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Includes a previously unreleased score, plus the usual John Barry brilliance.
This sixth installment of the James Bond cycle was dogged by something more serious than mere creative hiccup: the departure of the iconic Sean Connery from the title role. If the film's strong screenplay and grittier, more realistic action sequences were a plus, the producers insistence on recasting Bond with another unknown (as Connery had been before "i"Dr. No) was less sage; Australian model George Lazenby became an uncomfortable cinematic footnote and trivia subject after he, too, refused to reprise the role. But the presence of John Barry insured that the series' musical continuity, even if the composer took the opportunity to expand his palette to include the same sorts of contemporary Euro-jazz/pop influences (including early synths) then percolating through the comedy and adventure scores of Morricone. Legend Louis Armstrong forged the Barry-Hal David penned, "We Have All the Time in the World," into one of the most sublime (and unusual) of the "Bond songs;" it was the first not to be used as a title theme and marked the last recording of Armstrong's remarkable career. Thus inspired, Barry rose to the occasion with what remains one of his most subtle and introspective Bond scores. This digitally remastered edition effectively doubles the running time of the original with 10 tracks of previously unreleased cues, music that further underscores the mature, almost melancholy essence of what remains the composer's most unique contribution to the Bond canon. --Jerry McCulley