Music Of Akira Kurosawa
5 CD Box Set

1998 Lawrence Tuczynski

Box Front Cover Photo Box Back Cover Photo

Title Film Music of Akira Kurosawa
CD Label Futureland
CD Number TYCY-5637-41
Music by: Various
Recordings Stereo/Mono
Number of discs 5
Year of release/manufacture 1998

OVERALL REVIEW

This is a very nicely done 5 CD box set. There are no jewel cases here, the box
and CD sleeves are made of cardboard. The box measures approx. 5 3/4" x 5 1/4"
x 1.5" thick. Each CD sleeve has an inner paper (rice paper?) sleeve to protect
the discs from scratching. Included in this wonderful set are 2 booklets. One
booklet is about 100 pages long and is filled with Japanese writing. The second
booklet is 192 pages long and filled with many black and white photos from the
various movies.The price of this set, considering all you get, wasn't too bad
either. I bought my copy from Footlight Records in New York City for $114.50.
I must admit I am very unfamiliar with most of the movies represented here. I
have seen a few of the movies (Seven Samurai, Ran, Rashoman, The Hidden Fortress, 
Stray Dog & Yojimbo) and read a little about some of the others. Each disc's track 
titles seem to be the titles of the movie they are from and each track consists 
of a suite of music from the film.

What do these movies have to do with Godzilla? Nothing really except that 
Masaru Satoh who did the music for several Godzilla films and other monster
films also did several of the scores to these movies. Several of these movies
also have fantasy elements to them. If you've ever seen the US movie "The 
Magnificient Seven", then you have seen an Americanized version of "Seven Samurai". 
The US movie is almost identical to this Kurosawa film only instead of Samurai 
the movie has a western setting. "Yojimbo" (means Bodyguard in English) was remade 
as Clint Eastwood's "A Fistful Of Dollars". George Lucas says that "The Hidden
Fortress" inspired some of the story in "Star Wars".

I have listened to these discs twice now and am very impressed with how well done
this set is and impressed with most of the music (each CD will also have a review
when you click on their image below). The one disc that doesn't do well as stand alone
music is Disc 1 for a couple of reasons. One is that most of this disc has a lot of
background noise, clicks and tape hiss. This is to be expected considering the 
source material is from the mid 1940's to the early 1950's. Also many of the tracks
on this disc have movie dialogue making the music somewhat hard to hear. The other
4 discs don't suffer from these problems and sound clear and of high quality.


Booklet #1 Booklet #2

Disc 1 Disc 2
Disc 3 Disc 4
Disc 5

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