On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) John Barry

Album info



Label: Capitol Records

Genre: Soundtrack

Subgenre: Film

Artist: John Barry

Composer: John Barry

Album including Album cover

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  • 1We Have All the Time In The World03:15
  • 2This Never Happened To The Other Fella04:27
  • 3Try03:26
  • 4Ski Chase02:53
  • 5Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?03:20
  • 6On Her Majesty's Secret Service02:35
  • 7Journey to Blofeld's Hideaway03:28
  • 8We Have All the Time In The World02:59
  • 9Over And Out02:41
  • 10Battle At Piz Gloria04:02
  • 11We Have All the Time In The World/James Bond Theme04:33
  • Total Runtime37:39

Info for On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

John Barry's best score for any James Bond movie -- including the best song ('We Have All the Time in the World') ever written for any movie in the series -- is reasonably well represented on this CD. Barry had already begun adding more diverse and complex orchestral pieces to his underscoring and greater lyricism to his songs with the preceding movie, You Only Live Twice, and he continued the process with On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The serious nature of its plot, however, and the unique mood of the movie, dictated that almost an entirely new score be devised: the brassy '007 Theme,' which had appeared in three prior films, was absent, and the 'James Bond Theme' was re-arranged. Barry also wrote one of his longest and most easily embellished action themes (heavily featuring the synthesizer, an instrument new to film scores), and dressed it up with a string section playing running scales that is startling to hear in stereo, with the discreet separation of the orchestral parts. And then there was 'We Have All the Time in the World,' the best song ever written for the Bond series; a serious, poignant love song that underscores the doomed romance between Bond and Tracy (Diana Rigg), it was sung by Louis Armstrong in what proved to be the jazz legend's final recording session. Astonishingly, the song was originally only a successful single in Italy, although it did become a hit in England 30 years later in connection with its use in a British television advertisement for Guinness. The music has since become one of the most popular elements of this film, which, with George Lazenby as its star, stands apart from both the Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond movies.“ (Bruce Eder, AMG)

„After waiting pretty much forever, a generation of film music fans' dreams came true when EMI finally decided to re-release the James Bond scores in 2003, remastered and sometimes featuring extra music. The original releases were very shoddy. The musical content followed the original albums, which is forgivable, but the sound quality was on the whole terrible, which isn't. On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the sixth outing for Bond, is a paradox of a movie - a pathetic, laughable performance by George Lazenby as Bond is countered by an intelligent and satisfying plot and a great, great score by John Barry.

It was notable as the first movie since the series really found its feet not to feature a title song - well, the title wouldn't really lend itself too well to lyrics - but instead a strident, thrilling instrumental theme by Barry which captured the imagination of a whole generation of fans and in its way sums up not only the sexiness and excitement of the Bond movies of the time, but the sexiness and excitement of life in Britain at the time. Nobody could have done it better than Barry (as has been seen since).

The other main idea in the score is the love theme. The unthinkable happens - Bond gets married, to Diana Rigg, who is then brutally murdered. Somehow Barry and lyricist Hal David managed to sum all this up with the ironically-titled 'We Have All The Time in the World', made all the more poignant by Louis Armstrong's performance, the last he ever gave in a recording studio. Everything about the song is perfect - the beautiful main melody, the brilliant arrangement, the touching lyrics, Armstrong's throaty performance - and it has rightfully become an untouchable standard. It's the best song Barry's ever written - and he's written some good songs in his time. The various instrumental versions on the album are highly-attractive too, not least the previously-unreleased 'Journey to Draco's Hideaway'.

Not entirely clear from the original album is the amount of action music in the score, which can now be corrected. Of course, we were always familiar with 'This Never Happened to the Other Feller' and 'Battle at Piz Gloria', but now these can be joined by things like 'Escape from Piz Gloria' and 'Bobsled Chase'. Another unreleased gem is the suspenseful 'Gumbold's Safe', after which Barry fans have clamoured for years (34 of them to be precise). And finally we get the original version of the gorgeous 'Who Will Buy My Yesterdays?' theme, later released on a Barry compilation, presented here as 'Sir Hillary's Night Out'. Also a joy to hear are the snippets of extra music that have been added to tracks we've heard before, like the gunbarrel music being added to the start of 'This Never Happened to the Other Feller' and so on.

Musically, this release is a dream come true - one of Barry's best scores presented (almost) in its entirety, in crystal-clear sound. Unfortunately, and it pains me to say it, that's where most of the praise for the album must end. In common with the other albums in the re-released series, the unreleased cues are just stuck at the end of the tracks that were released originally. Apparently there are contractual reasons for this (though it does seem odd that nothing other than Bond scores seem to have the problem) but it rather spoils the music. As the album is released, it is very difficult to enjoy that much, so you should make every effort to reprogram it into a more sensible order should you have the facility to do so. Another disappointment is the packaging. Jeff Bond's liner notes give lots of information about the film but barely a couple of paragraphs to the score. Now, he's one of the best writers of liner notes in the business so I can't believe it was his decision, but I doubt that there can be a single person who's going to buy the album who hasn't seen the film countless times, so surely some sort of anecdotes about the recording of the music, perhaps an analysis of how it is used in the film, a look at the cultural impact it had at the time - something else - would have been in order. And instead of publicity stills we've seen a trillion times before, how about a few photos of the score being recorded or of Barry with Armstrong or with the director? The way these albums have been put together makes it seem like they were cobbled-together in a few days, which couldn't be further from the truth - but someone really ought to have spent more time somewhere on them given how much care and attention was given to the music. Such a pity that with the opportunity to do something really special, EMI didn't take it.

Still, the importance of liner notes and photographs pales into insignificance when compared with the importance of the music which, provided you can change its idiotic sequencing, is first-rate. Barry at his best - film music at its best.“ (James Sothall, movie-wave)

Louis Armstrong, trumpet, vocals
John Barry, conductor

Recorded October 1969 at CTS Studios, Bayswater, London
Produced by Lukas Kendall

Digitally remastered

John Barry
Jazz man, Hollywood legend, Yorkshire lad. John Barry was all of these but it is for his film music, especially his soundtracks for the James Bond films, that he is most often remembered. His cascades of lyrical strings, syncopated jazz rhythms and smooth shifts of harmony would become the inimitable sound of 007. But Barry was born far from the glamour of Hollywood in York, England. His father, Jack Xavier Prendergast, ran a chain of local cinemas and the young composer gained his first experience of working in the film industry by helping out as a projectionist: one of his earliest memories was of watching Mickey Mouse on the big screen in black and white.

Encouraged by his father, also a jazz fan, Barry took lessons on piano and trumpet, learning how to arrange jazz with Bill Russo, a one-time arranger for Stan Kenton's orchestra. He gained further experience of playing as a bandsman while on national service with the army, and formed his own ensemble, The John Barry Seven, which went on to record several pop hits during the late 50s and 60s, including Hit and Miss, the theme for TV's Juke Box Jury. With its glittering brass and smooth strings, Barry's sound encapsulates the glamour of his swinging sixties lifestyle. As part of the celebrity circuit, Barry mingled with Michael Caine - he would write the film score for Zulu - and Terence Stamp, and married the actress Jane Birkin.

Collaborations with Adam Faith lead to chart success with Barry's arrangement of 'What Do You Want?' and music for the film Beat Girl (1960). But it was Barry's work as an arranger for Monty Norman on Dr No in 1962 that would mark the first of his 11 scores for the Bond films. Disputes between Barry and Norman over the ownership of the Bond theme sparked a court case between them, with Norman suing Barry over his claims that the Bond theme was his. When he first saw Dr No, Barry thought it was satire, and took Bond's character lightly, but he would go on to create the golden-age 007 sound. It was also during this early period that Barry wrote some of his most memorable scores, winning an Oscar for his languid, country jazz in Midnight Cowboy, and two further Oscars for Born Free in 1966.

On a work trip to California, Barry made Los Angeles his home. After spending nearly a year working out of the Beverly Hills Hotel, he settled on the West Coast. Later, with his second wife, Laurie, Barry moved to Oyster Bay, New York, where he would continue to attract Hollywood interest, winning an Oscar score for his music for Out of Africa, as well as working on big-budget psychological thrillers, such as Body Heat, starring Kathleen Turner and and William Hurt, and the mid-80s box-office hit Jagged Edge, starring Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges. For Barry, film music was about getting 'the smell' of a film right. But in later life he also worked away from film, producing moody stand-alone albums for Decca including The Beyondness of Things and Eternal Echoes. In the late 1990s he found a niche in the concert hall, conducting his own works, while composer David Arnold took over from Barry as the Bond composer. (Source: www.sinfinimusic.com)

This album contains no booklet.

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