Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2020 March 16 • Monday

It hasn't been very long since we were talking about John Barry here but what the hell, he's a favorite and we've been on a Christopher Walken kick here, so the 613th Soundtrack of the Week is John Barry's score for A View to a Kill, a.k.a. The One with Christopher Walken, a.k.a. The One with Grace Jones, a.k.a. The One with Christopher Walken and Grace Jones, a.k.a. The One with Grace Jones and Christopher Walken, a.k.a. The One with Patrick Macnee.

A View to a Kill is a pretty bad movie but it has a great theme song, a collaboration between Barry and Duran Duran.

This is followed by "Snow Job", music for the opening scene of Bond in action in Siberia. In the movie version, this is interrupted by a gruesome rendition of The Beach Boys' "California Girls" to accompany a gruesome sequence of Bond snow-surfing with the runner from a snowmobile. It's even more gruesome when you consider that "California Girls" isn't even a surfing song. But since much of the movi, and the main "Bond girl" are in San Francisco, maybe this is gruesomely clever in some completely pointless way.

"May Day Jumps" is mostly an arrangement of the famous "James Bond Theme"

"Bond Meets Stacey" is the main title theme reinterpreted as a gentle love ballad with the melody handled by flute.

“Pegasus' Stable" is suspenseful and atmospheric music of a particular flavor that Barry seems to have created. You would know it was his work after two seconds. The mood continues in the next track, "Tibbett Gets Washed Out".

For "Airship to Silicon Valley", Barry gives us an appropriately soaring and majestic piece.

The blaring wind instruments and electric guitar of "Snow Job" return for "He's Dangerous", an action cue that uses some of the same ideas as that opening cue.

I was hoping for more from "Bond Underwater" as Barry is so good at that kind of thing, but this is a fairly generic piece of Barry Bond music.

The love theme interpretation of the title song returns for "Wine with Stacey", a scene in which James Bond makes a quiche, possibly because the book Real Men Don't Eat Quiche had been a recent best-seller.

The remaining few tracks are all either of the "Pegasus' Stable" or "Snow Job" variety.

What else is there to say about A View to a Kill?

It's Dolph Lundgren's first movie. He was studying chemical engineering when he became Grace Jones's bodyguard to help pay the bills.

He and Jones started dating and when Lundgren moved to Boston after getting a Fulbright scholarship to study at MIT, Jones apparently talked him into ditching this science crap and getting into show biz.

She must have meant it because here he is in The One with Grace Jones.

If a James Bond movie is going to be any good at all, it's going to be good because of stylistic elements: music, photography, set design, locations, clothes, etc. Grace Jones is one of the best things in this otherwise dreary Goldfinger retread.

Of course Christopher Walken is a wonderful casting choice for a villain but he doesn't have much to do and there isn't a lot of him in the movie.

Finally, James Bond has a fancy Sharper Image credit card or some such thing that electronically opens non-electronic locks for him.

I remember when The Sharper Image had some kind of deal going with the Bond people. When I was a kid going to the Sharper Image store was always a bitexciting in a vague sort of way. Maybe this is where James Bond goes!