Choice theme tunes, interludes and musical suites from the 007 film franchise soundtracks, featuring music from Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View To A Kill and The Living Daylights.

031: ‘Corrine Put Down’ John Barry (EMI) Recorded April 1979.

The original soundtrack as this and the concomitant ‘Centrifuge’, threaded together. Again, later releases and editions separate the two. Here we pay homage to, ‘Corrine Put Down’, an ominous creeping interlude that marches towards a dramatic climax. Different in many ways to the lingering, slow and played-out tones of the rest of this soundtrack, this short burst alludes to a more serious and impending danger; bringing back a hint of the trepidation trumpets for effect.

032:‘For Your Eyes Only’ Blondie (Chrysalis) Recorded in 1981; released as an album track on their 1982 LP Hunter.

Blondie‘s attempt to score the twelfth 007 movie theme tune unfortunately fell flat with the films producers; even though it’s by far a much more edgier and sassy number than the Sheena Easton fronted version. Riding high at the time, the NY new wave outfit fell foul of composer Bill Conti and screenwriter Michael Leeson‘s original opening song, which the producers envisaged them performing rather than their own unique take. We’re of course more interested in the Debbie Harry sexy pop sighs than the Easton (who wasn’t Conti’s choice at all) cooed and swooning dry-ice stirring, broody synth love paean, yet you can understand why those studio honchoes chose the version that they did – Easton scoring a major hit internationally. A year later and the track was confined to Blondie’s sixth studio LP, Hunter.

033:‘Make It Last All Night’ Rage (EMI) Recorded 1981.

From a soundtrack that offers little, this raunchy number from Rage is a right old laugh. The producers seemed to have little idea of the salacious lyrics nature, passing it through with no reservations, even though the thrusting pop-soul backing does it’s best to dry-hump the listener.

034:‘All Time High’ John Barry; lyrics by Tim Rice; sung by Rita Coolidge (A&M/EMI) Recorded 1983.

Despite the schmaltz and 80s balled coyness, ‘All Time High’ is still amongst my personal favourites of the entire Bond them tunes: something that’s all but impossible for me to explain or justify. It just is.  A rather peculiar choice – and big surprise to the soothing balladeer herself – Rita Coolidge was hardly riding “high” at the time, her best years well behind her, back in the mid-70s. Beehive faux-50s pastiche warbler, Mari Wilson (a uniquely British success and flash-in-the-pan star, whose jukebox fluffy, bobby sox ditties were quite popular at the time) was originally sized-up, but assistant producer, Barbara Broccoli was a huge Coolidge fan; her subtle permeated endeavors to turn her father Cubby Broccoli (original partner and producer of the dream team who brought 007 to the screen) onto her musical crush eventually wore him down, and Coolidge was offered the song.

Theatrical doyen, Tim Rice was hired to write the lyrics with a returning John Barry; his refrain notably omitting the innuendo-rich film title, instead playing on the romantic yielding relationship between the films two main protagonists – not sure exactly how you’d ever rhyme Octopussy with anything else. Note I’ve included the official music video, which amusingly – and on the cheap – has Brighton Pavilion stand-in for the far more exotic Indian location from the film. We can forgive them for that.

035:‘Yo-yo Fight & Death Of Vijay’ John Barry (A&M) Recorded 1983.

The familiar tense and ominous Barry melodies return, as Bond’s man in India faces a strange death at hands of…well, a rather cumbersome instrument of torture which can only be described as a giant saw on the end of a rotating chain – a weapon that could so easily do more damage to the henchman wielding it than to the poor victim. Punctuations, suspense and horror all Barry fortes, purposefully slip away as a more mournful elegy of strings caresses the scene.

036: ‘A View To A kill’ Duran Duran & John Barry (EMI) Recorded in 1985.

Whether a fabled meeting or bar-room anecdote, the now etched in stone story goes that Duran Duran‘s John Taylor bumped into Bond producer Cubby Broccoli at some shindig or another and half-cut, asked, “When are you going to get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?” Whatever the truth, the posing 80s pop group were eventually given their chance with A View To A Kill; a popular, as it turned out, chase through San Francisco, from China Town to the Silicon Valley. Memorable for Grace Jones‘ anodyne performance as, ‘hench-woman’ turned good when it counts, May Day and Christopher Walken‘s bizarre turn as ex-KGB special agent turned microchip tzar, Zorin; the film’s central ridiculous plot and often dubious acting, is one of the fans favourites (the Golden Gate Bridge closing fight being up there amongst the best set-pieces in the whole 007 film cannon). Duran Duran scored the biggest hit, their signature-styled 80s sound clash proving to be the best selling Bond them tune ever, climbing to the no.1 spot in the Billboard 100 (unknown with any other Bond soundtrack) and no.2 in the UK singles chart (a record that still stands). It never please me to attribute any positive remarks or give Le Bon and co. any leeway, but I must admit that they did a befitting and great job this one time , though John Barry and his epic scale orchestra also helped (the Duran and Barry are both accredited as the songs writers). There I said it now, lets move on!

037: ‘Airship To Silicon Valley’ John Barry (EMI) Recorded in 1985.

John Barry’s sumptuous and gilded flight abroad Zorin’s Zeppelin, is an opulently theatrical affair that moves from dreamy indolence to dramatic fraught danger. I’m a sucker for Barry’s orchestral movements that signal danger, or fraught tension, this being one of my favourites.

038: ‘Destroy Silicon Valley’ John Barry (EMI) Recorded in 1985.

Zuckerberg, sorry I mean Zorin, manoeuvres that blimp of his into position as he delivers his own CEO boardroom plan to corner the microchip market by…well, by setting off a seismic tremor (this isn’t management metaphorical bilge) and destroying the Silicon Valley so only his product remains – talk about hostile take-overs. Another great ominous and trepidation moody score from Barry, as the shadow of megalomania appears over the Californian horizon (or some disused quarry in Wales). The melody reminds me of David Axlerod in places, especially the quieter flute imbued passages.

039: ‘Golden Gate Fight’ John Barry (EMI) Recorded in 1985.

The climax brawl, atop of the Golden Gate bridge’s huge cables is delivered with punchy and bombastic Barry panache. The 007 signature score features an updated dash of added arching rock guitar alongside the usual timpani and heavy strings accompaniment.

040: ‘Where Has Everybody Gone’ The Pretenders (Warner Bros.) Recorded in 1987.

Originally considered to score the theme tune to Bond’s fourth incarnation, Chrissie Hynde and her Pretenders were beaten to the punch by the popular Norwegian power-pop trio, a-ha. Following the success of Duran Duran‘s hit, A View To A Kill, the producers decided that they’d get more exposure and have a sure-fire hit on their hands withe the Nordic crooners. However, Hynde and her erstwhile band had written two pieces for the movie. The first was a dreamy, stirring balled called If There Was A Man, used on the closing credits (an unconventional first for the bond franchise, using a completely different song from the theme tune), and the second, ‘Where Has Everybody Gone’, was used mainly for the parts when the Walkman wearing Russian henchman, Necros was on screen.  To be honest the producers made the right choice, this raucous 80s rock and bombastic horns soundtrack just doesn’t quite have the essential spark.


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