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on 10 November 2015
This is the only Bond music compilation you will ever need, and the main reason is simply because it collates all of the NON-commercial tracks alongside the popular Bond movie themes, which everyone knows and already loves. Essentially, the genius of John Barry and his Orchestra is given full exposure here and this is what makes this compilation far better than any other equivalent.

Despite what some reviewers are saying due to it's release date (2012), this collection is NOT worse off for missing recent movie themes such as Adele's "Skyfall". The reason is because many of these recent themes have lost their way anyway. Anything from Tina Turner's "GoldenEye" onwards are tacky, cliché and play to a predictable commercial formula, with perhaps Madonna's Die "Another Day" at the bottom of that pile. The only exception is Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name", which at least incorporates some Bond melodies but with a heavier and original edge.

Go, instead, back in time to the original Bond themes on disc 1 of this 2-part set (23 tracks on disc 1; 27 tracks on disc 2)and you will see exactly what I mean. "From Russia With Love", "You Only Live Twice", "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" are all classics in their own musical right, all underpinned by John Barry's superb orchestration. Focusing on Barry and his single-handed creation of "spy genre music" for a moment, pick out "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" on disc 1, then on disc 2 "007", "Switching the Body" and "Capsule in Space". For those that remember Propellerheads and David Arnold's excellent rendition of the former and the latter themes, mixed together in the 90s, these are the origin points for these great ideas. (Arnold's "Vesper" and "Time to Get Out" from Casino Royale are both included here on disc 2, as is Moby's "James Bond Theme Re-Version"). All of the motifs we associate with Bond movies today come from these great musical interludes, and it is for that reason that the emphasis on John Barry on disc 2 makes this the better of the 2 discs in the set.

Topping the list of well-known themes on disc 1, however, must be "Licence to Kill" by the spectacular Gladys Knight, closely followed by Carly Simon's "Nobody Does it Better" and Lulu's "Man with the Golden Gun". One benefit to the listener of the 50-year popularity of Bond movies is that the accompanying music tracks popular trends over time. "Live and Let Die" by Wings and "The Man with the Golden Gun" show distinct 70s undercurrents, whilst you are slammed right into the 80s with Duran Duran's "View to a Kill" and A-Ha's "The Living Daylights".

I could continue heaping on further praise for this compilation, but for approximately £5 plus postage from your pocket money, you can find this all out for yourselves.
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on 17 October 2012
So, there's a new Bond film due out, and we have another Best of Bond collection to "celebrate" 50 years of Bond, although you'd hardly know it. Disc 1 is much as you'd expect - all the main title themes, with Goldeneye and LTK appearing in their single versions and a different version of Casino Royale to that on the original single.

On to Disc 2. With it being the 50th Anniversary, there would have been no better opportunity to include some of the wealth of Bond music that has never been released before on any format, let alone CD. Sadly, there is nothing new here. Disc 2 is just a bizarre, random collection of widely available tracks taken from the soundtrack albums, some of which can hardly be called the "Best Of Bond".

This is a strange collection, clearly put together as a last-minute rush-job with no thought or effort - the Bond fans who don't want the soundtrack albums aren't going to be bothered by the incidental music on Disc 2, those that do have the soundtrack albums have these tracks already, so who exactly is this collection aimed at?

The 1992 30th Anniversary Collection was a great example of what they can do when they put some thought into it - a brilliant 2CD set containg all the songs (up to LTK), and previously unreleased demo recordings and Thunderball music on Disc 2, so it is possible. It's just a shame they obviously couldn't be bothered for this release.
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on 7 May 2016
The very popular film adaptations of Ian Fleming’s secret agent novels have created some magical musical moments. Some of them - such as Shirley Bassey’s ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ are camper than a row of pink tents. Others – like Paul McCartney & Wings’ George Martin-produced rocker ‘Live And Let Die’ – are more bombastic than a 21-gun salute. A few of the other choices have managed to reflect the mediocrity of the film they are soundtracking better than any budding Barry Norman or Pauline Kael could. For instance, who would shell out their hard-earned to see Timothy Dalton’s first outing as 007 having heard fresh-faced Norwegians A-Ha plod along to ‘The Living Daylights’?

This 3rd version of Best Of Bond brings together very nearly all of them, up to and including Jack White and Alicia Keyes theme to 2008’s Quantum Of Solace. The omission of Lani Hall’s ‘Never Say Never Again’ - which marked Sean Connery’s return to the lead role in 1983 – won’t have many asking for their money back. But the decision to order the material chronologically draws attention to the fact the preponderance of true classics was in the 1960s and 1970s, and gives the first CD here a decidedly lopsided feel. Who really wants to hold on for Madonna’s ‘Die Another Day’ and Chris Cornell’s ‘You Know My Name’ having already heard Carly Simon’s million-selling ‘Nobody Does It Better’ and Nancy Sinatra’s much-covered ‘You Only Live Twice’?

The second disc of this 50 track, 50th anniversary celebration also has its faults. Though it is blessed with some excellent instrumentals from key Bond composer John Barry it is hard to decipher the programming logic that connects mid-80s Pretenders songs and Moby’s utterly charmless modernisation of the original theme, with Scott Walker’s self-loathing torch song ‘Only Myself To Blame’ and Diana Coupland’s calypso ‘Under The Mango Tree’. Don’t know if the likes of composer Bill Conti's lyrically banal ‘Make It Last All Night’ really live up to the title either.
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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!
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on 19 October 2014
This magnificent CD brings together 37 years of the fantastic music that was brought to us by the James Bond series.

Beginning with the James Bond theme, first played on the first 007 flicks, Dr No (1962), and has graced as background music, in one form or another, most of the subsequent Bond films down the year.

Many of the hits featured on their respective Bond thrillers. This is music from the 1960's, 70's, 80's and 90's at it's very, very best.

My personal favorites include:

Shirley Bassey's luxurious and smooth Goldfinger (1964), with it's opening elephantine trumpets.

The rich and contemplative You Only Live Twice (1967) sung by Nancy Sinatra.

Soft Cell redid an interesting version in the early 1980's.

The closing piece from On Her Majesties Secret Service (1969), " We Have All The Time In The World" sung with great warmth and sincerity by Louis Armstrong.

Live And Let Die (1973), by Paul McCartney, an absolutely magical and enthusing piece in the very best style of that fantastic early 70's rock.

Carly Simon's melody Nobody Does It Better from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Marvin Hamlisch who wrote the song with Carole Bayer Sager explained: " It was time that Bond be pretentious enough and vain enough to have a song written about him."

The rich and haunting Moonraker (1979) by Shirley Bassey.

The sexy and enticing mood setter "For Your Eyes Only" (1981) by Sheena Easton, the only theme song where the singer of the theme song appears on stage. This is because Sheena Easton rivaled the Bond girls in her beauty.

The romantic "All Time High" from Octopussy (1983) by Rita Coolidge.

The energetic "The Living Daylights" (1987) by Ah Ha.

The R&B License To Kill (1989) by Gladys Knight.

And the moody Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) by Sheryl Crowe.

My one and only complaint is that the compilation did not include Three Blind Mice (Calypso), which started off Dr No.
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on 11 December 2014
arrived very quickly - well packed - as described - no hassles -
Ok you know what you are going to get. Or do we? only kidding - actually you can see the evolution of the Bond sound. So much so that I guess people will have their favourite eras like their favourite Bond or Doctor.
Obviously there aren't 40 Bond films (are there?) so some of the tracks are the incidental music - again the changes are audible.
T BBC Philharmonic orchestra and a listener vote as to the best Bond Theme EVER came up with a truly ridiculous winner earlier this year. Possibly because most of the voting audience were too young to remember/ appreciate the breath taking older ones. Well they should buy this, give Disc one a bit a bending and behold a world of style and truly captivating music. Everything musical from a punch in the face to the suavest of melodies. It made my drive home an actual pleasure.
ACID TEST: would I buy it again - Yes
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on 14 September 2016
Dissappointing as not original artists
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on 20 December 2015
A bit disappointed
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on 12 February 2016
This was a Christmas present but was a great album so I bought it for myself too. I had a James Bond collection on cassette years ago (shows how long ago that must have been) so it brought back loads of memories listening to these great songs back to back again. Plus, there are all the new ones that didn't exist when I had my first copy. I was particularly interested in this edition because of the bonus disc with all the incidental music and additional themes, mostly from John Barry. It is brilliant to hear this music in isolation at last in all their sonic splendour.
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on 19 February 2016
I love the Bond Films, so all of these theme tunes are great with the exception of a few which I shall mention later in this review...but other than that I would recommend. The only reason I gave a 4* rating is because a few of the tracks aren't so good. I think its because they don't seem very Bond like. In particular 'The World Is Not Enough' by Garbage and it is Garbage, 'You Know My Name by Chris Cornell', Another Way to Die by Jack White & Alicia Keys...the less said about that the better I think !!!. on the whole not bad.
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