On Her Majesty's Secret Service

1969
LP: United Artists UAS-5204
Original CD: EMI Manhattan CDP 7 90618 2
Remastered CD: Capitol 72435-41419-2-8
Lyric by Hal David

Tracks 12 through 21 are new to the remastered edition.

  1. We Have All the Time in the World [vocal by Louis Armstrong] (3:15)
  2. This Never Happened to the Other Fellow (5:06)
  3. Try (3:26)
  4. Ski Chase (3:39)
  5. Do You Know How Christmas Trees are Grown? (3:21)
  6. On Her Majesty's Secret Service [main title] (2:35)
  7. Journey to Blofeld's Hideaway (4:53)
  8. We Have All the Time in the World [instrumental] (4:38)
  9. Over and Out (3:11)
  10. Battle At Piz Gloria (4:03)
  11. We Have All the Time in the World/James Bond Theme [end title] (4:38)
  12. Journey to Draco's Hideaway (3:41)
  13. Bond and Draco (4:34)
  14. Gumbold's Safe (4:59)
  15. Bond Settles In (2:16)
  16. Bond Meets the Girls (3:27)
  17. Dusk at Piz Gloria (2:32)
  18. Sir Hillary's Night Out [aka Who Will Buy My Yesterday's?] (4:48)
  19. Blofeld's Plot (5:19)
  20. Escape from Piz Gloria (4:53)
  21. Bobsled Chase (2:03)

Review

First the generalities and then I'll talk about the remastered edition.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (OHMSS) presented everyone with a problem--it was the first time James Bond was going to be played by another actor (David Niven/Peter Sellers et al don't count). Even Barry felt the pressure, and decided to score the film big to make up for what might be lacking on-screen. The result was a departure for the Bond movies up to now-- the energy is higher and the pulse pounding, and synthesizers are used for the first time. In retrospect, Barry thought he went overboard with the score, but fans typically rate it among the best.

The initial album and the movie both had the problem with what to do with the love song, "We Have All the Time in the World." Stylistically it wasn't right for the main title and ended up buried in the movie and reprised over the end credits. On the LP it was bumped up to Band 1, Side 1 and the title theme was placed at Band 1, Side 2. On the subsequent CD the order was never changed, so the "Main Title" ended up in the middle of the disc at Track 6. Go figure. As an album, OHMSS was representative of the musical score, but it left out a lot of stuff--"Gumbold's Safe" for instance.

Now normally I'm against "remastered" editions because usually it's just a way to get fools like me to buy the same music over and over again, but these releases promised extra music to boot, so I laid out my money again. The remastering really did make a difference. When I ripped them as MP3s and played them on the computer, I could not tell much difference at all. When I played them on my big stereo with the good headphones, then the differences came through. The remastered CD sounds much better.

So that leaves the extra music. That's worth it. If you liked OHMSS before you'll love it moreso with the extra music. There are two levels of extra music on this CD. The first level is comprised of the bonus tracks that were not available on the earlier releases--this includes "Gumbold's Safe," "Blofeld's Plot" and the "Bobsled Chase," among others. Great stuff if you've seen the movie many times and wished for the music where Bond gets konked and fades in and out of consciousness, or the music Blofeld plays in the background while he "treats" the girls, and so.

The other level is subtler and pays off for people like me who played the LP until the needle cut through or burned holes in their CDs--little additions and changes to the original ques so make them conform to the movie. Some of these are mentioned and some are not. The back cover clearly mentions that "Journey to Blofeld's Hideaway" has additional material, and indeed it does. Nowhere is it mentioned (that I saw) that "Over and Out" has also been changed to conform to the film. On the original CD "Over and Out" fades away at the end--on the new CD it has the rousing finish as shown on the film. A tiny difference, but if you've heard the music so often you know it by heart, it's quite a difference.

Attentive listeners may have recognized "Escape from Piz Gloria," the newly added Track 20, on the trailers for the movie The Incredibles.

The only beef I have with this release is the cover, which is identical to the previous release--the only way you know from looking at the front that it's the new edition is by the horizontal strip on the left side of the jewel case--something I did not notice in the record store when I was thumbing through the albums. The back of the CD is different--but how many people look at the back? Regardless--if you're going to buy the remastered editions--take care that you get the remastered editions.

Links

EMI's artist profile for JB

I tried putting a link to EMI Records website here, but they have the worst website I have ever seen.