Octopussy

LP: A&M SP-4967
CD: A & M 394 967-2 [Rare]
CD:Rykodisc RCD 10705
CD: Capitol 41450 [Remastered]
Lyric by Tim Rice

  1. All Time High (2:56) [vocal by Rita Coolidge]
  2. Bond Look-Alike (3:00) / Miss Penelope [dailog on the Ryko release]
  3. 009 Gets the Knife/Gobinda Attacks (3:06)
  4. That's My Little Octopussy (3:14)
  5. Arrival at the Island of Octopussy (3:23) / Introducing Mr. Bond [dailog on the Ryko release]
  6. Bond at Monsoon Palace (3:04)
  7. Bond Meets Octopussy (3:36) / Poison Pen [dailog on the Ryko release]
  8. Yo-yo Fight / Death of Vijay (3:45)
  9. The Chase-Bomb Theme (1:56)
  10. The Palace Fight (4:33)
  11. All Time High (3:02) [ vocal by Rita Coolidge]

cover art for the Rykodisc edition of Octopussy


 

The Movie

Yeah, I'm a sucker--I like this movie. To be totally objective, it's so-so. Roger Moore looks about as bad as Connery did in Diamonds Are Forever--a little too old to be tear-assing around, but I always felt that the Bond people got this one right. This girl (Maud Adams) looked at home on Roger's arm, unlike Carole Bouquet or Tanya Roberts, who looked they could have been his daughters. The villians (Louis Jordan) was fun, Maud was beautiful but also looked liked she had a measurable IQ, unlike a lot of Bond girls. Bond has to defuse prop bomb #803 but there were a couple of plot twists that were unusual and fun, and as Johnny Carson observed--there was a camel take! Who on earth ever saw a camel take before?

Anyway, I remember leaving the theater thinking it was the most fun Bond movie I'd seen since Live & Let Die. It isn't the best of the Bonds by any means, but for pure chewing satisfaction, I put it in the upper tier.

The Music

I wish I could say I liked the music as much, but I don't. I thought Octopussy was lackluster. Barry complained in later years of being tired of the Bond movies, and I thought both this soundtrack and the next (A View to a Kill) showed it. They thankfully gave up on the idea of having the title song incorporate the movie title, but the resulting song, "All Time High," just doesn't do it for me.


Release Notes

image of flawed octopussy coverFor a Bond movie that nobody talks about, this has the strangest release history that I'm aware of. This is a long story and I could tell it with more brevity, but what fun would that be?

Back in the early sixties when they began, the Bond movies were produced and released through United Artists, and the soundtrack albums were released through United Artists records. And this was the case through Moonraker in 1979.

Then around 1980 United Artists merged with MGM and became MGM/UA. One of the side effects of this merger was that the UA record label was sold off. The catalog went to EMI, which would subsequently release their soundtrack albums. Thus everything from Dr. No through Moonraker would be available and easy to find.

But after the merger, each soundtrack album was released on a picture-by-picture basis through different record labels. In the USA, For Your Eyes Only was released on the Liberty label, A View to a Kill came out on Capitol, The Living Daylights was released through Warner Brothers, License to Kill was on MCA, and so on. Octopussy came out on A&M records. This is why so many of the post-merger soundtracks were difficult to find once they went out of print.

Octopussy came out in 1983, when CDs first appeared on the market, and I believe it was the first Bond soundtrack to get both an LP and a CD release. The CD itself was fine, but the printer screwed up the artwork that fit in the jewel-case--some of the titles were left off. A&M pulled the CD from distribution and shelved it. So the album was easy to find, but the CD quickly became a rarity.

This situation continued well into the 1990s, when a bootleg edition emerged paired up with another never-released-on-CD soundtrack, For Your Eyes Only.

Through legal machinations that I'm unaware of, MGM reacquired the rights to the soundtrack to Octopussy and The Living Daylights, and released them through Ryko. Not content with the originals, Ryko added bits of dialog from the movie. Why--who knows, but they did. EMI then acquired the rights to both of these titles and recently rereleased them in their current "remastered" form, along with additional music but no dialog. Proving, I suppose, that if you keep trying, eventually you get it right.