Audio Review: GODZILLA (1954)

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Godzilla - Original Soundtrack Score Review

REVIEW: GODZILLA – ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK SCORE BY AKIRA IFUKUBE / COMPOSER: AKIRA IFUKUBE / DIRECTOR: ISHIRO HONDA / PUBLISHER: HARKIT RECORDS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

The original Godzilla movie was groundbreaking in many ways. Not only did it invent an entire genre of movies, it also innovated special effects and production techniques. Furthermore, it's responsible for one the most iconic and memorable soundtracks of its age.

Akira Ifukube’s score is remarkable and unique. From the melodic pounding and terrifying roar that makes up the open track (simply called “Godzilla”) to the heroic and relentless tune that is the main title, the entire score is an incredibly moving piece of work. Uniquely Japanese in tone and style, it really has stood the test of time. Decades of horror and action movie composers have clearly drawn inspiration from this seminal work.

The original movie was essentially a disaster movie, so as you’d expect most of the score is dark and foreboding; this is not something to listen to when you need a spot of cheering up, though it is quite useful if you feel like smashing up Tokyo. The 26 track score does have some standout tracks: the “Prayer For Peace” is a haunting and strange track that works perfectly well with the sad and powerful “Godzilla At The Ocean Floor” and the closing piece, simply called “Ending”. The best is saved for last, with a remarkable and atmospheric rendition of “The Last Assault”, presented as a bonus track.

This sixty-year-old soundtrack has been remastered, making this the most crisp and clear version available. A version of this soundtrack that came out in the early nineties suffered from additional sound effects that had made its way into the mix. Fans will be pleased to learn that this version does not have any of those unwelcome extras. It still suffers from a few imperfections, given the age of the source material however this shouldn’t come a surprise and it does not impede enjoyment of this music.

Old-school fans may already own the extremely similar 50th anniversary version, but it has been out of print for a while. This is a well-timed must have for those who have recently acquired an addiction to all things giant monster-related and well worth a listen.




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