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‘The Sound Of 007: Looking Back On 60 Years Of Iconic James Bond Music

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‘The Sound Of 007: Looking Back On 60 Years Of Iconic James Bond Music

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‘The Sound Of 007: Looking Back On 60 Years Of Iconic James Bond Music
‘The Sound Of 007: Looking Back On 60 Years Of Iconic James Bond Music

James Bond movies are action, intrigue, gadgets, girls (and boys), tuxedos, fantastical places…

and melody.

Spanning 60 years and 25 films, Eon Productions' Bond series – from 1962's Doctor Who to last year's No Time to Die – has produced iconic music and theme songs. It opens with surf rock John Barry and the big band "James Bond Theme" and includes many of the great themes carried over from the Hall of Fame legacy line-up that includes Shirley Bassey to Billie Eilish and includes Tom Jones, Paul McCartney and Wings , Sheena Easton. , Carly Simon, Lulu, Tina Turner, Duran Duran, Madonna, Jack White and Alicia Keys, Chris Cornell, Adele, Sam Smith, Sheryl Crow, Garbage and A-Ha. – and these are just some of them.

The Bond anthem is the cinematic equivalent of the Super Bowl halftime show: long-awaited, shrouded in mystery, a cultural event that transcends music. The songs are used whenever Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig act and define the moment of the show. The best of them surprise and excite us.

Bond's music is celebrated this week with The Sound of 007 concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday (October 4), featuring Bessie, Lulu, Garbage, Chrissie Hynde and more, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra . Then on Wednesday (also World Bond Day) a documentary of the same name premiered on Amazon Prime. Directed by Matt Whitecross, this film delves into the history of Bond music and songwriting, using extensive film and studio footage, as well as new and archival interviews with cast, composers, actors and more from the Bond universe.

In preparation for the celebration, Billboard hired current Aeon Productions executives Barbara Broccoli (daughter of original Bond producer Albert R. Broccoli) and Michael J. Wilson (his half-brother), who will also receive the 2022 Pioneer Award. and the Bronze Ceremony. Hollywood Walk of Fame – to get an insight into Bond music past and present. And below, you can watch an exclusive preview of The Sound of 007 with Billie Eilish, Phineas and Hans Zimmer.

Bit of a rhetorical question, but why a documentary about Bond's music?

Broccoli : I think it's because music has played a huge role in movies and TV shows for 60 years. Usually when we start a movie, the question is, "Oh, who's playing James Bond?" And then the next question: "Who sings the lead song?" So music is very important in the world of Bond.

Talk about the importance of music in films.

Wilson : I think John Barry, the way he interprets the themes, the way he sets them up, is part of the DNA of all the Bond films. Best of all, working with Shirley Bassey on Goldfinger set a musical theme that befits the film's title and gave us the opportunity to sing and write Bond songs from all these great artists. And as a result, these are 25 movies with amazing songs and music.

Broccoli : I think that's part of the Bond movies, when you go into the gun barrel scene, brilliantly designed by Maurice Binder, the audience enters a portal into Bond's world and the song defines who that world is. His character is There is a villain in 'Goldfinger'. They invite you into that world, that alternate universe. Therefore they become a very valuable and important part of the entire film production, including the original title, song and music.

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And James Bond himself.

Broccoli : Right. Bond doesn't say much about how he feels, so the soundtrack lets you understand what's going on inside Bond in terms of his adrenaline, when he's worried and when he feels, through the action sequences, the adrenaline. joy Broken heart. Much of this is shown through the composers throughout the score.

Was this an idea from Doctor Now or something that evolved as the series progressed?

Wilson : I think it has evolved. Of course, John Barry had a great brass band, the John Barry Seven, and he combined that with orchestration for classic films. So the combination of those two really created a new sound, and that sound became part of the Bond music. And of course by bringing in these great artists, it becomes a portal to Bond and the songs and titles set you up for the experience.

Broccoli : And it's really amazing when you think about all the artists that have performed, obviously starting with Shirley Bassey, who definitely coined the term. But you look at other people—I mean Tina Turner, Adele, and Duran Duran. It just goes and and and and. Madonna, Chris Cornell, Sheryl Crow, Carly Simon, Jack White and Alicia Keys. That's really more than 60 years of popular music history.

Do you have any direction or direction for the story you want to tell in The Sounds of Agent 007 ?

Broccoli : Actually we are used to making movies. We are not documentarians. So we really wanted to find a great documentary maker. We followed Mati, caught him. He is the fish we want to catch, that's right. We're glad he did. And I think part of the nature of documentary filmmaking is that you start digging, and when you dig, you find gold, sorry for the pun. We want him to create the image he wants. We didn't hamper the process too much because we felt that because the music was so important to the series, it was important to create something like that and establish what the story was like in one place.

Wilson : We wanted to get warts and everything, and what he came up with was great. That was pretty much the story he wanted to tell. You know all these things when you live with them, but you never understand them until you see them from another person's perspective, which Matt can do for us.

What did you learn from the documentaries?

Broccoli : There is a story that we don't know. I don't know the story that George Martin went to the Bahamas and met Harry Saltzman and was playing Live and Let Die, and Harry apparently said, "Oh well. Who are we going to sing to him? When he's got Paul McCartney and Wings." That's the story." Which I have never heard of before. And of course Louis Armstrong, the last song he ever recorded ("We've Got All the World in the World" on Her Majesty's Secret Service ). touching song. It's actually my favorite song because it's a very beautiful song. Then there is the Golden Eye ; when we got that demo (Bono and Edge from U2) I was blown away. I don't know what Tina Turner's reaction to the demo was, "Well, that's a pretty weird song." How are we going to make it work? And, you know, he did a great job, I love that song, so I thought it was cool

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In the film, you tell a very touching story about almost joining Amy Winehouse in Quantum of Solace . There is great sadness in what doesn't work.

Broccoli : I don't think this is the right time for it. He tried to do it, and then he… didn't make it, which was really sad. I don't think he's in the right place to do that, unfortunately. This happened shortly before his death.

One of the other "almost" characters in the film is Alice Cooper, who wrote and recorded The Man with the Golden Song, appearing as Bond's next title at the end of Live and Let Die . . Did he fail for some reason?

Broccoli : Yes, I was very young. I'm 13 or 14, but I'm a huge Alice Cooper fan. So when I heard it, it was like, Oh my God, Alice Cooper! Alice Cooper!” I was just obsessed with Alice Cooper and of course I was very disappointed when it didn't work. I don't know why it didn't work.

Speaking of Live and Let Die, it's a very important song for the series, isn't it?

Wilson : I think so. This is truly a rock and roll song. I haven't really tried this yet. After that it was Duran Duran and A-Ha, but of course "Live and Let Die" really became a classic for the songs (McCartney) and Bond.

Was it a controversial choice behind the scenes? As you may have noticed, Harry Saltzman didn't even think McCartney should sing it.

Broccoli : Again, I was too young. I only remember the demo when my dad played my sister and I played the demo, we wiped the record. We had to play it 1000 times and I think it almost broke. But I think the special thing about the Bond films is that they reflect the present. I think it is very important. So I thought it was a good choice, albeit a bit controversial at the time. He sets the standards for the future and I think he's very smart.

Wilson : I don't think there's any controversy, unless some purists in their hearts say, "How did this become a rock 'n' roll song?". But like I said, it became a classic, so….

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Tell us how the Bond theme music was chosen.

Broccoli : Different every time. Then with Billie Eilish, Cary Fukunaga, the director, suggested Billie and she was a big star. It was always a question of whether they would be interested, whether they would be available, all different things. I went to Ireland to see Billy and Phineas, they were there and I met them to talk about the film. I didn't know they were big Bond fans. I'm glad to hear it. No Time to Die is a love story in many ways and when I started explaining the love story to them, they were very interested and read the script, excerpts leading to the original title. Hans Zimmer was also involved in their work. What's great about this song is that it really seems to capture the emotions of Madeleine Swann, the film's main character, and so Hans uses this theme throughout the music, and every time this haunting theme comes up, it evokes and conveys the pain. he feels.deep. . The meaning of the film. A lot of resonance, emotional resonance.

Is the director usually the starting point to define a song?

Broccoli : This is a combination. Always different. Sometimes we hear that there are artists who are interested and follow them. Sometimes we target specific artists. It can come from different sources. It's always an interesting and fun time. That's one thing; When we announce a Bond film, people are always interested in that aspect. So it is always shrouded in mystery. And of course we have to write down their schedule because we have to have visuals. The original title had to match the song, so there was always a time issue and we had to make a song or demo or record a song so that Maurice Binder or Danny Kleinman, whoever was doing the title, could design it and record it . So we can pass the time between their photos. So there are many problems. But remembering things like ('For Your Eyes Only') when Sheena Easton was recording, Maurice Binder said: 'Let's put it in the headlines. She has beautiful eyes and "for your eyes only". In many ways, I think it was the first music video that Morris did because it was before MTV went live.

It's interesting to see how emotional and passionate Daniel Craig is about the music in the documentary.

Broccoli : That was the thing when he got the role. He said to Michael and I, "I want to be involved," and we said, "Great!" He's a great man, a great actor and a great person, very intelligent, so we welcome his input.

Wilson : On the one hand, he knows the character better than anyone in his performance. And he really saw every aspect of the film and was eager to see it come out.

Broccoli : I remember Adele's song ("Skyfall"). , , .

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