A Blast Of A Bond Theme

The Arts

To that list of people who have been there through most of our lives that I published a few days ago should be added ‘James Bond’. It seems he was always there, first in very sexy little collectable mass-marker paperbacks (which are now collectors’ items), then as films.

I still own the ‘volcano’ poster for ‘You Only Live Twice’, but in fact it was one of three quads, all beautifully illustrated. Which makes the new Bond poster the most boring of them all.

The demands of product placement mean that Bond has gone from driving an Aston Martin DB5 to some kind of Ford, and has switched to drinking Heineken, which is appropriate for Daniel Craig, who has the common touch and looks as if he’d be happy smoking roll-ups. All he needs now is a flat cap and he could give up the casinos and go greyhound racing.

However, one thing has returned to form, and that’s the title song, after the disastrous Jack White and Alicia Keyes tracks. Now we have Big Adele banging out a Bassey (although it would be interesting to hear what Bassey could do with it), and the full song can be heard here.

I have a soft spot for ‘You Only Live Twice’. Two title tracks were written for the film, one recorded by Julie London, and while it’s very good it doesn’t quite have the brilliant hook that Nancy Sinatra’s had. David Arnold has gone from the new film, and instead we have the very fine Thomas Newman, but just how his speciality – twiddle tinkly piano sadness – will work in an action flick remains to be seen.

9 comments on “A Blast Of A Bond Theme”

  1. Alan Morgan says:

    Some Robert McGinnis art there, whose work from posters to hundreds of book covers painted an era. And then like posters and books now a wet dribble of photoshop at the end.

    I enjoyed Casino Royale after the increasing silliness of those directly previous to it. Bond is a thug after all (and with some very odd ideas). After all Chris, can you whistle? ;0)

  2. Dan Terrell says:

    A good song, indeed. And I agree, I’d like to hear Shirley do the song. When I hear her Gold…finger!, I always picture that guy in the leather box chair, everything on him blowing back, gripping the chair arms for dear life, listening to a blast of music on Memorex tape.
    I think the “twiddle tinkly” piano keying just makes it by, although twiddle is often used to describle swizzle-sticking around in a mixed drink and “tinkly” often describes ice cubes against cold glass, as well as piano-keying about. But Bond doesn’t do drinks on the rocks, does he? Heinekin? I don’t buy that any more and I think Bond would either. A triple-hops craft beer, yes, with enough of the hops in it to deplaque your teeth and cause your toes curl. Not his, of course.

  3. Gary says:

    It’s interesting that the early Bond movies come across as rather aspirational. Bond/Connery is a not obviously posh bloke who knows all about fine wine and foods and goes to the most exclusive night-spots. Fifty years on, and the movie makers are terrified that Bond will stand out from the crowd. The air of sophistication that they used to aim for is now felt to be an anathema to the target audience.

  4. Helen Martin says:

    And that target audience would be…?

  5. William says:

    You Only Live Twice has always been my favourite Bond song – along with the bitter-sweet ‘We Have All the Time in the World’ (because they didn’t of course) and the aching restraint of ‘Moonraker’ (I think I must prefer the ones that hold back a little).
    But I’m not really sold on the new song – I’m not fan of Adele’s voice as it is and the lyrics are atrocious but my biggest problem is that, in an effort to hark back to Bassey, it just feels like pale imitation (I’ve heard it four times now and I still can’t remember it enough to hum it).
    Thomas Newman replacing David Arnold can only be a good thing – even if he is American ;)

    And yes, the poster is extremely blah!

  6. Gary says:

    Helen Martin: Well, the Bonds probably have a wider audience than a lot of action movies, but I understand that in order to make a profit nowadays a big budget action movie has to attract an audience of males between about 14 to 20 years of age, since they tend to go back and watch a favourite movie at the cinema more than once. On the DVD of THUNDERBALL, there is an interesting observation from the fellow in charge of the commentary that young American males would go and see the film for the story, and then go again to observe 007’s behaviour. With the world beginning to open up for the average person in the 60s, they wanted to know how to behave in, say, a Casino. They wanted to look like sophisticated men of the world, rather than tourists. I don’t know how true this is, but it is a fascinating obervation.

  7. Dan Terrell says:

    I’d say there’s something to that, Gary. Same thing happened with James Dean: boys went to see how he sulked, mumbled, burned,and smoked a cig. Oh and drove, which was a fatal attraction.

  8. glasgow1975 says:

    On another blog it was suggested Dame Shirley’s next album should simply be her doing all the Bond themes :o)
    That poster is awful, surely there are other versions? Nowadays there seem to be half a dozen teasers and several ‘official’ ones. On another note, Daniels blue trunks just sold at auction for an obscene amount :op
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19857385

  9. Helen Martin says:

    Gary, I think you are right, although as long as Connery was Bond those young men wouldn’t have had trouble persuading their girl friends to accompany them. The girls would have watched Bond both times, of course, and might not have been asked to the second viewing if they squealed too much, a pleasant enough distraction for the boy friend the first time but not the second when research was under way.
    The new poster is elegant to my eyes and I thought they weren’t ‘into’ elegance.That swirl behind Bond is stylized feathers which, along with the title, gives a certain reminder of Icarus, although it was he not the sky which fell.

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