on 4 April 2003
Over years, EMI UK sold only a terrible-sounding, about 15 years old soundtrack album to this Bond classic. Even my LP sounded much better! Now EMI has done, what we've been waiting for.
The sound quality has been improved drastically (really digitally remastered!) and the album has now almost three times of the duration of the original one.
Not only the missing tracks that were featured on the limited 30TH Anniversary 2 CD box set have been included, but also some never-before heard recordings!
My only recommandation is, that you should throw your old EMI CD to the waste and just enjoy this one.
on 13 April 2003
Thunderball is one of Barry's best Bond scores. This soundtrack album includes previously omitted material and has benefited from light handed remastering. The result is that Barry's evocative music can be heard in full for the first time, while still capturing the sense that the recording was made in the mid sixties at the height of bond mania. Barry's score very effectively underpins the action of the film and is fresh, vibrant and cutting edge- reflecting the originality of the Bond films at the time. The underwater music is superb and the whole album is taught and suspenseful. The belting title song is one of the best and is delivered with real aplomb by Tom Jones.
One of the real strengths of the early Bond films, and I firmly believe a vital factor that helped make them such a success, was the film scores. And Thunderball, Bond's fourth on screen outing, was no exception. I would go so far as to say that I consider the score to be superior to the film itself.
The music is wonderfully evocative. Usually dark and suspenseful, hinting at the dark forces surrounding Bond that he is unaware of, and occasionally breaking out into a more sweeping and up tempo theme as the film erupts into sudden violence.
The Thunderball theme (track 7, not the theme song) is a beautiful piece of orchestral jazz, the motif itself is malleable and recurs throughout the CD to suggest various moods. Just listen to how it sounds in track 8, `Death Of Fiona', as it is made more uptempo to suit the nightclub setting, building to a crescendo then suddenly stopping and returning to the light theme as the deed is done. It's fascinating how one simple theme can be used to say so much.
Famous for its underwater sequences, there are several themes for this which have been cleverly orchestrated to suggest that you are hearing the orchestra from under water. It's subtly done, just a suggestion, and works beautifully.
It's a most evocative soundtrack that not only suits the action and sets the tone perfectly, but is eminently listenable in isolation from the film, he sign of a truly great soundtrack.
The score also boasts a belting vocal from Tom Jones, which rivals Matt Monroe's `From Russia With Love' as one of my favourite Bond theme songs.
This CD release contains 6 previously tracks that bring the album length to an impressive 79 minutes. They fix the omission of the famous Gunbarrel theme from the original album, and in general really add to the album. The sound is clear and sharp, the remastering is a treat. There is a short booklet with some notes about the film and music, and a few stills from the film.
A great release of a great album.
on 25 March 2015
For many people the soundtrack to sixties Britain was the Beatles and the Stones. But for me it’s got to be John Barry. His movie soundtracks from the period exude style, class, glamour and sophistication. Thunderball is one of his best. Released in 1965, Thunderball is one of two classic John Barry soundtracks from that year. The other, The Ipcress File, is equally evocative of the times. Thunderball is everything that a James Bond soundtrack should be. It’s loud and in your face from the start. John Barry pulls out all the stops with his trademark screaming brass section contrasting brilliantly with the dream-like flutes used for the underwater sequences. It’s become well known that the theme song was changed at the last minute from Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang to the more familiar eponymous title song by Tom Jones. This leaves us with a unique soundtrack that uses not one but two John Barry themes as the basis for the score. Sadly, the vocal version of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is not included here (check out The Very Best of James Bond if you want to hear it) but the instrumental is possibly the best track on the album. There’s a new version of the Barry’s 007 theme here that is much better than the original on From Russia With Love. The extended version of the soundtrack includes a number of tracks not available on the original vinyl release.
Four stars for Thunderball. Put this on, close your eyes and imagine that you are in the best casino in the Bahamas with a vodka martini in one hand and the gorgeous but deadly Fiona Volpe by your side.
on 21 December 2013
When someone mentions "James Bond music", THIS IS IT. One-stop, look no further - the sexy horns, the lush orchestrations, tense strings, chilling undersea woodwinds, pelting percussions, atmospheric guitars... 007 atmosphere at 100% strength. End of message.
When the entire James Bond musical catalogue turned up on remastered CD in 2003 - many fans got excited under their immaculately groomed tuxedos - quietly pawing their wallets in Soundtrack glee. I was one of those nerds and was/still am - giddily proud of it. I immediately ran out and purchased 1964’s “Goldfinger” and 1971’s “Diamonds Are Forever” on 2003 CDs - and this – for me the big daddy of them all – 1967’s “You Only Live Twice” – so brilliantly scored by the mighty JOHN BARRY.
With those under my belt - I started hoovering up these brilliant discs - and 1965's "Thunderball" was the next obvious purchase. Also laden with a heap of primo previously unreleased material made available for the first time here (most of it better than what was released) - it's all remastered to perfection by DOUG SCHWARTZ at Mulholland Music from original tapes (79 minutes playing time). Bit of a no brainer really. Here are the jet packs...
UK released March 2003 (February 2003 in the USA) - "Thunderball (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)" on EMI Capitol 00724358058925 (Barcode 724358058925) breaks down as follows (79:06 minutes):
1. Thunderball – Main Title (Vocal Tom Jones)
2. Chateau Flight
3. The Spa
4. Switching The Body
5. The Bomb
6. Café Martinique
7. Thunderball [Side 2]
8. Death of Fiona
9. Bond Below Disco Volante
10. Search For Vulcan
12. Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Tracks 1 to 12 are the album "Thunderball: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" - released December 1965 in the UK on United Artists ULP 1110 (Mono) and United Artists SULP 1171 (Stereo) and in the USA on United Artists UAL 4132 (Mono) and United Artists UAS 5132(Stereo). The Stereo mix is used throughout.
PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BONUS TRACKS:
13. Gunbarrel/Traction Table/Gassing The Plane/Car Chase
14. Bond Meets Domino/Shark Tank/Lights Out For Paula/For King And Country
15. Street Chase
16. Finding The Plane/Underwater Ballet/Bond With Spectre Frogmen/Letter To The Rescue/Bond Joins Underwater Battle
17. Underwater Mayhem/Death Of Largo/End Titles
18. Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Mono)
The 10-page booklet has affectionate, witty and informative liner notes from JEFF BOND (no relation) with Page 5 being a double foldout sporting an array of colour stills from the movie. We get former Miss France – the beautiful Claudia Auger in varying swimsuits (what a nice surprise for James), Italian actress Luciana Paluzzi as Fiona and Martine Beswick as Paula (oddly enough also in a bikini) with the eye-patched Adolfo Celi as the evil Spectre head-honcho lording it over a bevvy of lovelies and hungry sharks on board his super yacht – the Disco Volante.
But the big news here is the SOUND. Like all the other 007 remasters in this full-on series – the AUDIO on this CD is utterly glorious. When the Tom Jones theme comes blasting in on that huge clump of brass instruments and thumping kettledrums – your speakers may want to run for cover. Don’t get me wrong. The music isn’t amped up or trebled for effect – its just 'there' – clear and powerful and dripping with that John Barry 60ts magic. "So he strikes! Like Thunderball!" roars the Welsh boyo with a set of lungs designed to level housing blocks. But from that you get Barry's beautifully atmosphere "Chateau Flight" – all those plucked strings where you can just see the creeping double-agents and the fisticuffs that will ensue.
“Café Martinique” is silky and smooth land immaculate like Sean Connery’s Saville Row tailoring – shimmying along on its beautifully orchestrated string arrangements. The almost boppy “Death Of Fiona” makes you think of the scene at the restaurant when he deposits a dead body in a chair. Better is the fab four-minutes of “Bond Below Disco Volante” – slinky strings building to that moment of danger. And the Audio is awesome...
As if the Soundtrack itself isn't the Georgie Best - you're hit with a wad of Previously Unreleased material from the original film that's been in the can for 40 years too long. The four-part "Gunbarrel etc" lasts just over four minutes and includes that cool 007 refrain bookended by brass and frantic strings as Bond scraps his way out death’s clutches. The second extra "Bond Meets Domino etc." is twice as long at 8:18 minutes and will thrill aficionados with its interwoven Bahamas-rhythms - quickly followed by all that under-watery strong music as James goes snooping round someone’s shellfish. Real 007 freaks will love the fact that "Street Chase" contains what many consider to be Barry's most magnificent moment - often simply called '007' - it's incorporated into the song to great effect. The near 10-minutes "Finding The Plane etc" is the same - gorgeous music that will make you swoon and sway and drag out that fully restored BLU RAY and sit there in your tuxedo and martini (yeah baby).
You remember when Bond was fun, fruity and full of fab gadgets you wanted to stab the school-bully with - well then 1965’s "Thunderball" on CD is your jet-propelled poison. Barry would go on to his two masterpieces - 1967's "You Only Live Twice" and 1969's "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" - and I can't be rational about either.
“Thunderball” is a fabulous CD Remaster and presently priced at less than five post-Brexit bent pound coins. You go James...