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on October 9, 2012
This is the 50th Anniversary of the cinematic James Bond film series and it would have been nice to have integrated familiar cuts and snippets of the melodies associated with the hallmark James Bond sound and theme interpolated throughout and still musically represent each film from DR. NO up to and including QUANTUM OF SOLACE. Given that this is a collection from 22 films, that could have been a daunting task, but far from impossible. My issues with this CD are with Disc 2 and what it really tried to capture.

DR. NO, FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, GOLDFINGER, THUNDERBALL and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE are well represented, considering the constraints, and it was very good to have the vocal version of Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang included on Disc 2. It would have been nice if actual instrumental cuts of John Barry's On HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE and THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS scores had been included on Disc 2 as well.

I thought it was a shame that no instrumental cuts were included for Bill Conti's FOR YOUR EYES ONLY score, Eric Serra's GOLDENEYE score and David Arnold's scores for TOMORROW NEVER DIES, THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH and DIE ANOTHER DAY. In fact, there are no cuts for LICENCE TO KILL and DIE ANOTHER DAY on Disc 2. I find this to be very curious.

For the James Bond enthusiast spirit in many of us I suppose it is still better than nothing at all for the 50th Anniversary. "The Laser Beam" from GOLDFINGER, "Switching The Body" from THUNDERBALL, "Snow Job" from A VIEW TO A KILL and "Vesper" from CASINO ROYALE are excellent cuts. However, this collection remains a curiosity piece and perfunctory at best.
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on August 29, 2013
All of a sudden you will think you're cool, thin, rich, good-looking and driving something you can't afford, sitting next to someone you can't afford.
Much better to listen to alone at home in your best panties.
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on November 1, 2012
Most reviews have concentrated on complaints, so it's worth addressing those:

No "Best of Bond" compilation has included the current film's title song. Go back to the The Best of Bond: James Bond; you won't find "The World Is Not Enough". The Best of Bond James Bond did not include "Die Another Day", and Best Of Bond... James Bond, The (CD) did not include "Another Way to Die". I'm not saying it isn't a fair complaint; just that complaining about it demonstrates an unfamiliarity with the "Best of Bond" compilation series dating back to 1999.

The absence of music from specific films has to do with rights issues:

Licence To Kill and Music From The MGM Motion Picture The World Is Not Enough are controlled by MCA
Tomorrow Never Dies was released by A&M Records; the expanded score album Tomorrow Never Dies (1997 Film) was issued in 2000 on the boutique label, Chapter III Records
Music From The MGM Motion Picture Die Another Day was released by Warner Records

I'm hopeful that Intrada, MCA's boutique label might get the rights to give us a proper score release for LICENCE TO KILL.

I'd have also preferred to see the music sequenced differently. Chronological sequencing is a bit cold. I look back to the original 1992 The Best of James Bond 30th Anniversary edition. The single-disc release mixed up the songs, whereas the 2-disc edition presented the 16 title tracks in chronological order - but Disc 2's bonus content was not chronological. That Disc 2 presented a lot of rarities, including the demo recordings of "Goldfinger" by Anthony Newley and "You Only Live Twice" by Julie Rogers. It also included three different radio spots and an entire 20-minute suite of then-unreleased score music from THUNDERBALL. I was rather hoping to see this 50 YEARS...50 TRACKS incarnation also delve into the vaults, but unfortunately every track here is available on other releases.

As for what's actually included in this compilation, it's a solid representation of the 007 soundtrack albums. I'm glad to see John Barry's instrumental title from FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE finally make its way onto one of these compilations, as well as Diana Coupland's performance of "Under the Mango Tree" from DR. NO. It's definitely a shame that, as other reviewers have noted, there are no representations from John Barry's terrific scores for On Her Majesty's Secret Service or THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, but I dig that "Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?" by Nina and The Pretenders' "Where Has Everybody Gone" and "If There Was a Man" made the cut. I might have cut "Christmas Trees" to make room for a Barry score piece, but it's hard to think what to cut to make room for a third track from THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS.

And that's really the thing with a compilation album like this: it's impossible to include every "obvious" track. Choices are made arbitrarily, or by legal issues or time constraints and we get what we get. 50 YEARS - 50 TRACKS isn't perfect, but there's a perfectly good reason for each complaint we all have. Best not to fret over what's missing and just enjoy what's here - which is admittedly a very solid survey of 007 scores.
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on February 16, 2014
...and this from a non-Bond fan...alright, I'll concede that I've sat through most of the films, admit having friends who commit them to memory, and recognize most of the theme-song hit singles. One friend challenged me to simply listen to the music. This seemed the best place to start.

CD1 plays the theme songs in film sequence up to but not including the Oscar-winning "Skyfall". Which among them surprised me?

On Her Majesty's Secret Service: No lyrics, but only Bernard Herrmann would've thought of combining a fuzz guitar, harpsichord, bass trombones and xylophones.

Moonraker: Shirley Bassey's best.

The Living Daylights: Superbly orchestrated, and let's see you try to sing alternating keys at an upper register.

The World Is Not Enough: At the very least it prompted me to find out more about Garbage.

Die Another Day: Compelling in its own way but by the end it comes across as a defective recording.

CD2 has brief instrumental tracks that my friends likely can identify while blindfolded, with a smattering of alternate theme songs (one a genuine howler) and additional songs that at least intrigue (in particular one from GoldenEye).

In general John Barry's contributions are incalculable, though David Arnold comes close. This is by no means simple music.
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on October 12, 2012
If you are a Bond Fanatic like me, then you MUST buy the 50th anniversary Bond CD.
I pre-ordered it and it was deliver this morning. It is a 2 disk set. Great for collectors or just cool to have, It has the most amzing clear sound all of the classic bond songs sung by the original artits Best Of James Bond 50th Anniversary (2 CD)and Instramentals. Some of the featured songs are Goldfinger sung by Shirley Bassey, View to a kill by Duran Duran, Die another day by Madonna and of course the Casino Royal theme You know my name by Chris O'Connel. WHEW!!!! You will love it.
P.S. Sorry , No Adelle for Skyfall an this track. You have to pre-order for release.
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As a teenager, I saw the first 007 film, DR. NO, in a theater in 1962. Now, fifty years later, I've seen every film except the newest one (SKYFALL), and I'll see it next weekend. I've enjoyed every film, especially the earlier ones that were based on Ian Fleming's novels. Over time, some of the less memorable films in the series have faded from my memory. What has remained, however, is the great theme music. Quite a few of the 007 songs are great songs in their own right, and some of them are on several of my playlists.

A brief summary of my thoughts about some of my favorite songs in this digital album:

* The "James Bond Theme" - One of the most recognizable songs in the history of movies, it's hard to get out of your head.

* "Goldfinger" - Arguably the most famous song in the 007 series, Shirley Bassey is downright awesome.

* "You Only Live Twice" - A haunting tune by Nancy Sinatra, "You Only Live Twice" is one of composer John Barry's finest pieces. The big orchestral sound, with the strings and French horns, is unforgettable.

* "All Time High" - From OCTOPUSSY, this was one of Rita Coolidge's biggest hits. Not generally considered one of the best 007 songs, it's still one of my own favorites. Interestingly, it's one of the only song titles that didn't match the title of the film.

* "A View to a Kill" - This great song probably got a lot more play than the movie. It's pure electricity and definitely one of my top five 007 songs.

Those were my favorites, but by no means are they the only songs I like in the collection. There are maybe 3-4 songs that are just plain weak, but the others are all very playable and are a marvelous trip down memory lane for 007 fans.
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on August 18, 2014
Bought this collection for my 007-fanatic husband — lots of fun, lots of memories! If you have iTunes and like to be able to quickly see the movie and year info on soundtrack songs, I recommend updating the track names/year with the movie it was featured in (where needed). Btw, to update the years, use the Get Info command under the File menu to pull up the window. Here's the corrected track info, so you don't have to dig around Google for it…
1) James Bond Theme (from "Dr. No" Movie Soundtrack) 1962
2) From Russia With Love (from Movie Soundtrack) 1963
3) Goldfinger (from Movie Soundtrack) 1964
4) Thunderball (from Movie Soundtrack) 1965
5) You Only Live Twice (from Movie Soundtrack) 1967
6) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (from Movie Soundtrack) 1969
7) We Have All the Time in the World (from "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" Movie Soundtrack) 1969
8) Diamonds are Forever (from Movie Soundtrack) 1971
9) Live and Let Die (from Movie Soundtrack) 1973
10) The Man With the Golden Gun (from Movie Soundtrack) 1974
11) Nobody Does It Better (from "The Spy Who Loved Me" Movie Soundtrack) 1977
12) Moonraker (from Movie Soundtrack) 1979
13) For Your Eyes Only (from Movie Soundtrack) 1981
14) All Time High (from "Octopussy" Movie Soundtrack) 1983
15) A View to a Kill (from Movie Soundtrack) 1985
16) The Living Daylights (from Movie Soundtrack) 1987
17) Licence to Kill (from Movie Soundtrack) 1989
18) GoldenEye (from Movie Soundtrack) 1995
19) Tomorrow Never Dies (from Movie Soundtrack) 1997
20) The World Is Not Enough (from Movie Soundtrack) 1999
21) Die Another Day (from Movie Soundtrack) 2002
22) You Know My Name (from "Casino Royale" Movie Soundtrack) 2006
23) Another Way to Die (from "Quantum of Solace" Movie Soundtrack) 2008
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on March 1, 2013
Every track on the cd did one of three things: Remind me of my favorite Bond movie, remind me of my favorite scene in the Bond movie tied to the particular song or made me wish I could remember more of the movie tied to the track playing at the time.

Shirley Bassey's performances of Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker were the best parts of the cd. Nancy Sinatra, Lulu, Sheena Easton, A-Ha, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, Garbage and Madonna's tracks on the cd were equally spectacular.

I would recommend this cd for all James Bond fans.
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on February 23, 2013
here are all the wonderful Bond themes that i had heard before and the second cd has incidental music from the films that all recall the movies that they are from. now that Skyfall has just been released i will have to look for the next collection to include more songs. i have a few albums from some early Bond films, not too many so far. i do have all of the films though.
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on January 6, 2016
I'm not a fan of James Bond...this was a gift for my dad, who is a James Bond fan. He seems happy with it.
And yes, he played it so I know the CD works.
If you're a fan, or know a fan I guess it's a good buy or nifty gift idea.
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