© 2002 Lawrence Tuczynski

Title: A Tribute To Godzilla
CD Label: Victor Musical Industries, Inc.
CD Number: VICL-8030
Music by: Various
Number of tracks: 9
Running time: 41:55
Number of discs: 1
Year of release/manufacture: 1991


March 30, 2002 courtesy of Sam Scali

This CD, released in November 1991, is probably one of the earliest attempts by contemporary (and mostly Japanese) pop artists at interpreting the music from Godzilla films. It was most likely designed to cash in on the phenomenon of the various-artist "tribute" disc, a trend that started in the late 80's and continues unabated to this day. In addition, this CD seems to have unofficially heralded the following month's release of "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah" (featuring Akira Ifukube's first Godzilla score in more than 16 years), as the booklet is dominated by photos from that film. Notably, the cover illustration was done by legendary underground artist Gary Panter.

The first track, "It's Godzilla Power Mix", is a techno/acid-house treatment of the main title theme to 1954's "Godzilla", with sampled dialogue, monster sound effects and a percolating electronic beat. The second tune, "Godzilla the Fight", is an original rap-metal number reminiscent of the Beastie Boys. This is followed by "Godzilla No Nuke Mix", another version of the '54 Godzilla theme in a sparse dub-reggae style, again bathed in sampled film dialogue and sound effects. Track 4 is comprised of two parts; The first, "Go-Go-Godzilla", is a funky dub-reggae rap, with horns, a hoarse echoed vocal (sounding very much like Joe Strummer in the Clash's "Magnificent Seven") and an incendiary guitar solo. The second part, "G-O-D-Z-I-L-L-A", is a rollicking celtic-sounding number with accordian and raspy vocals. The next track, "Screaming Godzilla", is a return to chaos - an acid-house collage of monster sound effects and dialogue over a driving beat, again reprising the "Godzilla Theme" along with other musical samples (including a snippet of the Japanese version of "Save the Earth"). Track 6, "The Great Monster of War-Suka", is a mid-tempo ska version of the "Monster Zero March", with twangy guitar and horns. "Mothra - A Girl of Infant" is a haunting, atmospheric take on the Peanuts' "The Infant Girl" from 1961's "Mothra", featuring beautifully-sung female vocals backed by exotic sound effects and a hypnotic chant. Following that is another inventive acid-house number, mixing a repeated sample of Ifukube's "Terror of Mechagodzilla" theme with the Faro Island chant from "King Kong vs. Godzilla", along with additional sound effects, music samples and dialogue. Finally, the strangely-titled "(We are the Freakes of) Godzilla" is actually a fairly faithful rendition of Blue Oyster Cult's classic "Godzilla", and in fact features guest vocals from BOC members Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma (!), plus additional Japanese lyrics and a few sound effects thrown in for good measure.

Although not for everybody (soundtrack purists would not be amused), I found this CD to be very enjoyable and entertaining, although a bit short at just over 40 minutes. It would have also been interesting to hear the artists cover a greater variety of Godzilla themes. This disc is very hard to find these days, so if this kind of music appeals to you and you run into a copy, pick it up.

A Tribute To Godzilla

  1. It's Godzilla Power Mix
  2. Godzilla The Fight
  3. Godzilla (No Nuke Mix)
  4. Go-Go-Godzilla ~ G-O-D-Z-I-L-L-A (mono)
  5. Screaming Godzilla
  6. The Great Monster Of War-Suka
  7. Mothra - A Girl Of Infant
  8. Godzilla vs King Kong - Faro Island Trib
  9. (We are the Freakes of) Godzilla