Various Artists

Best of Godzilla, Vol. 2: 1984-1995 [GNP]

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Track Listing

    Track Title

    Time

  1. Godzilla's Theme [From Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah] 3:20
  2. Main Title [From the Return of Godzilla] 1:49
  3. Take Shelter/Godzilla vs. Super X [From the Return of Godzilla] 2:15
  4. Japanese Army March [From the Return of Godzilla] :47
  5. Godzilla's Exit [From the Return of Godzilla] 1:51
  6. Ending [From the Return of Godzilla] 1:47
  7. Scramble March [From Godzilla Vs. Biollante] 4:27
  8. Bio Wars [From Godzilla Vs. Biollante] 4:36
  9. Ending [From Godzilla Vs. Biollante] 5:00
  10. Main Title/UFO Invasion [From Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah] 2:56
  11. King Ghidorah Attacks Fukuoka [From Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah] :37
  12. Get King Ghidorah [From Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah] 1:41
  13. Main Title [From Godzilla Vs. Mothra] 1:25
  14. Mahara Mothra [From Godzilla Vs. Mothra] :55
  15. Mesa March [From Godzilla Vs. Mothra] 1:55
  16. Rolling Title Ending [From Godzilla Vs. Mothra] 3:40
  17. Mothra's Song [From Godzilla Vs. Mothra] 3:46
  18. Main Title [From Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II] 1:35
  19. G-Force March #1 [From Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla II] 2:50
  20. Prologue/Main Title [From Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla] 2:35
  21. Bass Island [From Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla] 1:21
  22. Mogera vs. Spacegodzilla, No. 2 [From "Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla"] 1:28
  23. Mogera vs. Spacegodzilla, No. 3 [From "Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla"] 2:41
  24. Crystal [From Godzilla Vs. Spacegodzilla] 5:33
  25. Main Title/Hong Kong's Destruction [From Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah] 3:09
  26. Attack of Super X III [From Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah] 3:00
  27. Mesa Tank Super Freeze Attack [From Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah] 1:55
  28. Requiem [From Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah] 3:48
  29. Ending Title [From Godzilla Vs. Destoroyah] 3:04
  30. Monster Zero March

Sub-Genres

Review

In order to enjoy The Best of Godzilla 1984-1995, it helps -- but is not essential -- to be a fan of the Godzilla movies. The soundtrack compilation picks up with the new generation of Godzilla movies produced by Toho Studios, starting with The Return of Godzilla. Scripted on a more serious and mature level than the films from the 1970s end of the series and produced with higher budgets for special effects, these movies were less well known in the West than the more outrageous Toho films such as Son of Godzilla or Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, and less widely distributed, at least until the advent of the DVD format. The music is more developed than the scoring of many of the earlier films, in keeping with the cinematic material for which it was composed. The jewels of this collection are the later scores by Akira Ifukube, who returned to the series in 1992 with Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. The disc opens with his revised theme from that movie, and then jumps back to Reijiro Koroku's lush music from Return of Godzilla, which is deeply atmospheric, with string writing that is at times reminiscent of John Barry's early James Bond scores and brass themes that vaguely recall John Williams' Superman music. Kohichi Sugiyama's score from Godzilla vs. Biollante is similarly accomplished as orchestral writing, again in a faux-John Williams mode, interspersed with some jarring pop/rock instrumental work featuring electric guitar (with heavy use of volume pedal) and orchestra. It's Ifukube's music that stands out, however, memorable both texturally and thematically -- the man knows how to write memorably for horns, brass, strings, vibraphone, or, seemingly, any other section of the orchestra, and interweaves his themes so carefully as to surprise the listener. The short suite from Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992) even includes the lyrics to the chant sung to the island goddess, and "Mothra's Song" is presented in a much longer pop-style recording. Takayuki Hattori took over the scoring of Godzilla vs. Spacegodzilla (1994), and his music is richly scored, with one section, "Bass Island," that seems deliberately to recall Barry's "You Only Live Twice" and a main title theme that treads into John Williams territory. Ifukube's final original score for the series, for Godzilla vs. Destroyer (1995), is some of his best work, overflowing with menace and sadness, joy and tragedy. The sound throughout ranges from very good to excellent, and the annotation is very full and informative (and supported by excellent photographs). The disc also contains an unexpected bonus track, a surprisingly effective (indeed, quite delightful) synthesizer band recording of "Monster Zero March," which is based on a piece of military march music that Ifukube introduced in the very first Godzilla movie. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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