Soundtrack Review: Thunderball

Composed and Conducted by: John Barry

Goldfinger had ushered in a spy craze, with dozens of television shows and movies being made about secret agents and their often over-the-top adventures. It’s no wonder then that, until 2012’s Skyfall, Thunderball, made during the height of the craze, was the most financially successful James Bond movie (adjusting for inflation). Thunderball takes James Bond to the Bahamas, where he must stop eye-patched villain Largo from using stolen nuclear weapons to blackmail or destroy the major cities of America and Britain.

The tough schedule, which saw Thunderball released just a year after Goldfinger, did not affect the technical values of the film, but it did have the unfortunate result of forcing John Barry to release a soundtrack album when he had only scored the first half of the film. The result was having the exciting final battle music, among other cues, unreleased for years. With little action material available, the original album sounds strangely dark as its made up of mainly suspense tracks suited to underwater scenes. The eventual expanded 2003 release features the missing music, mainly in suites that run from six to ten minutes in length. Continue reading