© 2016 Lawrence Tuczynski
ALL info and scans courtesy of Brandon O'Brian
|Title||War History of Men - Toho War Movies Soundtrack Collection|
|CD Label||Toho Music Corporation|
|Music by:||Masaru Sato|
|Number of tracks||Disc 1 - 52|
Disc 2 - 47
|Running time||Disc 1 - 77:34|
Disc 2 - 77:29
|Number of discs||2|
|Year of release/manufacture||December 22, 2005|
June 16, 2016
The following is a temporary review to hold you guys over until my final review is completed. This is actually the first three paragraphs of my unfinished final review, only slightly edited so it can be used as the temporary review.
Toho Music Corporation released this impressive two disc set in December 2005 featuring music from war films produced by Toho. In all, this set contains music from the scores to fifteen war films from 1959 to 1984. One impressive thing about this set is the amount of material found on the set that was previously unreleased, and still hasn't been made available outside of this set. Only a small amount of music, mainly material by Masaru Sato, has been previously released. We get music from seven composers here, with the bulk of the music being composed by Masaru Sato and Ikuma Dan. This set also contains some wonderful surprises such as the selections from Riichiro Manabe's score to "The Militarists".
Packaging design is pretty good. The front booklet cover features a beautiful painting, and the booklet interior featuring black and white photos from the films featured in this set. The track list has had people frustrated, since it mainly contains M (Music) numbers only. Like I said in a previous review I've written, I prefer cue numbers over track names. So, the lack of track names doesn't bother me at all. The booklet does go into detail about each track, but it really doesn't help those who can't read Japanese. Overall, the packaging design and booklet contents are pretty good.
As for the music in general, it's pretty good. We get a lot of action cues and some battle marches as well. Disc one is the most varied when it comes to composers. In fact, it's the only disc featuring music other than material composed by Masaru Sato and Ikuma Dan. Yes, oddly enough, disc two only consists of music composed by Masaru Sato and Ikuma Dan. I wish that they would have spaced out some of the material by the other composers across the two discs. I also wish there was material from Toho's other war films such as selections from Yuji Koseki's score (if the master tapes are extant) to "The Eagle of the Pacific" (1953) and Kikaru Hayashi's score to "Under the Flag of the Rising Sun" (1972). While both discs are packed full, adding music from the films I mentioned could have been done by removing lengthy tracks such as "Fog of Kiska". However, this didn't happen and I shouldn't be moaning and groaning over it. Complaints aside, the set features great music even though I end up wanting to hear more from some of these scores such as Riichiro Manabe's "The Militarists". Luckily, this set provides a good sampler of these scores.
War History of Men - Toho War Movies Soundtrack Collection
"Battle of the Japan Sea" (1969)*
"Siege of Fort Bismarck" (1963)
"The Imperial Navy" (1981)*
"The Militarists" (1970)
"Admiral Yamamoto" (1968)
"The Storm of the Pacific" (1960)
"Zero Pilot" (1976)
* = Stereo
"Zero Fighter" (1966)
"The Retreat from Kiska" (1965)
"Eternal Cause" (1972)
"Attack Squadron!" (1963)
"Battle of Okinawa" (1971)*
"Submarine I-57 Will Not Surrender" (1959)
"Japan's Longest Day" (1967)
* = Stereo