March 29th, 2012

James Bond theme songs

Here’s a PJ article on the 5 worst and 5 best James Bond theme songs.

My question is: why, why, why is there no “Dr. No” there among the best? Is it because there was no conventional “song” (with words, that is) that came out of it? Because IMHO the music in “Dr. No”—the very first Bond movie, the one that established the Bond theme song that intermittently shot through the other Bond movies—was primo in every way.

Have a listen:

I saw the movie “Dr. No” before it came out in movie theaters, and before I knew a thing about it. I was pretty young, taken on a cruise (the only one I’ve ever been on, before or since) at Christmastime with my family on the old, late and great Mauretania. As part of that ship’s festivities (very muted compared to today’s bacchanals), there were showings of about-to-be-released movies that had not yet opened in theaters. Thus, “Dr. No.”

I remember sitting down in the ship’s little theater with my older brother, and as the opening credits and the music came on, we were blown away. It was so cool! So cosmopolitan. Sean Connery—so smooth. And Ursula Andress—well, she was like another sort of being entirely, both Aphrodite and Amazon at the same time. Wow.

18 Responses to “James Bond theme songs”

  1. Artfldgr Says:

    When men were men and women were women, and socialism was just a trendy way to get laid…

    Look how much they improved it, Bond is now Hegelian bond. where the originals were tall and one man. the new one is short, and one of many who held the title. Previous bond were black haired, this one is blond. Old bond was always in control, this one can lose control. In terms of women, its the same.

    but dont worry, they can re-imagine the whole thing and improve it the way they did Disney and relationships, and trying to do with medicine, and railroads…

    Skyfall, due for release on 26 October 2012

    Conrad O’Brien-ffrench
    Patrick Dalzel-Job
    Bill “Biffy” Dunderdale
    and Flemings brother were major inspirations as well as others “was a compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war”… quoting wiki…

    the earlier novels had more references to real things in history, the later ones became incredibly farcical… like the fleet of shuttles and a character named Pu**y Galore…

    Smersh actually existed… (during WWII)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH

    SMERSH (James Bond)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMERSH_%28James_Bond%29

    [SMERSH] meaning “Death to Spies”.

    Though Fleming’s version of SMERSH supposedly was modelled upon the real SMERSH organization, the novels portray SMERSH as a massive Soviet counterintelligence organisation, much more resembling the real-life KGB, which aims its operatives abroad in subversion of the West, with the additional goal of killing Western spies, particularly James Bond of SIS.

    as did Kamera (and still does), the poison makers for the KGB, etc…
    [its very hard now to find any information on Kamera since Google now spell corrects to help you search]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poison_laboratory_of_the_Soviet_secret_services is the wiki page…

  2. Marine's Mom Says:

    And there has never been a 007 like Sean Connery.

  3. Gringo Says:

    Dr. No was also my favorite. Louis Armstrong for a James Bond theme? Sheesh.

  4. Occam's Beard Says:

    I’m waiting for a gay James Bond. Then I know the Apocalypse is nigh.

  5. OlderandWheezier Says:

    As to the article, “Live and Let Die” by Wings is overrated imo – popular when it was released, but a little too quirky in hindsight. And I’d have had “You Only Live Twice” (Nancy Sinatra) among the best five. That title song blended especially well with the film score.

    And of course, Bassey’s “Godlfinger” and Carly’s “Nobody Does It Better” are awesome.

  6. SteveH Says:

    Someone here turned me on to Dennis Miller declaring Nancy Pelosi’s new name as a Bond villan. Pelosi Galore. Lol!

  7. Mac Says:

    Missed Dr No when it came out, but saw it 5 or 6 years ago and rather liked it, and agree completely about the music. The only one I saw when it was new was Goldfinger, and I liked it a lot. In recent years I’ve seen several of the post-Connery ones and found them sort of dull.

    And Ursula Andress…though I didn’t see the movie, there was a photo spread in some mainstream magazine–was it Life?–that was just crazy-making to a 14-year-old boy.

  8. OlderandWheezier Says:

    “Artfldgr –
    He’s the man,
    the man with the verbose touch-
    - he types so much…..”

  9. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    We had the first three Bond pictures aboard the Midway in 1965. Do not know how many times they were shown, but the ready room was always packed. Lots of ribald remarks about the girls and Bond’s mastery of the opposite sex. Bond was masterful and we aspired to be the same.
    I’ve seen all the Bond pictures through those that starred Pierce Brosnan. IMO, none can match the ones that made with Sean Connery as Bond.

    Saw into Ursula Andress and her then husband, John Derek, in 1964 at the Subic Bay Officer’s Club in the PI. They were on location filming the movie, “Once Before I Die,” and stopped by the base for a meal and some time out of the jungle. The base CO was all too happy to have them visit. Her appearance created a near mob scene as sex-starved Naval Officers vied to get a close up look at her. She was not all turned out as you would expect for a movie star. No makeup and casual clothes suited for jungle location filming. Nonetheless, I recall that she was quite beautiful.

  10. Charles Says:

    I’m glad to see that my favorite Bond movie – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – with George Lazenby & Diana Rigg is listed. Not that the others were not good; but this is my favorite of them all.

  11. Parker Says:

    I approve of Goldfinger as #1. But my favorite 007 is From Russian with Love. Connery, Robert Shaw, and Lotte Lenya were superbly campy and extremely fun together on screen.

  12. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Parker, I agree. Many memorable lines and scenes in that one. Robert Shaw as the KGB hit man was a suitably lethal opponent for Bond. Lotte Lenya was superb as the crafty and dangerous Soviet spy.

    Correction: I did not see “INTO” Ursula Andress. “Into” should have been deleted. “Saw Ursula……”
    Sigh.

  13. Trimegistus Says:

    Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger.” You could probably blast open the Gold Repository with her.

    Best 007? John Dee.

  14. Gringo Says:

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  15. Brian Says:

    FWIW In the video “Oddjob” was in Goldfinger, not Dr No.

  16. neo-neocon Says:

    Brian: yes, I noticed that error. Odd one to make.

  17. rickl Says:

    J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:
    March 30th, 2012 at 1:16 am

    Correction: I did not see “INTO” Ursula Andress.

    ‘Fess up. You bought the “X-Ray Specs” from the comic book ads, didn’t you?

  18. Nolanimrod Says:

    Hmmm. Interesting about Diana Rigg. I did not know that. Interesting because Honor Blackman, Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, was Diana Rigg’s predecessor on The Avengers.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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