Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Tune: John Barry’s score for You Only Live Twice

You Only Live Twice has to rank as having one of the great underrated film scores. Okay - Nancy Sinatra and the high pitched strings of the opening theme have ensured its legacy in pop culture until  the end of time. The opening themes to Bond have always been bigger than the films themselves. Yet the rest of John Barry’s score stands out as an equally sumptuous feast for the ears, which doesn't get as much credit as it deserves. Thwarted perhaps by the film's unfair critical reception. Capsule in Space for example, perfectly encapsulates what makes the film such an enjoyable popcorn spectacle. Despite all of its absurdities, You Only Live Twice - for me at least - captures a grand sense of cinematic danger and scale which dares to place Bond in a situation which is far greater than his own abilities can handle. A secret base in a volcano is unbelievable, but it’s cinema of the most exciting kind. I love You Only Live Twice because of it’s absurdities. For all of Bond’s recent (and failed) high-culture pretense and aspiration, nothing comes close to the silliness, humour, charisma, style and foreboding sense of cinematic danger as Sean Connery’s initial five movie stint as 007.

1 comment:

  1. How lovely to come home and find a bit of John Barry on the blog! I'm a big Barry fan - I love his Raise The Titanic score - which is MUCH better than the movie. Thanks for posting, Tom :D