Soundtrack Review: The Living Daylights

Composed and Conducted by: John Barry

When Roger Moore finally left the 007 series, a confusing search ensued for the new James Bond. Timothy Dalton was chosen first, but a television series he was working on prevented him from accepting the role. Pierce Brosnan was then hired, but the producers of the TV show he was on decided that they could attract higher ratings now that he had been announced as James Bond. By the time Brosnan was forced from the film, Timothy Dalton was easily available. The Living Daylights presented a more realistic and less comedic Bond, with less one-liners and no super-weapons. However, the villains are still use the oft-repeated plot of starting a world war, this time through the Russian-Mujaheddin War in Afghanistan.

This would be John Barry’s last 007 film, and it’s a fitting exit for him. This time there are no less than three songs that provide themes for the film. “The Living Daylights”, sung by the Swedish band a-ha, is a very exciting opener, trying to emulate the success of Duran Duran’s “View to a Kill”. I think I like Duran Duran’s song better, but this is still a cool piece. Although the main tune was provided by John Barry, he only uses it three times throughout the entire score, its most well known appearance being “Hercules Takes Off”. Continue reading