OHMSS: Greatest Film Score

Here’s a nice article in the Observer on the fifty greatest film scores of all time. OHMSS comes out at #20.

Cunningly, Barry’s OHMSS theme, in which a horn-led melody and Moog take unexpected twists and turns, articulates Bond’s raison d’etre: kill or be killed. Additional swirling strings remind us of the urgency of his task, refusing to let us off the hook for a minute. Accordingly, OHMSS has become an iconic piece of instrumental music, its enduring popularity ensuring it’s still used on TV shows whenever driving dangerously is involved, or to imbue a presenter with heroic traits.

Better still, in addition to the theme, there is the masterful ballad ‘We Have All the Time in the World’ (sung by Louis Armstrong), which is used to underscore the burgeoning love affair between Bond and Tracy, the woman he marries and, subsequently, sees assassinated only hours after their wedding.

All this, along with the remainder of the score, results in 80 minutes of iconic brilliance and a bar set so high that every Bond score thereafter struggles to match its originality, elegance and power.

OHMSS is my personal favorite Bond score, because of its kinetic and thrilling energy, and, just as the author describes, because it seems to typify Bond’s personality. Thunderall is great as well, and is many people’s favorite. In fact, sometimes it edges out OHMSS for me as well, but eh, not often. John Barry competes mostly with himself; David Arnold has written some great scores but he’s not John Barry, and the other Bond composers don’t compare (Eric Serra? YICK).


2 Responses to “OHMSS: Greatest Film Score”

  1. Flapflop Says:

    I also like the OHMSS remix from the Propellerheads and David Arnold (great cd Shaken and Stirred, The David Arnold James Bond Project)

  2. Deborah Lipp Says:

    That CD is on my Amazon wishlist.

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