Soundtrack Review: You Only Live Twice

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Composed and Conducted by: John Barry

You Only Live Twice showed heavy signs of the future spectacle-over-story Bond films. However, it is pretty restrained compared to the Moore offerings and offers what is considered be the most chilling representation of arch-villain Blofeld. John Barry ignored the silly elements of the movie in his music, as he would do with many of his 007 scores. His fourth score for the franchise shows a shift towards the romantic, and he would use this style in nearly all of his work afterwards.

The well-regarded and lovely title song is sung by Nancy Sinatra. It’s tune provides one of those themes that stays romantic in almost every way it is used, even when loud and fast-paced. Some interesting variations include a somber take in “Death of Aki” and a villainous slant in “Countdown for Blofeld”, but the one to single out as the best is “Mountains and Sunsets”, a straightforward sweeping romantic cue. You Only Live Twice also introduces one of John Barry’s most famous themes for the franchise, the Space March. It’s an ominous piece which builds on piano, bringing in a villainous motif that ends perilously. The most cited version of this theme is “Capsule in Space”, and it’s style, with ominous cadence and a fanfare, would be emulated by Barry himself in other space-related Bond films. Continue reading