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COLLECTING 007 – UK Records
WRITTEN & COMPILED BY KEVIN HARPER

OFF THE RECORD

Every James Bond film from Dr. No (1962) to Licence To Kill (1989) had its original soundtrack recording released as a 33rpm 12" Long Playing Record. Beginning with the release of GoldenEye (1995) the soundtracks were only issued on Compact Disc. The resurgence in the popularity of vinyl records in recent years has resulted in the re-release of several classic James Bond soundtracks in this format, with the track listings identical to the original version.

You Only Live Twice original motion picture soundtrack/John Barry

Although the title song for each film had been issued as a 45rpm 7" single by the artistes own recording label, contractually their performance was also included on the soundtrack LP as the opening track. All James Bond soundtracks up until For Your Eyes Only (1981) were released by United Artists Records. Subsequent soundtracks have been issued by the title artistes own record label. The double-sided LP format also dictated the track listing of the album, with side two usually opening with an instrumental version of the main theme, or another song featured in the film. LP's were also restricted to a playing time of around 45-minutes over the two sides and the inclusion/omission of some tracks from some scores became a source of debate among fans for many years. It was only in the 40th anniversary year of James Bond in the cinema that remastered extended Compact Disc versions of the soundtracks were released. Lukas Kendall's groundbreaking 2002 series of James Bond soundtracks issued by Capitol-EMI restored many of the missing tracks, and in some cases doubled the length of the original album. Contractually the track listings for the original part of the album remained the same, with bonus tracks appearing at the end of the programme. Some album tracks were also expanded or adapted from their original release but retained their relative place in the listing. Until the release of the expanded CD's the James Bond soundtracks available on vinyl record were the closest thing to owning the film in the days before VHS videotape and DVD's. For many fans the soundtrack albums remain an integral part of the James Bond experience and collectible items in their own right.

UK 33rpm 12" Long Playing Records

The soundtrack LP's for the first five James Bond films were issued in both mono and stereo versions but the only difference to the record sleeve was a different catalogue number and revised lettering. Collectors should note that the US LP releases of Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice originally had a different track listing to their UK counterparts. The UK LP omitted John Barry's jazz instrumental version of the main theme although this did appear on the 7" EP. The US LP of Goldfinger included the jazz instrumental but omitted the tracks ‘Golden Girl’, ‘Death of Tilly’, ‘The Laser Beam’ and ‘Pussy Galore's Flying Circus’. The US LP of You Only Live Twice featured Nancy Sinatra's reprise of the title song as the last track of the album, whereas the UK version replaced this with John Barry's ‘Twice Is The Only Way To Live’. The 2002 Capitol-EMI remastered CD's restored all these missing tracks.

Licence To Kill (1989) marked the last time a James Bond original soundtrack have its first release issued as a vinyl LP until the long-awaited No Time To Die (2021). All subsequent films have had their albums released exclusively on compact disc with the title song artistes releasing their own CD singles, padded out with remixes and redundant extended versions of the title song. Although all James Bond title themes have been released as a 7" singles since 1989; these were not all commercially available, and frequently only supplied as promotional copies.

Dr. No Original Motion Picture Sound Track Album

Dr. No Original Motion Picture Sound Track Album rear sleeve

Dr. No Original Motion Picture Sound Track Album
United Artists Records ULP 1097 Mono (1962)
United Artists Records SULP 1097 Stereo (1962)

From Russia With Love Sound Track

From Russia With Love Sound Track rear sleeve

From Russia With Love Sound Track
United Artists Records ULP 1052 Mono (1963)
United Artists Records SULP 1052 Stereo (1963)

Goldfinger Original Motion Picture Score

Goldfinger Original Motion Picture Score rear sleeve

Goldfinger Original Motion Picture Score
United Artists Records ULP 1076 Mono (1964)
United Artists Records SULP 1076 Stereo (1964)

 

Thunderball Original Motion Picture Score

Thunderball Original Motion Picture Score rear sleeve

Thunderball Original Motion Picture Score
United Artists Records ULP 1110 Mono (1965)
United Artists Records SULP 1110 Stereo (1965)

 
You Only Live Twice Original Soundtrack Recording

You Only Live Twice Original Soundtrack Recording rear sleeve

You Only Live Twice Original Soundtrack Recording
United Artists Records ULP 1171 Mono (1967)
United Artists Records SULP 1171 Stereo (1967)

On Her Majesty's Secret Service Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

On Her Majesty's Secret Service Original Motion Picture Soundtrack  rear sleeve

On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
United Artists Records UAS 29020 Stereo (1969)

The original UK pressing featured a gatefold sleeve with an illustration of George Lazenby as James Bond by Yves Thos

Diamonds Are Forever Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Diamonds Are Forever Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

Diamonds Are Forever
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
United Artists Records UAS 29216 Stereo (1971)

Live And Let Die Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Live And Let Die Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

Live And Let Die
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
United Artists Records UAS 29475 Stereo (1973)

 

The Man With The Golden Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Man With The Golden Gun Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

The Man With The Golden Gun
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
United Artists Records UAS 29671 Stereo (1974)

The Spy Who Loved Me Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Spy Who Loved Me Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

The Spy Who Loved Me
Original Motion Picture Score
United Artists Records UAG 30098 Stereo (1977)

The original UK pressing featured a gatefold sleeve
with a selection of stills from the film

Moonraker Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Moonraker Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

Moonraker
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
United Artists Records UAG 30247 Stereo (1979)

 

For Your Eyes Only Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

For Your Eyes Only Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

For Your Eyes Only
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Liberty Records LBG 30337 Stereo (1981)

 

Octopussy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Octopussy Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

Octopussy
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
A&M Records AMLX 64967 Stereo (1983)

 
A View To A Kill Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

A View To A Kill Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

A View To A Kill
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Parlophone ‎064 24 0349 1 Stereo (1985)

 

The Living Daylights Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Living Daylights Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

The Living Daylights
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Warner Bros Records WX 111 Stereo (1987)

 

Licence To Kill Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Licence To Kill Original Motion Picture Soundtrack rear sleeve

Licence To Kill
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
MCA Records MCG 6051 Stereo (1989)

 

Original soundtrack?
Although the James Bond albums always bear the words ‘Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [or Score]’ this is not actually the case. As with all motion picture recordings, the music heard in the film is usually different to that which appears on the soundtrack album. Two separate sessions usually take place; one where the music that the director, composer and film editor have spotted, timed and chosen for the final sound mix is recorded, and another session often with different musicians when the soundtrack album recordings are performed. Some soundtrack album recordings often combined several different tracks for a more pleasurable listening experience, omitting many of the shorter cues which only appear in the film as brief punctuation to a scene, or to support the action on screen. Composers themselves will sometimes create album versions of certain music tracks that bear little resemblance to what appeared in the film. Other tracks are combined into suites, or cross-faded to create a new hybrid track.

The Spy Who Loved Me soundtrack album poster

For the release of the expanded and remastered James Bond compact discs issued by Capitol-EMI in 2002, producer Lukas Kendall in most instances had access  to the recording session master tapes, and was able to include many pieces not used on the original soundtrack album. Several cues, most notably the gunbarrel sequences, have been restored to their rightful place at the start of many tracks and most films now have this iconic piece of music included on the compact disc version of the soundtrack album. Other tracks such as the opening of ‘A Drop In the Ocean’ from You Only Live Twice and ‘Moon Buggy Ride’ from Diamonds Are Forever, now have additional passages of music included.

Perhaps the most frustrating James Bond soundtrack release is The Spy Who Loved Me composed by Marvin Hamlisch. As the soundtrack album is a re-recording, many tracks sound very different to how they appeared in the film, whilst others are unique to the LP. Even the great Bernard Herrmann, who re-recorded his own Psycho score several times, could never replicate the ferocity and tempo of the original film recording sessions. Although the Bond LP's are now for the most part greatly expanded from their original release, and appear on compact disc in vastly superior sound quality to the earlier releases, many audiophiles are returning to the long playing record format, and several soundtracks have been reissued on vinyl in recent years. Naturally the LP format means fewer tracks, but sometimes less is more. Many classic albums have a much better listening experience in their shorter version than those expansions with every single note of music placed in the correct running order. The recent expanded re-releases of David Arnold's The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day from US label LaLaLand Records have everything fans could possibly want and more, now spread across two CD's. Although the master tapes for The Man With The Golden Gun do exist and were available to Lukas Kendall in 2002, there were insufficient funds remaining to complete the project and they went back on the shelf. Who knows? Maybe one day we'll see further expanded remastered James Bond CD's, as there is still much unreleased music from the earlier films that deserves to be heard.

Read the full fascinating
story behind the album regarded by some music
critics as the
finest-sounding
LP of all time!

 

There is one James Bond record however that always stood head and shoulders above all else, and whose sound quality on vinyl made it one of the most sought-after recordings of all time. The film is the one that most fans prefer to forget, but who can forget the outstanding quality of the music? It can only be 1967's Casino Royale - the film that was too much for one James Bond!

Tijuana-What Brass!

   

UK EP's and Compilation albums

US Soundtrack albums


FACT FILES INDEX

 

FACT FILES The James Bond Films