An in-depth look at the 1998 Godzilla soundtrack


Uh huh. Yeah.

Godzilla is back in the theaters, because Hollywood hates risky original ideas. The name Godzilla is also super cool. Godzilla is primarily a Japanese phenomenon, but there’s been a few attempts at bringing everyone’s favorite nuclear lizard to the good old U.S. of A. There was Godzilla, King of the Monsters! in 1956. Amurrica tried again three decades later with Godzilla 1985, which is sadly not about Godzilla attacking a year after the events of the George Orwell classic. Remember the Saturday morning cartoon? It featured Godzilla’s”cowardly cousin” Godzooky! But really, when people think of the USA and Godzilla, they think of the disastrous film made in 1998.

The film has been trashed so much, that’s it barely worth touching. Matthew Broderick, baby Godzillas in Madison Square Garden, etc. Let’s not dwell on this nonsense. Bryan Cranston is here to heal all cinematic wounds.

The soundtrack to 1998’s Godzilla, however, is an entirely different topic. This friggin album reached number two on the Billboard 200! If you needed something to sum up the late 90s for a time capsule, this soundtrack is what you need to use.

Before even mentioning the notable artists on this, let’s take a moment to remember some of luminaries of the late 90s featured here. First, you might remember Jamiroquai for that one video that they showed a bunch on the life-draining Total Request Live. Remember this big dumb hat?

via wikipedia

Yeah.

Then, there’s Days of the New. They had that one song about masturbation with the singer that liked to mumble shit. They were like acoustic Creed without Jesus. There’s also Fuel. They actually had a couple of hit albums. And hey, Silverchair! People kinda liked Silverchair. They were Australian. Hooray.

This soundtrack also has The Wallflowers, Ben Folds Five, Foo Fighters, Green Day, and Rage Against the freaking Machine on it. The Wallflowers have a decent cover of David Bowie’s Heroes that was recorded just for the Godzilla soundtrack for reasons beyond human comprehension. The Foo Fighters and Ben Folds Five  songs are disappointingly forgettable. Rage has a typical Rage song, although they do include the line, “Godzilla, pure motherfucking filler. Get your eyes off the real killer,” just in case you weren’t aware that a city destroying mega lizard wasn’t a real threat to humanity.

Green Day’s entry is the peak of artistic integrity. It’s their song Brain Stew, straight off of the album Insomniac, but with a special addition. Sit down, because I’m about to blow your fucking minds. It’s Brain Stew…with Godzilla’s roar placed throughout the song. Revolutionary stuff.

I have saved the very best for last. The track that really makes this album, the whole reason for it existing, is the second one listed. An enterprising young man by the name of Sean Combs (going by Puff Daddy at the time) decided to make a song just for this soundtrack. Its name? Come With Me.

Puff needed a good track to lay his song down on. A track worthy of Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla. He found that in some little known 1970s band by the name of Led Zeppelin. Their song Kashmir, an 8 minute epic inspired by Southern Morocco, was a natural bed for a song used to promote a blockbuster monster movie. Mr. Daddy was able to track down and recruit the talents of Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Paige. Paige endorsed this version, obviously inspired by these lyrics:

Fuck my enemies

Fuck my foes

Damn these hoes

You’re stepping on my toes

And of course:

I’m gonna take you with me

I want to fight you

I’ll fucking bite you

Can’t stand nobody like you

There was one final piece to the puzzle, and that was Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Morello played bass on Come With Me. Eyewitness accounts claim that he wept with joy upon hearing the rough cut, and insisted on contributing to the greatest song in history in some way.

The cherry on top of this masterpiece is the music video. Puff wakes up and realizes that Godzilla is attacking New York. His super expensive apartment is laid to waste. At some point he rides an elevator so fast that it explodes out of the top of the building. Puffy disappears into a flock of doves and then emerges wearing a white suit. As he falls through Times Square to meet his heavenly orchestra on stage, you can feel the entire spectrum of human emotion.

It puts all other music videos to shame, and cements Come With Me as the greatest musical collaboration in history.

Steve Jacot

I'm from Philadelphia but only throw a handful of batteries at hapless strangers a year. You probably know my sarcasm and dopiness from following me on Twitter.

I specialize in TV, movies, and the nerdy side of things on Untied, regularly posting about Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Star Wars, and the comic book movie of the moment.