There's a lot of "trains" running through this thread already! In fact, "Bond '77" must be my favorite cue from Marvin Hamlisch's entire career. But my preference is split between two cues by the master, John Barry:
1) GOLDFINGER's "Bond Back in Action" -- for me the definitive rendition of that theme. The sequence gives us everything: urgency, speed, the danger of Bond's solo demolition mission, and the agility of Sean Connery in his prime. But the propulsion of Barry's underscore lifts the action (and along with it, the series) into legend.
But there's also:
2) DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER's "Bond Meets Bambi and Thumper" -- to me, the single most sinister arrangement. Although I haven't actually watched this in many years and have largely forgotten the picture, 44 years of revisiting the soundtrack album have kept vivid in my memory the sight of the unarmed Bond (Connery back in the role and looking, appropriately, older and more vulnerable than ever) warily backing away from the two bikini-clad, highly dangerous young women who advance toward him, backed by the low-key tension of Barry's cue. (The prospect of our habitually womanizing gentleman hero facing his end at the hands of two females, who sport the names of two innocent, cheerful Disney cartoon characters, heightens the ironic dread which Barry achieves.)
Edit: I'm sorry, but a better-informed friend has told me that "Bond Meets Bambi and Thumper" plays in DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER as Bond arrives at the house and ends before he is actually attacked. Therefore, my remarks above reflect my internal associations from decades of listening to the album, rather than what the cue truly does in the movie. In that case, another arrangement I'll cite is:
3) ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE's "This Never Happened to the Other Feller," which has an aggression born of Barry's apparent intention to "sell" the audience on a new actor cast as Bond (before his full face is revealed), as well as referencing the eventual high-speed jockeying of the two sports cars on the deserted beachside road. This one I know well from its film.
Last edited by Steven Lloyd on Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:32 am, edited 2 times in total.