Monday, January 21, 2019

Spies and Secrets: The James Bond Theme

purchase[ The Ventures: James Bond Theme]

Whereas spies aim to be as secretive as possible, there's no better song to scream "SECRET AGENT" than the universally recognized James Bond Theme. Heck, the first measure of the song is enough to tip you off.

There's been a fair amount of words spent trying to clarify who should be credited with writing the song: the courts seems to have established that Monty Norman was given the job and John Barry was asked to clean it up. Those distinctive first notes are, however, more or less what you can hear in Monty Norman's "Good Sign, Bad Sign", and that makes a strong case for his authoring claim. But ... John Barry (and his "7") turned it into what we recognize today.

However, it was the Ventures' version that got the recogniton/air-play that propelled the song to the top of the lists back in '62.

That said, the iconic guitar you hear on the film version is from a guitar player named Vic Flick. He was part of John Barry's group (of 7). The distinctive [echo/reverb??] sound of the guitar is partly due to the limitations of recording technology in 1962, and partly the capabilities of relatively new electric guitars.

Flick's credits hardly end with this: he played on recordings for Lulu and the Beatles, among others.

In the late 80s, Flick also got together with Clapton to record another possible song for Bond's <License to Kill> (that was not finally chosen)
There are a bunch of other rejected Bond theme versions, including those by :

Alice Cooper
Johnny Cash
Amy Winehouse

Flick passed away back in 2009 - too far back for this year's <In Memoriam> theme ...

blog comments powered by Disqus