2/20/18

Jimmy Castor's Godzilla Songs...and Their Releases (1979-85)

We all know that Blue Oyster Cult wins the award for "Best Godzilla Song" (and really, how can you beat that?), but there are lots of lesser-known Godzilla-themed songs out there that never get talked about.  For some years now, I've been gathering songs about Godzilla to put into a chronological project, and I kept running into a song called "Godzilla" by 70's funk-master Jimmy Castor; in fact, it pops up more than once in the timeline (as you will see).  Frustratingly, you can't just pull up the different versions on the YouTubes to compare (it seems only one version--the 1985 12-inch--is even on there).  You also can't find a CD release of them, or streaming Amazon versions to hear.  SO, I had to just track them down and buy them all.

There are two versions:  the 1979 version, and the 1985 version, which has some variants:

The 1979 Version
Release #1: 1979 -  One caviat to this project is the little-known 1979 kids' record I LOVE MONSTERS, where Castor took his most famous song, "Troglodyte," and built an album, adding some other odes to monstrous characters including Godzilla, The Mummy, and even embracing Star Wars mania with a song about "Vadar" [sic].  This is a very expensive album, and also, just not out there for downloading anywhere, from what I can see.  "Godzilla" is listed as running 3 minutes and 58 seconds.
12-inch single
Release #2: 1980 -  LP, 7-inch, and 12-inch: Apparently, the MONSTERS album wasn't distributed too well, and Castor liked his Godzilla song (and the Mummy one too), enough to carry them over to his next album, called "C," which came out in 1980.  "Godzilla," also listed at 3:58, was released as a single, backed with "The Mummy."  
LP label
7-inch single
(Note that the title on the LP & 12-inch labels is written as the Japanese characters for "Gojira," which is also the way it's written on the album's sleeve, which must have confused some buyers!)  For our purposes here, the song is taken from the 7-inch single.  My 12-inch copy was a little skippy, but I can confirm that they are identical releases.

The 1985 Version:
Release #3 - 1985 (7-inch):  I was actually confused for some time as to why there were two versions of the song, until the "1985" year jumped out at me, and I realized it was an attempt at a cash-in for GODZILLA 1985...and why not? I think this is really more of a re-mix with some new bits added, than a straight-up remake of the song, but either way, it created another version.  The label says it runs 3:45.
The B-side gave us yet another version, "Godzilla (Instrumental)," which is a little misleading, because it really only omits Castor's verses, and all the other spoken and sung parts are present.  Listed as running 4:05.
Release #4 - 1985 (12-inch): As you probably know, 12-inch singles exist so that you can have more of a certain song to dance to, so therefore, the song on this release runs longer.  Listed at 4:28, in fact.
And, therefore, the B-side (also "Godzilla (Instrumental)") is longer as well.  Listed at 4:12, oddly...for some reason, the instrumental versions run longer than their A-side.

Okay, you've made it this far! Are you one of the seven people in the world who think this is significant? If so, read on for your reward!

Let's have a quick recap of the different versions of this song that exist:

1) 1979 version: I LOVE MONSTERS  (3:58)
    1980 single/12-inch/"C" LP:   (3:58, believed to be exactly the same as above)
2) 1985 version: 7-inch A-side (3:45)
3) 1985 version Instrumental: 7-inch B-side (4:05)
4) 1985 version: 12-inch A-side (4:28)
5) 1985 version Instrumental: 12-inch B-side (4:12)

Now, I suppose you'd like to hear them all? Click below:

The Jimmy Castor Godzilla Songs

Two footnotes:  First, I threw in "The Mummy." I know if I had slogged through an article like this, I'd have been interested to hear it too...such as it is.  It's a bit like "King Tut" without the Steve Martin.  Also, you will notice that the tracks are all shorter than the listed times...I did some extensive speed testing of my turntable this weekend, and these are correct! What can I say? Labels lie.

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