Got The Fever

Friday, March 16, 2007

Bond. James Bond.

There’s something almost grandiose about a 007 film, and so much excess to go along with each installment. The impossibly sexy and scantily clad women who play both good and villianous roles, the futuristic and ultimately deadly gadgets from ‘M’, the imminent annihilation of the earth (or an important portion of it) that goes with every film, and as always, the every classy and classic theme songs. Well, I wrote that too quickly, so so I’ll amend it to the exceptions to the rule. Do we really want to remember contributions by A-Ha or Duran Duran?

Most of the theme songs are indelibly etched into your memory and evoke as much emotion as the film that it’s branded to. More than a few have even reached Billboard status. For instance ‘Live And Let Die’ by McCartney, ‘Nobody Does It Better’ by Carly Simon, ‘For Your Eyes Only’ by Sheena Easton (#1) and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ by Sheryl Crowe.

So, there’s something special about a new Bond film in the theater when you watch the over-the-top, sure to blow you away opening scene for the first time with popcorn and beverage in hand, audience bathed in screen glow. There’s something grin producing as that opening scene climaxes spectacularly and then you listen to the new Bond Theme being birthed.

James Bond Theme
Composed by Monty Norman in 1963 for the Bond film, “Dr. No”., this is the quintessential Bond theme and the one most recognized. Parts and shards of this are used in most of the films when an added emphasis is needed in the action.

According to Wikipedia, “The main theme for Dr. No is the "James Bond Theme," although the opening credits also include an untitled bongo interlude, and concludes with a vocal Calypso-flavored rendition of "Three Blind Mice" titled "Kingston Calypso" that sets the scene and is repeated throughout the film. Because of this, Dr. No is the only film to have two opening themes.”

Listen to that jangly, vibrato-laced guitar! Dig those vibes and the big band inspired drumming. It doesn’t get better than this my Ian Fleming freaks!

Tom Jones. Say no more. The man could sing a phone book and get a standing-O. Starring the man himself, Sean Connery, IMDB describes the plot as “When SPECTRE steals two nuclear bombs for a massive extortion scheme, agent 007 is sent in to find them before they can be used.” Oh, yea. I’m there. Babe du jour is Claudine Augur. Tom helps 007 out in his own small way. From, of course, Thunderball.

Any woman he wants, he'll get.
He will break any heart without regret.
His days of asking are all gone.
His fight goes on and on and on.
But he thinks that the fight is worth it all.
So he strikes like Thunderball.

Big side note: none other than Johnny Cash also recorded a version of Thunderball, but the powers that be determined that they wanted Tom’s version on the film. Johnny’s version can be found on a few of his Greatest Hits offerings.

Bold, sassy and raw. Shirley kicks as much butt with her voice as James does with his knuckles. Shirley’s themes are among the most memorable of all the themes (again, as opposed to, well ... anyone remember Rita Coolidge and ‘All Time High’?), and with good reason. She also recorded Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker and "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" for Thunderball (Dionne Warwick received the nod for that track in the film). Spectacular vocals, tight arrangements and brimming with dense emotion. From, you guessed, Goldfinger.

Golden words he will pour in your ear
But his lies can't disguise what you fear
For a golden girl knows when he's kissed her
It's the kiss of death from Mister Goldfinger.

Pretty girl beware of this heart of gold
This heart is cold.
He loves only gold
Only gold.

John Barry: James Bond Theme (13)
Tom Jones: Thunderball (11)
Shirley Bassey: Goldfinger (14)

From: Best of Bond James Bond [2002]


  • Thanks for the post.
    Something about "Goldfinger" sends me to the Shag heaven!
    I enjoy your blog!

    By Blogger Casey, at 5:23 PM  

  • I just loaded my own copy of "Thunderball" into my Mac the other night. Classic. I bought an album of Bond themes 20 years ago on vinyl. The ones you posted are the best, then and now.

    By Anonymous Jeff, at 2:10 AM  

  • Glad you like the blog Casey. Glad that I could help you get to Shag heaven - enjoy. I visited your site - nice job!

    Jeff - I agree about the selections. But, I also had Carly Simon tugging at my conscience to put up "Nobody Does It Better". For me, one of the all-time better Bond themes.

    However, can't go wrong with Tom and Shirley now, can we?

    By Blogger wzjn, at 4:13 PM  

  • Tom and Shirley are good, but for sheer heart-stopping listening, I prefer the instrumental version of Goldfinger. John Barry never did anything better, in my book!

    By the way, ever heard of a mid-1960s LP called "Sounds For A Secret Agent," which offered some of the familiar themes but also presented themes for movies that had not been made at that time, like "Live & Let Die," "Moonraker," and the rest. I think I might post that at my blog. I have to see how good my vinyl is.

    If you'd like to visit:

    By Blogger whiteray, at 6:47 PM  

  • whiteray,

    Absolutely amazing that I find someone who knows Al Simmons, to begin with. A site dedicated to baseball (from what I see at forst glance?). Got my attention for sure.

    Than to see that the same author is the one who runs Echoes In The Wind ( All over it.

    My friend, thaks for coming by an d visiting the humble Fever and for running such a quality blog(s) of your own. Let me know how I can make this joint more friendly to you.


    By Blogger wzjn, at 6:10 PM  

  • Geez - I had word run-ons, incomplete sentances, mis-spelled words ... what kind of place am I running here?

    By Blogger wzjn, at 6:12 PM  

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