The "Casino Royale" soundtrack is an audiophile's delight

JOv2

Well-Known Member
They sound like vibes on every version, but on the better remasters and with decent equipment, you can hear the mallets striking the vibes, and the nuances Feldman puts into them, much better. Even with what seems like an oddball choice--"My Little Drum," the third track from the Charlie Brown Christmas album. The recent Kevin Gray remaster (and the SH/KG 45 RPM remaster from a decade earlier) allow us to hear the individual children's voices in the vocal group. Or in any well-recorded jazz tune, hearing that attack and shimmering decay of a cymbal being struck.
Ah, definition! Of course. That's always the litmus test for me: hearing more into the music by feeling, in an aural sense, not just the principal tones but the assorted overtones, resonance, etc., such that technical aspects that are otherwise buried now come to the fore (e.g., articulation). Then there are the tonal clusters that seemingly produce new sounds (particularly notable in monaural engineering with that point source of sound, which Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper did so well to exhibit to the pop world back in '66/'67).


Recordings will never match "being there" in person, but a good recording, well-reproduced, can take us a bit further into the experience. And there's this sense on the better AAA remasters that we are practically hearing what was on those original master tapes, all those years ago, as perfect (or as perfectly flawed) as the day they were committed to tape.
Touche`!
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
The recent Kevin Gray remaster (and the SH/KG 45 RPM remaster from a decade earlier) allow us to hear the individual children's voices in the vocal group
Good. I was discovering this for the first time recently (...I know...finally...after all these years! Oh, good grief!) when I upgraded my speaker and component cables. For instance, on pre-Revolver ('66) Beatles recordings, John and Paul routinely harmonize on each other's pieces. Their voices at times may sound similar; but, since the upgrade I started to hear (and feel) their different timbres and can now discern each voice, which -- I have to tell you -- is pretty darn exciting! Better yet, take Ray Conniff (at no more than $6/LP -- NM). His pre-'62 LPs feature the wordless choir (most often 4 women and 4 men) blending with also saxes and trumpets (women) and tenor saxes and trombones (men). To me it was always just one homogenous sound. Since, the upgrade, however, not only do the voices begin to separate out from the instruments, but there are times when I can all the more discern individual timbres of a voice of two. Following this thought, then, it would seem that heightening the sound reproducing scheme does allow for this increased definition. To be sure, it's subtle, as you say, but once you hear it -- it's locked in. Herb's own production on the song, South Of The Border is yet another good reference: listen for the mandolin on the left channel -- the more tones that you can fully discern the better your system and listening room is doing at separating the waves from that source.
 

Rudy

¬°Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
That's really what I enjoy about listening these days--hearing how the individual parts make up the whole. It's taken almost four decades to get to this point.

Yet I'm also just as happy when I'm working on one of the car projects in the driveway, a Chromecast Audio puck attached to an old boombox in the garage, streaming one of my Pandora stations or using Roon to play several albums from the music library. Low-fi? Maybe a little better than that, but it's great to have the music as a background. The neighbors probably think I'm psychotic (it'll be salsa one day, The Mavericks on another, an 80s channel the next, funk/soul the next week), but that beats what I've heard them playing. ūüėĀ
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
The neighbors probably think I'm psychotic
Same here: Weekly weekend yard work promotes a 2-3 hour deluge of anything from Billy Vaughn to Blodwin Pig. (Last weekend it was Dean Martin, Cannonball Adderley, and Buck Owens.)
 

lj

Well-Known Member
The music from Casino Royale is pop music perfection--no surprise since it was written by the Maestro himself Burt Bacharach. How can you find a better trio of songs than "Bond Street" and "The Look of Love" and of course the theme song. It baffles me how at the 1968 Academy Awards Show the song "Talk to the Animals" beat out "The Look of Love"--arguably Burt's best ever ballad -- for best movie song from 1967. I read that studio politics swayed the Academy voters.
 

Rudy

¬°Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
The soundtrack is quite a mixed bag, musically. I would say it's probably the most varied of his soundtrack albums in terms of moods and styles. I listened to it again this afternoon and was admiring many of the tracks. In some of the orchestral sections, I hear the influence that Darius Milhaud had on Bacharach's composing. I can't say the album did much for me on the first several times I listened to it years ago, but it's grown quite a bit. It's definitely a much deeper collection of moods than Butch Cassidy, which Bacharach approached more as a period piece given the era the story took part in, and the locales. (In other words, it was more like a Western film, so a lot of the globetrotting themes of a film like Casino Royale would never have worked.)
 

lj

Well-Known Member
Bacharach for a period of time studied under the French classical composer Darius Milhaud. Right away Milhaud recognized that Burt could write beautiful lyrical lines and themes and encouraged him to continue to do so. That was good advice.

You are right Rudy--the music from Butch Cassidy was a period piece--but oh how beautiful it was. Interestingly, the first track on the soundtrack is "Sundance Kid" which was never heard in movie theaters. However, it's like a perfect overture to the rest of the album. And "Not Goin' Home Anymore" in the movie was standalone music without lyrics. Later Hal David added words, and it became The Carnival's "Where There's A Heartache" released in 1971 with Janis Hansen's lovely vocal.
 
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