2004 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title: Ghidrah, The Three Headed Monster
Japanese Title: San Daikaiju, Chikyu Saidai No Kessen
Movie also known as: Three Giant Monsters, Greatest Battle On Earth
Ghidorah, The Three Headed Monster
CD Label: Toho Music Corporation
CD Number: G-005
Music by: Akira Ifukube
Number of tracks: 34
Running time: 53:53
Number of discs: 1
Year of release/manufacture: September 20, 2004
Year Movie Released in Japan: 1964
Year Movie Released in U.S.: 1965

REVIEW

November 03, 2004

Review by Richard Pusateri

Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster was a light-hearted, comedic fantasy adventure that is greatly loved by the kaiju eiga community. However it was a "quickie" and the short shooting schedule (short even by Toho standards) hurt the production values, especially in some SFX shots of monster battles.

Perhaps reflecting the short production schedule of the movie, Akira Ifukube did not break as much new ground with its score as he did with the music for the original Godzilla, King Kong Vs Godzilla and Mothra Vs Godzilla (Godzilla Vs. The Thing). Ghidrah's theme and Rodan's new theme are the main contribution to monster music made by the Ghidrah score. The Kurobe Valley Theme is very nice and the other light motifs are fine, but there are few achievements like those found in Mr. Ifukube's earlier compositions.

Correspondingly, Ghidrah, The Three-headed Monster might be the least improved soundtrack disc in the 50th Anniversary Perfect Collection Box Set #1. The remastered mono sound is noticeably clearer and brighter than the 1993 Futureland release (Toshiba EMI Japan Catalog # TYCY-5349), making it worthwhile for audio purist collectors. But for the more casual fan, the new disc's best points might be the packaging not the musical content.

Great artwork greets the beholder before the jewel case is opened. The Perfect Collection Box Set's individual cases have detailed head shots of each movie's particular suit head. Ghidrah's front cover is a marvelous close up of that movie's Godzilla's head featuring its prominent tongue. This head was rebuilt after Godzilla Vs The Thing and it's a splendid photo of a splendid head of Godzilla. The booklet has many pages of information, apparently about the composition and recording of the score, but it's mostly in Japanese. The booklet also has a few more stills including some publicity material and what looks like scripts.

Like the entire 50th Anniversary series, the booklet has fine portraits of the movies' leading ladies, and Ghidrah's booklet back page has photos of Akiko Wakabayashi as Princess Sarno and as the "Benusian" [sic] prophetess, who claimed to be Venusian in the Japanese version and Martian in the American version. The inside rear photo is a production still of Eiji Tsuburaya giving direction to Godzilla. The case's back is a fine publicity still of Godzilla, Rodan, Ghidrah and Mothra.

The music in the Perfect Collection Ghidrah disc basically repeats the Futureland presentation with a few changes. The music is mostly re-sequenced and the only new music appears to be a couple alternate takes or re-edits of the Futureland tracks. Mothra music is given particular emphasis with Let's Try to be Happy in 8 various permutations and re-orchestrations. (Note: 50th Anniversary Godzilla Soundtrack Perfect Collection is abbreviated "PC" and Futureland is abbreviated "FL."

PC Tracks 1 - 6 sound identical to the FL disc T1 - 6.
PC T7 is FL T24
PC T8 is FL T26
PC T9 is FL T7
PC Tracks 10 - 17 sound identical to FL 8 - 15

PC T18 is unique to this collection but actually appears to combine FL T25 and T26 (or a reprise of PC T8, but with a more spare orchestration)

PC T19 - 26 sound identical to FL T16 - 23

PC T27 appears to be another take of T10 (or FL T8)
PC T28 is a re-orchestrated alternate take of T22

The rest of the extra tracks are, like the extras of FL, Mothra music, basically varietals of PC T8 or its clone T18. PC T29 is a medley PC T18, a snippet of Sacred Spring theme from Godzilla Vs The Thing and a brief reprise PC T2 Princess Sarno's theme. This medley is not on the FL disc.
PC T30 is an alternate of PC T18 with spare orchestration.
PC T31 - 34 are other alternate takes of PC T8 or T18

Ghidrah, The Three Headed Monster

  1. Main Title (M1)
  2. Princess Sarno (M2)
  3. The Flash (M3)
  4. Kurobe Valley Theme Song I (M4)
  5. Kurobe Valley Theme Song II (M5)
  6. Discovery of the Meteor (M6)
  7. Why That Direction?* (Handcuffed M10)
    *Composer Jo (not sure) Ikeno
  8. Let's Try to be Happy I (PS-41T3)
  9. Princess Sarno II (M7)
  10. Radon from Aso (M8T2)
  11. Godzilla from the Pacific Ocean (M9)
  12. Magnetism (M10)
  13. The Two Monsters Appear in Yokohama (M11)
  14. The Birth of King Ghidorah (M12)
  15. Matsumoto City and King Ghidorah (M13)
  16. Godzilla vs. Radon I (M14)
  17. The Fury of the Gravity Beam (M15)
  18. Let's Try to be Happy II (PS-41T1 + PS-140)
  19. Godzilla vs. Radon II (M16)
  20. Godzilla vs. Radon III (M17)
  21. The Three Monsters Converge (M18)
  22. The Three Monsters Parley (M18AT2)
  23. Godzilla Attacks Radon (M19)
  24. The Greatest Battle on Earth I (M20)
  25. The Greatest Battle on Earth II (M21)
  26. Ending (M22)
  27. BONUS TRACKS

  28. Radon from Aso (M8T1)
  29. The Three Monsters Parley (M18AT1)
  30. Call Happiness I ~ Princess Sarno II (PS-41+42+DM-M)
  31. Call Happiness II Completed (PS-41+PS-140+PS-41)
  32. Call Happiness (Test 1) (PS-3 Giant Monsters T1)
    NOTE: ("3 Giant Monsters" is the first part of the movie's original title)
  33. Call Happiness (Test 2) (PS-3 Giant Monsters T2)
  34. Call Happiness I (PS-41T1)
  35. Call Happiness II (PS-41T2)

Tracks 8,18,29~34: Lyricist: Tokiko Iwaya, Composer: Hiroshi Miyagawa