Divine Tracks

Divine Tracks

A Score Fit for The King

12.25.2023

Godzilla Minus One is an enormous box office success with a boat-load of accolades to show for it. Minus One has earned $40.8 million domestically and $33.8 million internationally ($74.6 million worldwide) as of Christmas Eve. It’s certifiable fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with 98% Tomatometer and Audience Score. “Breathtaking!” “Stellar!” “Triumphant!” “Genuinely Frightening!” “A Rousing Spectacle-filled Blockbuster!” This is just a small sample size of the praise of Director Takashi Yamazaki’s masterpiece which has earned awards: 48th Hochi Film Awards (Director’s Award), Chicago Film Critics Association Award (Best Visual Effects Award), Las Vegas Film Critics Association Award (Best International Film Award, Best Horror/Science Fiction Film Award). Minus One has received many nominations as well: 29th Critics Choice Awards (Broadcast Film Critics Association Award), Florida Film Critics Association Award (Visual Effects Award), Phoenix Film Critics Association Award (Foreign Language Film Award), Oscar Nomination for Visual Effects and more. Minus One fires on all cylinders and doesn’t miss. It has all the right ingredients that make a great movie as well as a great Godzilla movie deserving of the world’s attention and praise. It has a great story, a great cast, a great Godzilla and a great score.

The Godzilla -1.0 soundtrack composed by Naoki Sato does not fail to score. Japanese composer Naoki Sato (佐藤 直紀) is known for his music for anime series, films and live-action dramas: the first five Pretty Cure series (2004-09), X (2001-02), Eureka Seven (2005-06), Sword of the Stranger (2007), Blood-C (2011) and more. He provided music for previous Yamazaki films such as Space Battleship Yamato (2010), The Eternal Zero (2013), Parasite ( Pt 1 & 2, 2014-15) and The Great War of Archimedes (2019). Critic Terry Teachout remarked, “A great score, after all, can’t save a bad film, and a bad score―so it’s said―can’t sink a good one.” Sato has delivered a great score for a great movie. Every track creates the appropriate atmosphere and triggers the desired emotional response from the audience. He doesn’t miss a beat, leaving behind memorable melodies of fear, pain and hope ringing in the ears of moviegoers well after the movie’s end.

Godzilla-1.0 [LP version] Original Soundtrack Complete Limited Edition [Analog] (ゴジラ-1.0 [LP盤]オリジナル・サウンドトラック完全限定盤 [Analog])
Godzilla-1.0 [LP version] Original Soundtrack Complete Limited Edition [Analog] (ゴジラ-1.0 [LP盤]オリジナル・サウンドトラック完全限定盤 [Analog])
Godzilla-1.0 [LP version] Original Soundtrack Complete Limited Edition [Analog] (ゴジラ-1.0 [LP盤]オリジナル・サウンドトラック完全限定盤 [Analog])
Godzilla-1.0 [LP version] Original Soundtrack Complete Limited Edition [Analog] (ゴジラ-1.0 [LP盤]オリジナル・サウンドトラック完全限定盤 [Analog])

Side A
01. Godzilla-1.0 Fear
02. Godzilla-1.0 Portent
03. Godzilla-1.0 Confusion
04. Godzilla-1.0 Godzilla Suite Ⅰ

Side B
05. Godzilla-1.0 Divine
06. Godzilla-1.0 Elegy
07. Godzilla-1.0 Mission
08. Godzilla-1.0 Hope
09. Godzilla-1.0 Honor
10. Godzilla-1.0 Pride

Side C
11. Godzilla-1.0 Pain
12. Godzilla-1.0 Resolution
13. Godzilla-1.0 Godzilla Suite Ⅱ

Side D
14. Godzilla-1.0 Unscathed
15. Godzilla-1.0 Last
16. Godzilla-1.0 Pray
17. Godzilla-1.0 Godzilla Suite Ⅲ

Music by Naoki Sato
[except 04, 13, 17]

[04, 13, 17] Original Music Compared by Akira Ifukube
Arranged by Naoki Sato

Strings: Koichiro Muroya Strings
Trumpet: Kenichi Tsujimoto, Shun Ito, Tomoki Ando
Trombone: Hikaru Koga, Shinsuke Torizuka, Keisuke Sumikawa
Bass Trombone: Koichi Nonoshita, Shinji Yamaguchi, Mizuki Ogura
Tuba: Shinpei Tsugita, Tadayori Matsumoto, Reo Yoshia
Horn: Hitoshi Imai, Yoshiyuki Uema, Naoki Ishiyama, Mina Muranaka, Marie Fujita, Ryo Kasai
Flute: Junichiro Taku
Flute, Piccolo: Kazuhiro Kajiwara
Oboe: Takayuki Mogami, Keitaro Oue
Clarinet: Hidehito Naka, Yuto Kamei
Fagotto: Toshitsugu Inoue, Masami Iwasa
Contract Fagotto: Masamichi Sasazaki
Chorus: The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo
Mezzosoprano Solo: The Little Singers of Tokyo
Conductor: Atsushi Takahashi
Other Instrument Programming: Naoki Sato

Music Producer: Kozo Araki
Recording & Mixing Engineer: Takumi Hasegawa
Assistant Engineer: Sho Ando (Avaco Studio),
Takayuki Hoshi (Avaco Studio),
Chie Sato (Sound Inn),
So Shiiba (Sound Inn)
Recording Studio: Avaco Studio
Mixing Studio: Sound Inn Studio
Music Copyist: Chiaki Fujikawa (Tokyo Hustle Copy)
Musician Coordinator: Kazutaka Naya (facemusic)
Soundtrack Coordinator: Sayoko Narukawa

Design: Kazunari Nomoto (kazgraphic)

As soon as my first viewing of Godzilla Minus One ended at the Toho Cinemas in Ueno, Tokyo, on November 3, I pre-ordered the Godzilla-1.0 Original Soundtrack (ゴジラ-1.0 オリジナル・サウンドトラック) audio CD from Amazon Japan and to my surprise on vinyl. Although pricey, I had to preorder it. Later, when back from my trip, I bought the digital release immediately when it was available on Apple Music. The MP3s are for everyday listening pleasure. The CD is that hard copy for the future. But the vinyl LP is for special occasions. Here’s a sample.

Sample of Godzilla -1.0 Soundtrack by Naoki Sato

Samples of “Divine,” “Mission,” and “Resolution” from Godzilla-1.0 Original Soundtrack (LP version)

I love every track that evokes the range of emotions found in the track titles, such as “Fear,” “Confusion,” “Pain,” and “Pray.” My favorites are “Divine,” “Mission” and “Resolution.” Sato’s use of Godzilla’s main theme by Akira Ifukube (Godzilla -1.0 Suite I) was perfect and appropriate for Godzilla’s appearance in Ginza. “Divine” ramps up the intensity and anticipation when the Godzilla unloads his atomic ray on Tokyo. Moviegoers come crashing down in the death ash, rain and tears from the terror that just unleashed on Tokyo and the destruction left in the wake of Godzilla in “Elegy.” “Resolution” perfectly conveyed the resolve and determination of the kamikaze pilot Koichi Shikishima in his final flight of war. Godzilla Minus One is the culmination of a great movie with a perfect score fit for a god and the King of the Monsters.