Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
James Bonds Greatest Hits
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Where it all started...
Stefan Huber | Bischofstetten Austria | 10/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No, the title of this review does not mean, that this is the first album of Bond music ever issued (in fact, hundred of other albums had preceded), but it is rather a personal statement. I remember myself standing in front of the soundtrack shelf at a local Virgin outlet and trying to get an overview about the Bond albums for just 10 bucks. Finally, this was the first Bond CD that made it into my CD Player. As John Barry may have written both, classical and pop soundtracks (and his Bond works are somehow an in-between), it may not always seem clear, in which way his music should be arranged. But first of all, let me mention, that the fact, that this recording is performed by a symphony orchestra, does not mean, that this is a classical interpretation of Barry & Co's themes. John Cacavas (best known for his work for the "Columbo" television series and obviously the only composer whose "Columbo" music ever made it to a CD) perfectly mixes up different elements of John Barry's various variations of a single theme. The album starts up with one of the finest symphonic interpretations of the "James Bond Theme" around (somehow ironically, this is one of the only CDs which lists JB as the composer of this theme). A somehow less sensational version of "Thunderball" (the recording does not really capture the exotic setting of the movie) is followed by a strong, but symphonic, version of "Goldfinger". Then we get to hear four of the finest selections on the album: a symphonically-flavoured "From Russia In Love", a sensational version of "Diamonds Are Forever" (at the beginning of this recording you can really hear the diamonds glittering), an outstanding pop-influenced version of "You Only Live Twice" (which may better fit to Billy Strange's arrangement of the title song than to Barry's original arrangement) and finally a smooth "The Look Of Love". "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" does not feature the synthesizer of the original recording, but makes one of the most exciting symphonic action cues ever heard. Cacavas also does fine work in adapting the two pop songs "The Man With The Golden Gun" and "Live And Let Die" for a symphony orchestra. Of particular interest are the various tempo changes in LALD. "Moonraker" perfectly captures the mysterious mood of the movie and the great "Nobody Does It Better" and its jazzy trumpet solo may even be preferred over the Hamlisch album version. "All Time High" somehow gets a samba treatment and opens the door for the only Bond song ever to receive an Academy Award: "For Your Eyes Only". And it is this recording, that has been arranged by the composer himself, Bill Conti. Interestingly, the orchestra for this recording is joined by Derek Watkins, who played the flugelhorn on the original "For Your Eyes Only" recording. What can I say more about this great album? My edition of this is titled "007 Classics" and this perfectly captures the content featured here. It gives you an impression about how great Bond music was before David Arnold came in. Although my collection meanwhile has 50 Bond albums (and uncountable related albums by artists who performed or composed music for Bond movies), this one is still among my favorites!"