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Section Header
1985 A&M Album

1995 MCA Album

1997 Rykodisc Album

2003 EMI Album

Composed and Conducted by:
John Barry

"All Time High" Performed by:
Rita Coolidge

1997 Album Produced by:
Jeff Rougvie
Andrea Troolin

2003 Album Produced by:
Gregg Ogorzelec

Labels and Dates:
A&M Records

Music Collectors Anonymous (Bootleg)

Rykodisc USA
(October 14th, 1997)

(February 11th, 2003)

Also See:
A View to a Kill
The Living Daylights

Audio Clips:
1997 Album:

1. All Time High (0:35):
WMA (224K)  MP3 (280K)
Real Audio (174K)

2. Bond Look Alike (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

5. That's My Little Octopussy (0:32):
WMA (209K)  MP3 (257K)
Real Audio (160K)

13. The Palace Fight (0:28):
WMA (184K)  MP3 (224K)
Real Audio (139K)

The 1985 album from A&M is long gone and only occasionally surfaces on the secondary market. Its value diminished greatly when both Octopussy and For Your Eyes Only were released on commercial albums n 1997. The 1995 bootleg from the "Music Collectors Anonymous" label is equally rare and in low demand. The 1997 album was a regular U.S. release, but fell out of print after just a few years. The 2003 EMI/Capitol album is a value commercial release selling for less than $10.


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Sales Rank: 127320

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Buy it... if you prefer John Barry's more sentimental and conservative James Bond scores of the 1960's and 70's, for Octopussy is one last return to that more traditional style.

Avoid it... if you believe the formula of the early Bond scores by Barry causes them to overlap too often in theme and action rhythms, in which case the two more experimental scores following Octopussy are better suited for you.

Octopussy: (John Barry) Fans of the James Bond franchise were well accustomed to the wise-cracking charms of Roger Moore by 1983's Octopussy, the sixth of the actor's seven films as 007. For the first time in its history, the traditional Albert R. Broccoli franchise was facing serious competition from another studio attempting to steal the Bond thunder. To be released later in the same year was Never Say Never Again, Sean Connery's failed return to the role. To ensure that the "official" Bond franchise would remain the dominant adaptation of Ian Fleming's famed British spy, producer Broccoli and director Jon Glen (returning for his second consecutive Bond film at the helm), along with most of the regular crew, were more determined than ever to make Octopussy a trademark Bond venture. They toned back the scope of the technology, followed Fleming's story more closely, and were successful in returning composer John Barry to the franchise. Barry's music for the series in the 1960's and early 1970's was one of the more recognizable elements of the Bond formula, but the composer's move from England to Los Angeles in 1975 caused him to lose the assignments to all the Bond films except Moonraker during the following eight years. He was asked to score Never Say Never Again, but refused out of loyalty to the original franchise and instead returned to London where he could be involved in the next three official Bond films. His return for Octopussy was especially welcomed after a disappointingly "popified" score by Bill Conti for 1981's For Your Eyes Only, which some fans of the series consider to be among the very worst scores for any Bond film. Barry's three Bond scores in the mid-1980's were all quite good, with each effort gaining strength as the composer successfully combined his traditional style with the flair of electronics and rock-based percussion. He would save most of this experimentation for the forthcoming A View to a Kill, but the groundwork for the action rhythms in that score and The Living Daylights would be established briefly in Octopussy.

Up front, the most obvious aspect of Barry's return to the world of 007 is the flowing, romantic ballad serving as the song and primary theme for the film. With the subsequent two films' songs taking the route of straight rock and male vocals (with wild results on the charts), Octopussy offered one last sentimental theme built for an alluring female voice. Rita Coolidge provided the sensual, easy-going tones for the more blatantly sexual title sequence for Octopussy, though lyricist Tim Rice and the producers of the film agreed that this song would be a rare time when the title of the film would not be appropriate as a lyric. The soft rock "All Time High" didn't perform as well as its successors initially, though it remained popular through the years better than many of the franchise's more readily-dated entries. The melody of this song would become the love theme for Bond and the powerful smuggler Octopussy, and outside of the usual song performance and its closing reprise, the two standard instrumental performances of the theme exist in "That's My Little Octopussy" and "Bond Meets Octopussy." A secondary theme for Octopussy and her mysterious lair is introduced by a gorgeous recorder in "Arrival at the Island of Octopussy" and extends to the outset of "Bond Meets Octopussy." Outside of these two new ideas, Barry relies far more heavily on the famous Monty Norman theme for the franchise. This move was party due to the attempt by the entire production to revisit the 1960's formula and partly due to the desire to drive home the fact that Octopussy was a true Bond film and Never Say Never Again was not. The entire pre-credit hangar sequence heard in "Bond Look-Alike" uses this theme in suspense mode while "Gobinda Attacks" and "The Palace Fight" both provide full, jazzy performances of the theme. In these latter two cues, Barry precedes the Bond theme with an updated variant of his stock action rhythms that would be better explored in the two subsequent scores. This material is stock Barry action for the series, with all its usual plusses and minuses. Two outright suspense cues of little note round out the score in "Bond at the Monsoon Palace" and "The Chase - Bomb Theme," the latter really not providing the nuclear weapon with much of a unique identity.

Learn about

The history of Octopussy on album has been suboptimum. On top of the LP release, a rare CD on the A&M label was pressed in 1985. This product was known to be among the very first CDs offered on the commercial market, and it achieved a value of $250 in the early 1990's (ranked by veteran collectors and soundtrack specialty stores in 1994 as the sixth most valuable soundtrack CD in the world). In 1995, the "Music Collectors Anonymous" label (likely a bootlegger) combined the records of For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy onto one digital transfer and it circulated around the market for a short time before becoming a collectible itself. In 1997, Rykodisc released both scores (as well as The Living Daylights the next year) on their own albums. The sound quality between the original collectibles and the 1997 pressing of Octopussy is identical, as are the musical contents, and Ryko decided to pad the running time of the product with three tracks of dialogue from the film. Those quotes are, unfortunately, mixed at too low a volume compared to the music surrounding them. The Ryko product is also an enhanced CD with the theatrical trailer, pictures, and expanded liner notes; these are nothing too spectacular, but it will amuse franchise fans for a few minutes. The packaging is generous with its extraordinary notes, but anyone who has trouble folding maps back into their proper arrangement will curse its layout. Unfortunately, even this album went out of print, leaving it (and its two Ryko siblings) absent from the market once again. In early 2003, EMI finally re-released all of the Bond scores through Goldeneye for rock bottom prices (any of them can be bought new for under $10) internationally, and many cases, additional music was offered. The primary reason for Bond score collectors to seek these new albums involved the remastering of the scores from source tapes. Barry's recordings typically sound good no matter how old they are --it's a trademark of his work-- and Octopussy already featured good sound on its previous releases. The greatest benefit to the 2003 album is its removal of the three dialogue tracks from the product, returning the listening experience to its original form. Overall, Octopussy ranks among the better Bond scores, despite its rather conservative approach. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Music as Written for Film: ****
    1985/1995 A&M/MCA Albums: ***
    1997 Rykodisc Album: ****
    2003 EMI Album: ****
    Overall: ****

Bias Check:For John Barry reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.85 (in 27 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.48 (in 25,326 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.35 Stars
Smart Average: 3.27 Stars*
***** 97 
**** 112 
*** 98 
** 62 
* 48 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Music Sheet Aivalable
  Marcato -- 8/29/07 (4:00 p.m.)
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 Track Listings (1985 A&M and 2003 EMI Albums): Total Time: 36:02

• 1. All Time High - performed by Rita Coolidge (2:56)
• 2. Bond Look-Alike (3:00)
• 3. 009 Gets the Knife/Gobinda Attacks (3:06)
• 4. That's My little Octopussy (3:14)
• 5. Arrival at the Island of Octopussy (3:23)
• 6. Bond at the Monsoon Palace (3:04)
• 7. Bond Meets Octopussy (3:36)
• 8. Yo-Yo Fight/Death of Vijay (3:45)
• 9. The Chase-Bomb Theme (1:56)
• 10. The Palace Fight (4:33)
• 11. All Time High (Reprise) - performed by Rita Coolidge (3:02)

 Track Listings (1995 MCA Album): Total Time: 71:19

For Your Eyes Only:

• 1. For Your Eyes Only - performed by Sheena Easton (3:07)
• 2. A Drive in the Country (2:25)
• 3. Take Me Home (2:32)
• 4. Melina's Revenge (2:18)
• 5. Gonzales Takes a Dive (3:14)
• 6. St. Cyril's Monastery (4:40)
• 7. Make It Last All Night - performed by Rage (3:31)
• 8. Runaway (3:54)
• 9. Submarine (2:39)
• 10. For Your Eyes Only (1:35)
• 11. Cortina (1:45)
• 12. The P.M. Gets the Bird/For Your Eyes Only (Reprise) - performed by Sheena Easton (5:05)


• 13. All Time High - performed by Rita Coolidge (2:56)
• 14. Bond Look-Alike (3:00)
• 15. 009 Gets the Knife/Gobinda Attacks (3:06)
• 16. That's My little Octopussy (3:14)
• 17. Arrival at the Island of Octopussy (3:23)
• 18. Bond at the Monsoon Palace (3:04)
• 19. Bond Meets Octopussy (3:36)
• 20. Yo-Yo Fight/Death of Vijay (3:45)
• 21. The Chase-Bomb Theme (1:56)
• 22. The Palace Fight (4:33)
• 23. All Time High (Reprise) - performed by Rita Coolidge (3:02)

 Track Listings (1997 Rykodisc Album): Total Time: 37:18

• 1. All Time High - performed by Rita Coolidge (3:05)
• 2. Bond Look Alike (3:01)
• 3. Miss Penelope* (0:30)
• 4. 009 Gets the Knife and Gorbinda Attacks (3:09)
• 5. That's My Little Octopussy (3:15)
• 6. Arrival at the Island Of Octopussy (3:25)
• 7. Introducing Mr Bond* (0:09)
• 8. Bond at the Monsoon Palace (3:06)
• 9. Bond Meets Octopussy (3:37)
• 10. Poison Pen* (0:34)
• 11. Yo Yo Fight and Death of Vijay (3:47)
• 12. The Chase Bomb Theme (1:59)
• 13. The Palace Fight (4:35)
• 14. All Time High (Reprise) - performed by Rita Coolidge (3:02)

* Dialogue from the film

 Notes and Quotes:  

The 1985 and 1995 albums' inserts contain no extra information about the score or film. The 1997 Ryko album's insert contains extensive notes by Lukas Kendall and Geoff Leonard, however the folding art design makes them very difficult to read. These liner notes also include information about the enhanced portion of the CD. The 2003 EMI album also features extensive notation.

  All artwork and sound clips from Octopussy are Copyright © 1997, A&M Records, Music Collectors Anonymous (Bootleg), Rykodisc USA, Capitol/EMI. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/7/97 and last updated 3/3/08. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1997-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.