The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Double-O Vision: Burt Bacharach’s “Casino Royale” Expanded and Remastered…Again!

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Seven James Bonds at Casino Royale/They came to save the world and win the gal at Casino RoyaleSix of them went to a heavenly spot, the seventh one is going to a place where it’s terribly hot…

Hal David’s lyric captures just a small fraction of the insanity of Charles K. Feldman’s 1967 Casino Royale, the big-budget comic extravaganza that was “too much…for one James Bond!”  And so, David Niven as James Bond was joined by 007s of all shapes and sizes (and genders!), and even by his nephew, Jimmy Bond, portrayed by Woody Allen.  But the iconoclastic score by Burt Bacharach was too much for one soundtrack album, too.  We’ve told the entire (sordid?) tale of the film here, so if you’re not caught up with this Bacharach bacchanal, do click, and join us later.  Back?  Good.  Following two CD reissues on the Varese Sarabande label, a DVD-A from Classic Records and a 2010 edition from Kritzerland that many listeners (including this writer) considered the last word on Casino Royale, Spain’s Quartet Records has thrown its hat into the ring.  Quartet has just announced a 45th Anniversary edition of Bacharach’s seminal score, and it’s a doozy, a slipcased 2-CD set with two booklets, one of which is 64 pages in length.  Yes, Casino Royale is back yet again!  This follows Quartet’s remastered edition of Bacharach’s score to What’s New Pussycat?, the earlier Feldman-produced film also starring Peter Sellers and Woody Allen.

Quartet’s ambitious set not only commemorates the 45th anniversary of this monument to Hollywood excess but also the 50th anniversary of Ian Fleming’s James Bond franchise.  Though the film is hardly canon for the long-running series, its greatest asset is a score that can stand alongside the best of the official Bond scores composed by the legendary John Barry.  Dusty Springfield sang the Academy Award-nominated “The Look of Love” over a scene in which Peter Sellers and Ursula Andress are cavorting, as viewed through a giant fish tank; Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass contribute the instrumental title theme.

Kritzerland’s sold-out expanded edition of Casino Royale (Kritzerland KR 20017-6) offered the score in two presentations.  On the first half of the CD, Bacharach’s music was presented in film order, with material not on the original Colgems album including the climactic song performed by Mike Redway, “Have No Fear, Bond is Here.”  The original album master and the film’s DVD were both utilized for this presentation.   The second half of the disc was the original LP sequence, mastered from a mint vinyl copy, with no added EQ or processing; as good as that sounds (its best yet!), the new, complete presentation made this the definitive treatment of a classic score to date.  What is Quartet bringing to the table?  Hit the jump to find out!

Quartet reports that the label has “found two different DMEs [Dialog-Music-Effects] in MGM’s vaults and although the music stems were in mono, they were in excellent condition except for the obligatory volume shifts in mixing.”  Quartet enlisted engineer José Luis Crespo to edit and remaster the tapes, and the label’s statement promises “every single note recorded by Bacharach for the film is here.”  This marks the first time the original Colgems LP presentation has not been the basis of a Casino Royale soundtrack.  Quartet has created a stereo image using Pro-Tools software, and mastered with the CEDAR process.  (The apparent choice to present this material in artificial stereo rather than mono could prove controversial.)

Disc Two presents the original soundtrack LP, but with a difference.  Quartet praises “the superb Kritzerland issue the past year, and his [producer Bruce Kimmel’s] valiant effort to present this soundtrack from mint condition vinyl, maintaining the brightness of the original LP.”  For the new reissue, however, Quartet drew upon a 1/2 15 i.p.s. tape in the vaults of Sony Music Spain, which was utilized for the release of RCA Victor’s Spanish release of the soundtrack album in March 1968. This is not a first generation tape, but Quartet feels it is a “good alternative and… possibly as good as Casino Royale is going to sound in the digital domain.”

The slipcased package includes an 8-page full color booklet and a separate 64-page full color book with notes by Bond music historian Gergely Hubai.  Hubai discusses the film’s troubled production history, and analyzes Bacharach’s music via track-by-track notes, while the book is illustrated with rare stills, poster artwork and other memorabilia.

The 45th Anniversary Edition of Casino Royale is limited to 1,500 copies and is due to ship late this month.  It can be pre-ordered now from both Screen Archives Entertainment and Quartet Records itself.  Have no fear…Bond is here!

Burt Bacharach, Casino Royale: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Quartet Records QRSCE037, 2012)

CD 1: The Complete Original Soundtrack

  1. Main Titles (2:36) – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
  2. Opening Cars Converging / To the Bond Chateau (1:54)
  3. The Black Rose (0:33)
  4. Pipe Lament / James Bond in Scotland (1:14)
  5. Cock O’ the North (1:52)
  6. The Widow Duty of Lady Fiona / Wassail (3:41)
  7. Agent Mimi Locked in Her Room (1:35)
  8. Grouse Shoot (0:33)
  9. Mimi’s Lament (1:29)
  10. Little French Boy (Drink a Pint of Milk a Day) (2:08)
  11. Money Penny’s Bedroom (1:36)
  12. Gymnasium Training (1:48)
  13. Buckingham Club (1:19)
  14. The Look of Love (3:46) – Dusty Springfield
  15. Proposals, Super 8 and Costumes (1:35)
  16. Sir James’ Trip to Find Mata / Temple Dance (3:14)
  17. Sitar Background / Back to London (2:54)
  18. Arrival in Berlin (1:03)
  19. Old Berlin House / Mata-Hari School for Spies (2:43)
  20. Escape from the Berlin House (1:19)
  21. Bond Arrival in France (0:39)
  22. Vesper in the Shower (0:42)
  23. Hi There Miss Goodthighs (1:15)
  24. Dream On James, You’re Winning (1:17) –  Mike Redway
  25. Le Chiffre’s Magic Act / My Name is Bond, James Bond (1:14)
  26. Vesper’s Kidnapping (0:44)
  27. Torture Sequence (0:29)
  28. Mata’s Kidnapping / Flying Saucer (1:05)
  29.  Sister McTarry (0:36)
  30. Fight in Casino Manager’s Office / Dr. Noah’s Headquarters (2:09)
  31. The LSD Room (0:34)
  32. The Big Fight at Casino Royale (4:30)
  33. Seven Bonds in Heaven / End Title (2:25) – Mike Redway

CD 2: The Soundtrack Album (originally released as Colgems LP COSO-5005, 1967)

  1. Casino Royale Theme (Main Title) (2:36) – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
  2. The Look of Love (4:09) – Dusty Springfield
  3. Money Penny Goes for Broke (1:38)
  4. Le Chiffre’s Torture of the Mind (2:10)
  5. Home James, Don’t Spare the Horses (1:31)
  6.  Sir James’ Trip to Find Mata (3:48)
  7. The Look of Love (Instrumental) (2:46)
  8. Hi There Miss Goodthighs (1:14)
  9. Little French Boy (2:21)
  10. Flying Saucer / First Stop Berlin (2:52)
  11. The Venerable Sir James Bond (2:30)
  12. Dream on James, You’re Winning (1:18)
  13. The Big Cowboys and Indians Fight at Casino Royale / Casino Royale Theme (Reprise) (4:57) – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass

Written by Joe Marchese

February 22, 2012 at 09:47

4 Responses

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  1. Someone should have done this years ago. I’ll be getting this 🙂

    Mylene

    February 22, 2012 at 17:43

  2. Ugh, fake stereo for disc one and a folded-in stereo image on disc two? (check out the samples on the Quartet site!)

    Fair enough if the Spanish album tapes were already narrowed but the fake stereo is unacceptable.

    Ben

    February 27, 2012 at 19:54

  3. The re-processed stereo produces an image like Dusty Springfield is in the room with you humming away. This is a great collection.

    Harry Pearson

    March 16, 2012 at 15:28

  4. Darn glad to have something so complete regarding the great music from this turkey film..Still, I enjoy watching it as a period piece from the late 60’s…
    Burt’s music transcends most of the films he scored, and this is certainly one of his best! : ) Kudos to Quartet!

    Steve Owen

    April 4, 2012 at 22:54


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