Journal: News & Comment

Saturday, November 09, 2002
# 9:31:00 PM:

And he strikes!

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My band played a James Bond theme party last night, and in preparing for it I assembled some appropriate background theme music. In the process, I determined that:

  1. The original John Barry arrangement of the James Bond theme by Monty Norman is a perfect blend of Duane Eddy/surf twang guitar (courtesy of guitarist Vic Flick -- what a great name), Martin Denny exotica lounge music, and big band swing. I don't know why the producers of the Bond movies have bothered having it re-recorded. They should have stuck with what they had in 1962.

  2. Tom Jones's 1965 rendition of the theme for Thunderball is possibly the most bombastic song ever recorded. It's fantastic.

  3. Shirley Bassey's singing of the Goldfinger theme a year earlier set the standard against which all other Bond tunes must be measured. Tom came close, but didn't quite better it.

  4. As pure songcraft, the theme for You Only Live Twice is by far the best of the bunch, and probably the most worthy thing Nancy Sinatra ever recorded.

  5. Paul McCartney and Wings' Live and Let Die theme sounds rather too much like Genesis at its art-rock peak, as Sebastien, our guitarist, pointed out.

  6. None of the Bond themes since the '60s really hits the suave/cheesy sweet spot, though Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" from The Spy Who Loved Me is at least decent.

  7. Austin Powers is now way cooler than James Bond.


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