A not-so-brief history of every James Bond song

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This movie is late. Too late Had there not been a pandemic, the 25th James Bond film, no time to die, will already be on VOD if not running on premium cable. The original release date in November 2019 was extended to February 2020 due to production issues. When this did not happen due to the departure of director Danny Boyle, it was postponed to April 2020. But then COVID-19 hit – and well, we know that story.

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The good news is that we are getting no time to die A little earlier than we thought. With the COVID-19 situation improving, the release dates of November 12 (UK) and November 25 (rest of the world) have been extended to September 30 (UK) and October 8 (all others). It’s a long wait for a film that began production in 2016 and cost US$300 million to make.

However, it does give us another chance to see all the title theme music that has come with every Bond film over the past 60 years. Here they are in chronological order.

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1. Dr. no (1962)

The first theme of the Bond film was… the iconic James Bond theme. Composer Monty Norman actually plagiarized himself, taking key elements from a song he had written. good sign bad sign, sung to music based on a book by Indian characters on the island of Trinidad A Home for Mr. Biswas. You will hear it immediately.

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Monty shifted the melody to a sharper guitar and presented it to the producers – who hated it. Trying to save what they could, they gave the music to producer John Barry, who gave it an orchestral arrangement. Boom! A theme for the ages.

simply known as James Bond Theme, it has appeared in every single Bond film. Last I heard, Monty Norman is still cashing royalty checks at age 94.

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2. from Russia with Love (1963)

The second film supported the opening title with a key role in the Norman/Barry Bond theme. But buried in the film and the closing credits was just the first song ever written for a Bond film. It comes from Matt Monroe, an English singer in the style of Frank Sinatra.

3. gold Finger (1964)

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4. thunderball (1965)

Returning with Tom Jones, Barry decides to mine Wells again. Still not very rock’n’roll, but hey. The music industry was a very conservative business at the time.

5. you only Live Twice (1967)

Realizing they could do something by drafting in well-known singers, producers hired Nancy Sinatra (Frank’s daughter). A slightly different version was released as a radio single, but was heard by those who watched the film.

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6. on her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

After five films, Sean Connery wanted to move out so the producers hired George Lazenby. John Barry wrote something wordless for the opening sequence. However, jazz great Louis Armstrong was also brought in for a secondary subject called we have all the time in the world.

7. diamonds are Forever (1971)

When Lazenby didn’t cut it as 007, Sean Connery agreed to return for a Las Vegas-themed diamonds are Forever. Also returning was Shirley Bassey singing a proper song on the opening title sequence – which by this time had become extraordinarily elaborate stuff.

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8. live and let die (1973)

Later diamonds, Connery was out for good (okay, not enough – but as far as official Bond canon is concerned, that was his last mission). With Roger Moore taking on the role, it was time to re-think what to do with the title music. Producer Harry Salzman wanted Shirley Bassey again but co-creator Albert Broccoli had another idea. “Let’s rock it,” he said, “and we’ll do it with the Beetle.”

Broccoli sent a copy of the script to Paul McCartney. He liked it very much and agreed to write the subject. He did this for himself in a week between sessions. Red Rose Speedway album. Recording took place at AIR Studios, a George Martin-owned facility above Oxford Circus with Martin producing, making it the first time he worked with the Beatles since their breakup in 1970.

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When the demo was done, Martin turned to Broccoli and Salzman and said, “Look, we’ve got a really cool theme song for you. But the only way you can get it is if you let Paul do it. Otherwise, we’re going to do it.” Get someone else for your little film.”

With time running out, Salzman and Broccoli give up. And despite some of the most outrageous grammar committed to the tape—”in this ever-changing world we live in” (McCartney means “in which we’re living,” which makes more sense, but it didn’t. come out of it), the result was the best Bond theme ever. I don’t even want to argue about it.

9. the man with the golden gun (1974)

You would think that…

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