From Russia with Love (soundtrack)

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From Russia with Love is the soundtrack for the second James Bond film of the same name. This is the first series film with John Barry as the primary soundtrack composer.

John Barry, arranger of Monty Norman's "James Bond Theme" for Dr. No, would be the dominant Bond series composer for most of its history and the inspiration for fellow series composer, David Arnold (who uses cues from this soundtrack in his own for Tomorrow Never Dies).


Following the decision of the producers not to use Monty Norman, though keeping his "James Bond Theme", Harry Saltzman decided on using the then popular Lionel Bart of Oliver! fame. Bart was unable to read or write music, but he offered to compose the music and lyrics for a title song to the film. The producers chose John Barry to score the film. Barry had not only arranged and conducted the "James Bond Theme" from the previous film, but had already scored some films such as Beat Girl and Never Let Go. Barry's group also charted at number 13 in the November 1962 UK charts with a different arrangement of the Bond theme from that heard in the film.[1]

The title song was sung by Matt Monro. Monro's vocal version is played during the film (as source music on a radio) and properly over the film's end titles. The title credit music is a lively instrumental version of the tune preceded by a brief Barry-composed "James Bond is Back" then segueing into the "James Bond Theme". On the original film soundtrack, Alan Haven played a jazzy organ over the theme but this version was not released on the soundtrack album. The tune also appears in a soft string arrangement as a theme for Tania. Barry noted that Bart's lyrics used the film's title, but had nothing to do with the film's story, a matter he would rectify when he was assigned the next Bond film, 1964's Goldfinger, which was the first Bond film for which he had total creative control over the soundtrack, including the theme song's music (Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley would contribute the theme's lyrics).

Originally planning to use local Turkish music as Norman had used Jamaican music on Dr No, Barry accompanied the film crew to Istanbul, however he found nothing suitable for the film.[2] There are different tracks of Turkish-type music in the film that do not appear on the soundtrack (the track "Leila Dances" is not heard in the film).

In this film, Barry introduced the percussive "007" that came to be considered the 'secondary James Bond Theme'.Template:Citation needed It is used in various Bond films starring Sean Connery and also in Moonraker, starring Roger Moore. The arrangement appears twice on this soundtrack album; the second version, titled "007 Takes the Lektor", is the one used during the gunfight at the gypsy camp and also during Bond's theft of the Lektor decoding machine (the soundtrack album version is not heard in the film).

The completed film features a holdover from Norman's Dr. No music – the post-rocket-launch music from Dr. No (after Bond disrupts Dr. No's attempts to jam the takeoff) appears in From Russia with Love at the conclusion of the helicopter attack, and also at SPECTRE's attempt to intercept Bond's speedboat. This cue is absent from the From Russia with Love soundtrack album. The original Barry arrangement of the "James Bond Theme" for Dr. No was inserted by the producers in the film when Bond searches his room in Istanbul for microphones. Barry did a new arrangement of the theme used when Bond leaves London and flies into Istanbul titled "James Bond with Bongos" that Billy Strange did a cover version of for the US charts.

Album and cover versions

The soundtrack's original recordings are thought to be lost and did not appear when the Bond soundtrack albums were issued in remastered form on CD. The album is different from the film with the album's recording of the main titles sounding slower and not featuring the organ played by Alan Haven. Several tracks on the album do not appear in the completed film. The album was the last of the Bond soundtrack albums to feature more than the usual six tracks per record side.

The soundtrack album reached No. 28 on the Variety charts in March 1964 with the title song becoming Unart Music's most recorded song.[3] Other cover versions of the "James Bond Theme" were also released to coincide with the film. Barry also released different cover versions of the title song and "007" on his Ember records for the pop charts.

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. Opening Titles: James Bond Is Back / From Russia with Love / James Bond Theme (different arrangement from that heard in the film) 2:29
2. Tania Meets Klebb 1:29
3. Meeting in St. Sophia 1:09
4. The Golden Horn (not heard in the film) 2:26
5. Girl Trouble 2:25
6. Bond Meets Tania 1:20
7. 007 2:46
8. Gypsy Camp 1:16
9. Death of Grant 1:59
10. From Russia with Love – Matt Monro 2:35
11. Spectre Island 1:18
12. Guitar Lament (not heard in the film) 1:11
13. Man Overboard/SMERSH in Action 2:18
14. James Bond with Bongos 2:32
15. Stalking 2:05
16. Leila Dances (not heard in the film) 1:56
17. Death of Kerim 2:30
18. 007 Takes the Lektor 3:03
Total length: 34:20


  • In Germany, the original release featured an end title track cover version called Die Wolga ist Weit sung by Ruthe Berlé.[4]
  • Barry's "Stalking", the music for the pre-credit sequence, is echoed by composer Marvin Hamlisch in his score for the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

See also


  1. p.282 Thompson, Gordon Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop Inside Out 2008 Oxford University Press
  2. p.36 Smith, Jim & Lavington, Steven Bond Films 2002 Virgiin Books
  3. p.125 Lindner, Christop The James Bond Phenonomon: A Critical Reader 2004 Manchester University Press
  4. Ruthe Berlé: Die Wolga ist weit (FRWL). YouTube (10 June 2009). Retrieved on 16 February 2012.

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