CD: Rodan, Monster of the Sky - Soundtrack


Rodan, Monster of the Sky - Soundtrack

Japanese CD Title

空の大怪獣 ラドン
[Sora no Daikaiju Radon]

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Akira Ifukube
Toshiba EMI / Futureland

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By: Anthony Romero

Thanks to Jessica Stan for sending this in.

Composer Akira Ifukube's second kaiju soundtrack, from a man who would really define the genre's music for decades to come. However, this go around the composer leans into a more atmospheric score. This suits elements of the film, but doesn't lend itself to a stellar stand alone experience at times with how often these themes are repeated.

Now the score to the 1956 movie has several really nice themes going for it. The most iconic of the film is the "Main Title" theme, which is a stellar combination of blaring trumpets for scale with string and horn work that really conveys a sense of the foreboding. While Ifukube would often revisit theme motifs in his later work, this track feels distinct for the 1956 production. All that said, it's not the best theme from the disc. That honor belongs to the incredibly energetic "Get Rodan" track. While the theme's almost upbeat nature might feel at odds with the film, which is likely why it was cut from the US version, it's an incredible march that really works well as a stand alone experience. Many will likely associate the motif with its updated use in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) many years later. As for one more winning theme from the disc, "The Great Nature of Aso" is another stellar track. It's violin and harp based, capturing a sense of majesty that fits the track title while not sounding over the top.

While the score has some nice themes going for it, as a whole it's bogged down by repetition. In particular there are a lot of themes that are derivative of the main title, each of these less enjoyable than the actual main title. Ultimately the motif is repeated way too often through out the score. Thanks to the theme not being readily reused in later scores, this 1956 soundtrack does maintain its identity. However, it's also something that's better enjoyed in smaller doses, like on a compilation.

As for this release in particular from Toshiba, it features the whole soundtrack along with six outtakes and eight sound effects. It also features the main title with Rodan's roar, which is faithful to the main title as heard in the movie and surprisingly is a great inclusion, along with an audio version of the trailer. The latter starts with a segment for Godzilla Raids Again (1955) before leading into Rodan. While this is a solid collection of material, of note is that it's missing one of the outtakes for "The Great Nature of Aso", something that was included on Toho Music's 2010 release of the score.

Overall, this disc is slightly hard to recommend as a result of the repetitiveness. It's got a few great cues, so will likely comes down to one's willingness to overlook how often the main theme is repeated.

Rating: Star Rating


  1. Main Title (M1-T2)
  2. The First Victim (M2)
  3. Tragedy in the Mine (M3)
  4. Meganulon Appears (M4)
  5. The Terror of Meganulon (M5)
  6. The Meganulon Pursuit (M6)
  7. Cave-In (M7)
  8. Earthquake (M8-T2)
  9. Amnesia (M9)
  10. Tracking Supersonic Speed (M10-T2)
  11. The Shadow Across the Sky (M11-T2)
  12. The Birth of Rodan (M12)
  13. The Huge Underground Cavern (M13)
  14. Rodan Emerges (M14-T2)
  15. Get Rodan (M15)
  16. Rodan Flies to Sasebo (M16)
  17. Rodan and the Saikai Bridge (M17)
  18. Rodan Attacks Fukuoka I (M18)
  19. Shockwave Fury (M18A)
  20. Rodan Attacks Fukuoka II (M19)
  21. Self Defense Force at Aso (M20)
  22. The Great Nature of Aso (M21-T3)
  23. Ending (M22)

    Alternate Takes
  24. Main Title (M1-T1)
  25. Earthquake (M8-T1)
  26. Tracking Supersonic Speed (M10-T1)
  27. The Shadow Across the Sky (M11-T1)
  28. Rodan Emerges (M14-T1)
  29. The Great Nature of Aso (M21-T2)
  30. Main Title with Roar

    Sound Effects
  31. Rodan's Roar
  32. Rodan in Flight I
  33. Rodan in Flight II
  34. Meganulon Roar and Moving
  35. Coal Mining Siren
  36. Earthquake
  37. Eruption
  38. Rodan's Roar (Variant)
  39. Trailer