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 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 3:49 PM   
 By:   dbrooks   (Member)

I am new to FSM board and considered a rookie to the film score collecting world (about 3 years now but am now hooked). I have been listening to John Barry and wanted to ask you what is the BEST James Bond soundtrack in your opinion. I want to listen to the best before exploring more so what can start with?

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 4:00 PM   
 By:   Brandon Brown   (Member)

I enjoy all of Barry's Bond music. But, I'd have to say that my favorite score is YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE.

"James Bond in Japan" is a fantastic track.

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 5:15 PM   
 By:   That Neil Guy   (Member)

OHMSS and Living Daylights are probably my favorites.

But YOLT is also right up there. The Space March. The Kobe Docks cue. The song. The gorgeous Mountains & Sunsets. The climactic Bond Averts WW3. Maybe it's my favorite.

And Goldfinger is so iconic in so many ways, it's difficult not to steer you toward that. It's the engine upon which everything else was built, I think.

The beauty of Barry's Bond output is that even as it all seems of a piece, they're all individual, each filled with their own charms. You can almost not go wrong by simply picking one out at random.

Although I'd avoid Man With the Golden Gun as my first choice.

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 5:33 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

OHMSS and Living Daylights are probably my favorites.

The beauty of Barry's Bond output is that even as it all seems of a piece, they're all individual, each filled with their own charms. You can almost not go wrong by simply picking one out at random.

Although I'd avoid Man With the Golden Gun as my first choice.


Very well said. And your top 2 are mine as well.

I love MWTGG, though. Lots of flash, color and atmosphere, very well done especially given Barry had 3 weeks to do it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 5:35 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Goldfinger through Diamonds is a solid run.

I check out after that.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 5:40 PM   
 By:   henry   (Member)

Well my favorite is FYEO. It's the best of both worlds, disco and traditional Bond.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 6:22 PM   
 By:   fleming   (Member)

Don't leave out "From Russia With Love". Barry's 007 sound was fully formed at that early stage.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2014 - 6:22 PM   
 By:   fleming   (Member)

Don't leave out "From Russia With Love". Barry's 007 sound was fully formed at that early stage.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2014 - 1:18 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Thunderball is my favourite of the John Barry~JB007 scores, though OHMSS runs it a close second.

All of them are enjoyable and are far better listens, IMHO, than any of the non-JB entries.

But I've been collecting/listening to them for only 45 years so things may change ... smile

Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2014 - 1:52 AM   
 By:   BrendonKelly   (Member)

John Barry is without doubt the best Bond composer and TLD, YOLT and OHMSS are definitely the best scores to start with.

But have a look at David Arnold..both Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale are brilliant Bond scores and well worth a listen.

I am partial to a bit of Michael Kamen Bond as well!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2014 - 1:57 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I am new to FSM board and considered a rookie to the film score collecting world (about 3 years now but am now hooked). I have been listening to John Barry and wanted to ask you what is the BEST James Bond soundtrack in your opinion. I want to listen to the best before exploring more so what can start with?


For a determined rookie with the time and money to do it, I'd say the best way would be to do it chronologically, enjoying the rise and rise of John Barry through the sixties, from his relatively minor involvement with Dr No (but what huge future significance!), to the wonderful incidental music of From Russia With Love, the iconic and glitteringly brittle Goldfinger, the muscular Thunderball, the soaring and contemplative You Only Live Twice - all building up to what for me is the peak of the Bond series (pun half intended), OHMSS.

OHMSS combined a pulsating main theme with a beautiful song which, relieved of main theme duty, could properly reflect the relationship between Bond and Tracy. The incidental music benefits from the Alpine setting and a genuinely tense story.

Diamonds Are Forever trots the globe with an especially American slant and for me is the last of the truly great Bond scores. Live and Let Die knocks on that door but doesn't quite get through it, and Man With the Golden Gun marks the end of the 1960s style of score. The Spy Who Loved Me was, for me, trying too hard to be archetypal (as was Die Another Day decades later) with the first weak song but some memorable score. Moonraker marked a change in direction with a more integrated symphonic score and a generally slower tempo that would mark Barry's next couple of scores. Conti's intervening effort on For Your Eyes Only was actually a lot of fun and in my opinion is often unfairly dismissed as disco froth. Barry returned with his new type of Bond score for Octopussy and A View to a Kill, perhaps reflecting the more stately performance required by Roger Moore's antiquity.

Barry returned for The Living Daylights with a new energy to mark Dalton's feisty Bond, and although there are a couple of great songs, I personally don't much care for the drum loop underpinning of the action music. As I've said before, I'd swap this mid-80s Barry score for another mid-70s Barry score. Dalton's other outing, Licence to Kill, was poorly treated on disc and is still awaiting a release that fairly reflects Kamen's score as it appears in the film.

Serra's Goldeneye is another score that is unfairly treated in my view. It makes an effort to be different (which I personally value) and largely succeeds in pushing Bond into the new Brosnan era after such a long delay after LTK.

David Arnold's scores for Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day are very enjoyable, but I'm afraid they aren't sufficiently different from each other to reach the heights of Barry's greatness. Even the titles keep the beat with each other. John Barry gave every Bond film its own identity while making it clear that it was still a series. I believe this to be unique in a film series, definitely at this high level. Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace raised Arnold's game a notch and Thomas Newman is generally felt to have succeeded with Skyfall, but I'll only be able to judge it properly by assessing how he does for the next one. If he produces Skyfall 2 I'll be slightly disappointed, but a new direction will elevate both in my estimation. You can't hurry in developing an opinion about something as significant as a Bond score (in our little world!)

A footnote about two other oddities - 1967's Casino Royale is typical Bacharach, playful and enjoyable but ultimately disposable, and Legrand's jazzy Never Say Never Again, like Goldeneye, is generally undervalued.

Having this whole world yet to be discovered should be one of the great joys of being a young fan of film music, and I hope the OP finds as much to enjoy in it as I have over the last 40 or so years.

TG

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2014 - 2:14 AM   
 By:   Batmusicfan   (Member)

I think the Barry scores are the best, but Live and Let Die and For You Eyes Only do spark something in me. I find cool tracks on all the soundtracks, like "Bond '77" on TSWLM and "Backseat driver" on TND.

BTW, I saw on Amazon a Dr. No release and a FRWL release expanded editions. They sound like someone held a microphone up to their TV's speakers to record the extra tracks, but hey---at least someone is trying to get the entire soundtracks out there.

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D06TJ6W/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2M4HSOPK5VDIO&coliid=I2E02CUVEWPDSW

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009R4KWGW/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=2M4HSOPK5VDIO&coliid=I2TS3P7SL6Z4B0

John

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2014 - 2:31 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

...
For a determined rookie with the time and money to do it, I'd say the best way would be to do it chronologically, ...
TG


Excellent Executive Summary, TG, ... even if I don't wholly agree with it! smile

Mitch

 
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