It is a true crime that for nearly 20 years the single best James Bond soundtrack was unavailable on compact disc. I was lucky to have an original cassette tape release and was about ready to convert it to cd-r when this latest album in the Ryko movie series made that unnecessary. On top of the 12 standard tracks, this cd also contains 7 previously un-released tracks including the snazzy Gunbarrel intro to the movie. For those of us that are completists such additional material makes it worth buying Ryko's "Deluxe Edition" versions even if we already have the original on cd.
Why is "For Your Eyes Only" the best Bond soundtrack ever released? First, the title track as sung by Sheena Easton is widely recognized as the best song ever written and sung for a James Bond movie. In addition, it achieved the greatest commercial success of any 007 title song and still gets regular airplay to this day. Of course the melody of this timeless classic was written by Bill Conti who also created the rest of the music.
What also sets the entire soundtrack apart for me is how well Conti integrates traditional Bond music with themes from the local Mediterranean setting for the movie. In addition he uses sophisticated, modern arrangements that do not sound as dated as some of the earlier 007 soundtracks. Finally, this is one of the last albums to be created with whole songs... not just a boring string of orchestral cues hinged together on a computer screen like all of the later Bond movie music.
Here is what you can expect. 1 great title track and 1 reprise both sung by Sheena Easton. 3 great action songs suitable for fast driving and hard cornering on sunny days. 1 slow, but very hip, 007 song, "Submarine". 2 smooth flugelhorn jazz instrumentals including one of the title song. You will also get various odds and ends like the Gunbarrel opening previously mentioned. The over-funkified "Gonzales takes a dive" and "Runaway" are admittedly bad, but with this much good music surrounding them it is easy to forgive a few poor choices.
If Ryko continues to release "deluxe edition" versions of the James Bond soundtracks, I think I'll be first in line to buy them despite the fact that I now have all of the originals on cd.