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Dr. No (soundtrack)

The soundtrack for Dr. No was written by Monty Norman. The soundtrack is heavily influenced by calypso and other Jamaican rhythms. The original soundtrack was released by United Artists Records in 1963.

The most notable song is the original James Bond Theme. However, it has occasionally been suggested that the theme was not written by Norman, but by John Barry, who arranged the theme but was uncredited, except for the credit of his orchestra playing the final piece. The dispute over authorship of the theme has resulted in two court cases, the most recent in 2001. Monty Norman won the latest court case, confirming his authorship of the theme, and some portions of the famous theme are based on music he composed for a stage musical several years prior to this film's production. The James Bond Theme reached number 13 in the UK charts in November 1962.

This first film in the Bond series does not have an individual main theme, unlike the subsequent films; the opening titles use the James Bond Theme which fades into calypso music ("Kingston Calypso"). The end titles again use the Bond Theme.

Monty Norman was invited to write the score because Broccoli liked his work on the 1961 theatre production Belle, a musical about murderer Hawley Harvey Krippen. Norman was busy with musicals, and only accepted to do the music for Dr. No after Saltzman allowed him to travel along with the crew to Jamaica.

The music for the opening scene is a calypso version of the nursery rhyme "Three Blind Mice", with new lyrics to reflect the intentions of the three assassins hired by Dr. No. Other notable songs in the film are the song "Jump Up", played in the background of the bar James Bond talks with Felix Leiter, and the traditional Jamaican calypso "Under the Mango Tree", famously sung by Diana Coupland (then Norman's wife), the singing voice of Honey Ryder, as she walked out of the ocean on Crab Key. Byron Lee & the Dragonaires appeared in the film and performed most of the music on the later soundtrack album. Lee and other Jamaican musicians who appear in soundtrack were introduced to Norman by Chris Blackwell, the owner of then-small label Island Records who worked in the film as a location scout.

Track listing

  • "James Bond Theme" – John Barry Orchestra
  • "Kingston Calypso" – Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
  • "Jamaican Rock" (not heard in the film, a possible unused title track)
  • "Jump Up" – Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
  • "Audio Bongo" (an Electronic music version of a musical theme for Dr. No)
  • "Under the Mango Tree" – Diana Coupland
  • "Twisting with James" (a version of "Dr No's Fantasy" unused in the film)
  • "Jamaica Jazz" - (unused in the film, an instrumental of Jump Up)
  • "Under the Mango Tree" - (Instrumental unused in the film)
  • "Jump Up" – Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
  • "Dr. No's Fantasy" (unused in the film)
  • "Kingston Calypso" – Diana Coupland
  • "The Island Speaks" (an instrumental version of a musical theme for Dr. No accompanying Bond and Quarrel landing on Crab Key)
  • "Under the Mango Tree" – Monty Norman
  • "The Boy's Chase" (unused in the film)
  • "Dr. No's Theme" [instrumental version of Kingston Calypso]
  • "The James Bond Theme" (an unused instrumental version of Dr. No's Fantasy)
  • "Love at Last" (heard briefly in a party sequence)
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