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Not good enough, Bond
on 5 February 2014
I suppose the tunes are good enough, but I don't enjoy them as much as I did as a teenager going through The James Bond Collection, a wonderful double album that covered all the films from Dr No to Diamonds Are Forever. Mind you, in the late 1970s that was the closest you got to watching the movies, as video and DVDs were yet to be invented. Still, that LP did have lots of wonderful black and white photos from the films, there is nothing like that with this CD.
There is barely a second before we plunge from one song into another; no time to savour the aftertaste of a track. It's not really easy listening, more uneasy listening. After a while you put it on pause to gather your thoughts a bit. You'll know the songs, but there is a falling off around the late 1980s, starting with License to Kill they all become mock Bond tunes rather than the real deal, and you could say the same of the films themselves. I don't care for Skyfall (which isn't included here anyway) but Craig's tunes aren't too great to my ears generally.
Disc 2 sucks, why oh why start with Dr No's Fantasy, a sort of sub John Barry hipster tune by Monty Norman? I have seen the film countless times and cannot recall this rubbish jingle. Perhaps it comes from a deleted scene in which criminal mastermind No dreams about being in early 60s Soho London, mixing it with jazz boys, strippers and the foxy Christine Keeler, rather than being stuck out on Crab Key island where you can't even find a decent coffee bar. Still, perhaps invite that cool Londoner round for dinner, after all, what could go wrong?
There are plenty of better Bond soundtrack cues than the ones selected here, these fail to deliver any kind of narrative or atmosphere. Why pick Bill Conti's tacky track from FYEO when even his Runaway (from the ski chase) is better? Surely Bond 77 is a great disco song from TSWLM that should be featured? With two or three exceptions, these tracks are a hopeless compilation that put you off the whole thing, Even for a fiver, I feel a bit cheated!
Oh, and why have the track listings upside down so you have to flip the CD over - just another annoyance!