Bond, James Bond

I have always appreciated the bond movies, always, even the bad ones that people don’t like to talk about I find appealing in a gloriously watchable manner. There are many different parts to the big James Bond pie; spy intrigue, action, overblown travel expenses, gadgets, suits, gambling, pretty girls, undercover action… er, I might just stop before my pedantry gets the better of me…

I recently picked up Quantum of Solace on DVD, which is not exactly a format that gives it justice and, frankly, this one could use all the help it could get. The story for Quantum is killed most, not by anything it does, but by it’s inability to match up to it’s predecessor. The great big shadow that the near-perfect Casino Royale casts upon this small tale of revenge and gratuitous action sequences makes Quantum feel a bit like a regression, though not towards the back catalogue of previous Bond movies, more towards the influences our new Bond has… To be fair, when I say influences what I mean is influence, singular, Bourneular.

My post today, however, is not about the film itself but in fact another of the many slices: the songs. You see, all day today I have had a single beat stuck in my head, which I have only recently figured out as the intro piece to the new Bond theme by Jack White and that keyboard woman.

As far as I can tell, the Bond franchise stands fairly alone with the music included as a large part of the marketing. Music and films are brilliantly merged, sure, but not many people go out and buy each new variation of the Harry Potter theme. I’m not entirely sure what side of the fence I stand on this nowadays, there have been some truly amazing tracks produced under the James Bond banner (I am a particular fan of the Duran Duran one) and even recently with the Casino Royale intro music and this new rendition I have nothing I can really find fault in… no, no that is not true! I’m pretty good at finding faults in things, and I’ve got just the one for you, in the form of a question:

Why have all the Bond themes been produced by American artists?

The list goes back a whole long way, there hasn’t been an English performer involved in over two decades worth of films; Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, Garbage, Madonna, Chris Connol, Jack White and Alicia Keys? I can’t really complain about these American artists (well, I can.) because some of their songs are not terrible at all. And the latest? It might surprise some to know that, in fact, I’m a big fan of the music, er, just not the annoying whiny singing.

And I love the Casino Royale theme, though I don’t think it’s brilliantly Bond-like it’s pretty awesome (and it comes with the greatest bit of motion graphics I’ve seen). I just want to see something British in there, do people relate to that? What is wrong with our music industry that we can’t even pick a
thematic song from our own shores… or has Bond become so truly
American (that bastard) that slowly we’re willing to hand him over to
the butchery of Hollywood… Or perhaps I’m deluded, and he’s always
been part of the butchery of Hollywood? I’m not sure, but if Casino Royale was about cutting away the build up of faff from Bond, then I’d like to see this new direction take a moment of nostalgic thought and consider bringing in something actually English. For a change.

Also, why is this video not available in England, where it was made…

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About James

Uberbeard, otherwise known as James Crawford has just graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth, taking a course in Interactive Media. He's known to enjoy washing, eating and sleeping.

One response to “Bond, James Bond

  1. Sean

    Horrifically late but still.

    The ubiquitous James Bond theme was composed by Monty Norman, who was born in London.
    Live and Let Die was Paul McCartney and his band, Wings.
    Shirley Bassey, a Welsh singer, did Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, and Goldfinger, the only performer to have recorded more than one James Bond theme.

    However, I would agree, it’s been a long time since we’ve had a British theme…

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