When Sean Connery first uttered the immortal words “Bond…James Bond” fifty years ago in the film Dr. No, the template for the long-running movie series was already set. That soon-to-be-signature phrase was joined in the film by a piece of music that would quickly rival those three words for familiarity. John Barry’s arrangement of “The James Bond Theme” not only helped cement the silver screen icon of 007 but virtually became a genre unto itself, that of spy music. The spy film craze may have hit its peak in the swinging sixties, but Ian Fleming’s immortal character of the debonair Bond has endured over some 23 “official” films (including this year’s upcoming Skyfall), plus a couple of unofficial ones. He has been portrayed by six actors in those 23 films, from Connery to Daniel Craig. Since Dr. No, James Bond and music have been closely intertwined, and the film franchise continues to attract the very best: it’s been all but confirmed that record-breaking artist Adele will mark her return to music with the recently-leaked Skyfall theme. Now, 50 years of Bond music is being compiled by Capitol Records as Best of Bond…James Bond, set for an October 9 release in both standard and deluxe editions. It joins the recent DVD/BD box set, Bond 50, which contains each and every official Bond film to date!
While similar (and similarly-titled!) compilations have arrived on a periodic basis in the CD era, the new set in its deluxe two-disc form is the most comprehensive collection of Bond-related music yet with 50 tracks. Both versions stand as a tribute to John Barry, the late composer who will forever be associated with the film series. The disc opens with his original arrangement of “The James Bond Theme.” Though credited to Monty Norman, Barry long maintained in and out of the courtroom that the composition was, in fact, his own. (The confusion stems from the fact that Barry was presented with Norman’s theme, and rearranged it in the style of his previous instrumental “Bea’s Knees,” almost wholly transforming the music along the way. He was reportedly paid under $1,000.00 for his troubles!) Barry went on to score eleven of the films between 1963’s From Russia with Love through 1987’s The Living Daylights, ceding movies along the way to George Martin, Marvin Hamlisch and Bill Conti. Since Barry’s retirement from the Bond franchise, the longest-standing composer has been David Arnold, with five films under his belt between 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies and 2008’s Quantum of Solace. (The score to Skyfall has been crafted by director Sam Mendes’ frequent collaborator Thomas Newman.) Either consciously or subconsciously, however, every composer has been influenced by the template set by John Barry. Indeed, his famous arrangement of the Norman theme has been quoted in each film’s score. Best of Bond also is a reminder of the gargantuan talents of two other contributors, both of whom passed away in 2012: Marvin Hamlisch (The Spy Who Loved Me) and Hal David (On Her Majesty's Secret Service.)
The first CD (also available as a stand-alone disc) features 23 tracks: the theme to every one of the films from 1962’s Dr. No through 2008’s Quantum of Solace, plus the “secondary” theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All the Time in the World.” This CD includes Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” from Casino Royale (2006), the first main Bond theme to not appear on the movie’s soundtrack album. Other highlights include the very first vocal Bond theme, Lionel Bart’s “From Russia with Love” as performed by Matt Monro; Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley and John Barry’s “Goldfinger” from the iconic Dame Shirley Bassey; Barry and Don Black’s booming “Thunderball” from Tom Jones; Paul and Linda McCartney’s Wings-performed “Live and Let Die;” Carole Bayer Sager and Marvin Hamlisch’s “Nobody Does It Better” (from The Spy Who Loved Me); Barry and Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill;” and Barry and Pål Waaktaar’s “The Living Daylights,” performed by Waaktaar’s band a-ha.
What's on Disc 2? Hit the jump!
The second disc, while not featuring any previously-unreleased material, is a potpourri of rarely-anthologized instrumental score cues, vocal performances and outtakes from the films. In addition to the orchestral material by Barry, Arnold and Hamlisch, you’ll find some cut theme songs, including Shirley Bassey’s “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (another version by Dionne Warwick was introduced on 1992’s Best of James Bond), discarded from Thunderball, and Scott Walker’s “Only Myself to Blame,” a rare return to crooner form intended for, but cut from, The World is Not Enough. Both songs appeared in instrumental form in their respective films as part of the underscore. Two “additional” songs appear from Tomorrow Never Dies, k.d. lang’s “Surrender” and Moby’s arrangement (not actually in the film) of “The James Bond Theme.” Both of The Pretenders’ supplemental songs (co-written by Chrissie Hynde and John Barry) for The Living Daylights appear, as does Eric Serra’s “The Experience of Love” (GoldenEye) and the John Barry/Hal David ballad “Do You Know How Christmas Trees are Grown,” performed by Nina (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).
Yes, the music of James Bond has come a long way since the gentle calypso of “Under the Mango Tree,” the main vocal song from Dr. No. Synonymous with excitement, action, suspense, tension and intrigue, the often-imitated, never-duplicated music of Bond continues to resonate with audiences today. Best of Bond…James Bond is due from Capitol Records on October 9, and can be ordered below!
Various Artists, Best of Bond…James Bond (Capitol, 2012) (1-CD Standard Edition/2-CD Deluxe Edition)
CD 1 (also available as a stand-alone edition)
- James Bond Theme (From Dr. No) - John Barry & Orchestra
- From Russia with Love – Matt Monro
- Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey
- Thunderball – Tom Jones
- You Only Live Twice – Nancy Sinatra
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – John Barry & Orchestra
- We Have All the Time in the World (from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) – Louis Armstrong
- Diamonds are Forever – Shirley Bassey
- Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney & Wings
- The Man with the Golden Gun – Lulu
- Nobody Does It Better (from The Spy Who Loved Me) – Carly Simon
- Moonraker – Shirley Bassey
- For Your Eyes Only – Sheena Easton
- All Time High (from Octopussy) – Rita Coolidge
- A View to a Kill – Duran Duran
- The Living Daylights – a-ha
- Licence to Kill – Gladys Knight
- GoldenEye (Single Edit) – Tina Turner
- Tomorrow Never Dies – Sheryl Crow
- The World Is Not Enough – Garbage
- Die Another Day – Madonna
- You Know My Name (from Casino Royale) – Chris Cornell
- Another Way to Die (from Quantum of Solace) – Jack White and Alicia Keys
- Dr. No’ s Fantasy (Monty Norman)
- Under the Mango Tree – Diana Coupland
- 007 (John Barry)
- Opening Titles/Medley: James Bond is Back/From Russia with Love/James Bond Theme (John Barry)
- Into Miami (John Barry)
- The Laser Beam (John Barry)
- Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – Shirley Bassey
- Switching the Body (John Barry)
- Capsule in Space (John Barry)
- Do You Know How Christmas Trees are Grown – Nina
- Bond Smells a Rat (John Barry)
- Fillet of Soul – New Orleans/Live and Let Die/Fillet of Soul – Harlem - George Martin feat. B.J. Arnau
- Underground Lair (George Martin)
- Hip’s Trip (John Barry)
- The Pyramids (Marvin Hamlisch)
- Cable Car and Snake Fight (John Barry)
- Make It Last All Night – Bill Conti feat. Rage
- The Chase Bomb Theme (John Barry)
- Snow Job (John Barry)
- Where Has Everybody Gone – The Pretenders
- If There Was a Man – The Pretenders
- The Experience of Love – Eric Serra
- James Bond Theme – Moby
- Surrender – k.d. lang
- Only Myself to Blame – Scott Walker
- Vesper – David Arnold
- Time to Get Out – David Arnold
CD 1, Track 1 and CD 2, Tracks 1-2 from Dr. No, United Artists LP UAL 4108/UAS 5108, 1963
CD 1, Track 2 and CD 2, Tracks 3-4 from From Russia with Love, United Artists LP UAL 4114/UAS 5114, 1964
CD 1, Track 3 and CD 2, Track 5 from Goldfinger, United Artists LP UAL 4117/UAS 5117, 1964
CD 1, Track 4 and CD 2, Track 8 from Thunderball, United Artists LP UAL 4132/UAS 5132, 1965
CD 1, Track 5 & CD 2, Track 9 from You Only Live Twice, United Artists LP UAL 4155/UAS 5155, 1967
CD 1, Tracks 6-7 and CD 2, Track 10 from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, United Artists LP UAS 5204, 1969
CD 1, Track 8 and CD 2, Track 11 from Diamonds Are Forever, United Artists LP UAS 5220, 1971
CD 1, Track 9 and CD 2, Track 12 from Live and Let Die, United Artists LP UA LA100-G, 1973
CD 1, Track 10 and CD 2, Track 14 from The Man with the Golden Gun, United Artists LP UALP358-G, 1974
CD 1, Track 11 and CD 2, Track 15 from The Spy Who Loved Me, United Artists LP UALA774-H, 1977
CD 1, Track 12 and CD 2, Track 16 from Moonraker, United Artists LP UALA971-I, 1979
CD 1, Track 13 and CD 2, Track 17 from For Your Eyes Only, Liberty LP L00-1109, 1981
CD 1, Track 14 and CD 2, Track 18 from Octopussy, A&M LP SP-4967, 1983
CD 1, Track 15 and CD 2, Track 19 from A View to a Kill, Capitol LP SJ-12413, 1985
CD 1, Track 16 and CD 2, Tracks 20-21 from The Living Daylights, Warner Bros. LP 25616-1, 1987
CD 1, Track 17 from Licence to Kill, MCA LP 6307, 1989
CD 1, Track 18 from Tina Turner, GoldenEye, Virgin CD single 72438 38524-2-2, 1995
CD 1, Track 19 and CD 2, Tracks 23-24 from Tomorrow Never Dies, A&M CD 31454 0830-2, 1997
CD 1, Track 20 and CD 2, Track 25 from The World is Not Enough, Radioactive/MCA CD 088112101-2, 1999
CD 1, Track 21 from Die Another Day, Warner Bros. CD 48348-2, 2002
CD 1, Track 22 mix TBA, from Casino Royale, 2006
CD 1, Track 23 and CD 2, Track 27 from Quantum of Solace, J Records CD 88697 40517 2, 2008
CD 2, Track 6 from Goldfinger (Expanded Edition), Capitol CD 72435-80891-2-7, 2003
CD 2, Track 7 from The Best of James Bond: 30th Anniversary Limited Edition, EMI 0777-7-98560-2-2, 1992
CD 2, Track 13 from Live and Let Die (Expanded Edition), Capitol CD 72435-41421-2-3, 2003
CD 2, Track 22 from GoldenEye, Virgin CD 7243 8 41048 2 5, 1995
CD 2, Track 26 from Casino Royale, Sony Classical CD 88697029112, 2006
Simon Franklin says
Bugger. I was hoping that all the soundtrack albums would be boxed up as per the films. I guess this will have to do instead.
Todd R. says
Credited on "Goldeneye" is The Edge, who has long been rumoured to have played guitar on the title track to that film, sung by Tina Turner. (Bono & The Edge penned the song, appropriate as Chris Blackwell, the man who signed U2 to Island Records, allowed Bono and his wife to Honeymoon at his house in the Carrabbien, called "Golden Eye", it was previously the home of Sir. Ian Flemming, the creator of James Bond....), Also Eric Sierra's vocal cuts have background vocals by Rupert Hine...
I love the cover and the second CD looks great. But the first CD has been reissued over and over again with each new Bond song over the years, I'm not sure I want to buy it all over again.
Colin Campbell says
Correction re: CD 1, Track 22 -- In an odd quirk of the 007 Soundtrack universe, Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name" was NOT on the "Casino Royale" soundtrack, as listed above. It was on one of his albums. (I liked the song so much, I actually bought the CD single when I found out it wasn't on the soundtrack!)
Mike Duquette says
A good catch, Colin! For me at the time, the brilliantly frustrating aspect of "You Know My Name" was its existence in two distinct mixes - a more "rock-oriented" mix that ended up on the physical and digital single, and the more "Barry-esque" mix (with an orchestra!) that appeared in the movie (and, if memory serves, was the mix used as a bonus track on his album "Carry On").
But "YKMN" is a killer - my favorite 007 title theme since the New Wave one-two punch of "A View to a Kill" and "The Living Daylights" in '85 and '87.
Joe Marchese says
Indeed, I even took pains to point out, above, that "this CD includes Chris Cornell’s 'You Know My Name' from 'Casino Royale' (2006), the first main Bond theme to not appear on the movie’s soundtrack album." There does not appear to be confirmed information at this point as to which mix is being used on the compilation, but I'll update as soon as that is revealed!
Colin Campbell says
Joe - Sorry! I skipped down to see the "sourcing" before I got to that part... Silly #ColinFail on my part. 🙁
Mike - Yeah, it has a kind of convoluted release/mix history. In an effort to nail every version, I ended up getting a pair of CD singles via eBay; one features a "main mix" and "pop mix" - probably the two mixes you describe, while the other included a nice live acoustic version of "Black Hole Sun." In all, no matter which version pops up on my iPod, I find myself driving a little faster... 😉
No joke: You guys do a fantastic job, and your site is indispensable! Keep up the great work, and I promise to read more thoroughly before posting in the future!
Oh rats! I wish they would have included Lani Hall's "Never Say Never" from Never Say Never Again.That would make the set complete for me! They could have licensed the track from Universal. My personal Top 3 Bond songs...#1 Goldfinger, #2 You Only Live Twice, #3 Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me.
I just wish it included the GoldenEye trailer remix of the Bond theme, then I'd have no need to hold on to the 2002 collection. (Also, can they quit giving these comps the same title over and over? Must be a catalogger's nightmare.) 🙂
David Jones aka Johnny Bacardi says
I'd really be impressed if they'd chosen to include Alice Cooper's "Man with the Golden Gun", which really should have been used instead of Lulu's generic song. As it turns out, it was submitted too late to be used. Too bad!
Just for the record, my favorite Bond theme has always been the elegant, exotic "You Only Live Twice".