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Section Header
Godzilla
(1998)
1998 Sony

1999 Promotional

2007 La-La Land

2012 BSX Records

Composed and Produced by:
David Arnold

Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Nicholas Dodd

Labels and Dates:
Sony/Columbia
(May 19th, 1998)

Promotional/Bootlegs
(January, 1999)

La-La Land Records
(May, 2007)

BSX Records
(October 17th, 2012)

Also See:
Godzilla (1954)
Independence Day
Tomorrow Never Dies
Stargate
Last of the Dogmen
The Musketeer

Audio Clips:
1999 Promo Album:

4. Exit Manhattan (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

5. Subterranea (0:30):
WMA (197K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

9. Nick Gets Fired (0:28):
WMA (184K)  MP3 (226K)
Real Audio (140K)

14. Brooklyn Bridge (0:33):
WMA (215K)  MP3 (266K)
Real Audio (165K)

Availability:
The 1998 Sony album is a regular U.S. release. The promotional album is long out of print and an extreme rarity. The bootleg, sometimes listed as "Concorde 9910" in label, was circulated widely in online trading circles, with occasional batches showing up at soundtrack specialty outlets. Prices for the bootleg were often seen between $30 and $40.

The 2007 La-La Land album was restricted to 3,000 copies and sold out within a short time at a price of $25 at those same outlets. The 2012 BSX Records set (the "The Ultimate Edition") is also limited to 3,000 copies and initially priced at $25.

Awards:
  None.









Godzilla

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Buy it... on any of the limited albums for this score (ranging from the original 1999 promo to the official 2007 and 2012 sets) if you have any affinity for David Arnold's large-scale style of patriotic action and drama.

Avoid it... on the original Sony product of 1998, even at its dismally perpetual sale price of $0.01 on the used market.



Arnold
Godzilla: (David Arnold) TriStar Pictures spent several years trying to find the right production crew to tackle the Godzilla concept they had purchased the rights to in 1992. They found their duo in Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich, whose hit parade was in full force by 1998 and were riding the fiscal and popular success from Independence Day and Stargate in the years prior. The first large-scale Americanized version of the Godzilla tale sent the giant lizard to New York City in what was supposed to be another Independence Day-sized extravaganza on the big screen. The hype for the film was based on the motto "Size Does Matter," though in the end it turned out that the size of both budgets and expectations mattered as well. The film did well at the box office at first, but fizzling popular demand for the traditionally Japanese franchise caused the film to lose audiences' interest long before the prior two collaborations had. A terrible plot, questionable casting, sequel bait at the end, and extremely harsh critical response to the film put a dent in Devlin and Emmerich's action film careers, and the project was noted by film music fans as the end of the original working relationship between the two filmmakers and their friend and composer David Arnold. In the process of composing and producing the score for Godzilla, Arnold, Devlin, and Emmerich suffered a blow to their friendship, and they did not resume their collaboration thereafter. The exact reason for the parting has been hypothesized in numerous variations (despite being downplayed by Arnold himself in later years), with many people believing that the extreme cuts and eventual lack of commercial score album caused the problem. The significant changes in final film edits in post production, mostly due to special effects insertions, caused the mixing crew to rely upon a series of generic cues recorded by Arnold in the event that the original recordings did not synch up with the final scenes. The composer also had the difficulty of dealing with a title character that literally is not seen until late in the film, and even later for those involved in the production.

Not only was Arnold was writing music blind, but he also knew that several scenes in the film would be overwhelmed by sound effects to such an extent that subtleties in his music were unnecessary. Many of his admirably crafted themes, even for quieter situations, are lost in the film. Still, where the film's plot and acting failed to deliver even an adequate performance, Arnold undoubtedly did. Drowned out by many of the sound effects and curious edits in the final product, the score for Godzilla didn't play as big a role in the film as any of the composers' prior efforts. Arnold's earlier scores had each blasted across the screen with glorious thematic intensity, but the themes of Godzilla failed in context to much the same extent as Matthew Broderick's miscast role. While not as robust in scope as Stargate or Independence Day and not as eclectic as Tomorrow Never Dies, the score for Godzilla remains a very strong entry in Arnold's early career, eclipsing most concurrent action scores in its sheer noise, ambitious tone, and monstrous thematic statements. The score picks up some enormously entertaining and driving action music during the scenes as New York prepares for the arrival of Godzilla, with patriotic brass and snare-dominated cues of fully orchestral bombast of the best Arnold kind. The composer has mentioned that his favorite theme from the score is the one he wrote for the American military, and indeed, it's a stirring addition to the ideas of Independence Day with an elegantly noble interlude that highlights the entire score. In the central portion of the film and score, when the main character is taken off the case, Arnold kicks in a dramatic secondary love theme that prevails in several cues later in the work. The brooding theme for the lizard itself, heard most ominously in the opening credits of the film, is ironically the least interesting. It proves once again that Arnold is at his best in such circumstances when he can belt out his patriotic and victorious action themes in between lofty love themes with layers of strings. The composer does keenly adapt the monster's underwhelming theme into a largely choral and string-based statement as it is killed while protecting its young, an intriguing dose of intellect where none was really necessary.

The concluding "The End" cue is a fantastic suite that summarizes Arnold's ideas for Godzilla, encompassing the positive variation on the title theme while also providing some air time to the love theme, a hint of the military theme, and the darker variant of the monster's idea. In texture, several applications of the scrappy, metallic instrumentation heard extensively in Tomorrow Never Dies the previous year carry over to this project. Only a minimal use of a massive choir is employed, which is somewhat curious given the request by the filmmakers to make the monster into a creature of awe rather than one of pure fright; Arnold does unleash the voices at the monster's actual death scene in dramatic fashion, though. Some listeners may find the overall package to be somewhat derivative of Arnold's typical 1990's blockbuster sound, though while this criticism may have carried more weight at the time, the fact that the composer has not returned to that sound in the subsequent decade has caused an understandable amount of affinity for the score. Slight comparisons between some of the lesser motifs of this score and John Williams' music for the first two Jurassic Park films have also faded with time. One of the reasons why the score never achieved the status it deserved at the time was because of its dismal album situation. The original plan was for Sony to release both the standard song compilation and the score on separate products; the latter album was formally arranged and prepared for release by Arnold. Sony had even leaked the news of a score-only album to be released later in 1998, but the failure of the film's performance in the weeks after its debut caused the studio and its label to balk on that product. The song album was produced by Devlin and Emmerich themselves, and the blame for the horrendous outcome of its contents rests on their shoulders. Despite selling like hotcakes for a number of months, the album was slammed by rock and metal song critics in nearly every major publication. Even Entertainment Weekly, a publication not known for its detailed coverage of orchestral scores, stated that "it's telling when the best cut on this mostly pop soundtrack is an orchestral one." Mainstream listeners quickly changed their minds about the disappointing song performances and the album began filling used-CD bins by the countless thousands, eventually becoming one of the most discarded soundtrack albums of all time.

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The commercial song album contained only about four minutes of Arnold's score, which obviously did not satisfy his growing fanbase. The composer had a promotional album pressed for Academy Award consideration in January of 1999, and the bootleg market in turn began pressing their own copies of those contents almost immediately. Whereas Arnold's original promotional albums disappeared quickly, the subsequent bootlegs continued to proliferate madly in the growing online marketplaces, often changing the material provided based upon whatever extra music fans could adequately rip from decent sources. The originally identical 49-minute promos and bootlegs likely surprised many film score fans, especially considering how so much good material got lost in context. The promo/bootleg presentation is littered with grand performances of Arnold's typical bombast, making it very consistent in its elevated volume and major key resolution to every heroic measure. For some reason, Devlin and Emmerich decided to include the first two cues from the score (mixed together with several seconds overlapping) on their commercial album. Unfortunately, these are among the weakest of Arnold's work for the project. In fact, the first three cues on the promo/bootleg are the only truly uninteresting entries on the entire album, making the choices for the commercial album even more curious. Had Devlin and Emmerich filled those four minutes with music from the evacuation sequence, the score might have experienced more demand from the start. The entire issue about the albums was rendered moot in 2007, however, when La-La Records released a 3,000-copy pressing of Arnold's nearly complete recordings. This attractive product spanned two CDs, with four alternative takes following the full score to provide a 110-minute listening experience. In 2012, few years after that album sold out, BSX Records merged the promo and La-La Land contents into one 3-CD set (also of 3,000 copies), adding a few extra minutes of alternate recordings for good measure. For general film music collectors, this final set may seem like overkill, especially when the previous score albums each offered a well-rounded presentation of the score. The sound quality is equal on all of the releases; it isn't spectacular, but its choral cues are clear and the acoustics are reasonable. With so much hype surrounding Arnold's successful move to the James Bond franchise at the time, it's partially understandable that this score was somewhat forgotten, but if you have any affinity for Arnold's large-scale action efforts, then don't hesitate to pick up any of the versions of the score on album.   Amazon.com Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for the Film: ****
    Music as Heard in the Film: ***
    Score as Heard on 1998 Sony Album: *
    Score as Heard on 1999 Promotional/Bootleg Albums: ****
    Score as Heard on 2007 and 2012 Limited Albums: ****
    Overall: ****

Bias Check:For David Arnold reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.33 (in 15 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.3 (in 42,647 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.





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 Track Listings (1998 Sony/Columbia Album): Total Time: 49:11


• 1. Heroes - performed by The Wallflowers (3:56)
• 2. Come With Me - performed by Puff Daddy/Jimmy Page (6:06)
• 3. Deeper Underground - performed by Jamiroquai (4:42)
• 4. No Shelter - performed by Rage Against the Machine (4:03)
• 5. Air - performed by Ben Folds Five (3:20)
• 6. Running Knees - performed by Days of the New (3:41)
• 7. Macy Day Parade - performed by Michael Penn (4:18)
• 8. Walk The Sky - performed by Fuel (3:17)
• 9. A320 - performed by Foo Fighters (5:44)
• 10. Brain Stew (The Godzilla Remix) (3:57)
• 11. Untitled - performed by Silverchair (3:31)
• 12. Out There - performed by Fuzzbubble (2:48)
• 13. Undercover - performed by Joey Deluxe (5:11)
• 14. Opening Titles - score by David Arnold (2:42)
• 15. Looking for Clues - score by David Arnold (1:48)




 Track Listings (1999 Promotional/Bootleg Albums): Total Time: 49:02


• 1. Gojira (Opening Titles) (2:52)
• 2. Dawn of the Species (Looking for Clues) (1:51)
• 3. Joe Gets a Bite (Fishing with Gojira)* (2:11)
• 4. Exit Manhattan (No Need to Panic)* (2:41)
• 5. Subterranea (The Plan)* (2:49)
• 6. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (The Bait)* (5:17)
• 7. The Target is Alive (Rampage and Pursuit)* (3:25)
• 8. Audrey Steals the Tape (Top Secret Videotape)* (2:45)
• 9. Nick Gets Fired (Nick Off the Project)* (2:56)
• 10. The Foreign Legion (Going After the Nest)* (1:49)
• 11. Baby Baby Baby (Madison Square Garden)* (3:53)
• 12. The Party's Over (On the Air)* (4:07)
• 13. Taxi Chase (Taxi Driver)* (3:40)
• 14. Brooklyn Bridge (Au Revoir)* (4:32)
• 15. The End? (Closing Theme)* (4:06)

* previously unreleased material
(Alternate bootleg titles in parentheses)




 Track Listings (2007 La-La Land Album): Total Time: 109:15


CD1: (55:28)
• 1. The Beginning (3:29)
• 2. Tanker Gets It (1:11)
• 3. Chernobyl (3:13)
• 4. Footprint (0:33)
• 5. Footprints/New York/Audrey (0:54)
• 6. Chewing Gum Nose (0:30)
• 7. Ship Reveal/Nick Discovers Fish/Flesh (1:39)
• 8. The Boat Gets It* (2:09)
• 9. Dawn of the Species (1:49)
• 10. Joe Gets a Bite/Godzilla Arrives (3:11)
• 11. Mayor's Speech (1:03)
• 12. Caiman's Office (0:45)
• 13. Animal's Camera (1:39)
• 14. Military Command Center/New Jersey (1:55)
• 15. Audrey's Idea (0:22)
• 16. Evacuation (2:41)
• 17. French Coffee (0:56)
• 18. Subway Damage/Command Enters City (2:50)
• 19. Fish (1:48)
• 20. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (5:13)
• 21. 1st Helicopter Chase/Godzilla Swats a Chopper (4:08)
• 22. We Fed Him/Audrey Sees Nick (1:21)
• 23. Nick And Audrey/He's Pregnant/Audrey Takes the Tape/French Breakfast (4:46)
• 24. He's Preparing to Feed (0:34)
• 25. Nick Gets Fired/Nick Gets Abducted/Frenchie's Warehouse/Nick Joins the Foreign Legion (5:47)


CD2: (53:47)
• 1. Chewing Gum (1:51)
• 2. Rumble in the Tunnel (1:35)
• 3. Godzilla O Park/Godzilla Takes a Dive/Godzilla Versus the Submarine/Egg Discovery (9:42)
• 4. Baby 'Zillas Hatch* (3:51)
• 5. Nick Phones for Help (1:28)
• 6. Eat the French (2:14)
• 7. Phillip Shoots the Lock (1:39)
• 8. Nick's Big Speech/The Garden Gets It (7:07)
• 9. He's Back!/Taxi Chase & Clue (7:06)
• 10. Big G Goes to Monster Heaven (4:30)
• 11. The End (4:05)

Bonus Tracks:
• 12. The Beginning (No Choir) (3:32)
• 13. Footprints/New York/Audrey (Alternative) (0:50)
• 14. The Boat Gets It (Alternative) (1:09)
• 15. Gojira (Album Version) (2:46)

* contains material not used in the film




 Track Listings (2012 BSX Album): Total Time: 169:41


CD1: Film Score: (56:14)
• 1. The Beginning (3:31)
• 2. Tanker Gets It (1:13)
• 3. Chernobyl (3:15)
• 4. Footprint (0:35)
• 5. Footprints/New York/Audrey (0:56)
• 6. Chewing Gum Nose (0:32)
• 7. Ship Reveal/Nick Discovers Fish/Flesh (1:41)
• 8. The Boat Gets It (2:11)
• 9. Dawn of the Species (1:51)
• 10. Joe Gets a Bite/Godzilla Arrives (3:13)
• 11. Mayor's Speech (1:05)
• 12. Caiman's Office (0:47)
• 13. Animal's Camera (1:41)
• 14. Military Command Center/New Jersey (1:57)
• 15. Audrey's Idea (0:24)
• 16. Evacuation (2:43)
• 17. French Coffee (0:58)
• 18. Subway Damage/Command Enters City (2:52)
• 19. Fish (1:50)
• 20. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? (5:15)
• 21. 1st Helicopter Chase/Godzilla Swats a Chopper (4:10)
• 22. We Fed Him/Audrey Sees Nick (1:21)
• 23. Nick and Audrey/He's Pregnant/Audrey Takes the Tape/French Breakfast (4:48)
• 24. He's Preparing to Feed (0:36)
• 25. Nick Gets Fired/Abducted/Frenchie's Warehouse/Nick Joins the Foreign Legion (5:47)


CD2: Film Score: (64:17)
• 1. Chewing Gum (1:53)
• 2. Rumble in the Tunnel (1:37)
• 3. Godzilla Park/Godzilla Takes a Dive/Godzilla Versus the Submarine/Egg Discovery (9:44)
• 4. Baby 'Zillas Hatch (3:53)
• 5. Nick Phones For Help (1:30)
• 6. Eat the French (2:16)
• 7. Phillip Shoots the Lock (1:05)
• 8. Nick's Big Speech/The Garden Gets It (7:09)
• 9. He's Back!/Taxi Chase & Clue (7:08)
• 10. Big G Goes to Monster Heaven (4:32)
• 11. The End (4:09)

Bonus Tracks:
• 12. The Beginning (No Choir) (3:35)
• 13. The Boat Gets It (Alternate) (1:11)
• 14. Footprints/New York/Audrey (Alternate) (0:50)
• 15. Evacuation (Alternate) (2:43)
• 16. The Garden Gets It (Alternate) (3:03)
• 17. Big G Goes to Monster Heaven (Alternate) (4:32)
• 18. Gojira (Album Version) (2:46)


CD3: Unreleased Score Album: (49:10)
• 1. Gojira Opening Titles (2:47)
• 2. Dawn of the Species (1:49)
• 3. Joe Arrives (2:10)
• 4. Leaving Manhattan (2:41)
• 5. Subterranea (2:50)
• 6. Warnings/Fish Bait (5:13)
• 7. It's Alive!! (3:23)
• 8. Audrey Steals the Tape (2:45)
• 9. Nick Gets Fired (2:54)
• 10. Foreign Help (1:47)
• 11. The Babies (3:51)
• 12. Final Encounter (4:08)
• 13. Taxi Chase (3:41)
• 14. Brooklyn Bridge (4:31)
• 15. Finale (4:06)




 Notes and Quotes:  


The 1998 Sony and 1999 score-only albums contain no information about the film or score. The 2007 album contains notes about both, but the author spends too much time discussing the backstory of the film and score (and fails to cite his sources). The 2012 product's insert contains similar information.





   
  All artwork and sound clips from Godzilla are Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2007, 2012, Sony/Columbia, Promotional/Bootlegs, La-La Land Records, BSX Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/9/98 and last updated 3/17/13. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1998-2013, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.