Casino Royale 1967
Burt Bacharach appropriately comes up with a rambunctious soundtrack for the 1967 James Bond spoof, Casino Royale. Things get underway with Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass’ performance of the fast-paced main title, which features the usual Bacharach mix of pop phrasing and complex arrangements; this theme is subsequently augmented with a lush string arrangement and marching band rhythms on “Sir James’ Trip to Find Mata” and turns into a mod rock jam during “Flying Saucer First Stop Berlin.” Bacharach excelled at these kinds of musical cut-ups, but thankfully he used liberal doses of humor and melody to keep the proceedings from turning too rarefied or messy. At times, the humor even turns to camp, as it does with the manic hodgepodge of circus themes, gypsy music, and lounge grind on “Home James, Don’t Spare the Horses.” The more recognizable and certainly more straightforward side of Bacharach is here, too, on the Dusty Springfield smash “The Look of Love.” This is one of Bacharach’s best soundtracks and a good buy for seasoned fans. Those new to his music, though, should first check out collections on Rhino or Hip-O, which feature original hit versions of his popular songs.