Complete Recordings: Akira Ifukube Toho Special Effects Movie Music 8
International Title
 The Three Treasures
Music By: Akira Ifukube
Record Label: Toshiba EMI
Running Time: 64:15/60:00 Discs: 2
Release: March 1992 CD Number: TYCY-5209/10
Anthony Romero
First off, I'd like to thank Sam Scali for sending in this rare set to be reviewed!

Now this is Toshiba's two disc set to The Three Treasures and was released under their "Complete Recordings" line, with this being the 8th volume in the Toho series. Given the movie source material, which clocks in at just over three hours, it's not surprising to see the soundtrack spread across two CDs that total over two hours of music. Regrettably, this is not composer Akira Ifukube's finest hour, but all the same he does a fairly good job in creating a pretty large collection of themes for the production. Amongst them are a few gems, like "Takama-ga Hara", which is soothing at first before becoming slightly haunting once the vocal hymn kicks in. Another nice theme, which is slightly ominous in tone, is the "Amanoyasu River"; the track deserves extra praise too for managing to be fairly interesting to listen to throughout its rather lengthy five minute duration. Unfortunately, despite some of its better qualities, the problem with this score is that it lacks a real "front runner" theme. A cue which stands out in memory amongst the rest. Ifukube's normal rousing marches are all but absent in this set, as even cues like the "The Ohtomo Army Goes to War" fail to create a sense of urgency. In fact, the only tracks that really rise to the challenge are "Yamato Goes to War", which is a nice march that's a little on the somber side, and "Yamato Takeru's Return", which makes good use of trumpets to convey a sense of triumph. The disc as a whole is more on the soothing side, although there are a few tracks like "Banquet of Kumaso" that have a more quick tempo to them. A couple of these themes are also obvious precursors to later cues done by the maestro, such as "Wail of Susano" which sounds remarkably similar to the start of the Mechani-Kong theme from King Kong Escapes (1967).

On the downside, a select few of the cues here are a little on the unpleasant side. Some of these are the "chant" tracks, with the biggest offender being the "Fire Mountain Dance" that, despite only being two minutes, seems to drag on and on. Another offender, although not featuring any vocal work, is "Ise Shrine" which has a very slow drum beat that never really picks up and is accompanied by long gaps of silence to make the listening experience cumbersome.

Overall, it's not a Ifukube score that merits a lot of revisiting compared to some of his other soundtracks, but it's still a pretty enjoyable body of work. Sadly, this set is pretty hard to come by today and fetches extremely high prices when it does make an appearance. In some ways, this is surprising given the fact that this is a reissue of an older release (LD25-5047/8); however, when one factors in that the first edition of this set sold way back in May of 1987, and that this was the only way to obtain the full score for the 1959 movie before Toho Music released it almost two decades later, it's easy to see why this set is highly sought after by collectors.
Rating: Star Rating
    Disc 1
  1. Recording Credits
  2. Main Title
  3. The Birth of Japan
  4. Oyasima
  5. The People of Yamato (PS-8)
  6. Prince Osu (M1)
  7. Prince Kosu (M1A)
  8. Ohtomo and the Emperor (M2)
  9. To Conquer Kumaso (M3)
  10. Yamato Goes to War (M4)
  11. Ise Shrine (M5)
  12. Uda's Song I (PS-17)
  13. Princess Oto Tachibana (M7)
  14. A Prayer for Victory (M8A)
  15. Departing from Ise (M8C)
  16. Kume's Song (PS-26)
  17. Heading West to Conquer (M9)
  18. Remote Thoughts (M10)
  19. Banquet of Kumaso I (PS-41)
  20. Banquet of Kumaso II (PS-45)
  21. Kumaso Vanquished (M11)
  22. Yamato Takeru's Return (M12)
  23. Takama-ga Hara (M13A)
  24. Prince Susano (M13B)
  25. Amanoiwato Cave (M13C)
  26. Amanoyasu River (M14)
  27. Iwato Kagura (PS-60)
  28. Amaterasu (M16)
    Disc 2
  1. Part II Opening (M17)
  2. Wail of Susano (M18)
  3. Shrine Maiden's Fate (M19)
  4. Giant Serpent's Home (M20)
  5. Princess Inada (M21)
  6. Susano's Tactic (M22A)
  7. The Eight-Headed Serpent (M24)
  8. Defeating the Giant Serpent (M25)
  9. Restless March (M26)
  10. Princess Miyazu (M27)
  11. Prayer Drums
  12. Prayer (M28)
  13. Uda's Song II (M29)
  14. Princess Miyazu and the Prince (M30)
  15. Two Thoughts (M31)
  16. Land of the Fire Mountain (M32)
  17. Fire Mountain Dance (M33)
  18. Kusanagi Sword (M33A)
  19. Wavering Mind (M34)
  20. Night in the East (M35)
  21. Yamato's Song (PS-125)
  22. Torando (M35A)
  23. Death of Oto Tachibana (M35B)
  24. The Ohtomo Army Goes to War (M36)
  25. Beautiful Yamato (M37)
  26. Chaotic Battle (M38)
  27. Earth's Rage (M39)
  28. Ending (M40)
  29. Iwato Kagura (Ending) (PS-60)