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Keeping the british end up sir !
on 13 April 2011
The Spy who loved me's score is usually ranked at the bottom of the heap in the list of Bond scores,whilst that criticism in reality may be slightly too harsh it doesn't rank amongst the sterling work of John Barry and the new scores by David Arnold in really showcasing the Bond sound. After scoring "The man with the golden gun", John Barry declined to score TSWLM as he was now a tax exile living in the U.S. and couldn't commit the necessary time in the U.K to work on the movie without being penalised by the British government. Cubby Broccoli and United Artists subsequently asked respected songwriter and composer Marvin Hamlisch to score the movie and whist Hamlisch's score may not for the most part be particularly noteworthy or Bond-esq it does have one or two moments of quality.
The title song "Nobody does it better" Performed by Carly Simon is easily one of the all time top Bond theme tunes reaching the top 10 in both the UK and U.S and is still today one of the most popular Bond theme's played on the radio.
As for the score itself - the one track that is worth the price of the CD alone for most would be the groovy and disco-fied "Bond 77" with it's Bee gee's esq disco beat and liberal use of the Bond theme throughout it's easy to see why this has been so popular over the years, yes it sounds dated ( this was made in 1977 afterall when Disco was huge!) but it's so ruddy infectious you'll have it in your brain all day long!
Elsewhere "Rise to atlantis" is a nice piece with it's haunting synthesiser melody and "Anya" which i believe was not used in the film in the end, is another pleasant slower number. More traditional orchestral sounds can be heard in tracks like "The Tanker" and are more Barry-esq but lacking the magic and mood Barry so often created for serious dramatic numbers.
I have all the bond scores on CD and this one is probably like many people one of my least favourites, i could only really recommend you buy this for the title song and Bond 77 as there is little else to really get too excited about.
The remastering though is one of the better one's in the Bond remasters series with crystal clear sound and good bass and for such as cheap price now a Bond fan or soundtrack collector deserves to have this sitting on their shelf.