Departure From Retch Island" from Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966) is a bit more classical in its approach to composer Masaru Sato's original take. Is it an improvement? No, but different enough to make it stand out. The opening theme for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993) is also quite different, although in this case on a more sour note as it lacks the deep drum work which made the original sound so powerful.

Overall, Miller does well with what he is given, but his orchestrations still fall short of the original source material. Still, those interested in hearing a slightly different take on these classic themes should be well advised to search this release out. It's a nice disc overall, but just don't expect it to be faithful or totally reinvent any of the themes, like the way the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra did so masterfully on Symphonic Suite: Princess Mononoke to totally transform some of that music. As an extra plus side, this release can still be found relatively cheap regardless of the fact that it's now long out of print.

Rating: Star Rating
    Godzilla (1954)
  1. Main Title Theme

    Destroy All Monsters (1968)
  2. Destroy All Monsters March

    Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
  3. Main Title, The Letter, Song of Mothra, Mothra March

    The Return of Godzilla (1984)
  4. Main Title
  5. Love Theme

    King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
  6. Godzilla Revived/King Kong Transport Operation

    Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
  7. Main Title
  8. Love Theme

    Ebirah, Horror of the Deep (1966)
  9. The Departure From Retch Island

    Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995)
  10. Main Title/Destroy Hong Kong
  11. Requiem

    Son of Godzilla (1967)
  12. Godzilla and Minilla
  13. Kamacuras

    Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
  14. Main Title
  15. Biollante
  16. Super-X 2

    Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
  17. Opening and Attack on the City
  18. Terasawa and Emmy/Goodbye, My Home Town

    Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
  19. Main Title
  20. G Force March

    Godzilla (1954)
  21. Requiem
  22. Reprise