Silva America (SSD 1119)
Release Date: 2000
Conducted by Nic Raine
The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
|1.||The Man With The Golden Gun - Kung Fu Fight / Let's Go Get 'Em / In Search of Scaramanga's Island||3:53|
|2.||The Man With The Golden Gun - Chew Me in Grisly Land / Hip's Trip / Return to Scaramanga's Fun House||4:37|
|3.||The Man With The Golden Gun - Slow Boat From China / Nick Nack / The Man With The Golden Gun||2:59|
|4.||The Spy Who Loved Me - Ride to Atlantis||3:20|
|5.||The Spy Who Loved Me - The Tanker||4:10|
|6.||Moonraker - Arrival at Chateau Drax / Freefall||2:04|
|7.||Moonraker - Miss Goodhead Meets Bond / Bond Lured to the Pyramids||3:23|
|8.||Moonraker - Flight Into Space||6:06|
|9.||For Your Eyes Only - Main Theme||3:06|
|10.||Octopussy - Bond meets Octopussy / Bond Look Alike / The Palace Fight||7:22|
|11.||A View To A Kill - Wine With Stacey / Fanfare / Snow Job||4:49|
|12.||The Living Daylights - Koskov Escapes / Hercules Takes Off||2:59|
|13.||The Living Daylights - Mujahadin / Afghanistan Plan||4:12|
|14.||The Living Daylights - Air Bond / Necros Attacks||3:27|
|15.||The Living Daylights - End Title (Alternate Version)||3:02|
|16.||Goldeneye - Tank Drive Around St. Petersburg||5:57|
|Total Album Time:||65:26|
|by Dan Goldwasser
November 12, 2000
The sound of Bond is truly unique. Arguably one of the more recognizable musical styles in film, the term "Bond-esque" or "Barry-esque" came about from the series of films focusing on the super-spy. Silva Records now presents us with another album of music from the James Bond films - this time focusing on the films from The Man With the Golden Gun to Goldeneye in "Bond Back in Action 2". Starting off with three tracks from The Man With the Golden Gun, veteran Bond composer John Barry provides an exciting dramatic score with the classic Bond theme, as well as an Asian flare (the film takes place in Hong Kong and Thailand). There are plenty of dramatic moments in this suite - "Return to Scaramanga's Fun House" is especially suspenseful. "Slow Boat From China" and "Nick Nack" haven't been released before, and they provide a more relaxed, lyrical rendition of the main title theme, as well as a sneakier plotting theme for Nick Nack. The track ends with an exciting up-tempo rendition of the main theme - the brass hits are pure Barry, and dead on.
The next suite is from The Spy Who Loved Me. Written by Marvin Hamlisch, the score was quite different, and (as with For Your Eyes Only) was a rather dated score, with it's disco-styling and synth effects. But the tracks included here are more traditional, with a dreamlike quality for "Ride to Atlantis" and a brass-heavy suspenseful orchestra in "The Tanker". It can be said with confidence that Moonraker, while being one of the worst Bond films, has the best Bond score. The suite here proves it. From the stately "Arrival At Chateau Drax", to the sweeping romanticism of "Miss Goodhead Meets Bond", it's quite clear that this is excellent music. In "Bond Lured To The Pyramids", a choir is used to enhance the splendor and mysticism of the Egyptian setting. The best track on the album, "Flight Into Space", is slow and methodical, but the dramatic chords and solo trumpet fanfares make this six-minute cue just perfect.
Octopussy contains some good music, but it doesn't stand out as well as Moonraker did in terms of Barry's skills. The A View to a Kill suite contained a surprise. The softer flute rendition of the theme in "Wine With Stacey", followed by the hard-hitting and powerful "Fanfare" are all good - but it's what follows that surprised me. A few years back, Silva released another Bond album, called "The Essential James Bond Collection", which contained a suite of music from On Her Majesty's Secret Service and A View To A Kill. There, they played a rendition of "Snow Job" that was missing the electric guitar heard in the original score. Well, I don't know how they did it, but Nic Raine and the City of Prague Philharmonic have managed to recreate exactly this electric guitar line. It's a bit faster in tempo than the film version, but the guitar does add a lot to the cue - it's a great cue, and thrilling to hear.
The Living Daylights was a Bond score where Barry experimented with a synthesized drum loop - it works somewhat, and it was (again) pleasing to discover that Raine managed to faithfully recreate the same percussion track for this re-recording. "Hercules Take Off" and "Necros Attacks" are wonderfully done, but as with A View to a Kill, they are a tad faster than normal. Oddly enough, License to Kill is missing from this album - no idea why, but it would have been nice to hear a bit of Michael Kamen's work in with the rest. The last track on the album is the "Tank Drive Around St. Petersburg" from Goldeneye. While it was the only cue from the film to really feature a more orchestral version of the Bond theme (as compared to Eric Serra's synth-heavy minimalist score), John Altman's orchestration feels a bit sparser than Barry's, and it ends the album on a somewhat unsatisfying note. It would have been nice to stretch the breadth of the album a tad, and include some of David Arnold's work from Tomorrow Never Dies. Perhaps that will be on "Bond Back in Action 3"?
This is a no brainer. You should get this album if you are a fan of Bond, and more specifically, Bond music. Some people don't have all of the albums (myself included) and this provides a nice taste of the different scores of Bond. So don't wait - go get this album now. You won't be disappointed.
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