1. You Only Live Twice – John Barry captures the beauty of Japan in this score. Alongside the sweeping strings, and Far Eastern sounds, this soundtrack is also infused with some great themes. This score delivers music of suspense, romance and action. The sliding bass guitar also brings the “coolness” of the James Bond theme to a whole different level. To me, this is Barry’s finest score of all time.
- “James Bond in Japan” – Track 13
- “Fight At Kobe Docks / Helga” – Track 3
- “Mountains and Sunsets” – Track 7
2. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Another brilliant soundtrack by John Barry. This seems to be a score that features one of his earliest uses of synthesizers, and it works extremely well. The score is infused with romantic music that fits the film perfectly. It also features some of the series’ greatest action cues. There’s plenty of music to enjoy on this score.
- “Main Theme: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Track 6
- “Battle at Piz Gloria” – Track 10
- “Try” – Track 3
3. The Living Daylights – John Barry’s last James Bond score, and certainly one of his best. This score relies on synthesizers like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, but the outcome is superb. This score is infused with many melodies, both romantic, suspenseful, and action-packed. This is definitely a perfect 80’s Bond score.
- The Sniper Was a Woman – Track 3
- Mujahadin and Opium – Track 10
- Assassin and Drugged – Track 16
4. “Diamonds Are Forever” – Though the film was silly, John Barry seemed to have taken the score seriously, as always. Barry offers listeners a haunting theme for the film’s henchmen – the best henchmen theme of the series – and his style matches the sleaziness of the film perfectly. Some cues capture the silliness of the film, also, but I’d say that, overall, this is one of Barry’s more dark scores.
- “Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd / Bond to Holland” – Track 14
- “Gunbarrel and Manhunt” – Track 13
- “Airport Source / On the Road” – Track 16
5. “Goldfinger” – This is most likely one of Barry’s more popular scores, and for a good reason! Not only does it feature Dame Shirley Bassey’s iconic Bond theme, but it also features a collection of great action and adventure music. This score is very jazzy at times, too. Overall, there’s not much to dislike about this Bond score. It has certainly earned the status of “quintessential”.
- “Main Theme: Goldfinger” – Track 1
- “Alpine Drive / Auric’s Factory” – Track 3
- “Oddjob’s Pressing Engagement” – Track 4