Warning! SPOILERS ahead for Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters not only features the iconic monsters from Toho's original Godzilla films, but its soundtrack also incorporates their musical themes. The film's trailer may have initially won over audiences with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of "Claire de Lune", but King of the Monsters' actual score is the perfect orchestral accompaniment to thrilling spectacle of these giant monster fights.
King of the Monsters is the third film in Legendary's MonsterVerse, and after introducing Godzilla in their 2014 film of the same name, the MonsterVerse has now expanded to include Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah. This is the first American movie to include these classic kaiju (a Japanese word which means "strange beasts"), and though their designs have been updated with today's more advanced digital effects, Mothra, Rodan, and Ghidorah remain instantly recognizable. And its not just the monsters themselves - or Titans as their called in the MonsterVerse - who have been so painstakingly recreated, the film series' original musical themes and motifs have been weaved into King of the Monsters' score as well.
Composed by Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galatica, The Walking Dead), the Godzilla: King of the Monsters score is perfectly suited to accompany the movie's biggest and grandest Titan battles. Along with his own epic and sweeping orchestrations, McCreary uses chanting from Japanese Buddhist monks, taiko drumming, as well as a choir singing phrases which he had translated into ancient Babylonian. In addition to the original music, the King of the Monsters score also includes music written for the original Toho films in which these kaiju first appeared. These musical themes are just as closely tied with Godzilla as his own roar, and hearing them in King of the Monsters is a treat for longtime fans of the franchise.
"Godzilla Main Title"
Superman and Luke Skywalker both have famous musical themes and Godzilla is no different. Written by legendary Godzilla composer, Akira Ifukube, "Godzilla Main Title" was written for the very first Godzilla movie in 1954 and either it or some variation of the song has appeared in practically every Godzilla movie since. Its inclusion on King of the Monsters' soundtrack, however, is the first time the song has been used for an American Godzilla movie.
The iconic composition is heard throughout King of the Monsters, typically accompanying some especially awesome and epic Godzilla moment. For instance, Godzilla's theme can also be heard in the track "Rebirth" which plays when Godzilla has been supercharged by the blast of a nuclear bomb.
Being that Godzilla: King of the Monsters is Mothra's MonsterVerse debut, it's only appropriate that her big entrance include her most famous tune. "Mothra's Song" was written for her first film, 1961's Mothra, by composer Yuji Koseki and has since appeared in every Toho Godzilla film to also include the giant moth. In addition to being Mothra's musical theme, it was also originally a song which Mothra's twin fairies would sing to summon Mothra's aide.
First performed by Emi and Yumi Ito of the musical group, The Peanuts, its lyrics (when translated to English) include the lines "If we were to call for help/ Over time, over sea, like a wave/ You'd come/ Our guardian angel." These lyrics speak to the intensity of Mothra's protective nature, and while Mothra's fairies don't exactly appear in King of the Monsters, she remains a fiercely protective Titan, at one point even shielding Godzilla from a devastating attack.
Admittedly, "Godzilla" is not a song originally featured in Toho's film series, but its inclusion during King of the Monsters' credits is simply too good to ignore. Originally written and performed by the band Blue Oyster Cult, this version of the song has been composed by McCreary and features the vocals of System of a Down's Serj Tankian. Metalocalypse's Brendon Small and Gene Hoglan also contribute to the track.
"Godzilla" includes lyrics which are both silly - take the gem, "He picks up a bus and he throws it back down" - as well more serious, like, "History shows again and again / How nature points out the folly of man," capturing the the full scope of the character and his many, many films. This version also includes a kakegoe, which is a kind of chant typically heard in traditional Japanese music and theater. In the song we hear the repeating of "Gojira!" (Godzilla) and "Mosura!" (Mothra) as well as "Sore! ", which in this context roughly translates to "That's the way!" and is meant to cheer Godzilla and Mothra to fight on.
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