John Barry

On Her Majesty's Secret Service [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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John Barry's best score for any James Bond movie -- including the best song ("We Have All the Time in the World") ever written for any movie in the series -- is reasonably well represented on this CD. Barry had already begun adding more diverse and complex orchestral pieces to his underscoring and greater lyricism to his songs with the preceding movie, You Only Live Twice, and he continued the process with On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The serious nature of its plot, however, and the unique mood of the movie, dictated that almost an entirely new score be devised: the brassy "007 Theme," which had appeared in three prior films, was absent, and the "James Bond Theme" was re-arranged. Barry also wrote one of his longest and most easily embellished action themes (heavily featuring the synthesizer, an instrument new to film scores), and dressed it up with a string section playing running scales that is startling to hear in stereo, with the discreet separation of the orchestral parts. And then there was "We Have All the Time in the World," the best song ever written for the Bond series; a serious, poignant love song that underscores the doomed romance between Bond and Tracy (Diana Rigg), it was sung by Louis Armstrong in what proved to be the jazz legend's final recording session. Astonishingly, the song was originally only a successful single in Italy, although it did become a hit in England 30 years later in connection with its use in a British television advertisement for Guinness. The music has since become one of the most popular elements of this film, which, with George Lazenby as its star, stands apart from both the Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond movies. [On Her Majesty's Secret Service was reissued in 2003 with bonus tracks.]

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