© 2004 Lawrence Tuczynski
|Japanese Title||Kaiju Daisenso|
|Movie also known as:||Great Monster War|
Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
Invasion Of Astro Monster
|CD Label||Toho Music Corporation|
|Music by:||Akira Ifukube|
|Number of tracks||33|
|Number of discs||1|
|Year of release/manufacture||December 24, 2004|
|Year Movie Released in Japan||1965|
|Year Movie Released in U.S.||1970|
Updated January 30, 2005
Quite a disappointment, especially when I compare this soundtrack to the other CDs in this set and box #1. First, while this CD does sound good, I was surprised to find that the audio isn't really better than the 1993 soundtrack - that CD may still have a clarity and sharpness this new one lacks. While most of these new Godzilla scores do sound very quiet, clean and somewhat remastered, it is definitely harder to hear where the improvements are on this one. The first track (the Main Title March) is a good example of what I'm referring to - the whole track sounded somewhat 'cloudy' to me, especially when I compared it with the first track on the earlier CD. Thankfully this does clear up a little afterwards, and the rest of the score sounds clearer, but I was expecting something a little sharper overall. Second, the bonus material was a big disappointment to me when I compared what is on here with some of the bonus material from the other CDs. I was hoping for a couple of alternate takes of the Monster Zero March but there aren't any, in fact, there is only one alternate track from the score itself - the "Leaving Planet X" theme. In total, there is about six minutes of bonus material that wasn't on the earlier CD, and what we get is basically six alternate takes of the "Kissaten" (Japanese Coffee Shop) background music. Not my favorite piece of music to begin with, and by the fourth alternate take I was getting irritated - I can't believe this was the only extra music Toho had for this soundtrack.
As for the packaging, we do get a very nice cover shot of the Monster Zero head and there are plenty of photos in the booklet, along with a wealth of new information about the making of the soundtrack - all in Japanese of course. If anyone couldn't find the earlier Futureland CD of "Monster Zero" and wanted it, I would still advise buying this soundtrack and second boxed set - this will always be one of Ifukube's best Godzilla scores and it contains in my opinion, the 'definitive' version of his original "Frigate March" from 1954. For those people like me who already own the 1993 CD and decide to buy this new version too, I would suggest hanging on to it - both sound very good but the Futureland CD might be a little sharper.
Just a note from site owner Larry Tuczynski - January 21, 2005
Everyone has their own opinion and I appreciate Rob's review above. Some people have sharper hearing for details than others. Please don't get the mistaken impression that this is a bad disc. While all the discs in these sets have supposedly been remastered or tweaked, as I noted in the overall review of the set, the differences aren't night and day. If you already have the older disc and you are thinking of buying this set only to replace that disc, then you'd be wasting your money. However if you are missing several discs from this set or are a completest who wants all the bonus tracks not on the other disc, then don't fear ordering this set.
Additional comments by Morton Friedland, April 01, 2005
I remember when I read the review for this particular CD I felt hesitant to buy the set, let alone this particular box. I had several of the discs from the various boxes and I was not particularly interested in duplicating previous owned material. When I read the review from this site, I was discouraged by the content of this review. I considered not buying this or several of the other boxes of this set. I read some reviews from Japan about this set and I began to check several other sources to see if these discs had any problem, and what the technical response was to this set. I could discern NO AUDIO PROBLEMS with this disc or any of the tracks on it. The recording is okay! I felt that this was an enjoyable purchase and a vast improvement over the 80's CDs and a minor improvement over the 90's CDs. The level readings are consistent within the particular opening track, and match generally the rest of the disc readings (and both box sets readings). If anything, the increase of byte technology aids in the discernment and separation of the components of the music for a fuller listening experience.
The running time of Disc 6 is on the short side, and I could have done without the inclusion of the several variations of the harpsichord stuff. However the ranges on these transferred tracks were improved and had a fuller scope. The first track of Monster Zero is okay. The Monster Zero soundtrack is okay! The set is a great buy, especially if you don't have the material. I really enjoyed the LP transfers of rare materials.
If you're looking at this web-site these box sets are for you!
Added January 02, 2008 (This line Updated December 06, 2011) - For another review check out http://www.tohokingdom.com/cd/gb2_invasion_astro.html at Toho Kingdom which corroborates what Rob had said above concerning the sound quality of the main title (Track 1).
*25 Composer Pablo de Sarasate