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J.R. Flynn

Mar-28-2014 7:17 PM


There are really only a handful of 20th Century film scores that can be assessed as historically and aesthetically significant. In America the scores by Max Steiner (King Kong) and Franz Waxman (Bride of Frankenstein) were maverick works that defined the artform as more than simply background music. Bernard Herrmann's Citizen Kane, less than ten years later, was stylistically important as it was rooted strongly in Americana and broke free from the Late Romantic sound Hollywood was steeped in at the time. In Russia, Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky holds up even better today and represents the perfect marriage between image and sound. 

In 1954, Akira Ifukube recorded his score for Japan's first Godzilla film. In assessing the value of that score, one has to divorce themselves from the primitive visual effects and campy sequels that would follow over the course of the Century. The intent of the original film was that it be a symbolic warning against "the bomb." Not even a decade had passed since the country was set on fire. Ifukube's score was every bit as groundbreaking and engaging as Alexander Nevsky, if not more creative. The thumping strings, bombastic marches, dark colors and evocative finale are comparable to Herrmann's and Prokofiev's best works. When the film makers were challenged to come up with a roar for the monster, the solution was found in the orchestra. A rubber glove smeared with violin rosin was rubbed down the strings of a double bass to create Godzilla's familiar rumbling and harmonic roar. His echoing footsteps? A bass drum. 

Few films relegate music to such an important role as to define not only tone but character in such a way as to create a cultural phenomena. Though the films may stand up today as silly even, especially the sequels, everybody recognizes Godzilla's roar. Yet, aside from concert suites and Ifukube's own Symphonic variations, this original score only exists as a primitive recording. 

Do this great score justice and re-record it. What time has depreciated and hidden from us should be once again revealed and appreciated.

- J. R. Flynn



Something Real

Mar-28-2014 10:09 PM

Extremely compelling, FLYNN! I've a vast collection of movie soundtracks - yet I must say that I've never been able to acquire the original score for Gojira. This is a fantastic idea! Most excellent! :)

G. H. (Gman) #TeamGhidorah

Mar-28-2014 10:22 PM

Very, very cool. Thanks for the information, Flynn. I hope this comes to fruition. Every fan needs to see and sign this. Fantastic post!

"It wouldn't be a true Godzilla film if you didn't touch upon those things. Anyone who thinks otherwise is not a true Godzilla fan." - Mike Dougherty, fellow gatekeeper-elitist ;)

J.R. Flynn

Mar-29-2014 2:00 AM

Please repost this wherever you can, be it facebook or wherever.  Petitions fail regularly, but if there is enough support, anything is possible.

Film scores are artforms soully unto themselves.  Film and tape deteriorate as time goes on, but a strong score itself lives on.  Nothing genuine and forged from strong feeling really deteriorates.  I've seen enough concert works performed live to understand the vitality of a piece is reborn everytime it is played.  I only hope for the rebirth of this music.  

With the approaching remake, I feel now is a better time than any.

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