James Bond Film Themes by Star Inc.

James Bond Film Themes by Star Inc.

I bought this cassette of James Bond Film Themes hoping to find a mix of some of my favourite movie themes and associated pop songs. What I found was an instrumental synth project credited almost entirely to Ed Starink. His credits include arranging, programming and playing the music on this ‘disc’. This is, of course, a compact cassette release, take from that what you will.

I have a passing interest in classic synthesizers, so the fact this is an album of covers was not too disappointing to me. Also of interest, the specific equipment Ed used is listed in the liner notes. A Fairlight CMI IIX, a Syncalvier II, a Roland MC8 microcomposer, a Roland Studiosystem 184, a Minimoog model D, a Roland Jupiter 8, a Korg MS 50, a LinnDrum, a Dr. Boss rhythm/composer, and a Friendship SMPTE reading clock. My interest is passing, so many of these components are new to me, but that just means I have new things to learn about.

This particular cassette seems to have been released under a label called Laser, not Ed Starink’s own, and has an MCPS number of 46008. The whole thing was made in Holland, which is unusual in my collection, where material was largely made in Canada for the domestic market.

Compact cassette insert and side A of Star Inc.'s James Bond Film Themes
Star Inc.’s James Bond Film Themes

Side A
Diamonds are Forever (3:31)
A View to a Kill (3:32)
Live and Let Die (3:17)
Bond 77 (From: The Spy Who Loved Me) (4:19)
Nobody Does it Better (5:05)
Thunderball (3:03)
Goldfinger (2:53)
The Man with the Golden Gun (3:32)

Side B
The James Bond Theme (From: Dr. No) (2:47)
From Russia With Love (3:58)
Miss Moneypenny (4:52)
You Only Live Twice (3:40)
Dial 007 (4:23)
For Your Eyes Only (3:37)
All Time High (From: Octopussy) (2:56)
The Japanese Connection (3:51)

At the very worst, these songs are unoffensive. On average, they are excellent background music. At best, they sound like they belong on the Goldeneye 64 soundtrack. Especially the songs that originated as rock songs, the synth bass really gives that feel. That being said, I do not think any of these covers either elevates the material or has anything new to say about it. You Only Live Twice is one of my favourite songs of all time, and sadly, this just made me want to listen to any other version of the song, it just does not work without vocals.

From a 2019 perspective, I cannot imagine this cassette being released for any reason other than trickery. A market for somewhat lifeless synth covers of movie music is something so very foreign to my experience. Or maybe YouTube has dried up the market for this sort of thing getting a conventional release. I am glad to have this cassette in my collection. Its a bit of an oddity, I do not think I have a whole lot else quite like it, and when my James Bond fan brother visits I have the pleasure of sharing it with him. I paid 0.50$ at a Catholic thrift store in Northern Ontario for it and, for the price, I have no regrets or complaints.

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