Search - Akira Ifukube :: King Kong vs. Godzilla

King Kong vs. Godzilla
Akira Ifukube
King Kong vs. Godzilla
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
 
  •  Track Listings (33) - Disc #1

First time ever on CD in North America! Presenting the original motion picture soundtrack to the classic 1962 Toho Studios monster thriller "King Kong Vs. Godzilla." Legendary composer Akira Ifukube ("Godzilla") fashio...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Akira Ifukube
Title: King Kong vs. Godzilla
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: La-La Land Records
Original Release Date: 6/26/1963
Re-Release Date: 1/17/2006
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
Styles: Far East & Asia, Comedy & Spoken Word
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 826924104125

Synopsis

Album Description
First time ever on CD in North America! Presenting the original motion picture soundtrack to the classic 1962 Toho Studios monster thriller "King Kong Vs. Godzilla." Legendary composer Akira Ifukube ("Godzilla") fashions a spellbinding orchestral score to chronicle this one-of-a-kind battle between two of filmdom's most beloved creatures. Remastered from Toho Studio vault sources, with bonus tracks and featuring exclusive liner notes, this is the definitive release of Ifukube's amazing score.
 

CD Reviews

Evoking not so much images of giant apes and lizards, but in
Aquarius Records | San Francisco | 03/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I was recently visiting another store here in town, and was totally struck by whatever it was they were listening to. It was exactly the sort of thing I love; it was creepy and dark and droney, sort of familiar, but totally strange and alien at the same time. Huge moaning horns, lots of incredibly low brass, emitting cacophonous groans, strange monk like chanting, it sounded a little like something I could have heard, maybe Hermann Nitsch, or Arvo Part, it was sort of choral, but also tribal, and those horns, it was like the sound they made was a physical entity, a brass wave filling the room, eventually I had to swallow my pride and ask just what the heck they were listening to. The answer was of course King Kong Vs. Godzilla.

WTF?! KING KONG VS. GODZILLA? Now I love me my King Kong, and those cheesey, men-in-rubber-suits monster movies, but I certainly didn't remember the music being so... weird, and heavy, and haunting, and beautiful. Now that I've been listening to this soundtrack for a week or two, it's nearly impossible to imagine how this could be the music for a battle between those two classic movie monsters. And if I do, I can't help but imagine the typical clumsy rubber suited battles transformed into impossibly arty ballets, drenched in blacks and greys, gauzy and arty, like some hellish painting brought to life.

King Kong Vs. Godzilla, originally released in 1962, was the most maligned and misunderstood, as well as somehow the most successful of all the Godzilla movies. Unlike the films before it, KK Vs. G was a bit more light hearted (you would never know from the score!), the monster suits less scary, the whole film a subtle satire of Japanese commercialism. For it's American release it was tinkered with, chopped, edited and poorly dubbed. The result while obviously a far cry from the original's intent, resulted in a film that still appealed to the American market's love for cheesy monster movies and was thus a sucess here too.
Sadly though, when the film was re-edited for US release, the score was mostly replaced with music from The Creature From The Black Lagoon! Apparently that's not totally unheard of, since once a film is dramatically re-edited, the original music just doesn't sync up, but once you hear Ifukube's score it's impossible to imagine anyone wanting to replace it.

Since this is a soundtrack, there are definitely tracks that exist to support particular onscreen visuals, be it a melancholy bit of old timey jazz, some festive marching band music, a bit of playful calypso pop, some tribal drum / chant interludes, but for the most part, Ifukube's gives us a series of creepy, haunting orchestra driven chunks of dramatic moodiness, forboding and sinister, evoking not so much images of giant apes and lizards, but instead of human misery and terror, the frailty of human existence in the face of monsters and demons. Bleak and oppressive, funereal and somber, but with glimmers of hopefulness, and stretches of what sounds like resilliance in the face of doom, calls to arms, an amazingly emotional score for a monster movie, all conveyed via the aformentioned moaning horns swooping ominously above martial drumming and booming tympani's, balanced by bits of soaring strings and chanting vocals.

I want to see this movie now so bad, but at the same time it almost seems like these sounds would be tainted, even though they were composed to accompany those specific images, having heard them on their own, the music has taken on it's own life, its own meaning, and exists fully realized simply as music, even (especially?) removed from it's visual counterpart.

I imagine that this was most likely re-released to coincide with the recent Peter Jackson King Kong remake, which is also probably why you won't find ANY images of King Kong anywhere in the booklet or on the sleeve. But don't let that keep you from discovering this amazing recording.

Extensive liner notes including the fascinating and convoluted history of the film as well as notes on each track."
THE GREATEST FILM SCORE IN THE HISTORY OF THE MOVIES
COMPUTERJAZZMAN | Cliffside Park, New Jersey United States | 09/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THIS IS FANTASTIC SCORE FOR ANY KIND OF A MOVIE, NOT JUST A CHEESY JAPANESE MONSTER MOVIE! THE SCORE FOR THIS MOVIE WAS NOT ON THE VERSION OF THE MOVIE THAT WAS RELEASED IN THE USA IN 1962. HAVING NEVER SEEN THE ORIGINAL, UNEDITED, JAPANESE VERSION OF THE MOVIE, I WAS UNFAMILIAR WITH THIS MOVIE SOUNDTRACK, IT INCLUDES EERIE, SCARY KIND OF MUSIC (YOU CAN ALMOST FEEL THE MONSTERS CREEPING UP ON YOU, RIGHT OUT OF THE OCEAN), TRADITIONAL JAPANESE PERCUSSION, POP MUSIC, CHANTING, A LITTLE TIN PAN ALLEY, BLUES, LOUNGE MUSIC, MILITARY MARCHES, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT IS COMING NEXT. I WAS REALLY BLOWN AWAY BY THE WHOLE THING............"
It's Cocktail Hour at the Godzilla Tiki Bar.
James Baack | Monster Island | 05/31/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is nothing short than a magnificant score. Akira Ifukube had composed this in 1962 and it is an interesting blend of different musical styles. Most of the score has an eerie and morose feel to it but at times it actually breaks into Jazz pieces that sound more appropriate for a cocktail lounge. Then the tracks where the natives are chanting along with the jungle drums will make you want to mix up a blend of Mai-Tai's and slurp them down from coconuts then decorate your backyard with tiki idols. If you enjoy exotic music or cocktail lounge music,this is an album you should consider for your collection. Invite your friends over this summer for some tropical drinks, slip this album on in between Harry Belafonte and Martin Denny and your backyard will be praised as the local: Volcano, Lava, Tiki, Exotic Excursion of your neighborhood. Put this on, make them strong and impress your friends and neighbors."