From Russia With Love
Artist: John Barry
Genre: Film Soundtrack
Year: 1991
Record Label: EMI-USA

CDP-7-95344-2 (1991). Original soundtrack recording from the 1963 James Bond film FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE. Music composed and conducted by John Barry. Stereo. CD running time: 37:07

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The evil SPECTRE organization has hatched a plan to steal a decoder that will access Russian state secrets and irrevocably unbalance the world order. It is up to James Bond (Agent 007) to seize the device. However, first he must confront enemies that include Red Grant, and the ruthless assassin Rosa Klebb, a former KGB agent with poison-tipped shoes. Even as Bond romances a stunning Soviet defector, he realizes he is being lured into a deadly trap. (Synopsis from

Damned Rodan's Album Review
Rating (out of 5):

After orchestrating at least a portion of the music in Dr. No, John Barry made his formal debut as James Bond film composer with From Russia With Love, establishing a musical identity for the series that has persisted in one form or another to this day. While credit for the James Bond theme has been officially ascribed to Monty Norman, it is John Barry whose trademark motifs have transcended the individuality of numerous composers and varying styles to become virtually synonymous with the name "James Bond."

The From Russia With Love soundtrack features 18 tracks, most of which are quite short. The brassy splash of the opening title, which slides into a marvelously lounge-like instrumental rendition of the title song and proceeds into the jazzy Bond theme itself, sets an impressive opening tone. The album as a whole is dark and suspense-oriented, highlighted by such pieces as "Tania Meets Klebb," "Death of Grant," and "Stalking." Nicely balancing the almost overwhelming air of intrigue are fast, punchy action themes like "Girl Trouble" and "Gypsy Camp" and slower, exotic pieces like "Leila Dances" and "James Bond With Bongos," the latter of which incorporates a beautifully orchestrated Bond theme. Worthy of special notice are "Meeting in St. Sophia," a masterful, haunting piece that brings the grandeur and mystery of old Istanbul to life, and "Guitar Lament," a short but mellow rendition of the title theme.

"The Golden Horn," named after the Bosporous estuary that divides Istanbul, is not included in the film itself, but its lighthearted, almost Caribbean flavor brings a welcome brightness to the dark mood of the soundtrack. And the dynamic "007" theme, which Barry uses in numerous films, Moonraker being the last of them, makes its debut here, as well as being incorporated in the final track, "007 Takes the Lektor."

There is a marked absence of slow, romantic lounge-style music, at which Barry excels on later albums. The title song, sung by Matt Monro, is the sole tribute to Bond's sensitive, passionate side, but it lacks the emotional power of such Barry masterpieces as "You Only Live Twice" and "Moonraker."

The main shortcoming of the music in From Russia With Love is not in the compositions but in their usage, especially the James Bond theme. Several scenes in the film that call for tension or mellowness are spoiled by the intrusion of the brash, stabbing guitar notes that better serve Bond when he is in action rather than contemplation.

It's a shame that the Bond soundtracks in general rarely include the opening James Bond "gunbarrel" theme, since each is orchestrated uniquely and establishes the excitement of the upcoming movie right from the start. And the fact that the tracks on the albums are not played in the same sequence that they were in the film—a common flaw in soundtrack releases—can sometimes be jarring. Soundtrack album producers could take lessons from the Japanese, who routinely feature most, if not all, of the original music on the soundtrack albums, in the order it was played in the films. One of the best examples of How to Do a Soundtrack Right is the Toho SF series produced by Futureland Toshiba/EMI Japan, which includes most of the Godzilla movie scores.


Film Credits
Producers: Albert R. Broccoli & Harry Salzman (Eon Productions, Ltd.)
Director: Terence Young
Screenplay: Richard Maibaum (based on the novel by Ian Fleming; adaptation by Johanna Harwood)
Film Editor: Peter Hunt
Art Direction: Syd Cain
Cinematography: Ted Moore
Title Designer: Robert Brownjohn
Music: John Barry; Monty Norman (James Bond Theme); Lionel Bart (Title Song Lyrics)
Title Song Song by Matt Monro
Film Running Time: 118 minutes
CD Cover Design: Jack Kaufman

James Bond: Sean Connery
Tatiana Romanova: Daniela Bianchi
Kerim Bey: Pedro Armendáriz
Rosa Klebb: Lotte Lenya
Grant: Robert Shaw
M: Bernard Lee
Sylvia: Eunice Gayson
Morzeny: Walter Gotell
Vavra: Francis De Wolff
Train Conductor: George Pastell
Kerim's Girl: Nadja Regin
Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
Vida: Aliza Gur
Zora: Martine Beswick
Kronsteen: Vladek Sheybal
Blofeld: Anthony Dawson
Gypsy Belly Dancer (Leila): Lisa Guiraut
Foreign Agent: Hasan Ceylan
Krilencu: Fred Haggerty
Kerim's Chauffeur: Neville Jason
Benz: Peter Bayliss
Mehmet: Nushet Ataer
Rhoda: Peter Brayham
Major Boothroyd (Q): Desmond Llewelyn
Masseuse: Jan Williams
Chess Player (McAdams): Peter Madden
Voice of Ernst Stravro Blofeld: Eric Pohlmann

CD Tracks

1.   James Bond is Back /From Russia With Love/James Bond Theme (2:24)
2.  Tania Meets Klebb (1:27)
3.  Meeting in St. Sophia (1:08)
4.  The Golden Horn (2:28)
5.  Girl Trouble (2:25)
6.  Bond Meets Tania (1:18)
7.  007 (2:45)
8.  Gypsy Camp (1:15)
9.  Death of Grant (2:00)

10.   From Russia With Love (2:35)
11.  SPECTRE Island (1:15)
12.  Guitar Lament (1:09)
13.  Man Overboard—SMERSH in action (2:18)
14.  James Bond With Bongos (2:29)
15.  Stalking (2:01)
16.  Leila Dances (1:57)
17.  Death of Kerim (2:29)
18.  007 Takes the Lektor (3:00)


From Russia With Love
Lyrics by Lionel Bart
Sung by Matt Monro

From Russia with love I fly to you,
Much wiser since my goodbye to you.
I've traveled the world to learn
I must return from Russia with love.

I've seen places, faces, and smiled for a moment,
But oh, you haunted me so.
Still my tongue-tied young pride,
Would not let my love for you show
In case you'd say no.

To Russia I flew but there and then,
I suddenly knew you'd care again.
My running around is through,
I fly to you from Russia with love.