© 2002 Lawrence Tuczynski

CD Number: SP/CR-71004~5
Music by: Various
Number of tracks: Disc 1 - 22
Disc 2 - 23
Running time: Disc 1 - 55:53
Disc 2 - 52:29
Number of discs: 2
Year of release/manufacture: 1996


November 16, 2002


Review by Sam Scali (with assistance from Robert Storch)

This is a very rare 2-CD set, released in Japan in 1996 on the Avanz label, and featuring audio tracks from the movie trailers of most of Toho's classic special effects films. Clearly it is an unusual item - a yellow sticker on the jewel box proclaims, "2CD Special Price, Special Edition - The First Anniversary of Avanz Records", which suggests it may have been some kind of limited release.I know little about the Avanz label (apparently they specialize in Italian soundtracks), but I do know that this CD is very hard to find.

The packaging itself is quite unconventional. Instead of the usual booklet and tray insert included in most CDs, there are two tiny booklets (about 1/3 normal size) that are inserted loosely in the front and back of a double slimline jewel box. Like the booklets, the CD labels and obi feature attractively designed, color-coordinated graphics - overall a unique, sharp-looking package.

Instead of soundtrack music, the CDs feature the promotional trailers from Toho's most famous sci-fi films, including clips from all of the "Heisei" Godzilla series, which are otherwise unavailable on CD. The tracks are presented in chronological order, from the original "Godzilla" (1954) through "Godzilla vs. Destoroyah" (1995). Naturally, most of the trailers are in Japanese, but English-language promos for "Godzilla, King of the Monsters", "The Last War", "King Kong vs. Godzilla" and "Latitude Zero" also make an appearance. These are a real treat to hear, especially the frenetic, over-the-top narration dominating the "Godzilla" and "Last War" clips. Another notable addition is a stereo version of the Japanese "King Kong vs. Godzilla" trailer. Curiously absent are trailers for "Half Human" and "Godzilla Raids Again" (though the latter film is briefly referenced at the beginning of the promo for "Rodan"), as well as the Japanese version of "The Last War".

Since these are film trailers, the audio quality of the tracks is not always the best, especially the earlier ones. Also, not being able to see the visuals is somewhat limiting, especially to listeners who don't understand the Japanese dialogue. Still, the audio by itself is quite listenable and entertaining, since the trailers feature dramatic editing, cool sound effects and striking music. Not surprisingly, much of the music is by Akira Ifukube - his stock cues are used repeatedly on these trailers, in some cases promoting films that he had nothing to do with. In fact, most of the promos on this set feature music from earlier Toho films rather than the correct scores. This was likely a result of time constraints, as trailers are usually produced far in advance of a film's release, often before the score is completed. This practice is taken to amusing extremes in the trailer for "Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster", which audaciously features music from Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain"!

This collection is a lot of fun, and a rare find - a prize for film buffs as well as Godzilla completists. Toho trailers have appeared sporadically on other CDs (such as the "History of Godzilla" and "Toho Monster Movie Selections" series), but this is the first time that they have been gathered together in one place. Though not as satisfying as a music CD, it is an interesting and entertaining listen nonetheless.


    Disc 1

  1. Godzilla, King of the Monsters
  2. Godzilla, King of the Monsters (U.S. Version)
  3. Rodan
  4. The Mysterians
  5. The H-Man
  6. Varan the Unbelievable
  7. The Three Treasures
  8. Battle in Outer Space
  9. Secret of the Telegian
  10. The Human Vapor
  11. Mothra
  12. The Last War (U.S. Version)
  13. Gorath
  14. King Kong vs. Godzilla (Version A)
  15. King Kong vs. Godzilla (Version B - Stereo)
  16. King Kong vs. Godzilla (International Version)
  17. Attack of the Mushroom People
  18. Atragon
  19. Godzilla vs. The Thing
  20. Dagora, the Space Monster
  21. Ghidrah, The Three-Headed Monster
  22. Frankenstein Conquers the World

    Disc 2

  1. Monster Zero
  2. War of the Gargantuas
  3. Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster
  4. King Kong Escapes
  5. Son of Godzilla
  6. Destroy All Monsters
  7. Latitude Zero
  8. Latitude Zero (International Version)
  9. Godzilla's Revenge
  10. Yog, Monster From Space
  11. Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster
  12. Godzilla vs. Gigan
  13. Godzilla vs. Megalon
  14. Godzilla vs. the Bionic Monster
  15. Terror of Mechagodzilla
  16. The War in Space
  17. Godzilla (1984)
  18. Godzilla vs. Biollante
  19. Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah
  20. Godzilla vs. Mothra
  21. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
  22. Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla
  23. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah