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You Only Live Twice (soundtrack)

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You Only Live Twice
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJuly 1967
RecordedApril 1967
LabelUnited Artists
ProducerJohn Barry
Lukas Kendall (2003 Reissue)
John Barry chronology
The Wrong Box
You Only Live Twice
James Bond soundtrack chronology
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Singles from You Only Live Twice
  1. "You Only Live Twice"
    Released: 1967
Professional ratings
Review scores

You Only Live Twice is the soundtrack for the fifth James Bond film of the same name. It was composed by Bond veteran John Barry. At the time, this was his fourth credited Bond film. The theme song, "You Only Live Twice", was sung by Nancy Sinatra, the first non-British vocalist of the series, with music by Barry and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. The soundtrack has previously been available in two versions on CD – the first, a straight reissue of the LP soundtrack, and the second, an expanded reissue including several previously unreleased tracks. The film soundtrack was recorded at CTS Studios, London. It debuted on the top 40 Billboard 200 album chart on August 19, 1967, and went up to 27.[2]

Alternative theme[edit]

An earlier version of the theme song with a similar arrangement and lyrics but different melody (and without the distinctive cascading strings), sung by an uncredited Julie Rogers, was included in the James Bond 30th Anniversary 2-CD boxed set, cited as a "demo". Rogers never thought it was a demo, but a finished version for the film.[3][4] After this version was recorded, the producers sought out Nancy Sinatra for the vocal and Barry reorchestrated the song to suit her range.[5] An alternative example of the title song (also called "You Only Live Twice" and sung by Lorraine Chandler) can be found on compilations such as Rare, Collectable, and Soulful Vol. 2.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "You Only Live Twice (Main Title)" – Nancy Sinatra
  2. "Capsule in Space"
  3. "Fight at Kobe Dock – Helga"
  4. "Tanaka's World"
  5. "A Drop in the Ocean"
  6. "The Death of Aki"
  7. "Mountains and Sunsets"
  8. "The Wedding"
  9. "James Bond – Astronaut?"
  10. "Countdown for Blofeld"
  11. "Bond Averts World War Three"
  12. "You Only Live Twice (End Title)" – Nancy Sinatra
  13. "James Bond in Japan"[A]
  14. "Aki, Tiger and Osato"
  15. "Little Nellie"
  16. "Soviet Capsule"
  17. "Spectre and Village"
  18. "James Bond – Ninja"
  19. "Twice Is the Only Way to Live"
  1. ^ contains the "James Bond Theme", originally composed for the Dr. No soundtrack

Tracks 13 to 19 were added later, as a bonus, to the complete version of the original soundtrack upon its digitally remastered CD rerelease.

"Twice Is the Only Way to Live" was the final track on the soundtrack's original UK version. It was also included on the United Artists soundtrack compilation Ten Golden Years (1968). On certain releases of the You Only Live Twice soundtrack album, the "007 Theme" is included. It is heard within the film when Little Nellie is being constructed and continues to play until three or four SPECTRE helicopters encounter Bond, at which point the music changes to the "James Bond Theme". Giving the score a Japanese flavour, John Leach played the koto in the film,[7]

Other Sinatra version[edit]

Nancy Sinatra recorded a record chart version of "You Only Live Twice" for Reprise Records that was arranged by guitarist Billy Strange who released several records of cover versions of Bond musical themes. Lee Hazlewood felt Barry's lush instrumental backing was not suitable for a chart single. On the Reprise version Sinatra's voice is double tracked giving not only an unusual sound but a pun on the title.[8] The record was released with a cover of Johnny Cash and June Carter's "Jackson" performed by Nancy Sinatra and Hazlewood.

Appearances and cover versions[edit]

Soft Cell’s cover of You Only Live Twice was the B side to their single Soul Inside in September 1983.

The theme "Kronos Unveiled" from the score of Pixar's 2004 film The Incredibles bears a close resemblance to the track "Capsule in Space" (reprised in "Soviet Capsule"), while the film's trailer had used Barry's original On Her Majesty's Secret Service theme.

Propellerheads' cover of Barry's On Her Majesty's Secret Service with David Arnold also incorporates, in its full 9-minute version, "Capsule in Space" as a central segue.

"You Only Live Twice" appeared at the end of Mad Men episode "The Phantom".

Little Anthony & The Imperials recorded a cover version of the song for United Artists Records. It appeared on their 1967 album, Movie Grabbers on the label's Veep Records subsidiary that year, and was released as a single from that album.

The 2011 single Bright Lights Bigger City by CeeLo Green samples a part of the instrumental of You Only Live Twice.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Joel Whitburn, The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums, 3rd edition, 1996, page 359.
  3. ^ "Julie Rogers Interview". MI6.co.uk. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  4. ^ "You Only Live Twice soundtrack". The James Bond Dossier. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  5. ^ "You Only Sing Twice". MI6.co.uk. 17 June 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
  6. ^ "Biography – Lorraine Chandler". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 February 2008.
  7. ^ "John Leach - obituary".
  8. ^ "Chartin' with Nancy, Part One: U.S. Hit Singles and Albums - The Official Site of Nancy Sinatra".