Study Guide

From Russia With Love Music (Score)

Music (Score)

Before the sky fell on Adele, or composer Sam Smith made Bond go falsetto, or Shirley Bassey sang about Goldfinger, Bond films were still finding their footing on the whole theme song thing.

"From Russia with Love," written by Lionel Bart, is sung by Matt Monro, known as the "man with the golden voice." (Not to be confused with Bond adventure The Man with the Golden Gun.) But instead of setting the tone for the movie in the film's title sequence, the song is integrated into the film itself. It plays on the radio during a couple of key scenes.

The song even filters into Bond's subconscious, perhaps inspiring him to scrawl "From Russia with Love" on Tania's photo because he heard it on the radio, kind of like when you're humming Ariana Grande after leaving the grocery store even though you don't remember actually hearing the song in the dairy aisle.

The rest of the film was scored by the British composer, arranger, and five-time Oscar winner John Barry, who scored 11 Bond films over his career and was involved in a half-century-long dispute over the iconic Bond theme. John Barry arranged the title piece, but it was credited to Monty Norman. The two disputed authorship all the way up until 2001, when courts declared Norman author of the theme (source).

It was just like a rivalry between Bond and one of his nemeses, but minus the espionage, hot women, explosions, helicopters…Okay, it was nothing like a Bond rivalry, but court cases are never as interesting in real life as they are on screen.

Barry had a long and storied career in Hollywood and TV composing, taking home Oscars for best score for Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves. Add to that a pile of Grammys, BAFTA Awards, Golden Globes, and Emmys—plus scores of scores from Midnight Cowboy to Howard the Duck—and you've got a guy with more award nominations than we could fit on this page (source), and who gives John Williams a run for his money

Guy did get a few Razzie noms, but that just makes him interesting. Who wants to be perfect, anyway?

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