Sounds Orchestral

Sounds Orchestral Meet James Bond

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Compared to other James Bond soundtrack adaptations, such as Count Basie's Basie Meets Bond, Sounds Orchestral's album is a lot tamer and more predictable, and overall less inventive, being more in the realm of pure orchestral pop than virtuoso swing; it's also a little bit different from most of the competition, in that only half of the material here is derived directly from either John Barry or Monty Norman's music for the movies -- the rest is original material by arranger Dennis Farnon, pianist Johnny Pearson, or a certain P. Miller, inspired by the literary characters to which their titles refer, such as "Blues for Pussy," "Mr. Oddjob," or "Kissy Suzuki" -- those originals are, in several instances, more interesting than the adaptations of existing music; Barry's "007 Theme," for example, hardly benefits from its treatment here as a bizarre, piano-driven habanera that sounds more like the main title theme from North by Northwest. The use of sound effects such as gunshots, car crashes, or drinks being poured as lead-ins to many of the tracks doesn't help, either, removing what relatively little subtlety there was in this record. Bond completists will probably have to own it, but most of the rest of us can safely miss this relatively uninspired recording.

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