John Barry returns for the final time with The Living Daylights score. Luckily The Living Daylights score by Barry is a great swan song, reawakening the great tracks of the past. The Living Daylights also marked the new portrayal of James Bond by Timothy Dalton who would play the character in a more serious role. The tension mounts from the beginning with 'Exercise At Gibraltar' that nicely blends into a slowed-down version of The James Bond Theme before morphing into an upbeat version. The tension, suspense and intrigue doesn't really let up throughout the whole soundtrack with the majority of tracks having a suspense-filled ambient sound.
After the title theme, the tension cranks up a gear in 'The Sniper Was A Woman', which builds up very slowly. The same can be said about 'Koskov Escapes' with powerful notes in the middle marking the aircraft taking off and finishing with victorious notes combined with The James Bond Theme. The pace changes into a loud jazzy style with 'Necros Attacks' and later similarly reappears in 'Murder at the Fair' and 'In-flight Fight'. As Bond meets Kara for the first time, softer cues are used to represent the mystery of the encounter especially in 'Kara meets Bond' where a haunting flute solo plays. The pace picks back up in 'Ice Chase' which also features a great rendition of The James Bond Theme. The action, tension and suspense doesn't let up for the rest of the CD, starting with '"Assassin" and Drugged' and ending in 'Final Confrontation'. The Pretenders provide an end theme very fitting to the movie with 'If There Was A Man' followed by an instrumental version.
Highlights on this CD Soundtrack are once again difficult due to the quality of the majority of the cues, especially in the second-half of the CD. Should John Barry decide not to do another James Bond score, this will have indeed been a great final farewell and salute to the world of James Bond.
While you may prefer to listen to the tracks as they are presented, below is a list of the tracks arranged in the order they appear in the movie, which is my personal preference of listening to the James Bond CD's.
13. Exercise at Gibraltar (6:22)
1. The Living Daylights (4:16)
3. The Sniper Was A Woman (2:30)
6. Koskov Escapes (2:23)
2. Necros Attacks (2:04)
7. Where Has Everyone Gone? (3:37)
14. Approaching Kara (2:21)
5. Kara Meets Bond (2:47)
4. Ice Chase (4:05)
8. Into Vienna (2:50)
15. Murder at the Fair (2:22)
16. "Assassin" and Drugged (2:43)
17. Airbase Jailbreak (4:37)
10. Mujahadin and Opium (3:13)
18. Afghanistan Plan (3:34)
9. Hercules Takes Off (2:17)
11. Inflight Fight (3:12)
19. Air Bond (1:46)
20. Final Confrontation (1:58)
12. If There Was A Man (2:53)
21. Alternative End Titles (3:19)