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Help with collecting James Bond 007 soundtracks

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MerseyBeatle, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    So, I’m considering starting a James Bond 007 soundtrack LP collection and have searched the forum and the web for advice, tips, suggestions etc., but have come up empty.

    Anyway, whilst record shopping today, I started paying attention to the Bond soundtrack LP’s, but I thought I’d ask the forum for suggestions before I put down money. Basically, what I’d like to discuss is:

    Should one seek out the original vinyl LP’s or the CD versions?

    If CD’s, the remastered versions with bonus tracks or earlier CD versions?

    On the earlier LP’s (i.e. Goldfinger) I found mono and stereo copies. Are the stereo copies fake stereo or true stereo? Are the mono copies fold-downs or dedicated mono mixes? Is one preferred over the other?

    Cheers.
     
  2. dbz

    dbz Bolinhead.

    Location:
    Live At Leeds (UK)
    I can't help much, but I noticed that often the original LP just contains the main themes and more dramatic pieces, often leaving out some of the short interludes and background themes.

    If you are a completest, then you will want the remasters, because there are many snippets and reprises not included on either the original LP or CD.

    Take OHMSS for example.

    Original LP track list:-

    1. We Have All The Time In The World
    2. This Never Happended To The Other Feller
    3. Try
    4. Ski Chase
    5. Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?
    6. Main Theme-On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    7. Journey To Blofeld's Hideaway
    8. We Have All The Time In The World
    9. Over & Out
    10. Battle At Piz Gloria
    11. We Have All The Time In The World/James Bond Theme



    2003 Digital Remaster:-

    1. We Have All The Time in The World
    2. This Never Happened To The Other Fella
    3. Try
    4. Ski Chase
    5. Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown
    6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    7. Journey To Blofeld's Hideaway
    8. We Have All The Time In The World
    9. Over & Out
    10. Battle At Piz Gloria
    11. We Have All The Time In The World
    12. Journey To Draco's Hideaway
    13. Bond And Draco
    14. Gumbold's Safe
    15. Bond Settles In
    16. Bond Meets The Girls
    17. Dusk At Piz Gloria-
    18. Sir Hillary's Night Out
    19. Blofeld's Plot
    20. Escape From Piz Gloria
    21. Bobsled Chase


    I'm not suggesting the remasters are "better", just more comprehensive. But I can happily live with just the LP as it was released. If I want to hear the less important parts, I'll play the DVD or search youtube. If you decide to go the LP route, you can sometimes find later pressing still sealed or cut-outs which won't break the bank. I expect the 1st pressings of James Bond OST's to be collectable and expensive.
     
    alchemy and MerseyBeatle like this.
  3. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    The expanded CD versions are the way to go. There is so much great music that didn't make it the LPs. Especially in a case like "Thunderball," in which case the LP was rush-released before significant parts of the score were even recorded.

    The only drawbacks to the CDs are that a few did not get expanded, Dr. No, Russia, and Golden Gun (not that I care about the last one).

    Also, the instrumental version of the "Goldfinger" theme on the expanded CD sounds terrible. Not sure what they used for a source on that one.

    Diamonds are Forever, You Only Live Twice, Secret Service, Thunderball, and Live and Let Die are all worth getting the in their expanded forms. Sometimes twice as much music as on the LPs.

    Hope this helps.
     
    phillyal1, willy, George C. and 2 others like this.
  4. Humbuster

    Humbuster Big hat, no cattle

    Also. some of the existing tracks have been expanded with additional "cues".
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  5. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    Since you asked about original LPs, I can tell you this:

    I have all of them through Golden Gun. (I check out at this point).

    I only have US pressings, and never heard the UK LP pressings.

    US United Artists stereo pressings were mostly true stereo, and the pressings could be dodgy.

    US UA mono LPs I believe were mostly if not all dedicated mono
    mixes. The pressings were better and sonically I like them better.

    There are different track lineups for the US and UK Goldfinger. The US album includes the instrumental single version of the theme. It is the mono mix on the mono LP, but it is out of phase mono on the stereo LP, and will not collapse to mono.

    In the US, the LPs for Bond films 3-5 are everywhere for short dough. The first two are harder to find in the US, at least in my experience.

    I believe there are subtle mix differences between the LPs and expanded CDs of Diamonds and Live and Let Die. I think some of the more subtle orchestral textures are highlighted in the CDs, but truthfully I've never carefully compared.

    Anyway, I think you're best off going with the expanded CDs and then picking up whatever vinyl you want for the fun of it. Truthfully, I don't spin the vinyl since I got the expanded CDs.
     
  6. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Thanks all for the replies and suggestions. As I'm in the USA, I think I'm going to build a US OST collection. I will get the remastered CD's and the mono LP's (where applicable). That should cover most of the album variations and get all the extra bonus material. Am I missing anything?

    A few more questions.

    - Are all the remastered CD's (especially the early films) true stereo?

    - Which LP's were in mono?

    - Regarding subtle mix differences between the LPs and expanded CDs of 'Diamonds are Forever' and 'Live and Let Die', are there any other titles with CD/LP differences?

    Thanks again all for your guidance.

    :cheers:
     
  7. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    I have only the mono LP of Dr. No, and that is the only Connery-era Bond CD I don't have, so I don't know about that one. Frankly, this album is not very good, as the best music was left off of the LP and they couldn't find any bonus material when they expanded the catalog.

    As I mentioned, the instrumental version of the "Goldfinger" theme on the US stereo LP is in out-of-phase mono. It is in very muffled mono on the stereo CD, and this is the drawback.

    I think everything else is in stereo.

    At least through "You Only Live Twice." I have never seen a mono copy of OHMSS. Maybe in the UK, but don't quote me on that.


    "Live and Let Die" is the last one I have on CD. I have "Golden Gun" on LP. My interest in JB drops off at this point.

    It is my understanding that many of the albums from the later (16+ track) era were remixed, but not all. There are a few later films that were not expanded because they couldn't find the masters.

    There is apparently no remixing on "Russia" or "Goldfinger," but those are straight reissues of the albums. (Goldfinger, however, uses all the tracks from both the US and UK album lineups, making a "complete" release).

    "You Only Live Twice" apparently has no new mixes, suggesting that all the bonus tracks were taken from existing mixes.

    "Thunderball" and OHMSS say they're remixed, but I don't know if that means the whole albums or just the bonus tracks. I have the Thunderball LP only in mono, so I can't say. I have a stereo OHMSS on LP but I've never compared them carefully. Nothing jumped out, except for the longer edits of some tracks.

    Sorry if this is kind of vague, but hope it's helpful.
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  8. ShockControl

    ShockControl Bon Vivant and Raconteur!

    Location:
    Lotus Land
    Supposedly, an expanded Dr. No CD is planned for the film's 50th anniversary later this year. There's lots of great music in the film that didn't make it to the LP, which focused more on the calypso source music than the score.
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  9. DBMethos

    DBMethos Forum Resident

    Love the sound of the OHMSS and Living Daylights OST's on vinyl.
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  10. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    How did I miss this thread?

    This is a topic I've long wondered about, as I have quite a few Bond LPs in my mad attempts to collect everything 007 related.

    The expanded CD remasters (Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die) are essential for there added materials and sound quite good. That said, I have the LALD LP and it blows away the CD in terms of presence.
    The expanded CDs for For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, The Living Daylights were originally done by Rykodisc in the 1990's and were simply ported with new artwork. They sound fantastic. My TLD LP only has some slight improvements in low end.
    Golden Gun, Moonraker through Licence to Kill are hard to find on LP and are no different than the standard CDs. So on those it seems to be completely your choice on LP or CD if not the remasters. For some reason, The Spy Who Loved Me is pretty common.
    I think these LPs have a bit more impact than the CDs from comparing those that I have, but it's negligible at times.
    The only remaster I heard had issues was the one done for Goldeneye which is reputed to have some compression and limiting. I have the original disc which is fine.

    The real trick to collecting the LPs is availability and CONDITION! Not only is it getting more and more difficult to find these, but the chances of finding a clean Bond LP are almost always slim to none. As mentioned above, the most common found are Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, and the mono issues stop there as well.
    I have a mono From Russia With Love that sounds very good despite the G+ condition. My stereo Thunderball sounds a bit muted in places compared to the CD, but of course it's hard to tell under all the intense crackle.
    However, I do have copies of Goldfinger and YOLT that sound very good and are clean. These are reissues with the labels that indicate a late 1970's pressing, and are in the original covers. They have the same deadwax and catalog number. Look for one of these reissues because they are usually very cheap and much cleaner than the originals.

    Oh, and for a quick fix on the themes, the 20 track UK Greatest Hits LP is great and appears to have HTM in the deadwax.
    You can't beat the Best of Bond 30th Anniversary Limited 2CD set. Everything is mastered straight from the original tapes, and is easily the best sounding I've heard some of this material on CD. The 2CD version has the missing four tracks from the UK Goldfinger, both vocals of Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, YOLT demo, and the missing 20+ minutes of the Thunderball score as a suite that actually sounds better than the same material on the 2003 remaster!

    Has anyone ever determined if the initial films were mono or stereo recordings? I've wondered this on these and other John Barry scores of the era such as The IPCRESS File.
     
    rodentdog, MerseyBeatle and George C. like this.
  11. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    The very first Bond film mixed in stereo for theatrical release was The Spy Who Loved Me. Everything before that has been a later remix for home video.

    I was at a facility in the 1980s when we did the initial home video mastering on Dr. No and From Russia with Love, and the people from UA swore up and down that the separate mono DM&E tracks were gone forever and all they had was a (fairly crappy) mono mix. I can say that the surround remixes for those films sound a little wonky and have some nasty-sounding parts, but the films never sounded great. The stereo music stems have always existed, but they're not in great shape.

    I disagree with you about the sound of the expanded early-2000s CD reissues -- I think they sounded absolutely stellar. I was blown away, particularly by Goldfinger and OHMSS, both for the extra tracks and for the improvements in sound quality. It was clear to me that they were trying very hard to go the extra mile to do justice to these important films.
     
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  12. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    That would explain why for the video era the audio was typically print sourced on the early titles. Hello crackle and pop, meet snap.;)

    No, I think that the 2003 expanded series is fantastic. OHMSS in particular blew my mind. I just noticed that on some LPs that I have of the same titles have a bit more punch to them on the LP tracks. Also, I prefer the Thunderball added content on the Suite found on the 30th Anniversary 2CD.
    The reissue CDs that are the same as the original LPs (Moonraker etc.) I've had on a few early CDs that weren't that impressive. Were these simply ported over or did they have some work done as well?
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  13. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Location:
    Hollywood, USA
    No, they were done from mag tracks, not from optical tracks. More work could have been done initially to improve them, but I think there were deadlines that couldn't be bypassed. The later transfers were better (as were the early-1990s Criterion transfers). I wouldn't be surprised if better mag tracks were eventually found.

    It could be that you're just hearing more compression added during the mastering. I'd argue you hear more dynamic range on the CD, compared to the LPs (with these specific albums).

    It's hard to be general, though, because after a certain point, the Bond albums started coming out from a wide variety of labels, after the UA years.
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  14. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    The two I noticed it most on were Live and Let Die (UA) and The Living Daylights (Warner), but TLD was done by Ryko and just reissued as part of this series. I agree with you that these sound better on the 60's era from what I've heard, with the odd exception of the Thunderball cues found in the Suite track sound better to me than on the 03 remaster.

    The MGM Lasers for the first three sound great to me, with only Russia having some constant background hiss and crackle that never overpowers. (And I love the isolated music track!)
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  15. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  16. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    I'm happy with my mono US 'Goldfinger' LP.
     
  17. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    I would say that which you get should be decided by what you want them for.
    If you want them just to collect, I would say seeking out the original releases in both stereo and mono where available would be the way to go.
    If you want them for the music, then I would go for the CDs.
    The Sean Connery era albums shouldn't be really hard to find, they sold a TON of those things, they were very popular at the time.
    Particularly the Goldfinger album.
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  18. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.
    I am collecting the vinyl, great sound (most) and even better wall art! You can buy frames for $10 or less.
     
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  19. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    Out of curiousity, are you finding many mono issues?
     
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  20. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    For me, clean mono LP’s were fairly easy to find. However, Dr. No has remained elusive.
     
  21. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    Really? I am a bit surprised. In the mid 60s stereo was being really pushed hard and I remember commercials for Goldfinger when it was released, they really promoted those James Bond movies heavy. Seems I remember them promoting the soundtracks as being stereo as well. I wonder if any of them were recorded in surround.
     
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  22. MerseyBeatle

    MerseyBeatle Martha my dear (1995-2012) Thread Starter

    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Yep. Actually, the one (besides Dr. No) that took me a little longer to find in nice condition was Goldfinger, which surprised me.
     
  23. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Mono is commonly found for Goldfinger and Thunderball from my experience, I've seen a few and have a mono From Russia With Love. Dr. No is hard to find in any format. I'm pretty sure the 60's Barry scores were recorded stereo, so the mono issues are more curiosities/alternates than the stereo issues. You do hear the same score as the film however, since the film had to use a mono version! (Ipcress File seems to be the same way.)
    The trick is finding ones that aren't trashed. I'm still piecing together a collection. The later films have more dynamic records. Especially LALD which is a great LP.

    Acoustic Sounds credits the vinyl as being remastered from the analog source by Ron McMaster at Capitol Records. This would mean a new remaster separate from the 2003 series which sourced 16/96 files from the original tapes.
     
    MerseyBeatle likes this.
  24. Slick Willie

    Slick Willie Decisively Indecisive

    Location:
    sweet VA.
    No, I have not seen mono in my area-have not looked online.
     
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  25. rockledge

    rockledge Forum Resident

    Location:
    right here
    I am not a bit surprised. At the time stereo was starting to catch on big and although not real common yet, it was a big marketing asset for certain releases.
    And the Bond soundtracks were considered to be pretty "high tech" for the time as were the movies.
     
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