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  • Dr No
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In 1962, James Bond hit the silver screen in `Dr. No', and was an instant hit. This also introduced the James Bond theme, perhaps the most famous theme tune on the planet. Music was a large part of the film's success, and it is a real pleasure to be able to get this innovative soundtrack on CD.

I say innovative, because it really is. The music splits into three types, firstly Jamaican calypsos to let the viewer know that the film is set there. These are well written, and especially with Kingston Calypso, they have fun lyrics. Then there is the big orchestral music that lets the viewer know that this is an action film and big heroics are happening on the screen. Finally there is the mood setting music, the dark and intense themes that unsettle the listener. These are the innovative sections. Using electric guitars and distortion effects almost unheard of at the time, Monty Norman really explored the realms of what could be achieved with the instrument. In the wake of Hendrix and Page, these seem trivial today, but in the early sixties these sounds had never been heard before. But it is not experimentation for the sake of it, Norman really does manage to deliver moody tracks that add so much atmosphere to the film. Listen to `Jamacian Rock', `Audio Bongo' and `The Island Speaks' to hear what I mean. The tracks sound a lot like what fellow innovator Link Wray was producing at the time.

Like all great soundtracks this can be listened to without having seen the film first, and much pleasure can still be got from it. There is no dialogue from the film, which is a bit of a pity. The sound is crystal clear, and has been nicely remastered. There is a short essay which is a disappointment. It discusses the film and does not mention the music. There are no details of performers other than a mention of the guitar soloist. I feel this lets the set down a bit.

So, a classic and innovative score of interest to all lovers of guitar based jazz and early rock. Recommended.
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on 20 September 2000
This soundtrack can be considered as a good starter for the series, if not one of the high points like On Her Majesty's Secret Service or The Living Daylights. The "James Bond Theme" is a timeless classic, so little needs to be said there... but what of the rest? Many of the songs are given a distinctly local flavour, such as "Under The Mango Tree" (its three versions) and "Jump Up", performed by the local Byron Lee Band which remains as popular in the Caribbean today as it did forty years ago. Others are simply pieces orchestrated to add effect, such as "The Boy's Chase".
Overall, compared to the later work done by John Barry, this seems timid and marginally dated... the electric guitar days were much better!
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on 16 October 2013
This first in the James Bond 007 movies, featuring in the cover Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in the same way of the classical statue: 'Cupid and Psyche', is not only a pioneer in the Secret Agent's series, but includes an OST with songs that may be considered in the roots of such hits as Bob Marley and Soca, For sure you'll enjoy it!
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on 25 February 2009
This is a lovely collection of music even though a lot of the songs were not actually used in the film. I love the Jamaican themes and I don't see what people have got against this soundtrack. An improvement would be to include the themes from when James Bond was nearly bitten by the tarantula, but overall great music.'
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on 5 July 2012
Apart from the James Bond Theme, the whole albums basically Jamacan music but dont be put off its excellent. The fidelity of the time is shown up on modern players but it only adds o its charm. Audio Bongo is basically a filler and the only duff track, it may well have fitted the film but just makes up time here.
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on 10 July 2011
This soundtrack is worth it's place in history if only for the James Bond Theme but there is more. Unlike the following, Barry instrumental dominated soundtracks, this one has local influenced tracks with vocals to capture the energy of the Carribean. Calypso, twists and plenty of bongoes the feel is very much different from the later strings and brass which became the
Bond / Barry sound. Comes with a nice booklet with extensive liner notes and photos.
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on 20 October 2014
Unless you are a Bond nut then don't bother, this is not the best soundtrack. Goldfinger or O.H.M.S.S. are way better
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on 3 July 2001
It must be remembered that this recording reflects both used and un-used music, and many of the pieces reflect the darkness and somewhat stark nature of this film. Add to this the Monty Norman credit on the Bond theme {this dubious credit should have been retracted long ago} and you have an entertaining and mildly controversial treat.
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on 8 June 2016
Fantastic mixture of classic 007 with some Caribbean music.
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The very best music
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