Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Billy Strange - The James Bond Theme - Walk Don't Run '64dot
artworkBilly Strange is a great studio guitarist. Some of his work just rules! The stinging guitar in Bruce Johnston's "Jersey Channel Island Part 7" is his. But, as is the fate of all studio players, they are at the mercy of what the producer wants. It is their very ability to do anything, and do it right the first time, that makes them so valuable, but also means they play some real crud. The James Bond Theme - Walk Don't Run '64 is not even close to Billy Strange's best work. What I was left with was a sense of a low grade off-Broadway musical.

Track by Track Review

The James Bond Theme dotdotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Purely commercial with horns in tow, Billy Strange nonetheless plays some very nice lines with a touch of reverb.

Nobody I Know dotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

The popness that is "Nobody I Know" does not get better with guitar and horns. Way too repetitious.

In The Mood dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Orchestrally complex horn section plays a really light weight version of "In The Mood." Entirely forgettable.

Memphis dotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Covering Johnny Rivers' cover of Chuck Berry's "Memphis," Billy Strange's guitar is really thin. Steve Douglas' (I think) sax has its moments, but mostly, if not for the cleanliness of the recording, this would have no value at all. Pallid at best.

Wishin' & Hopin' dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Jackie DeShannon's "Wishin' & Hopin'" is in an odd way suitable fodder for this studio amalgam. Billy Strange' guitar work is very precise, but wasted on this.

C'mon And Swim dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

The band attempts to rock out on Bobby Freeman's "C'mon And Swim," but the marching band horns and drums just don't make it. You won't miss this one.

Walk, Don't Run '64 dotdot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Covering The Ventures' surfized version of their classic with limp dry guitars is just wimpy. Marching band goes to the beach.

The Girl From Ipanema dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

This is really light and frothy, and it has none of the charm of Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto's hit. Not memorable.

A Hard Day's Night dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" is done with no flair. You can almost hear them reading the music.

Bernie's Tune dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Bordering on nice, but blocks away from rock, "Bernie's Tune" is done with precision, but no oomph aside from the drums.

007 Theme dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

kettle drums, car beeping horns, and tremolo guitar. No charm, but arranged as if it was on Broadway - that pretty much typifies the sound of the album - musical.

House Of The Rising Sun dot
Pop Rock (Instrumental)

Remember the nearly religious feeling of the organ in The Animals' cover of Georgia Turner and Bert Martin's "House Of The Rising Sun?" Not a drop of the rich heartfelt blues experience here.