The James Bond Collection

Conductor: Nic Raine
Performers: The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
RRP 17.95
Available now

Yes, this is one of those music collections that comprise newly performed versions of popular tunes, rather than original recordings. But don't let that put you off this four-disc collection, because in general Nic Raine and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra have managed to accurately reflect the Bond music of the last 40 years.

In fact, some of the tracks sound uncannily similar to their source material, as is the case with Fight on the Disco Volante (from Thunderball) on Disc 1 and Flight into Space (from Moonraker) on Disc 3. If you were to hear either of these out of context, you would be hard pressed to distinguish them from the original John Barry versions. Only a very few tracks, such as Blofeld's Laser (from Diamonds Are Forever) on Disc 2, sound not quite right.

The collection devotes more time to some movies than it does to others. Certain movies, such as Live and Let Die and For Your Eyes Only are represented only by instrumental versions of their theme tunes (though in the latter case, this is a relief rather than a disappointment). I imagine that this has something to do with rights negotiations, as both of these movies were scored by one-off composers: George Martin and Bill Conti respectively. What is more peculiar is the lack of any incidental music from Tomorrow Never Dies. There were clearly no obstacles in the way of obtaining rights to David Arnold's music, since there are tracks from The World is Not Enough on Disc 4, so why not feature more of his excellent TND music?

Evidently there was no time to include any material from the most recent Bond movie, Die Another Day, before the release of this 40th anniversary edition, but the absence of that particular theme tune is actually a good thing!

Containing well over three hours of entertaining music, this collection captures the essence of "the Bond sound" and will provide fans with a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Richard McGinlay

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