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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Soundtrack

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Soundtrack 2011 OST - Listen Here / Download
The Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy soundtrack. It goes without saying that espionage is a man’s game. And real men at that. Grrr. Spying just isn’t a suitable job for women, what with their scatterbrains and penchant for gossip. Well, make-believe spying anyway. In real life, the ladies are rather good at it, as Anna Chapman and Valerie Plame could attest. But fictitious spying? Why, that’s strictly for the chaps. Like those in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the soundtrack for which has just been released via the movie’s official website.

Very hard not to think of the late, great John Barry when approaching the soundtrack for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the new all-star thriller from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson. For Barry created some of his most memorable movie music in the service of two classic spy characters (Harry Palmer and, of course, James Bond) who were the creations of two giants of British post-war popular fiction (Len Deighton and Ian Fleming), and played on-screen by two genuine film stars to hail from the ever-rainy ‘n’ windswept isles where I’m sat typing this (they being Messrs. Caine and Connery, natch).

So with Alfredson’s movie featuring a classic spy character (George Smiley, played previously on TV by Alec Guinness), created by a giant of British post-war popular fiction (John le Carré), and played by a genuine UK film star (Caine’s Batman cohort, Gary Oldman), it is very difficult not to expect score composer Alberto Iglesias to come up with something as modishly cool as Barry’s Ipcress File theme or possessed of a comparably evocative emotional palette to his extensive work on the 007 saga.

All quite unfair? Maybe. But it doesn’t prevent you from feeling a frisson of disappointment when you realise that Iglesias has fashioned a score that is perfectly decent and adequate, and nothing more. Given the apparent strength of the movie in terms of creative personnel and cast (in addition to Alfredson and Oldman, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth and Mark Strong are all also involved), I was hoping for for a contender for the title of Best Soundtrack of the Year, yet a dearth of memorable themes and motifs ensure that is as impossible a dream as the now-octogenarian Connery strapping his toupee back on and playing Bond for one last live-action outing.

Iglesias is probably best-known for his work with Pedro Almodóvar, and there are echoes of the noirish recent tint to the latter’s recent work here – for example, the fragments of Spanish guitar that find their way into eclectic soundtrack opener George Smiley. However as you work your way through these nineteen tracks, hoping that at least one of the faintly-sketched ideas will finally be developed more fully, a sense of tedium gradually seeps in. With the slow-paced and insistent Thursgood providing a template Iglesias deviates from only sparingly, it means that even the most minor of flourishes, such as when a few electrified notes creep into Alleline and Bland on the Roof, can trigger some much-needed excitement.

The soundtrack for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy can currently be heard, in full and for free, over on the film’s official website. The movie is out in the US on 18 November, and in the UK on 16 September.

Listen To The Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy Soundtrack:

You can download the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy soundtrack as mp3s here
Or get it on cd here

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Soundtrack – Track List
1. George Smiley – Alberto Iglesias (5:19)
2. Treasure – Alberto Iglesias (1:47)
3. Witchcraft – Alberto Iglesias (1:28)
4. Islay Hotel – Alberto Iglesias (0:56)
5. Control – Alberto Iglesias (2:10)
6. Polyakov – Alberto Iglesias (1:50)
7. Alleline and Bland on the Roof – Alberto Iglesias (2:25)
8. Safe House – Alberto Iglesias (1:36)
9. Tarr and Irina – Alberto Iglesias (5:11)
10. Anything else? – Alberto Iglesias (3:28)
11. Jim Prideaux – Alberto Iglesias (2:09)
12. Thursgood – Alberto Iglesias (2:45)
13. Karla – Alberto Iglesias (2:53)
14. Esterhase – Alberto Iglesias (4:57)
15. Guillam – Alberto Iglesias (1:26)
16. Control and Westerby – Alberto Iglesias (4:02)
17. Circus – Alberto Iglesias (5:26)
18. One’s gone – Alberto Iglesias (3:36)
19. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Alberto Iglesias (5:57)

Leave your thoughts on the Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy soundtrack in the comments. If you’re looking for a particular track leave a description and someone normally replies.

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  • Robbie said

    Does anybody know where to buy the cheesy but strangely very cool song at the end of Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy – La Mer by Julio Iglesias ? It’s on an album called En El Olympia but is not on the Soundtrack – would like exact same version as in the movie ?

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    • bill jones said

      I saw the film at home last night and loved the song during the
      end where Colin Firth was in the caged yard. I looked at the musical scores at the end of the film and thought it said the
      last song was ‘La Mer’ which is the famous French song ‘Beyone the Sea’ made popular by many artists here in the US.

      However, the melody and songtress which sang it in the film
      i could not make out in the credits. too small. and i only rented the film. you can try to find it but there are alot of
      versions. this might be an old version too.

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    • MH said

      After a few days of research, I did come across the song at the end of the movie on a cd. Its on a CD titled, “Julio Iglesias En El Olympia”…its a 2 cd set. The song is on cd #2, and title “El Mar”…which means “the sea” as well. I just opened the cd, went to that song, and its sounds pretty close to the movie version.

      hope this is what you are looking for…it works for me, mh

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    • Mel said

      The song is a cover of “La Mer” I looked on Amazon to see if that is in the Julio Iglesias album entitled En El Olympia. That song is not on the album so I am puzzled too. I loved that cheesy 70’s version too but don’t know where to get it. I especially love that it is sung in French and it sounds like it was recorded live…a bonus. Let me know if you find out how to get it. Thanks

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    • michael said

      OK, here is the song, sung in French. La Mer, by Chantal Cumberland, from the album “The Other Woman,” ON Itunes.

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  • irene said

    I loved the song at the end of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It’s La Mer by Jilio Iglesias but is not on the film’s soundtrack. I would like the same version as in the movie.

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  • Simon said

    I suspect they couldn’t get clearance of the record company, so it isn’t on the soundtrack

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  • kmbo said

    I may be wrong …but…. In the context of the movie im guessing that the song was part of the party at the end of the film and possibly one of the characters was singing it karaoke style

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    • SteveK said

      You are indeed very wrong about the karaoke. I’ve looked everywhere for the song and cant find it, apart from a live version on youtube. anyone else got any ideas?

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      • Kmbo said

        Then it must be Charles trenet’s version. There is a live version on u tube which is the one I think. Live at Olympia

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        • Bassoon said

          Its definitely not trenets version, thats entirely different – people are looking for the non live version of la mer by julio iglesias which is looking impossible to find at the moment, no google no youtube and no spotify results for it at all.

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  • Vanessa said

    I think this is the link you are looking for:

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    • SteveK said

      Thanks, but as Bassoon and I both said, the music at the end of TTSS is the studio version of La Mer by Julio Iglesias. The link you have posted is a live recording. God only knows where Tomas Alfredson found it because even after being used in the film it seems impossible to track down.

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      • Verbal007 said

        I hate to disagree, but having seen the movie twice I can confirm it is definitely a live version that is being played at the party which segues into the closing scenes. Before the song starts we hear all of the French language banter in anticipation of the track. This live version seems to me to be the one used in the film. You may have to see the film again to trust me, but it is definitely a concert version that is used and this seems to be the one. Positive.

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        • Allan Young said

          New disco version recorded specifically for the Film, will have to wait till DVD is released.

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  • Simon P said

    Does anyone know where I can find a full list of all music used in the film? i.e The stuff not included on the official web site!

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  • Steven said

    Just returned from seeing TTSS and wanted to revisit the song La Mer. Not sure if anyone mentioned this but I first heard this song on the French Kiss soundtrack and sung by Kevin Kline.

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  • julia said

    Does anyone know what song the trumpet player in the Budapest cafe in the beginning of the movie is playing? It’s a jazz classic, and this has been bugging me since I saw the movie. Can anyone help?

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    • JB said

      Yes, unfortunately the two most memorable pieces from the film are not included in its soundtrack. I had ear worms of them both. The first, entitled “Salut d’ Amour” by Sir Edward Elgar, scored here for trumpet and cafe combo. was effectively used to set the somewhat decadent,forboding, erie, film noir scene of Jim Prideaux’s attempted meeting with Karla just prior to his quick departure and being shot in the back. This piece is typically played by violin and piano and has been used as a prelude at weddings. The English Elgar did much light, parlor mood music, such as “Country Gardens”.

      La Mer, “covered” by numerous artists worldwide over the last fifty years was a big hit in the US about 1962? for Bobby Darin: “Somewhere….beyond the sea…” I too believe that the version used in the film is definitely the 1976 concert version recorded by Julio Iglesias and chosen by Alberto Iglesias in matching music to action. Agreed, it is difficult to locate, but a video is out there, one of several versions with his photo from the concert.

      This song does so nicely tie up the loose ends: a view of Connnie sitting behind her window; Ricky Tarr being left out in the rain; Prideaux making himself do the mercy killing of his former lover Bill Hayden. It begins after Prideaux gets angry with “Bill–the unpaid bill. Anyone ever call you that?”in the trailor, letting know their friendship has ended. We see him comtemplating what he will soon do.

      Great adult film–no crazy chase scenes, no special effects, just understated acting.

      George Smiley finally speaks, 20 minutes into the film: “I’m retired, Oliver. You fired me, remember?” Excellent work.

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  • dave W said

    A couple of questions, first, who is the FEMALE singing La Mer? its julio Iglesias’ album, but is that not a WOMAN singing? must be.
    Loved the movie, even with all the changes from the book.
    In the end of the book, Jim and Bill are back at school, its parents visiting day and Jim says “This is Bill, we were new boys together” Also, Haydon was found on a bench at Sarratt, his neck broken, same as the owl that came out of the classroom chimney, with the strong odor of Vodka around him. Jim had been drinking vodka all thru the movie and at the end meeting with Smiley. the meeting with Toby Esterhase was at a safe house, not an airstrip, and since then, Smiley is sure they are followed by a familiar figure/sillhouette. The KGB is thought to have killed Haydon, but all know it was Jim.

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  • dave W said

    If anyone has enjoyed the movie but hasn’t read the book(s), I highly, highly recommend them.For more pure pleasure, read them in order. there are 6 or 7 novels with George smiley in them. The first and last he has a small part but the rest he is the main character. I take a lot of ribbing from friends that tease me for re-reading the books over and over. If you’ve never read them, or haven’t read them all, I envy you the pleasure you have ahead of you! There was a BBC TV series where Alec Guinness played George Smiley,I wonder how to get that online or on disc??
    Also: for an equally excellent espionage series read the very talented Len Deightons’ 9 Bernard Samson books: Berlin Game,Mexico Set, London Match, then Spy Hook, Spy Line, Spy Sinker.Then Faith, Hope, and Charity.Plus, for background on some characters: Winter, a tenth book.
    All the Deighton and LeCarre books were written to be read in any order or alone, but reading them in order is best by far.
    If only the Smiley books and Bernard Samson books WERE ALL MADE INTO MOVIES THE QUALITY OF TINKERTAILOR!!!

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    • JB said

      Dave W:

      The 1979 and 1982 versions of TTSS and Smiley’s People, respectively, starring Sir Alec Guinness are available through Critics Choice Video: http://www.ccvideo.com. (Acorn Media). I love both the old and the new renditions of Tinker and find Guinness’ SP especially intriguing.

      Alberto Iglesias’ mood music in this latest is appropriately magnetically haunting, methinks. Wish the sound track contained the three most memorable pieces (non Iglesias) from the film!–1) The International, a black humor sing-a-long led by Santa during the “company” Christmas party as GS discovers his wife’s infidelity, 2) Salud d’ Amor, a standard repertoire love song written by Sir Edward Elgar as a wedding gift to his fiancé, played as a prelude at weddings for decades, but here used as a setup piece for J. Prideaux’s aborted rendezvous, and of course, 3)Julio’s gem, wrapping up the film’s ends of string in one neat tight package.

      I don’t read LeCarre, finding it tedious. Lazy me!

      JB in the Chicago area

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