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OHMSS Cover Art

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

John Barry does it again. For the best Bond movie, he composed one of the best scores of the series. As if to mark the end of the Connery era and the start of what was thought would be the Lazenby era, Barry changed his style to accommodate the new actor and the times. The theme music (track 6) has become one of the most recognizable themes of the Bond series, second only to the classic Bond theme. In it, Barry conveys a sense of danger, action, and intensity unmatched since; not to mention it is a very catchy tune. In "Try" (track 3), the emotion between Tracy and Bond is summed up with a beautiful romantic piece that is a preview of things to come. "Over and out" and Battle at Piz Gloria (tracks 8 and 9) are masterpieces of battle. Even without the movie running, one can almost imagine the final confrontation and the destruction of Piz Gloria. While Louis Armstrong's "We have all the time in the world is an incredible piece, the ridiculous "Do you know how Christmas trees are grown" is a mockery on the Bond series. As a whole, this easy to find CD is a great investment.


Octopussy Cover Art

Octopussy-Special Edition

This magnificent soundtrack has finally been re-released on CD with a bunch of extras. In addition to one of Barry's best scores, the disc has three dialogue excerpts from the movie and the original theatrical trailer embedded on it. As for the score, brilliant! In order to compete with Never Say Never Again, Barry made excellent use of the Bond theme throughout all the numbers. The romantic pieces are just the right pace and set the mood: even without the movie going on. With all the goodies included and the music, this is a great deal for Bond fans of all ages.


TLD Cover Art

The Living Daylights-Special Edition

After an eleven year absence on CD, the TLD soundtrack has finally been re-released. As John Barry's final entry to the Bond series, he leaves with a bang. The score is a masterpiece that leaves you feeling the emotion of the corresponding scene. In addition, this reissue has tracks that were not on the original release including the entire pre-credit sequence (one of the best tracks on the disc). Lastly, just as the Octopussy re-issue, the CD is enhanced and has the Volante chase embedded on it. The player is a bit glitchy with Win 95 but aside from that, well done.


GoldenEye Cover Art

GoldenEye

Let's start with the one highlight of the CD: Tina Turner's theme song. Slightly reminiscent of Goldfinger, it was a good first attempt at a 90's theme. Aside from that, the music left me dumbfounded. How could Cubby allow Eric Serra to make such a mockery of Bond music. Not only did he neglect to use the classic theme in its original form (all other movies have it at least twice), the rest of the music was inappropriate. It sounded like it belonged in a techno thriller like The Saint or some other modern espionage movie, not Bond. Serra also made the mistake of doing the ending song himself. "The Experience of Love" (track 16) was a terrible song period, not even getting into the fact that it should not have been in a Bond film. The best piece of music in the movie was during the tank scene and that piece of the score was not even in the soundtrack. Instead we find ourselves with "A Pleasant Drive in St. Petersburg" (track 10) which is a mess of loud noise and women's voices. As a whole, this soundtrack is not a very good entry into the Bond hall of fame.


TND Soundtrack Cover Art

Tomorrow Never Dies

This album is by far the best score for the past twenty years. John Barry lovers beware. You may find yourself loving a new composer. The score and the songs really show emotion through instrument, pace, and intensity choice. There is plenty of big brass and huge sounds.

Click here for a more detailed review of the Tomorrow Never Dies Soundtrack


30th Anniversary Cover Art

The Best of James Bond
30th Anniversary Limited Edition

The two CD set is a must for any Bond fan. It features all the themes through Licence to Kill on the first CD and tons of goodies on the second. Starting with an unused version of Monty Norman's Bond theme, it continues with the secondary Bond theme that was used through all of the Connery era and some of the Moore. It also contains lost tracks from the Goldfinger and Thunderball soundtracks. Two versions of "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" are on this CD as well as a demo version of "You Only Live Twice". Finally, there are three radio spots from early Bond movies. Definitely worth the price.


Shaken and Stirred Cover Art

Shaken and Stirred
The David Arnold James Bond Project

Perhaps it was the months of anticipation or the work-up I had given this CD in my mind or the fact that I have listened to all the themes countless times, but the CD just didn't meet my expectations. That is not to say that the CD doesn't have it's good areas. "Spacemarch" (track 3) is a very well composed version of the You Only Live Twice score. I also enjoyed the "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (track 10) remix. It is the longest piece on the CD and has snippets from many different scores. Aside from that, the remakes of the songs are nothing with nothing. In my opinion, all of the originals were far better. As for "The James Bond Theme" (track 6), it was terrible. It only has the theme recognizable in a few points and the beat is just not good. It sounds like something that would be playing in an elevator or a dentist's waiting room. Even the pieces that stayed true to the original tunes had new beats and instruments added that didn't sound right.


DAD Soundtrack

Die Another Day

David Arnold's soundtrack is a well composed entry to the Bond musical world. Continuing in his style of electronic and techno sounding scores, Arnold manages to get the Bond theme into almost every track: something that has been missing from his first efforts. Additionally, his use of the theme varies from modern sounding during the opening tracks to almost John Barry-esque in others. However, I still prefer John Barry's classic scores to Arnold's soundboard and synthesizer created pieces. While some parts of the score are inspired and truly reminiscent of past movies, much of it sounds like it is taken from the GoldenEye 007 video game.

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