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The Music of Godzilla: Adversaries & Allies

The Music of Godzilla: Adversaries & Allies

Scified2014-05-02 12:46:40https://www.scified.com/sites_pics/840723179465962.jpg
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After an hour long medley of Godzilla's Themes received 4,000+ listens, I decided to return to the celebration of Godzilla music with his enemies and friends. This hour plus video isn't meant to be sat through in a single sitting, no worries. But for those interested in listening to the themes of their favorite monsters, this is the place to do it.

I do want to note, however, that monsters like Rodan, Mothra and Varan, who have starred in their own movies, do not have their title films covered. The musical ques heard in this video represent the monsters in the Godzilla series only. So while Rodan, for example, had a very different theme in 1956 you won't hear it here.

Akira Ifukube is, of course, the majority composer. Rodan's and King Ghidorah's themes have largely stayed the same for the last 60 years under the late Ifukube. They received mild variations and subtle changes in instrumentation through 1993 before being represented by other composers. Changes to King Ghidorah's theme include extra brass in 1965 and a light touch of piano in 1968. By 1991 he received an additional melody, not unlike Godzilla's the same year. King Ghidorah was next tackled by Koh [Kow, Ko] Otani in 2001. It was a very different theme representing a very different version of the monster.

Rodan's theme was often heard with Godzilla's of the 1960s. The piece was altered ever so slightly in 1968 and given new life in 1993.

Mothra may hold the record for having the most themes in the series. Even Ifukube wasn't able to maintain a singular melody for the Infant Island godess. The Mothra Larva theme (from Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster) is vastly different from the one heard in the previous movie (Mothra vs. Godzilla). The Larva theme seems uses the song, "Lets Summon Happiness" as its musical template.

Ifukube decided to omit a Mothra theme from Destroy All Monsters and Masaru Sato gave her his own interpretation in 1966. It was based on yet another Mothra Song written specifically for that movie. Ifukube's next and last time to underscore Mothra would be in 1992's Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth. He won a Best Musical Score accolade that year. Mothra would appear again in the series, but under the musical direction of Koh Otani and Michiru Oshima. Otani's version would pay massive homage to the original Mothra song often heard in Ifukube's versions. (Though the original Mothra song was written by Yuji Koseki for 1961's Mothra. Not Ifukube.)

Masaru Sato, who would be given scoring duties in Ifukube's absence, is responsible for other monsters. His “surfer theme” for Ebirah is oddly fitting, even if amusing. Themes for Minilla, Kamacuras and Kumunga were perfectly written for those monsters' traits. In 1974 he would create the first MechaGodzilla theme which had a big band style sound.  This time Ifukube would follow up Sato with his own MechaGodzilla score. He gave two very opposite MechaGodzillas different, yet fitting, motifs in 1975 and 1993. Michiru Oshima would take over scoring MechaGodzilla with an extremely dutiful theme in 2002-03.

Riichiro Manabe is often considered by fans to be the weakest composer of the series, citing his very weird and warped scores as a point of embarrassment. Still, his Hedorah theme is sufficiently creepy and the Jet Jaguar theme has reached a cult status alongside Godzilla vs. Megalon.

There are plenty of monsters to go around, and, like Godzilla, many of them have multiple interpretations from multiple composers. That doesn't mean that every monster has a theme. Can't find your favorite monsters? I'll do what I can to help out:

  • Where's Anguirus's Theme? - Anguirus has been around for 59 years. Not a single composer, even Ifukube, has given the monster his own motif. Masaru Sato, who composed Godzilla Raids Again, seems to lump Godzilla's musical que with Anguirus. That's the closest we've ever gotten to the monster's own theme-- and it's not much of one to begin with. Rodan's theme tends to stand in for Anguirus in Destroy All Monsters during a few scenes.

  • What about Gabara? - Kunio Miyauchi barely gave Godzilla a theme in this movie and has a very cute theme for Minilla. Gabara, however, is tuneless. There may be one or two pieces of music that underscore his appearance, but they're not reoccurring motifs; nor do the track titles insist they are themes for the monster.

  • What about Gigan's Theme from Godzilla vs. Gigan? - Gigan doesn't have a theme in Godzilla vs. Gigan or any other film. The movie was scored with stock Ifukube music primarily from Mothra vs. Godzilla, Ghidorah: The Three Headed Monster, Monster Zero, Destroy All Monsters, Frankenstein Conquers the World, Atragon, The Battle in Outer Space and many others. It does, however, feature ques never used in any movie before. I'm primarily speaking of Godzilla's battle theme for the film. Unfortunately none of the "new" ques srood in for Gigan.

  • And Megalon? Where's Megalon's Theme? Did Manabe give Gigan a Theme? - Oddly, Megalon does not have a reoccurring melody of any kind. Godzilla's, Jet Jaguar's and even the military's themes are front and center in Godzilla vs. Megalon. But whenever Megalon is onscreen Manabe underscores his presence with a bunch of bleating woodwinds and light percussion that go nowhere. Impressively enough none of it sounds the same either. Gigan is treated the same way.

  • Didn't King Ceasar have a Battle Theme? - Yes. Masaru Sato used stock music of Godzilla's theme from Son of Godzilla during King Caesar's fight with MechaGodzilla. I would assume Sato ran out of time and couldn't compose a battle theme for King Caesar using his proper melody.

  • Biollante's Theme is Quiet. Didn't she have a Battle Theme as well? - It could be assumed that Sugiyama's Godzilla '89 theme is shared with Biollante-- especially since the movie uses stock music from the album Ostani to fill in Ifukube's Godzilla theme. Regardless, Godzilla vs. Biollante is intended to have two Godzilla themes: Sugiyama's and Ifukube's, while Biollante's is more of a suite spread over the course of the film.

  • Is King Ghidorah's 2001 Theme his melody or a general mystical melody? - Both. Sort of. The motif is heard throughout the movie, but much of it does pertain to King Ghidorah. When the monster finally arrives on screen the melody is heard during his most triumphant moments.

  • What about the themes from Godzilla: Final Wars? - The only reoccurring character themes in this movie tend to be Godzilla's and the human/alien characters. With as many monsters as there are in the film, and as little screen time as they have, it would've been difficult to give any of them their own themes. It seems that Keith Emerson, Daisuke Yano and Nobuhiko Morino were more interested in scoring the visuals than they were the characters. Stock footage of Ifukube's Godzilla theme and Sato's themes for Minilla and MechaGodzilla do appear though.

Well that about wraps it up. I hope you enjoy the musical journey. Great for road trips, those long nights studying or some good background noise.

1. King Kong's Theme from KING KONG VS. GODZILLA - Akira Ifukube - 0:01

2. Mothra's Theme from MOTHRA VS. GODZILLA - Akira Ifukube - 1:43

3. Rodan's Theme from GHIDORAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER - Akira Ifukube - 3:42

4. Mothra Larva's Theme from GHIDORAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER - Akira Ifukube -5:18

5. King Ghidorah's Theme from GHIDORAH: THE THREE HEADED MONSTER - Akira Ifukube - 6:31

6. Rodan's Theme (w/ Godzilla's) from MONSTER ZERO - Akira Ifukube - 7:22

7. King Ghidorah's Theme from MONSTER ZERO - Akira Ifukube - 8:40

8. Ebirah's Theme from GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER - Masaru Satoh - 10:12

9. Mothra's Theme from GODZILLA VS. THE SEA MONSTER - Masaru Satoh - 11:20

10. Minilla's Theme from SON OF GODZILLA - Masaru Sato - 12:10

11. Kamacuras's Theme from SON OF GODZILLA - Masaru Sato - 12:51

12. Kumunga's Theme from SON OF GODZILLA - Masaru Sato - 14:35

13. Rodan's Theme from DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - Akira Ifukube - 17:19

14. King Ghidorah's Theme from DESTROY ALL MONSTERS - Akira Ifukube - 18:06

15. Minilla's Theme from GODZILLA'S REVENGE - Kunio Miyauchi - 18:51

16. Hedorah's Theme from GODZILLA VS. HEDORAH - Riichiro Manabe - 19:34

17. Jet Jaguar's Theme from GODZILLA VS. MEGALON - Riichiro Manabe - 20:22

18. MechaGodzilla's Theme from GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA - Masaru Satoh - 21:06

19. King Caesar's Theme from GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA - Masaru Satoh - 23:34

20. MechaGodzilla II's Theme from TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA - Akira Ifukube - 24:30

21. Titanosaurus's Theme from TERROR OF MECHAGODZILLA - Akira Ifukube - 26:19

22. Biollante's Theme [Suite] from GODZILLA VS. BIOLLANTE - Koichi Sugiyama - 27:25

23. King Ghidorah / Mecha-King Ghidorah's Theme from GODZILLA VS. KING GHIDORAH - Akira Ifukube - 33:57

24. Mothra's Theme from GODZILLA AND MOTHRA: THE BATTLE FOR EARTH - Akira Ifukube - 37:40

25. Battra's Theme from GODZILLA AND MOTHRA: THE BATTLE FOR EARTH - Akira Ifukube - 41:43

26. MechaGodzilla / Super MechaGodzilla's Theme from GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II - Akira Ifukube - 43:09

27. Rodan / Fire Rodan's Theme from GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II - Akira Ifukube - 44:45

28. Baby Godzilla's Theme from GODZILLA VS. MECHAGODZILLA II - Akira Ifukube - 46:19

29. SpaceGodzilla's Theme from GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA - Takayuki Hattori - 48:11

30. MOGUERA's Theme from GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA - Takayuki Hattori - 50:39

31. Little Godzilla's Theme from GODZILLA VS. SPACEGODZILLA - Takayuki Hattori - 52:06

32. Destoroyah's Theme from GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH - Akira Ifukube - 52:57

33. Godzilla Junior's Theme from GODZILLA VS. DESTOROYAH - Akira Ifukube - 56:15

34. Millennium / Orga's Theme from GODZILLA 2000 - Takayuki Hattori - 57:34

35. Meganula / Megaguirus's Theme from GODZILLA X MEGAGUIRUS: THE G EXTERMINATION STRATEGY - Michiru Oshima - 59:26

36. Baragon's Theme from GODZILLA, MOTHRA, KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK - Koh Otani - 1:01:47

37. Mothra's Theme from GODZILLA, MOTHRA, KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK - Koh Otani - 1:03:02

38. King Ghidorah's Theme (w/ Godzilla's Theme) from GODZILLA, MOTHRA, KING GHIDORAH: GIANT MONSTERS ALL-OUT ATTACK - Koh Otani - 1:04:00

39. MechaGodzilla's [Kiryu] Theme from GODZILLA X MECHAGODZILLA - Michiru Oshima - 1:05:49

40. Mothra's Theme from GODZILLA, MOTHRA, MECHAGODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S. - Michiru Oshima - 1:07:06

41. MechaGodzilla's [Kiryu] Theme from GODZILLA, MOTHRA, MECHAGODZILLA: TOKYO S.O.S. - Michiru Oshima - 1:08:09

 

Written by G. H. (Gman)Published on 2014-05-02 12:46:40
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1 Fan responses to The Music of Godzilla: Adversaries & Allies

Lone

May-10-2014 1:46 AM

Absolutely brilliant, loved this!

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