Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Creating A Killer Bond Title Song


A recent issue of Video Watchdog had Tim Lucas giving a fantastic look at the newest James Bond flick CASINO ROYALE. I was pretty blown away by the newest Bond and thought that it was a real series high and easily the best since THE SPY WHO LOVED ME way back in 77. Tim's review of the film was spot on including his praise of Eva Green who quickly placed herself among the great Bond Girls with her fascinating turn as Vesper Lynd, and of course Daniel Craig's intense performance really revitalized the series.
I think the one thing Tim liked more than I did about CASINO ROYALE was Chris Cornel's theme song YOU KNOW MY NAME. As a song I like it quite a bit and while it has grown on me on repeated viewings I still don't think it has the sweeping nature of the best Bond themes. As they are preparing the newest Bond thriller I have been thinking a lot on who would be an ideal candidate to deliver a Bond title track with the same sort of majestic power as some of the originals, so I thought I would throw out a few that I think could deliver the goods.
The Trip Hop revolution that Massive Attack kick started back in the early nineties with the album BLUE LINES was tailor made for the James Bond franchise so I have always thought it funny that te series ignored the genre for the most part and instead chose people like Sheryl Crowe and Madonna for some recent themes.
The recently reunited Portishead could deliver a stunning Bond theme and they are near the top of my list of ideal groups for the job. With Beth Gibbon's astonishing vocal styling and their love of spy and European films from the sixties, Portishead could really add an element of cool to the Bond credits that hasn't been felt in a long time.
Another Trip Hop group that could do wonders with the song would be the underrated Belgium act Hooverphonic. Lead singer Geike Arnaert is one of the smartest and most stylish singers on the planet and Hooverphonics's textured and string heavy electronica would fit the series perfectly.
To give the film a more European feel a French teaming between brother and sister act Benjamin Biolay and Coralie Clement would be most interesting. Even more fitting perhaps would be Francoiz Breut, whose last album at times sounded like the soundtrack to some hyper kinetic lost sixties spy thriller.
The series could go the way of ON HER MAJESTIES SECRET SERVICE and surprise everyone with a more standards oriented singer like Diana Krall or even someone like Tony Bennett but I think the series needs to continue it more progressive stance...which brings me to me my main nominee for who should sing the new James Bond theme.

Since making her debut with her band Goldfrapp in 2000, London born Alison Goldfrapp has released three of the most remarkable albums of the decade and has single handily resurrected the best aspects of Glam Rock and Electronica. Clever, cool, sexy, sensual and possibly Marc Bolan reincarnated Alison could record a stunningly alive and memorable new James Bond theme. I have no doubt that given the opportunity, Goldfrapp would deliver one of the great James Bond title tracks. Whether or not the producers are savvy enough to recognize it remains to be seen.

Cornel's YOU KNOW MY NAME was definitely a step in the right direction after Madonna's atrocious DIE ANOTHER DAY. I hope whoever gets the coveted role, Amy Winehouse has been rumored, considers the legacy of great songs that the series has delivered in the past. Whatever act the track is handed to has some big shoes to fill, lets hope a good choice is made.

13 comments:

Cinebeats said...

Interesting ideas about a new Bond theme Jeremy! I still need to see the new Bond film but your comment that it's the best one since The Spy Who Loved Me gives me hope because that was about the last Bond film I really liked. I do have a soft spot for A View to a Kill only because I loved Grace Jones & Christopher Walken in it and I have a funny story about trying to sneak into the San Francisco premiere.

Hopefully I'll get around to seeing it soon. I really like Eva Green a lot so I'm sure I'll enjoy her performance even if Vesper will always be Ursula Andress in my minds' eye.

My vote for the next Bond theme would go to the great Barry Adamson (ex-Bad Seed and all around amazing musician with a fantastic voice) who I think could deliver some great music for a Bond film. He's already created some great Bond inspired tunes and he obviously has a deep love for soundtracks.

Portishead would be a nice choice and I'd also like to see what a band like Broadcast or Stereo Total might be able to do with a Bond theme. I think the Japanese band Les Cappuccino could come up with something really amazing, but I don't think they'd get the chance to even if they sang in English.

Jeremy Richey said...

Barry Adamson is awesome. The original Bad Seeds were one of the great bands...Mick Harvey and Anita Lane could do some wonders with a Bond theme as well...hell Nick Cave with a crazed Rowland S. Howard on guitar would be pretty great also.
I've not heard Broadcast but like Stereo Total a lot. There are so many interesting singers and bands around that could do wonders with it...I have a real love for that whole Trip Hop movement in the nineties and was always bothered that none of them ever got a shot at it which is why I am leaning on that a bit...I don't know much about Amy Winehouse but it appears she might do it, hopefully it won't suck. The worst was that Madonna track (and I don't hate Madonna)...although it is fitting that my least favorite Bond track is the theme for my least favorite Bond film.
Very curious to hear what you'll think of Casino Royale. I really love it and think Craig is fabulous. The last shot in it is one of the great Bond moments...don't want to give anything away though...let me know what you think when you watch it...
thanks for the comments

Rogue Spy 007 said...

I loved your choices of artists to do the next Bond theme song. I think I'm partial to Portishead and Goldfrapp among those you mentioned. I've always preferred Bond theme songs to be performed by women. Even though there have been some by men I've enjoyed, I just feel more of a spark for a song done by a woman. Shirley Bassey is still the Queen of the Bond song in my opinion. The most recent one I enjoyed was Garbage's for "The World Is Not Enough." I couldn't stand Madonna's for "Die Another Day." While I think Chris Cornell's song was good outside of a Bond film, it did nothing for me as a Bond theme song. I downright hated it when I first heard it. While I don't hate it anymore, I still think it was wrong for a Bond film. I do think the Bond theme song is one of the most important matters to be considered in a Bond film. "Casino Royale" was a great Bond film. It definitely rebooted the franchise after the debacle that "Die Another Day" was. Eva Green was gorgeous as Vesper Lynd. I could consider totally why Bond would fall for her. Craig brought a ruggedness and toughness to the role that hasn't been seen in some time. I can't wait for the next one.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Keith,
I think for the most part I like the female sung Bond themes the best as well although the Tom Jones, Louis Armstrong and Paul McCartney tracks are all classics...
I agree about the importance of a good theme song for the films...I still don't know what the producers were thinking with the Madonna track but then again I don't know what they were thinking with "Die Another Day" in general...
funny thing about Madonna is that the Austin Powers track she cut, "Beautiful Stranger", was actually one of her great songs...shame she delivered such an inept track for Bond....
thanks for commenting

Cinebeats said...

I really dislike Madonna (hate is strong word which I don't like using, but I might apply it to her) and I'm not very familiar with Amy Winehouse either. I've got British friends who can't stand Winehouse and tell me she was a pop idol type in the UK before she stopped eating, got tattoos and hair-extensions and become popular in the US, so I haven't paid her much attention. I don't really care for music studio exec creations.

I hope I can rent the new Bond film soon! I keep getting distracted by other things everytime I walk into my local DVD rental place.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Kimberly for the ongoing comments...the little I have heard of Winehouse didn't impress me so I am hoping she doesn't get the gig...while I don't dislike Madonna as much as you do I can say without a doubt that I do come close to hating here everytime I hear her crappy Bond theme....
Thanks again for the comments...

Tim Lucas said...

Thanks for the name-check, Jeremy. I like most of the Bond themes; the only one I out-and-out hate is Sheryl Crow's, but at least that movie had a k.d. lang closing credits song that helped to partially wash away the bitterness. I love Portishead and think they could fill the bill, but my friend John Bender has been campaigning for Goldfrapp as well. I haven't heard them, so I should check them out. Actually, I think PJ Harvey might be able to do a smash-up job with a thrash-and-strings Bond theme.

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Tim,
I loved your review and that issue in general and have been meaning to comment on it here.
Polly Jean could do a fantastic job...of course she can do just about anything.(I really admire her).
I agree with your buddy John and highly recommend some Goldfrapp for you...their first album is their loveliest work but the new one sounds like "The Slider" for the new century...give them a listen...as always thanks for the comments.

Rogue Spy 007 said...

Hey Jeremy, My second favorite Bond theme song, and favorite by a man, is actually "Thunderball" by Tom Jones. I'm a huge Tom Jones fan anyway. I think the theme song is one of those vital elements of a great Bond film When you think of a Bond film, the theme song is one of those things that come to mind. I don't think the producers were thinking when they got Madonna to do the theme song for "DAD." She's got a beautiful voice so I could have imagined her belting out one amazing theme song. Instead we got the crap she did. "DAD" as a whole was a dud in my opinion. It's my least favorite Bond flick since "AVTAK," which I liked better than "DAD." Madonna did a great job with the Austin Powers tune. I love that song.

Jeremy Richey said...

Keith,
I dig me some Tom Jones so I love to hear some love thrown his way. Thunderball is definately one of my favorite Bond themes and outside of the McCartney probably my favorite male sung theme...thanks for the continuing comments.

Richard Gibson said...

Cinebeats / Jeremy - here here on Barry Adamson - he's already done the perfect Bond tune on 'Soul Murder' - his fantasy Bond Theme is outstanding.

Richard Gibson said...

Oh forgot to add, Barry Adamson DJ'd once at a Suicide gig, no-one really noticed, which I thought was a bit of a shame...

Jeremy Richey said...

Thanks Richard,
Adamson is awesome...thanks for the thoughts on him. I had never heard that about the Suicide gig. That's something else...thanks again.