© 2005 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title: Godzilla On Monster Island
Japanese Title: Chikyu Kogeki Meirei - Gojira tai Gaigan
Movie also known as: Earth Destruction Directive: Godzilla Against Gigan
Godzilla vs. Gigan
CD Label: Toho Music Corporation
CD Number: G-012
Music by: Akira Ifukube
Number of tracks: 37
Running time: 72:29
Number of discs: 1
Year of release/manufacture: April 25, 2005
Year Movie Released in Japan: 1972
Year Movie Released in U.S.: 1977


July 9, 2005 (revised 3/3/08)
Review courtesy of Sam Scali

By the early 1970s, as the popularity of the Godzilla series continued to decline, Toho Studios was forced to implement drastic budget cuts in order to keep the franchise afloat. This situation became painfully apparent with the release of 1972’s GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND (a.k.a., GODZILLA VS.GIGAN), which padded its dubious plot with sub-standard special effects and a heavy dose of stock footage. Even worse, the musical score was almost entirely recycled from previous Toho efforts (see “Guide to Stock Cues” at the bottom of this page), with only the kid-friendly “Godzilla March”(Track 30) created especially for the film. On the plus side, all of the stock music was composed by Akira Ifukube, which helped bring a welcome sense of familiarity to an otherwise bleak production.

Along with the maestro's better-known material, a handful of themes were brand new to Toho's monster universe. In fact, two of the most prominent cues weren't from a film at all, but were commissioned for a Toho-produced, multimedia exhibit called "Nature of Japan and the Japanese Dream", originally held at the Mitsubishi Pavilion at Osaka's EXPO'70. Because of its multiple sources (at least ten films plus the EXPO music), the GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND soundtrack features a wider variety of themes than most G-scores, making it an entertaining listen despite a few awkward edits and repetitive moments.

The 50th Anniversary “Perfect Collection” edition of the score is a substantial improvement over the 1993 Futureland release (TYCY-5356), because the cues are edited and arranged to more accurately reflect their sequence in the film. The most obvious example is Track 1, which restores the original film version of the “Main Title” to its rightful place on the disc. This theme is actually a composite of music taken from three seemingly incompatible sources: a haunting fanfare from a 1959 gangster film called THE BIG BOSS, a version of the “Godzilla Theme” from 1964’s GODZILLA VS. THE THING and an excerpt of the “Volcano” cue from the aforementioned EXPO '70 exhibit. For some reason the Futureland edition opened with an alternate (possibly international) version of the “Main Title” (featuring the BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE theme in place of the “Volcano” excerpt), while the “correct” version was included as a mere bonus track. There were other discrepancies on the previous edition as well. While only two different edits of the “Monster Land” theme (from DESTROY ALL MONSTERS) actually appeared in the film, the Futureland disc added a third segment (Track 8) that was apparently not used. The disc also substituted a brief cue from FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD for the “Destruction of Godzilla Tower” scene, while the correct cue (an extended edit of “Storm” from the EXPO '70 exhibit) was relegated to bonus track status. Both of these errors have been corrected on the 50th Anniversary edition.

The new disc also offers additional bonus material not found on the previous release. “Godzilla March Karaoke” (Track 31) is an instrumental version of the ending theme, while “Go! Go! Godzilla” (Track 34) was issued as a pop single in 1971. The single version of the “Godzilla March” (as well as its B-side, “Attack Gigan”) appears on both discs, but the G-Box version features a spoken intro not included on the Futureland release (Unfortunately for completists, the true stereo “film version” found on the previous CD did not make the transition to the new disc). The final three bonus tracks offer original source cues for what are arguably the score’s highlights: the dramatic “M12T2” cue from 1959’s THE BIG BOSS (the fanfare used at the beginning of the “Main Title”), and the unedited “Volcano” and “Storm” cues from the EXPO '70 exhibit.

In terms of sound quality, the remastered 50th Anniversary disc doesn’t offer any drastic improvements over the 1993 release, but several tracks do benefit from slightly enhanced clarity and depth, as well as a perceptible reduction in tape hiss. In addition, the 3-part “Main Title” has been freshly reassembled from superior source tapes, replacing the choppy, crudely edited version found on previous releases. Considering that some of its cues date back to 1959, the new CD sounds remarkably consistent.

Like all of the 50th Anniversary G-Box reissues, GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND is well produced and attractively packaged. Despite the fact that it is not a true original score, the disc’s modified sequencing, upgraded sound and new bonus material make it one of the more fascinating discs in Box 3. While fans should not feel obligated to purchase the boxed set if they already have the Futureland editions, those who do not own this music will welcome its availability, and collectors will find the enhancements and new format difficult to resist.

Special thanks to Anthony Romero at Toho Kingdom for uncovering some fascinating details about the 'EXPO '70 exhibit. Check out his review at: http://www.tohokingdom.com/tv/mitsubishi_pavilion.html

Music Akira Ifukube
Original Soundtrack

Track Titles Courtesy of Jolyon Yates

  1. Main Title (M1 new edit)
  2. Childland Construction (M3)
  3. Monster Island (M4)
  4. Special Tape (M5)
  5. Construction Committee President (M6)
  6. Night Park (M6A)
  7. Tape’s Whereabouts (M7)
  8. Angillas Sent Forth (M8 1st half)
  9. Older Brother’s Whereabouts (M8 2nd half)
  10. Identity Investigation (M9)
  11. To Yamano City (M10)
  12. Disaster One Year Ago (M11)
  13. Defence Force Deployment I (M12 1st half)
  14. Angillas Repulsion (M12 2nd half)
  15. Take-off (M13)
  16. Assassination Squad Attack (M14)
  17. Signal to Space (M15)
  18. Godzilla, Angillas Depart (M16)
  19. Godzilla Tower Infiltration (M17)
  20. M Space Species (M18)
  21. Invaders’ True Shape (M19)
  22. Defence Force Deployment II (M20)
  23. Space Monsters Attack Tokyo (M21)
  24. Four Giant Monsters’ Violent Fight (M22)
  25. Godzilla Tower Escape Plan (M22A)
  26. Earth Monsters vs Space Monsters (M23)
  27. Space Monsters’ Fierce Attack (M24)
  28. Destruction of Godzilla Tower Operation (Mitsubishi Futura Building M2 Storm)
  29. Earth Monsters’ Counterattack (Mitsubishi Futura Building M3 Volcano)
  30. Ending (Godzilla March)
  31. Bonus tracks

  32. Godzilla March karaoke
  33. Godzilla March (record size)
  34. Attack Gigan (record size)
  35. Go! Go! Godzilla
  36. Toho Logo (ANKOKUGAI NO KAOYAKU [THE BIG BOSS, 1959] M12T2)
  37. Main Title (Mitsubishi Futura Building M3 Volcano)
  38. Destruction of Godzilla Tower Operation (Mitsubishi Futura Building M2 Storm)

Guide to Stock Music Used on This Soundtrack
Research and information courtesy of Sam Scali

  1. The "Main Title" is actually edited together from three sources:
    a) THE BIG BOSS - Cue M12T2 (title unknown)
    b) GODZILLA VS. THE THING - brief excerpt from "Destruction of the Hamikaze Hotel" (M20)
    c) EXPO '70 Mitsubishi exhibit - shortened edit of "Volcano" (M3)
  2. A LIFETIME OF BUSINESS SAVVY - THE TOUGHEST GUY AROUND (Japanese title, "Shokon Ichidai Tenka No Abarenbo") - "The Meiji Restoration" (M4)
  3. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - brief excerpt from "Monster Land" (M3)
  4. ATRAGON - "The Film That Was Sent" (M5)
  5. FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD - excerpt from "Main Title" (M1)
  6. THE BIG BOSS - Cue M15B (title unknown)
  7. ATRAGON - "The Submarine Returns to Port" (M11)
  8. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - excerpt from "Monster Land" (M3)
  9. LATITUDE ZERO - "Mariku and Dr. Okada" (M21)
  10. FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD - excerpt from "Search March" (M21)
  11. FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD - another excerpt from "Search March" (M21)
  12. FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD - "Encounter in the Rain" (M6)
  13. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - "SY-3 Sortie" (M20)
  14. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - "Escape From Monster Land" (M10)
  15. ATRAGON - "The Film That Was Sent" (M5)
  16. FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD - "The Whereabouts of the Wrist" (M19)
  17. BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE - edit of "Opening" (M1)
  18. BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE - "Main Title" (M2)
  19. FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD - "The Whereabouts of the Wrist" (M19)
  20. FRANKENSTEIN CONQUERS THE WORLD - "Search in the Fog" (M26)
  21. GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER - "Discovery of the Meteor" (M6 - played twice)
  22. DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - edit of "SY-3 Sortie" (M20)
  23. This track is edited together from three sources:
    a) DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - "Major Battle at Fuji I" (M25)
    b) KING KONG ESCAPES - "Element X" (M17)
    c) DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - "Major Battle at Fuji II" (M26)
  24. GODZILLA VS. THE THING - edits together "Godzilla and Nagoya" (M14) and "Plan B: Electrocution" (M23)
  25. GODZILLA VS. THE THING - excerpt from "Plan B: Electrocution" (M23)
  26. GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER - "Godzilla Attacks Radon" (M19)
  27. GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER - edits together "The Two Monsters Appear in Yokohama" (M11) and "The Fury of the Gravity Beam" (M15)
  28. EXPO '70 Mitsubishi exhibit - extended edit of "Storm" (M2)
  29. EXPO '70 Mitsubishi exhibit - extended edit of "Volcano" (M3)
  30. Not a stock cue - original pop song written for the film (Vocal: Ishikawa Susumu Lyrics: Sekizawa Shinichi Music: Miyaguchi Danro)
  31. Bonus Tracks

  32. Not a stock cue - instrumental version of Track 30 (Music: Miyaguchi Danro)
  33. Not a stock cue - Toho Records single DU-1003, released 2/1/72 (Vocal: Ishikawa Susumu / Lyrics: Sekizawa Shinichi /Music: Miyaguchi Danro)
  34. Not a stock cue - B-side of DU-1003 (Vocal: Ishikawa Susumu / Lyrics: Sekizawa Shinichi / Music: Miyaguchi Danro)
  35. Not a stock cue - Toho Records single DU-1001, released 12/1/71 (Vocal: Ishikawa Susumu / Lyrics: Sekizawa Shinichi / Music: Ogihara Tetsuaki)
  36. THE BIG BOSS - original unedited version of cue M12T2 (title unknown)
  37. EXPO '70 Mitsubishi exhibit - original unedited version of "Storm" (M2)
  38. EXPO '70 Mitsubishi exhibit - original unedited version of "Volcano" (M3)

Additional cues from THE BIG BOSS can be found on FILMWORKS BY AKIRA IFUKUBE VOL. 3 (SLCS-5052), and a suite from A LIFETIME OF BUSINESS SAVVY appears on FILMWORKS BY AKIRA IFUKUBE VOL. 7 (SLCS-5056). All eleven cues from the EXPO '70 exhibit are featured on Disc 2 of AKIRA IFUKUBE COMPLETE RECORDINGS: TOEI-DOGA SFX FILM MUSIC (LD25-5065~6 and TYCY-5213~14).