Saturday, 30 January 2010 13:15

From Russia With Love - Matt Monro

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From Russia With Love - Matt Monro
January 30, 2010

We are grateful to Richard Moore, who was responsible for the remastering on the new Matt Monro box-set, for providing the following definitive explanation to something which has puzzled Bond fans and others for years.

"The noise on From Russia - which I haven't been able to remove - is George Martin talking to Johnnie Spence during the Tack Piano overdub. This was recorded at half speed so what you're actually hearing is their conversation sped up - audible on both Mono and Stereo versions. The only way to remove it (and find out exactly what was said) is to listen to the multi track which was mysteriously missing until last week!!!!!"

Richard also confirmed that John Barry had no hand in the recording of the song, contrary to the impression given by various EMI soundtrack albums.

Source: Geoff Leonard

Matt Monro's From Russia With Love original session tapes missing
January 30, 2010

"Two of the missing tracks on my listing (From Russia With Love and Tahiti) were not supplied as they were marked NOT EMI – UA in other words United Artists.

This is not to say that we can't use the tracks, but that the original session tapes I wanted to use have been sent back to United Artists films in 2006. This leads to two months of fevered searching. United Artists is owned by MGM and they search everywhere they can think of – The James Bond archives, the MGM archives in the UK and USA and various sub archives – they can find nothing and what's more there is no record of anything being returned to them in the past three years.

So unfortunately these tapes have disappeared down some form of black hole – so I am left with Mono mixes of these tracks for this compilation.

I haven't given up though and although I haven't found the tapes yet, they are out there somewhere and can hopefully be used in a future project."

Source:, Richard Moore, "Spotlight on ... ' The Making of 'The Complete Singles Collection'

Source: Geoff Leonard

From Russia With Love - continued
February 3, 2010

Richard Moore, the co-researcher behind the "Special Reserve" Matt Monro book, lists Colin Keyes as arranger and conductor on Monro's This Way Mary/Wish Now Was Then single. We pointed out to him that EMI had provided label-copy to Play It Again (for The Don Black Songbook) which indicated that John Barry had this role, and that the original single bore that credit.

His reply was interesting:

"Yes this was a mystery solved in many ways. The original single doesn't list an arranger or conductor and no paperwork for this session other than the "red form" (which was the session booking form) survives and this has no indication of who it was. However, as I'm sure you're aware, Matt does not appear on the soundtrack of the film so it wasn't clear if John Barry had any involvement.

As luck would then have it, whilst Michele was interviewing Colin he spoke of his first session - This Way Mary/Wish Now Was Then.

A short while later Michele uncovered some contemporary paperwork which listed arrangers and conductors of all recent material (dating from about 1973) which once again confirmed Colin as Arranger and Conductor."

I found this pretty convincing, especially as I noted my (demo) copy of the single did not have any credit, but Barry expert Gareth Bramley is having none of it.

"The record release clearly states 'Orch. Arr & Cond by John Barry on both sides:

7YCA 33021/2 (DB 8860) p. 1972 by George Martin

The other 'Barry connection' (Curiouser & Curiouser/The Me I Never Knew) quite clearly sounds nothing like Barry and wasn't him and is also clearly credited:

7YCA 33158/9 (DB 8936) p. 20/10/72 by George Martin. Orchestra arr & cond by Colin Keyes

Why on earth should these details be wrong. It's obvious that - by listening to them - both are quite different in sound and are clearly different arrangers."

Source: Geoff Leonard


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