John Barry

Thunderball [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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James Bond goes under the sea to find his man, and composer John Barry obliges with an aquatically cool yet subtly powerful soundtrack. Barry made his first big mark with an equally wonderful backdrop to Bond's earlier From Russia With Love and Goldfinger adventures. It had been Barry's intent to give Shirley Bassey -- who'd scored big with "Goldfinger" -- a second go-around with a Bond movie song, but the producers' decision to change the song resulted in Tom Jones getting the title song, devised by Barry at the last moment. He lends the "Thunderball" vocal theme a well-gauged mix of pelvic thrust and serious drama. The rest of the set -- including another update of the "007" theme and an instrumental take on what was originally to be the vocal feature, "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" -- is all pure ingenuity and layered drama. To a lot of people, it was all a little too drenched in reverb and a little too much of the same music repeated; this may have been a result of the fact that Barry was so late finishing the score, that only music from the first half of the movie was represented on the soundtrack LP.

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