cover art for From Russia with Love

 

From Russia with Love

1963

LP: United Artists UAS 5114
CD: EMI CDP 7 95344-2
CD: Capitol 80588
The song "From Russia with Love"
was written by Lionel Bart.

  1. Opening Titles (2:24)
  2. Tania Meets Klebb (1:27)
  3. Meeting in St. Sophia (1:06)
  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 Kerin (2:29)
  18. 007 Takes the Lektor (3:00)

The Movie

This is considered one of the best of the Bond movies and for good reason--it has a good, non-formulaic plot. SMERSH decides to kill James Bond. Since this is an early movie and not everyone knows him on sight or where he'll turn up, they have to lure him into a trap. Beautiful Russian cypher clerk Diniela Bianchi and her Lektor cypher machine are the bait. Überkiller Robert Shaw is the assassin. Turkey and central Europe are the locales.

Connery was much more comfortable in the role in this movie and began to loosen up. Daniela Biachi did what she could with the character she was given--and all the fun stuff went to Pedro Armendariz, Lotte Lenya and Robert Shaw. This was one of Fleming's best books and it translated well to the screen. Goldfinger would become the James Bond formula--but the plot to this one should not be so overlooked.


The Music

The Bond producers often promoted from within, and it began here. John Barry had done a wonderful job shaping the "James Bond Theme" into something great, so the producers gave him the job of scoring their next film, From Russia with Love. But not quite--they hedged their bets by giving the title song to Lionel Bart. But Barry took the theme and generously wove it into the tapestry of the film.

It's obvious, listening to this record, that Barry had given them something extradorinary. It had a liveliness and energy that just were not in other movies from that period--nor in Barry's own later scores. From Russia with Love remains bright and fresh decades after it was recorded, while so many other film scores are dated and rooted in their own time.


Release Notes

This has always been a very easy soundtrack to find. Originally issued on LP, it was released in the 90s on CD and recently reissued (without additional music) as part of the remastered series.