James Bond music
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The James Bond series of films from EON Productions has had numerous signature tunes over the years, many of which are now considered classic pieces of cinematic music. The best known of these pieces of music was the ubiquitous "James Bond Theme." Many other pieces of instrumental music have also become identified with the series, such as "The 007 Theme", "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", and various theme songs such as Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger" and "Diamonds Are Forever", Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice", Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die", Tina Turner's "Goldeneye", Carly Simon's "Nobody Does it Better" (from The Spy Who Loved Me), Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only" and Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill".
"007" (sometimes referred to as "The 007 Theme"), is an adventure theme composed by John Barry in 1963 for the Bond film, From Russia with Love.
It became a secondary Bond theme, being used in quite a few Bond movies, primarily during action scenes. Here are its most notable appearances:
- From Russia with Love — Played during the gypsy camp gunfight and also during Bond's theft of the Lektor decoder from the Russian embassy in Istanbul.
- Thunderball — Played when Bond runs from SPECTRE during a parade and when he joins the climactic underwater fight
- You Only Live Twice — Played during the flight of "Little Nellie" before he battles four helicopters that attack him.
- Diamonds Are Forever — Played during Bond's destruction of Blofeld's HQ
- Moonraker — Played during the Amazon river chase.
The theme has not been featured in its entirety in a Bond movie since its use in "Moonraker".
The anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion later adapted and modified the theme as part of its soundtrack
 "Suspense" Motif
Like John Barry, David Arnold has left his own mark in the music of James Bond. In this case, he has established what can be called the "suspense motif", which can be heard in most of the Bond movies he has scored, starting with The World Is Not Enough. It is usually orchestrated with piano trills, high strings, horns, blaring trumpets, an underlying snare drum, and sometimes accompanied by synthesized sounds. This motif can be heard in:
- The World Is Not Enough — "Pipeline", "Submarine"
- Die Another Day — "Antonov"
- Casino Royale — "Miami International", "Dirty Martini"
The biggest contribution to the James Bond series, save for the "James Bond Theme", are works from John Barry. In addition to his uncredited contribution to Dr. No, Barry composed eleven Bond soundtracks and is credited with the creation of "007" (dominated by brass and percussion) and the popular orchestral theme On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Next to Barry, David Arnold is the series' most regular composer. He has composed the score for four James Bond films in succession, from Tomorrow Never Dies to the series' most recent entry, Casino Royale. His Barry-esque orchestrations combined with electronic rhythm elements gave the Brosnan era its musical identity.
 Main title themes
The James Bond film franchise is notable for its distinctive theme songs, often performed by the top singers of the day. Some themes have been more popular than others - Sheena Easton's performance of Bill Conti's "For Your Eyes Only" received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song, Duran Duran and John Barry's "A View To A Kill" topped the singles charts in America (the only Bond theme to hit #1), whereas Madonna's theme for "Die Another Day", despite being the best-selling Bond theme in nearly 20 years, was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song (2002) in addition to a Golden Globe for Best Original Song.
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.
Several of the later films have alternative theme songs, often during the closing credits. The Living Daylights (1987) featured The Pretenders performing "If There Was A Man," composed by John Barry with Chrissie Hynde. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) included k.d. lang's "Surrender" during the closing credits, a song which was originally proposed by composer David Arnold to be the title sequence theme instead of the Sheryl Crow title song, but was replaced when the producers wanted a bigger name for the song. The "Surrender" theme is heard throughout the score while the melody of Sheryl Crow's song is not used again during the film.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) featured an instrumental theme tune, something which remains unique amongst the post-From Russia With Love Bond films, and included a vocal theme in the form of Louis Armstrong's performance of "We Have All the Time in the World", written by John Barry and Hal David.
The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), For Your Eyes Only (1981) and Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) each resulted in alternative theme songs which were submitted to the producers, but never used. Alice Cooper's alternative theme for The Man with the Golden Gun appeared on his 1973 album Muscle of Love while the Blondie version of For Your Eyes Only can be found on 1982's The Hunter. Several artists, some of them already involved with David Arnold's Shaken and Stirred Bond compilation project, were asked to submit theme songs for Tomorrow Never Dies. Pulp's "Tomorrow Never Lies" – dating from a time when this was the film's title – was released as a b-side on their 1997 single "Help the Aged", and on the vinyl version of their 1998 album This Is Hardcore. Another contender by Saint Etienne, entitled simply "Tomorrow Never Dies," turned up on their Built on Sand album, with the liner notes revealing that Pierce Brosnan kept the master tape of the song. Other artists who submitted Tomorrow Never Dies themes included The Cardigans and Space. Sheryl Crow's theme was ultimately used.
The originally intended theme song for Thunderball was entitled "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" a reference to a nickname given to Bond by an Italian journalist in 1962. Halfway through the scoring process, it was decided that having a title song that wasn't the name of the film would not work, so "Thunderball" was commissioned. "Mr. Kiss-Kiss, Bang-Bang" still plays a prominent role in the score, however, the actual track sang by Dionne Warwick was not released till the 1990s. There was also a version of Thunderball originally recorded by Johnny Cash intended for use in the film, but was dismissed in favor of Tom Jones. Cash's version of the song can be found on some compilation cds of Cash's music.
Welsh singer Shirley Bassey has performed the most Bond themes – she recorded the themes to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker. Bassey also recorded her own version of "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" for Thunderball, but her version was replaced by Dionne Warwick's rendition. Likewise, Bassey's original recording wasn't released until 1992 where both vocal renditions finally found their way onto a collector's CD set.
An alternative but never used title song for You Only Live Twice, sung by Julie Rogers was also not released until the 30th anniversary of the cinematic James Bond and can only be found on this aforementioned CD.
The unofficial main themes:
|Film||Year||Score composer||Title song||Performed by|
|1967||Burt Bacharach||"Casino Royale"||Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass5|
|Never Say Never Again
|1983||Michel Legrand||"Never Say Never Again"||Lani Hall|
- Note 1: EON Productions intended to use a song entitled "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" by Dionne Warwick as the theme, but Albert 'Cubby' Broccoli insisted the theme song must include the title of the film. The melody of "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" remains a major component of the film score.
- Note 2: Two different songs of this title were considered for the theme, but only Sinatra's version was used.
- Note 3: Neither "All Time High" (Octopussy) nor "You Know My Name" (Casino Royale) features the title of its movie either in the song title or lyrics ("Nobody Does It Better" features the line "The Spy Who Loved Me" in its lyrics.)
- Note 4: "You Know My Name" is the first main theme to a Bond film that did not appear on the movie's official soundtrack album.
- Note 5: The film's closing credits use a vocal version of "Casino Royale" sung by Mike Redway, who remains officially uncredited.
 Secondary songs
A number of Bond films include one (or more) additional songs in the soundtrack. As noted above, some of these pieces of music, such as "We Have All the Time in the World" by Louis Armstrong, have gone on to become as well-known as the main themes, while other songs remain exclusively linked to the movie in which they appear.
|Dr. No||"Jump Up"
"Under the Mango Tree"
|1962||Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
Monty Norman A
|From Russia with Love||"From Russia with Love"||1963||Matt MonroB|
|Thunderball||"Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"||1965||Dionne Warwick
(not included in film)
|On Her Majesty's Secret Service||"We Have All the Time in the World"
"Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?"
|For Your Eyes Only||"Make it Last All Night"||1981||Rage|
|The Living Daylights||"Where Has Everybody Gone?"
"If There Was a Man"
|Licence to Kill||"If You Asked Me To"||1989||Patti Labelle|
|GoldenEye||"The Experience of Love"||1995||Eric Serra|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||"Surrender"||1997||k.d. lang|
|The World Is Not Enough||"Only Myself to Blame"||1999||Scott Walker
(not included in film)
The unofficial secondary songs:
|"The Look of Love"||1967||Dusty Springfield|
|Never Say Never Again (film)
|"Une Chanson d'Amour"||1983||Sophie Della|
Dionne Warwick's performance of "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is never actually heard in Thunderball; it was originally to have been the opening credits theme, but this was changed when Albert Broccolli decreed the theme had to include the title of the film. The melody of "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" is heard throughout the film; Warwick's version was finally released in the 1990s.
The original end title theme to The World Is Not Enough was "Only Myself To Blame", composed by David Arnold and Don Black, and sung by Scott Walker, but was left out of the final film and replaced by an Arnold arrangement of the "James Bond Theme". "Blame" was, however, left on the The World Is Not Enough soundtrack album.
The soundtrack to the 1967 spoof Casino Royale also included two short comedic songs sung in a 1920s style. One led into an instrumental version of "Look of Love" and began with the line "James Bond playing at Casino Royale..."; later, this tune was reprised as "Seven James Bonds at Casino Royale" which lead into a lyrical version of the theme sung by Mike Redway that played over the closing credits.
- Note A: According to the liner notes on the early 2000s re-issue of the soundtrack, this song was originally considered for the movie's theme song, but it was decided to commission a more action-oriented piece of music.
- Note B: Matt Monro's vocal rendition of "From Russia with Love" is often considered the official theme song for that film, even though the opening credits use an instrumental version that also incorporates the "James Bond Theme." Monro's version isn't heard until about 15 minutes into the movie, and again over the closing titles.
 Video games
With the increase in audio quality for video game consoles and personal computers, in addition to the continued popularity of computer and video games, publisher Electronic Arts has included opening themes and film-style credit sequences to some of its more recent James Bond video game spin offs.
|Video game||Year||Score composer||Title song||Performed by|
|GoldenEye 007||1997||Graeme Norgate and Grant Kirkhope|
|Tomorrow Never Dies||1999||Tommy Tallarico||"Tomorrow Never Dies"||Sheryl Crow|
|The World Is Not Enough||2000||Don Veca|
|Agent Under Fire||2001||Don Veca|
|Nightfire||2002||Ed Lima||"Nearly Civilized"||Esthero|
|Everything or Nothing||2004||Sean Callery||"Everything or Nothing"||Mya|
|GoldenEye: Rogue Agent||2004||Paul Oakenfold||"If You're Gonna..."||Natasha Bedingfield|
|From Russia with Love||2005||Christopher Lennertz||"From Russia with Love" (instrumental remix)|
- Listology.com's rating of the James Bond Theme Songs #1
- Listology.com's rating of the James Bond Theme Songs #2
 External links
- Detailed account of a court proceeding between Monty Norman and John Barry re: The "James Bond Theme", including musicological breakdowns of the theme itself.
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John Barry Orchestra "The James Bond Theme" • Matt Monro "From Russia with Love" • Shirley Bassey "Goldfinger" • Tom Jones "Thunderball" • Nancy Sinatra "You Only Live Twice" • John Barry orchestra "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" • Shirley Bassey "Diamonds Are Forever" • Paul McCartney & Wings " Live and Let Die" • Lulu "The Man with the Golden Gun" • Carly Simon "Nobody Does It Better" • Shirley Bassey "Moonraker" • Sheena Easton "For Your Eyes Only" • Rita Coolidge "All Time High" • Duran Duran "A View to a Kill" • a-ha "The Living Daylights" • Gladys Knight "Licence To Kill" • Tina Turner " GoldenEye" • Sheryl Crow "Tomorrow Never Dies" • Garbage "The World Is Not Enough" • Madonna "Die Another Day" • Chris Cornell "You Know My Name"
Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass "Casino Royale" | Lani Hall "Never Say Never Again"