CASINO ROYALE IS TOO MUCH… FOR ONE JAMES BOND!
Kritzerland is proud to present a new limited edition soundtrack, one of our two final releases for 2010, this one a very special reissue:
Music Composed and Conducted by Burt Bacharach
In 1953, British author Ian Fleming created one of the most enduring cinematic characters with the publication of his first 007 novel, Casino Royale. Thirteen years later, producer Charles K. Feldman (of What’s New Pussycat? fame) reimagined Fleming’s story as a large-scale, star-studded spy spoof inspired by the Bond mania that swept across the world in the 1960s. While not exactly delivering the kind of James Bond films audiences had loved and come to expect, Casino Royale has became a cult classic in the ensuing decades, a colorful addendum to the history of the 007 legacy. With an all-star cast that included David Niven, Deborah Kerr, John Huston, Woody Allen, Peter Sellers, cameos by Jean-Paul Belmondo, David McCallum, and Peter O’Toole, and even featuring an authentic Bond girl, Ursula Andress (from Dr. No), the rag-tag craziness on view was directed by several different directors – John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish, with Val Guest overseeing the entire production. As would be expected, the end result was eclectic, sometimes very funny, and sometimes just plain weird.
One person who immensely helped tie the whole thing together was the brilliant Burt Bacharach, who provided one of the most popular and universally applauded features of Casino Royale: its musical score. Hired on the strength of his music for What’s New Pussycat?, the composer was expected to bring the same kind of cheek to Feldman’s latest picture, offering a colorful kaleidoscope that went on to define the Swingin’ Sixties without referencing the typical musical spy vernacular. In fact, Bacharach’s approach is much closer to the Henry Mancini/Blake Edwards song scores such as The Pink Panther or The Party, which may explain the soundtrack’s extraordinary success on its own. The score was nominated for a Grammy and “The Look of Love” received an Oscar nomination. Bacharach had, of course, had countless hits by the time of this film, and would go on to have countless more (one of the only pop song composers to have hits in every decade since the 1950s), as well as providing the soundtracks to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Arthur, and many other films.
This is the third CD release for Casino Royale (although both releases on Varese Sarabande were pretty much identical) – the original LP has long been considered one of the great audiophile releases, thanks to a nod in The Absolute Sound. But due to an unfortunate accident, just prior to the transfer of the master tape, the tape was rewound too quickly and stripped of iron oxide, thereby compromising and damaging the tape. The transfer could still be made and the CD came out – but anyone expecting it to sound like the LP was disappointed, and for obvious reasons. For this release, we have spent much time in trying to alleviate some of the effects of the tape damage – our mastering engineer, James Nelson, has painstakingly and lovingly repaired numerous dropouts and other anomalies and we’ve worked very hard to get this to sound as good as it ever has or will, and the result is pretty amazing. We’ve also added three short bonus cues, available on CD for the first time, including the original end credits vocal. And, of course, we get the great performances of Dusty Springfield and Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass.
But one of the main reasons for doing this third CD release was to offer as a bonus a straight transfer of that original record – done from several pristine copies of the LP – so that the original sound, with no additional processing or EQ, is captured on CD for the very first time. We leave it for others to judge whether that sound holds up for today’s listeners. Given what happened to the master tape, this is as close to that original LP sound as we’re ever going to get.
This very special release is limited to 1000 copies only. The price of the CD is $19.98, plus shipping. Additionally, we are offering a special deal with the purchase of this release.
CD will ship the last week of January – however, preorders placed directly through Kritzerland usually ship one to five weeks earlier (we’ve been averaging four weeks early).