Expanded James Bond soundtracks - a purely speculative thread

edited February 4 in Music Posts: 77
Following the wonderful news that John Barry’s Octopussy is getting an expanded and remastered 2 CD set, the new release of George Martin’s Live & Let Die, plus all the David Arnold soundtracks of recent years, I thought it’d be interesting to speculate on which other Bond soundtracks might follow. I must stress, this is *purely* conjectural and is not based on any official intel. Any thoughts welcome!

Dr. No
Master tapes to the first three films - Dr. No, From Russia With Love and Goldfinger - were not found at EMI’s Abbey Road vaults in London in 2003 during the remastering project, where most of the expanded Bond material was kept. There is a long assumption that these tapes have been lost.

From Russia With Love
Dave Norris, an engineer on the new Live & Let Die and Octopussy releases, was asked why From Russia With Love wasn’t considered on its sixtieth anniversary, “Nothing new/alternate or extra exists on FRWL (trust me, we looked).” He later elaborated, “What I meant was that nothing of the unreleased music exists anywhere (hence the looked comment), so this score cannot be expanded for CD.”

I thought that the original tapes had been discovered because of the emergence of previously unreleased material in 1992 for the 2 disc ‘The Best Of James Bond’ release (Death Of Tilly, Pussy Galore’s Flying Circus, etc). I was mistaken though, as those cues were in fact on the original British LP. They are likely lost, as above.

There were hopes in 2003 to release this as a 2 CD album, as there was lots of material which couldn’t fit onto one CD, but the idea was nixed because of money. As per Lukas Kendall, “Between unreleased cues, the alternate ‘Street Chase,’ the two vocal versions of ‘Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,’ and two instrumental pop covers from the Abbey Road tapes (‘Thunderball’ and ‘Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ with twangy electric guitars and orchestra), there’s probably another 20 to 30 minutes of music.” There’s also the instrumental only version of the main title, as Tom Jones recorded his vocals separately. The film is sixty years old next year and the material exists, so I imagine this is quite likely for expansion/remastering.

You Only Live Twice
This is probably low down on the priority list, given that the 2003 CD saw all previously unreleased material released, with the exception of the instrumental of the main title (Nancy Sinatra recorded her vocals separately). It could be remastered again though, as per Live & Let Die, but it sounds doubtful that there’s any new or alternate material to be shared.

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
This was mooted for expansion for the 50th anniversary of the film in 2019, but EON didn’t want anything to detract from the then imminent release of the No Time To Die soundtrack. Like the Thunderball release in 2003, there was over twenty minutes of missing music which had been sourced, but couldn’t fit onto one CD. The material exists and is easily accessible, so this is a very likely contender. It’s also the fifty fifth anniversary of the film this year and we know how La La Land Records love an anniversary…

Diamonds Are Forever
Again, this is probably low on the priority list, given that the 2003 CD saw nearly all previously unreleased and alternate material released, with the exception of one sting and the longer version of the title song by Shirley Bassey that featured an additional verse. This couldn’t be cleared because of rights issues in 2003. The album could be remastered again though.

Live & Let Die

The Man With The Golden Gun
In 2003 EMI were going to try to remix and expand both Live & Let Die and The Man With The Golden Gun from the 16-track tapes that had been discovered at Abbey Road. As the transfers were being completed, it was apparent that the process was becoming too expensive and time-consuming, so TMWTGG fell by the wayside. Lukas Kendall remarked at the time, ”Had I known we could only do one of the early Moores, I would have suggested the Barry score rather than the George Martin one - but I didn’t, so we couldn’t.” Given that the material has been sourced, the demand for the substantial amount of music missing from the 1974/2003 release and the fact that it’s the fiftieth anniversary of the film this year, this is probably quite plausible.

The Spy Who Loved Me
Lukas Kendall remarked in 2003, “There are 24-track tapes of The Spy Who Loved Me at Abbey Road, but I don’t know if these are for the film soundtrack or the LP re-recording; furthermore, 24-track mixes are very time-consuming and expensive.” Twenty years have passed since then, so hopefully the tech has improved and the digitisation will be easier. It remains to be seen if these tapes are for the film score or album record. At any rate, this film and Moonraker are probably the expanded releases most clamoured for by fans, so demand is certainly there.

There’s been a long-standing and, ultimately, false rumour that the tapes for Moonraker are lost. It likely started when the tapes couldn’t be found in the Abbey Road vaults for the 2003 project, likely because the score was recorded in Paris. This was another soundtrack mooted for expansion by La La Land Records in 2019 for the film’s 40th anniversary, perhaps indicating that someone has successfully tracked down the tapes. It’s well documented how desperate fans are for an expanded version of this score and it’s now the forty fifth anniversary of the film, so who knows…

For Your Eyes Only
The Rykodisc release in 2000 indicates that the original tapes have been found. Rykodisc were likely limited fitting all the material onto one CD, so there are still quite a few missing cues from the film. Incidentally, the sheet music for the score has recently been published (https://neumation-music.com/products/bill-conti-for-your-eyes-only-in-full-score), so there’s always the re-score option if a further expansion/remaster doesn’t emerge soon :)


A View To A Kill
A View To A Kill was recorded in London, but apparently the tapes were not at Abbey Road in 2003. This is not to suggest that they don’t exist, but they may require more digging and investigation stateside (some of the missing music from Thunderball was found in the US). Hopefully, given the demand for the forthcoming Octopussy expansion (the 2000 copies from the initial batch have sold out), LLLR can see that there’s a lot of love for the later Barry soundtracks and they’ll pursue this. Perhaps Nic Raine could even lend a hand ;)

The Living Daylights
As per For Your Eyes Only, the 1998 Rykodisc release indicates that the original tapes have been found. All the material likely couldn’t fit onto one CD, given that there are still quite a few missing cues from the film. It’s the fortieth anniversary of the film in 2027, so maybe we’ll see an expansion then, but I don’t imagine it’s currently high on the agenda.

Licence To Kill
This one is entirely plausible and I would argue quite likely, given the mess of the original OST release. The new Michael Kamen website lists all the cues, including alternates and overlays, alongside unreleased audio samples: https://www.michaelkamen.com/catalogue/licence-to-kill . This indicates that his Estate are in possession of the music and La La Land Records appear to have a good relationship with them (see the recent Die Hard release). The soundtrack was also mooted for expansion in 2019 (see also On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Moonraker). It’s the thirty fifth anniversary of the film this year, so who knows…

The OST is lacking a lot of music from the film and time has been kinder to this release following its initial savage reception, so fan demand is there for an expansion. I’ve never come across chatter about the tapes, but hopefully Eric Serra and John Altman are in possession of them. Serra’s score is predominantly electronic, so hopefully he has digital files which will make them easier to expand and remaster. They’ll need to be married with Altman’s orchestra arrangements however (which may be separate). This is pure speculation though. Interestingly, at least one important part of the score exists on tape - John Altman’s tank chase. He uploaded it to SoundCloud a few years ago () and Lukas Kendall remarked in 2003, “The only other thing that fell by the wayside due to a lack of time and money was the tank chase from GoldenEye (the Bond theme arranged by John Altman), which was recorded on fancy modern digital tape that required expensive equipment to transfer.” It’s the thirtieth anniversary of the film next year, so it’s a distinct possibility.

Tomorrow Never Dies
Likely as complete as we’ll ever get: https://lalalandrecords.com/tomorrow-never-dies-expanded-remastered-limited-edition-2-cd-set/

The World Is Not Enough
Likely as complete as we’ll ever get: https://lalalandrecords.com/world-is-not-enough-the-limited-edition-2-cd-set/

Die Another Day
Likely as complete as we’ll ever get: https://lalalandrecords.com/die-another-day-limited-edition-2-cd-set/

Casino Royale
Given that nearly all of the music has been released and that the score wasn’t recorded that long ago (so it’s in less need of remastering), this is low on the priority list. It would be nice to have all the cues in one place though and David Arnold clearly has a good relationship with La La Land Records. Twentieth anniversary in 2026 perhaps?

Quantum Of Solace
Ditto Casino Royale, although there are some cues missing. Again, it would be great to have all of the cues on one double album (the end gun barrel music, Four Tet’s ‘Crawl, End Crawl’, etc.)

There are a lot of cues missing from the OST, but demand from fans probably isn’t very high for this release.

I calculated that there’s nearly an hour and twenty minutes of missing music from this score, but again demand probably isn’t that high for it. I believe that La La Land Records have expanded and remastered some of Thomas Newman’s other scores, so perhaps the relationship could continue with a Bond release.

No Time To Die
Again, there’s a lot of missing music from this score. Hans Zimmer’s website attests to numerous alternate takes of cues (https://hans-zimmer.com/discography/1/project/3496) and he’s been known to later release complete versions of his scores, so it’s plausible. As per Thomas Newman’s efforts, there probably isn’t a huge demand from fans currently.


  • mattjoesmattjoes This is the boodanaychur.
    Posts: 6,649
    Very good, thanks for sharing.

    As a general observation, the new LALD album has set a precedent for further re-releases of Bond scores that had already been completely or near-completely released, since at the very least, new releases provide an opportunity for the music to be placed in the proper order, rather than in the contractually-obligated sequence of the 2003 albums.

    A few additional comments on Thunderball, which I quote from the Film Score Monthly boards. Considering the misconception about the Moonraker tapes, which lasted for years, I want to stress that I cannot confirm nor deny what's stated below, I merely provide it as a basis for discussion and further research.

    After Goldfinger, it seems like the producers took much greater care in storing the recordings from subsequent films.
    One can only hope for a significantly expanded Thunderball. It's a personal grail for me. I think it's one of Barry's best Bond scores. In many ways, I prefer it over Goldfinger.

    Lukas Kendall has acknowledged that the complete Thunderball was digitized and ready to go in 2003. Only the project's budget back then prevented a 2-disc release. But the digital files still exist. There should be no problem getting this one out if they want to.

    Regarding the famous 20-minute Thunderball suite, whose tape reel had been found in America, they determined in 2003 that the tape itself had deteriorated badly since 1992 and was unusable. So they took that music from the 30th Anniversary album. It's lucky that the 1992 album preserved the suite at all. I wouldn't say EMI did a great job of preserving the score in 1965. Tapes were dispersed in two hemispheres.

    We'll sadly probably never get the complete score because some of the unreleased music was also found to be degraded beyond releasability in 2003. It wasn't just the music used for the Thunderball Suite.

    However, I believe it was LK who said there's about 20 minutes of still unreleased music, including the original version of the Street Chase, which was based on the Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang theme.

    What I don't recall now (maybe he can comment) is whether that was 20 mnutes of releasable unreleased music, or 20 minutes including the unreleased music that was deteriorated.


  • edited February 8 Posts: 252

    Great List, thank you, on my priory list are TSWLM, AVTAK (i want the original Fanfare Track from Barry) MR and LTK
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