You Only Live Twice

1967
LP: United Artists UAS 5155
Original CD: EMI Records CDP 7 90626 2
Remastered CD: Capitol 72435-41418-2-9
Lyric by Leslie Bricusse

cover art for You Only Live Twice

Tracks 13 through 19 are new to the remastered edition.
  1. You Only Live Twice (Title Song - vocal) (2:43)
  2. Capsule in Space (2:39)
  3. Fight at Kobe Dock-Helga (2:51)
  4. Tanaka's World (2:04)
  5. A Drop in the Ocean (2:15)
  6. The Death of Aki (4:36)
  7. Mountains and Sunsets (3:06)
  8. The Wedding (2:42)
  9. James Bond -- Astronaut (3:25)
  10. Countdown for Blofeld (2:31)
  11. Bond Averts World War III (2:12)
  12. You Only Live Twice -- (End title)(3:28)
  13. James Bond in Japan (10:41)
  14. Aki, Tiger and Osato (5:43)
  15. Little Nellie (3:45)
  16. Soviet Capsule (2:05)
  17. Spectre and Village (3:46)
  18. James Bond - Ninja (7:06)
  19. Twice is the Only Way to Live (2:49)

The Movie

I never liked this movie. It was the last of Connery's original five and it really looked like they were out of gas--they were choking on all the cliches they had created. The girls were pretty but they were just set decoration. The female lead killer looked like a pale imitation of the one from Thunderball. There was the obligatory free-for-all fight scene. The autogyro flight is cute but Connery looks ridiculous in it. There's no good villian until Blofeld shows up near the end--and I like Donald Pleasance, but he is not a good super-villian. This was the first movie where we got to actually see Blofeld--and we got Donald Pleasance in heavy makeup.

Fleming had written three books that intertwined--Thunderball, where we meet Blofeld (though Bond doesn't), and the movie was pretty faithful to the spirit of the book. Then came On Her Majesty's Secret Service, where Bond and Blofeld duke it out and Blofeld escapes--and then finally You Only Live Twice, the final battle between them. Ideally they should have followed that scheme--Connery would have been better in that movie than Lazenby, Savalas was a better Blofeld, and then if you had to--you could have gone with Lazenby and Pleasance for You Only Live Twice.

But I wasn't consulted.


The Music

A lot of people love this score--I don't. The title theme is languid and lacks energy and it sets the tone for the rest of the album. I may be prejudiced because I don't like the movie either--but I liked the score to The Living Daylights and I didn't think highly of that flick either. It does "Bond Averts World War III" which is good stuff. But it doesn't make up for the title theme.


Release Notes

The original soundtrack LP varied slightly between regions. The US release had a different final track ("You Only Live Twice--End Title") than the UK version ("Twice is the Only Way to Live"). Who knows why. But that wasn't quite enough. The first UK album had the proper title. Subsquent European releases titled the track "You Only Live Twice--End Title" even though the track was still "Twice is the Only Way to Live." The difference--the "End Title" included a reprise of Nancy Sinatra's vocal, while "Twice" is purely instrumental.

The first CD release by EMI conformed to the American LP version. It wasn't until the remastered Capitol release that "Twice is the Only Way to Live" was included on disc.

The alternate version of the title song "You Only Live Twice" does not appear on any of these CDs. It is only available on the James Bond 30th Anniversary CD set (Disc 2).