Anyone ever fell into the trap of buying one of these? Don't get me wrong, some are good, but some are terrible.
Here, let me kick this off with a really terrible one. Released in 1988, folks! I give you
The Living Daylights
20 James Bond Film Themes
by E. Starink
So this artist Ed Starink did a lot of synthesizer themes and whatnot back in the day and the Bond tracks fell victim to that. Themes the man would re-do synth style:
- The James Bond Theme
- We Have All The Time In The World
- Nobody Does it Better
- Bond 77
- All Time High
His Bond 77 version is perhaps the only track I can somewhat recommend. Others carry the typical 80s synth flavours, rather robust and hardly innovative, with - in some cases - truly poor effects. For instance, we all know that the Goldfinger Theme begins by repeating its two "lines" twice, once loud and clear, the second time lower and a little toned done. (I'm not a musician so forgive me if I can't phrase my thoughts more technically.) However, in most amateur re-do's, the second time we hear the familiar lines, it's just an exact copy of the first set of lines but with the volume turned down a bit. That's bad.
At the end of the LALD Theme, the percussions goes bug nuts crazy. Yeah, synth and stuff. Getting to have fun with the sound effects... Well fine. But not in my Bond music. It stinks!
Most of these tracks are acceptable, except that none of this could possibly substitute for the real thing.
But wait, doesn't the title mention "20" themes? Where are the other 4? Get this, there are four more tracks, called:
- Dial 007
- Miss Moneypenny
- The Japanese Connection
- Space Regiment
All of these were composed by Starink himself and they contain nothing - NOTHING! - of any material ever written for the Bond films, which begs the question why '007' and 'Moneypenny' were allowed in the title in the first place! Furthermore, why call this "20 James Bond Themes" when only 16 of them are? Why didn't he also do OHMSS, 007, Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and - I dunno - NSNA perhaps? Because look at the disc cover. That's the Sean Connery from NSNA right there and that film isn't even used for this CD.
This goes to show how unsophisticated consumers were in the day. Scramble together a pic of Grace Jones, Roger Moore in one of his least flattering moments as Bond, a little one of Tim in the lower left corner for those keeping up with the times, Sean Connery in a film that's not even used for this compilation and forget about Lazenby altogether. Call it "20 James Bond Film Themes" and deliver only 16 of those, ending the CD with four bland creations by an almost-nobody.
And people must have bought this enough because this Starink guy has several other Bond compilations under his belt. He'd re-do TLD at one point and also insert LTK, which is basically LTK without the words. But the other tracks would remain the same. For a synthesiser compilation,
some producer would simply bring all of the above back, except Starkink's own creations. Good, you say. Well, no, because they were just replaced with three new creations by a certain "T. Eyk", which also have little or nothing to do with Bond music at all yet are called
- My Name Is Bond
- He Never Shoots Twice
- Mr. Lady-Killer
So how come I have them? Two things: A) I was a child and my mom bought the second one for me. B) My aunt gave away her copy of the first one, not realising it contained 80 % the same music as the one I already had. She didn't care because, well, she was going to throw it away anyway. I only keep them for sentimental reasons. I bet ebay could make me earn back whatever money was spent on these back in the day. ;-)
I begged my parents for that but they felt that it was too expensive. So I had to wait a long time until friends of the family allowed me to tape (!) their copy. Needless to say I wore that tape out like sport socks. One major problem though. Their copy was the one CD album. By the time I finally got permission to buy it myself, the limited edition wasn't available any more and I had to settle for the lesser one disc copy. :( I remember reading the inserted booklet about a thousand times. It helped me to learn a lot of English. :-)
Their work is top notch. I also have a few John Barry compilation albums. One I acquired recently finally finding a specific version of the James Bond theme after 8 years or searching. That album is called The Concert John Barryfrom 1972. It would be the first time his Symphonic version of the James Bond theme common in Roger Moore's era was ever done and two years before he would return for The Man with The Golden Gun. I highly recommend that. Another I have is John Barry Film and TV Hits That's a really good compilation album. Lots of new arrangements to his Bond music and some other great themes in it as well like The Persuaders and The Ipcress File.
I also have 007 Classics: The Music of James Bond by the London Symphony Orchestra. This one is pretty decent. It has some interesting arrangements of the various themes from the film and a slow western sounding version of The James Bond Theme. This album is significant to me because back in 8th grade one of my teachers would play this album while we read. ;)
Next up I have Bond and Beyond (1991) by Erich Kunzel and The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. This one is really good and I highly recommend it. It's got plenty of Bond and a great suite of various spy show themes on it.
And lastly I have David Arnold's brilliant Shaken and Stirred album. I hope one day he decides to do a volume 2 of it.
Shaken and Stirred... I love that album. The Bond Theme is slightly weird but everything else rocks. I love DAF and OHMSS, the latter especially because of the inclusion of the Space March from YOLT.
Agreed. I really enjoy it.My favorites are Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever as well as OHMSS.
As for the Bond Theme this is the version that starts the chill weird track so you can add this to that album as the unedited mix. :)
Then of course this is the clean Orchestral mix used in the Propellerheads version without the electronic elements.
Thank you so much, sir.
Besides their well known OHMSS re-work of which 3 versions exist on the CD-EP
they have also re-worked Bassey's Goldfinger for Bassey's 2000 The Remix Album (where also a great version of Diamonds Are Forever can be found (Mantonik 007 Mix)).
Then Bassey herself covered You Only Live Twice for her 2007 Album Get The Party Started.
The David Arnold James Bond Project belongs in any good music collection anyway!!
Think this is the guy in question
Presently on CD I have countless compilation CDs, including Barry specific compilations and the rather good Shaken n Stirred by Arnold.
I have bought many dud soundtrack albums over the years, one recently was the Dollars trilogy box set. Fist full of dollars and A few dollars more were original, The Good the Bad and the Ugly was not the original score strangely. I have The Good the bad and the ugly on other formats so know that score to the note.
Thats not the album I am looking for though had this also, Geoff Love big band did a decent job of many classic themes.
The Best of... the most recent version is my go to album, though recently I purchased ever Bond album on digital download so make up my own play lists.
2) Non-purists may enjoy SOUNDS ORCHESTRAL MEET JAMES BOND on Sequel. Johnny Pearson's jazz piano trio with strings and sound effects. Only about half the tracks are from the films. The others are originals ('inspired by characters in the James Bond books...') by Pearson, Denis Farnon, et al. Rather fun.
3) Can't stomach Arnold's SHAKEN NOT STIRRED.
4) Anyone remember Tamiko Jones's late-60's recording of "You Only Live Twice" on A&M?
I'm listening to the Thunderball track on YouTube. That's great! I guess I'll buy the full album.
1) Jack Jones's "From Russia With Love" from BEWITCHED (Kapp)
2) Gary McFarland's "From Russia With Love" from SOFT SAMBA (Verve)
3) Jack LaForge's "Goldfinger" from GOLDFINGER & OTHER GREAT MOVIE THEMES (Regina)
4) Peter Nero's "Thunderball" from THE SCREEN SCENE (RCA)
5) Vic Damone's "We Have All the Time in the World" from OVER THE RAINBOW (Hallmark)
6) Percy Faith's "Diamonds Are Forever" from JOY (CBS/Columbia)
7) Lalo Schifrin's "The James Bond Theme" from FILMCLASSICS (Aleph)
8) Another Bond compilation I reviewed for Amazon is Count Basie's BASIE MEETS BOND (United Artists LP, now on Capitol Jazz/Blue Note CD), which includes "Thunderball"; the remaining tracks are from the first three Bond films.
I know that #3, 4, and 6 were also issued as singles.
I have #1, 2, 4 on LP; 5, 7, 8 on CD.
Pourcel's version of the 007 theme is rather relaxing and pleasant.
A GIRL AND A GUN - a global pop subterfuge
You had to be there.
The video posted by vzok credits the music to Star, Inc., but later albums feature the same tracks credited to the London Starlight Orchestra.
Anyway, I love his/their versions of AVTAK and TLD.
I don't enjoy the other tracks so much, because they are translated into the music style of the 80's, rather than belonging in it already. But it's been a while since I listened to those; I should give them another listen.
If you allow me a brief digression, I also love Starink's version of Rain Man:
I really like their version of the Bond theme. It seems so obvious to me now, but some reason it took me a bunch of listens to realize there is a windy-sounding synth in the background. It doesn't add much to the arrangement, but it's a choice that intrigues me.
They've got their little quirks but I enjoy Raine's versions a lot. The Essential James Bond has an OHMSS/AVTAK suite that's really cool.
I'm not a big fan of Björk's high-pitched voice, though I still consider her a good singer. When she decided not to allow this song on the Shaken and Stirred album, her vocals were replaced with Natacha Atlas' and the new track was released as a B-side of some other album I can't remember. I like her voice better but I'm still not crazy about this version of YOLT, because the way both of them sing certain parts is a little affected. That was probably by design, given that the song has no beat and kind of demands the singer to fill it with their voice. But it doesn't quite work for me. The arrangement is still nice, as is generally the case with the tracks recorded for Shaken and Stirred.
I'm curious as to what this video contained.
Damn, this post is probably a mess to read. Sorry about that.
The singing is pretty unlistenable on many of these. I do like the instrumentals of "All Time High" and "A View to a Kill," though perhaps that says more about the brilliance of Barry's themes than anything. The vocal version of "The Man with the Golden Gun" is interesting. CR 67 isn't bad either, but it's also not terribly different from the original.
It's David Arnold's original version of the Bond theme. The opening of it was sampled for this remix.