2002 Lawrence Tuczynski

These are some of the greatest marches from the Toho Monster and Godzilla movies
Title Toho Monster Marches Vol. 1
CD Label Futureland / Toshiba-EMI Japan
CD Number TYCY-5264
Music by: Akira Ifukube
Number of tracks 39
Running time 74:08
Number of discs 1
Year of release/manufacture 1992

REVIEW

January 12, 2003

Review courtesy of Sam Scali

This CD is a fun, creatively-compiled anthology of Akira Ifukube's most popular SFX movie themes, taken from the original soundtracks of Toho's classic monster and sci-fi films. It primarily concentrates on movies released between 1954 and 1969, but also includes a few selections from 1975's "Terror of MechaGodzilla". It's an attractively-packaged set, with a great cover painting of the original Godzilla towering over a montage of other images.

The disc is divided into three parts. Part one features the signature themes of Toho's legendary monster characters, including a generous helping of roars and sound effects at the beginning of each track. It's interesting to hear the themes presented in this way, as it clearly illustrates Ifukube's skill in creating a wide variety of descriptive motifs. Godzilla gets the royal treatment here, with three different themes, while Rodan gets by with two. The other monsters are represented by one apiece.

The second part of the CD is devoted to Ifukube's famous military marches, arguably some of the most memorable compositions in cult movie history. For many Godzilla fans, these catchy and exciting themes are an integral part of the viewing experience, echoing in the mind long after the movie has ended. Many of the best ones are included here, and are undoubtedly the highlight of this collection.

The last part of the disc features a handful of situational themes, such as the primal native chants from "King Kong vs. Godzilla" and "Varan the Unbelievable", the serene chorus of Mothra's twin fairies in "The Sacred Fountain" and the exotic main title from "Latitude Zero". There are also a couple of classic monster battle cues, as well as one of Mr. Ifukube's typically haunting end-title themes (from "Terror of MechGodzilla").

Like most Godzilla-related CDs released in the last decade, this disc is now very rare. But it's one of the more comprehensive and entertaining collections of this material, and well worth owning if you can find it.

Toho Monster Marches Volume 1
Japanese Title: Kaiju Koshinkyoku

    I. Themes (Light Motifs)

  1. Godzilla
  2. Radon
  3. Mothra
  4. King Ghidorah
  5. King Kong
  6. Giant Octopus
  7. Dogora *1
  8. Baragon
  9. Gorosaurus
  10. Brown Gargantua *2
  11. Green Gargantua *3
  12. Mechanikong
  13. Titanosaurus
  14. MechaGodzilla 2
  15. II. Marches from Select Toho Sci-Fi Films

  16. Anti-Godzilla March
  17. Get Radon!
  18. The Earth Defense Corps March
  19. Giant Varan's March
  20. Outer Space Mega-War: Title March
  21. Outer Space Mega-War March
  22. Preparing to Transport Kong
  23. The Underwater Warship March I
  24. The Underwater Warship March II
  25. The Plan to Annihilate Dogora *1
  26. The Search March
  27. Monster Mega-War March
  28. Preparations for Operation L
  29. The Maser Beam March
  30. All-Out Monster Attack March
  31. III. Collection of Popular Situational Tunes

  32. Introducing the Case
  33. Chorus I
  34. Chorus II
  35. Kurobe Valley Theme *1
  36. The South Pacific Theme
  37. Love's Theme
  38. The Sacred Fountain
  39. Fierce Battle Theme I
  40. Fierce Battle Theme II
  41. Ending

*1 This is a direct transliteration from the Japanese.
*2 This creature's Japanese name is Sanda
*3 This creature's Japanese name is Gaira
NOTE: The creature Radon above is known in the U.S. as Rodan