Album: For Your Eyes Only
Artist: Bill Conti
Genre: Film Soundtrack

Original CD Release
Year: 1995
Record Label: MCA
Catalog No: 1109/4967-2
CD Running Time: 32:17


Remastered CD Release
Year: 2003
Record Label: Capitol-EMI
Catalog No: 72435-41449-2-9
CD Running Time: 58:56

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After a ship is sunk off the coast of Albania, the world's superpowers begin a feverish search for its valuable lost cargo: the powerful ATAC system, which will give the bearer unlimited control over Polaris nuclear submarines. As James Bond (Agent 007) joins the search, he suspects the suave Kristatos of seizing the device. The competition between nations grows more deadly by the moment, but Bond finds an ally in the beautiful Melina Havelock, who blames Kristatos for the death of her parents. Agent 007 navigates his way through passionate encounters and risky confrontations which draw him into a world of arduous challenge, including, automobile chases, underwater battles, a tour over razor-sharp coral reefs, and an assault on an imposing mountaintop fortress. (Synopsis from

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

After the mess that was Moonraker, I went into For Your Eyes Only expecting more of the same; after all, the trend of the Bond films has always been to move toward the bigger and more outrageous. Fortunately, in the same manner that On Her Majesty's Secret Service put the brakes on the skid after You Only Live Twice, For Your Eyes Only served much the same purpose after Moonraker. That's not to say that For Your Eyes Only is in the same league as OHMSS; it's nowhere near, actually. But it's easily the best of the Roger Moore Bond films, and the one that derived most inspiration from the Fleming source material. The screenplay very successfully adapts two unrelated short stories, "For Your Eyes Only" and "Risico" (down to the tender and well-written tryst with Countess Lisl von Schlaf [Cassandra Harris]) as well as a scene from the novel Live and Let Die, and ties them into a bigger story of intrigue involving the Russians and a missing submarine guidance device (ATAC). The villain, Ari Kristatos (Julian Glover), is not a megalomaniacal madman after the fashion of Blofeld or Stromberg or Drax, but an "ordinary," if ruthless, opportunist with ties to the Soviets. The inclusion of Kristatos's nemesis, Colombo (adeptly played by Topol, of Fiddler on the Roof fame) from "Risico," a character more than a little reminiscent of Marc Ange-Draco from OHMSS, provides Bond with an unexpected ally from the underworld, turning the plot into more than just another good-guy-vs.-bad-guy scenario. Rounding out the film are the most spectacular stunts of the Moore-era films, the most noteworthy being a chase down a bobsled run with Bond on skis and his pursuers on motorcycles.

The only truly terrible aspects of For Your Eyes Only are the ludicrous and unfulfilling dispatching of Blofeld in an otherwise engaging pre-credits sequence, and the wholly unnecessary inclusion of Lynn-Holly Johnson as Bibi Dahl, a young ice skater whom Kristatos sponsors, who falls for Bond to embarrassing effect. Fortunately, Bond is considerably classier here than in Moonraker (in fact, Moore turns in his best performance as 007 in this film) and handles Bibi with something resembling dignity ("Well, Bibi, why don't you get dressed, and I'll buy you an ice cream.")

Composer Bill Conti, of Rocky fame, gets us off to a good start with the song "For Your Eyes Only," sung by Sheena Easton, who actually appears in Maurice Binder's beautifully conceived title sequence. But the score soon shows itself to be an all-too-contemporary exercise in disco and jazz, dominated by trumpets and synthesizers, sounding almost dated even by the time it hit movie screens. The Rocky-style horns and guitar riffs are all there, and the Bond theme gets the treatment even more severely than it did at Marvin Hamlisch's hands in The Spy Who Loved Me. The best usage of the Bond theme is in the track "Submarine," which features some nice Barry-like brass highlights, and is perfectly timed to the action on the screen.

"A Drive in the Country" is a rousing little number with a pop beat and occasional interpolation of the Bond theme, highlighting Bond and Melina Havelock's (Carole Bouquet) escape from assassin Gonzalez's (Stefan Kalipha) compound after she puts an arrow in the killer's back—revenge for his murdering her parents. "Take Me Home" slows down the pace with its Herb Alpert-like melody utilizing a mellow, romantic fluegelhorn played by Eddie Blair. Conti uses a swirling, Greek-sounding string arrangement as something of a "Melina theme"—an overly melodramatic touch—featured prominently in "Melina's Revenge." And a light, Mediterranean motif with castanets and horns provides local color in "Gonzalez Takes a Drive" (sic), but with saccharine results.

A little genuine suspense comes in the form of "St. Cyril's Monastery," an almost Barry-like composition that works well as Bond attempts to gain access the eyrie-like setting where Kristatos has hidden the ATAC. "Make It Last All Night," a Latin-tinged disco song that we first hear in the background at Gonzalez's pool party, comes to the forefront to surprisingly good effect as Bond and Melina separately infiltrate the killer's property. "Runaway" follows, with a wailing synthesizer, pop percussion, and a brass lead line, providing an unsatisfying backdrop for the otherwise exciting motorcycle/ski chase. After the frenetic "Runaway," the instrumental version of "For Your Eyes Only" is a welcome breather, its mellowness attributable to Derek Watkins' fluegelhorn solo.

"Cortina" is a romantic but unremarkable background for Bond and Melina's interlude in the Italian town, followed by the musically anticlimactic "P.M. Gets the Bird," a scene that ends the film on a silly but not inappropriate note—featuring hilarious impersonators of Margaret Thatcher (Janet Brown) and husband Dennis (John Wells) on the phone with Bond and Melina's parrot. The end title reprises Sheena Easton's vocal version of the title theme.

Notes on the Remastered CD
The original LP soundtrack of For Your Eyes Only on Liberty Records was the the first to be released by a company other than EMI; strangely, there was no initial release on CD. In 1995, MCA released a CD combining the soundtracks to For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy, but due to packaging errors, it was discontinued and never re-issued. In 2000, Rykodisc released a remastered, extended version of the soundtrack (catalog number RCD-10751), although—unlike Octopussy and The Living Daylights—it featured no video extras. The 2003 Capitol-EMI release is the same as the Rykodisc version.

Happily, the remastered, extended CD includes the opening "Gunbarrel" theme, which leads into "Flowers for Teresa" and "Sinking of the St. Georges," a very good composition highlighting the film's first moving and then exciting opening. "Unfinished Business/Bond Meets Kristatos" features the swirling Greek horns, a somewhat romantic-tinged piano verse, and a silly, if grandiose finish with brass. The suspenseful but initially colorless "Ski...Shoot...Jump" introduces Eric Kriegler (John Wyman) as a Kristatos-employed assassin who pursues Bond relentlessly; however, the music increases its tempo as it nears climax, culminating in a several satisfying, dissonant crashes of percussion and piano keys.

"Goodbye, Countess/No Head for Heights/Dining Alone" meshes several unrelated cues, the first of them being the best, as Colombo's men appear on the beach to accost Bond following the tragic killing of Countess Lisl (a scene directly from "Risico," although the countess does not die in the story). "Sub vs. Sub" provides an almost atmospheric backdrop for the effectively chilling scenes of Bond underwater, as he is ambushed while investigating the wreck of the St. Georges, the ATAC ship, on the ocean bottom. "Run Them Down/The Climb" also combines unrelated tracks, and these are again reasonably effective on screen but hardly distinctive on their own.

Conti's work for For Your Eyes Only is competent and often enjoyable, but the departure from established style is distracting while viewing the film, much in the way of Hamlisch's score for The Spy Who Loved Me. While it would be a fallacy to expect mere homages to Barry from other film composers, the Bond films have earned a unique visual and aural identity that virtually transcends the contributions of individual directors and composers. David Arnold's work for the Brosnan Bond films indicates an understanding of this concept, even if his compositions sometimes fail to distinguish themselves. Conti deserves some credit for his uniqueness, but his lack of consideration for the Bond musical modus operandi serves to seriously undermine his score.

12/27/12 16:44

Film Credits
Producer: Albert R. Broccoli
Associate Producer: Tom Pevsner
Executive Producer: Michael G. Wilson
Director: John Glen
Screenplay: Richard Maibaum & Michael G. Wilson (based on stories by Ian Fleming)
Cinematography: Alan Hume
Film Editor: John Grover
Production Designer: Peter Lamont
Title Designer: Maurice Binder
Music: Bill Conti; Monty Norman (James Bond Theme); Michael Leeson (Title Song Lyrics)
Title Song Sung by Sheena Easton
Film Running Time: 127 minutes

James Bond: Roger Moore
Melina Havelock: Carole Bouquet
Columbo: Topol
Bibi Dahl: Lynn-Holly Johnson
Aristotle Kristatos: Julian Glover
Countess Lisl von Schlaf: Cassandra Harris
Jacoba Brink: Jill Bennett
Emile Leopold Locque: Michael Gothard
Eric Kriegler: John Wyman
Sir Timothy Havelock: Jack Hedley
Moneypenny: Lois Maxwell
Q: Desmond Llewelyn
Sir Frederick Gray, Minister of Defence: Geoffrey Keen
General Anatol Gogol: Walter Gotell
Bill Tanner, Chief of Staff: James Villiers
Luigi Ferrara: John Moreno
Claus: Charles Dance
Karageorge: Paul Angelis
Iona Havelock: Toby Robins
Apostis: Jack Klaff
Santos: Alkis Kritikos
Nikos: Stag Theodore
Hector Gonzales: Stefan Kalipha
First Sea Lord: Graham Crowden
Vice Admiral: Noel Johnson
McGregor: William Hoyland
Bunky: Paul Brooke
Rublevich: Eva Reuber-Staier
Vicar: Fred Bryant
Flower Shop Assistant: Robbin Young
Mantis Submarine Pilot: Graham Hawkes
Denis: John Wells
The Prime Minister: Janet Brown

CD Tracks

1.  Main Title: For Your Eyes Only (3:06)
2.  A Drive in the Country (2:25)
3.  Take Me Home (2:32)
4.  Melina's Revenge (2:17)
5.  Gonzales Takes a Drive (3:15)
6.  St. Cyril's Monastery (4:40)
7.  Make It Last All Night (3:31)
8.  Runaway (3:54)
9.  Submarine (2:40)
10.  For Your Eyes Only (Instrumental Version) (1:35)

11.  Cortina (1:45)
12.  P.M. Gets Bird/For Your Eyes Only (5:06)
13.  Gunbarrel/Flowers/Sinking of the St. Georges (2:54)
14.  Unfinished Business/Kristatos (1:52)
15.  Ski...Shoot...Jump (5:16)
16.  Countess/No Heights/Dining Alone (3:19)
17.  Recovering the A.T.A.C. (2:28)
18.  Sub vs. Sub (3:15)
19.  Run Them Down/The Climb (2:58)


For Your Eyes Only

Lyrics by Michael Leeson
Sung by Sheena Easton

For your eyes only can see me through the night.
For your eyes only I never need to hide.
You can see so much in me,
So much in me that's new,
I never felt until I looked at you.
For your eyes only, only for you.
The love I know you need in me,
The fantasy you've freed in me,
Only for you, only for you.

For your eyes only, the nights are never cold.
You really know me, that's all I need to know.
Maybe I'm an open book because I know you're mine,
But you won't need to read between the lines.

For your eyes only, only for you.
You see what no one else can see.
Now I'm breaking free.
For your eyes only, only for you.
The passions that collide in me,
The wild abandoned side of me,
Only for you, for your eyes only.