There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Skyfall, the newest installment in the venerable James Bond movie franchise (fifty years and counting): Daniel Craig is back as Bond, Javier Bardem as the new Bond villain, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes bringing it all together with wit and grace. But our first indication that this one might be something special came a few weeks back, when we got a listen to Adele’s moody, smoky theme song for the film. It’s got a big, brassy sound that immediately recalls Shirley Bassey, who became the signature voice of the Bond movie theme songs (and while she only did three of them, that’s two more than anyone else), and digging up Bassey’s tunes sent us down a YouTube rabbit hole of Bond themes. As you might expect, over the course of fifty years there have been some timeless, immortal songs; there have been others that, to put it charitably, haven’t aged quite so well. After the jump, we’ve picked our five best, four worst, and one in between of the Bond themes thus far. Some controversies may erupt, so by all means, throw in your two cents in the comments. … Read More
Now that Bond-23 has a villain in the form of ultra sinister Javier Bardem — a palpably menacing presence in the Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Men — we thought it seemed like a ripe time to look back at some of the best of Bond. The allure that exudes from the thrill-seeking British Secret Service agent with a penchant for gorgeous girls and vodka martinis is obvious, but his fiendish foe is always one of the most highly anticipated roles in each new installment. Another significant legacy of the series, however, is its music and unmistakable theme — sounds indelibly associated with the late maestro, John Barry.
The English composer’s work is synonymous with 007, and Goldfinger boasts one of the boldest and brassiest title numbers in the superspy’s songbook. Shirley Bassey performed the theme tune, which topped the Billboard charts during its heyday. One of the box office hits of 1964, the movie’s most iconic and recognizable image is Shirley Eaton’s sultry character, Jill Masterson, covered head-to-toe in gold paint and cast on a bed in morbid repose. The popularity of the image was so great, that it even made the cover of Life magazine that year. It also graced the cover of many a Goldfinger LP, a unique collection of which are shared below. Revisit Pussy Galore, Sean Connery’s cheeky smile, and other Goldfinger favorites in record form after the jump. … Read More