Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Five Days of Bond Covers: Day 002

Sorry for the delay folks... we continue Bond week with today's post that features four films, three Bonds. Between 1969 and 1973, moviegoers saw three different faces of James Bond: George Lazenby, "the one-off" Australian Bond; Sean Connery, who was coaxed back for one more go (money!); and Roger Moore, who would go on to star as Bond for the next 12 years and 7 films.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)

Erik Borelius - On Her Majesty's Secret Service [originally by John Barry]
For George Lazenby's first and only outing as 007, John Barry composed this punchy orchestral theme. The previous three films featured title tracks performed by Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, and Nancy Sinatra, but Barry thought it would be difficult to incorporate the unwieldy title On Her Majesty's Secret Service into any lyrics. I found this great acoustic instrumental cover by Swedish guitarist Erik Borelius from his album Movies on a String, which is available on CD Baby and Amie Street. The album also contains The Godfather, Rambo, Cabaret, and many more movie-themed covers.

The Puppini Sisters - We Have All the Time in the World [originally performed by Louis Armstrong]
A secondary theme to OHMSS that served as the love theme for Bond and his eventual wife Tracy, this is one of a handful of Bond themes that found a life completely disassociated from the Bond series. Apparently it wasn't even a hit the first time out, but a 1994 Guinness ad prompted its re-release to the UK charts. This cover is by Andrews Sisters revivalists the Puppini Sisters from last year's The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo, which featured other 30s & 40s-style reworkings of contemporary songs. I barely remember seeing this movie, but the song's title figures tragically into the punch-in-the-gut ending.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

Project: Pimento - Diamonds Are Forever [originally performed by Shirley Bassey]
After Lazenby announced he wouldn't be returning as Bond (before OHMSS was even released), the producers were determined to get Connery back and money was no object. With a $2 million paycheck and financial backing for 2 non-Bond films, Connery returned for one more go, excluding 1983's Never Say Never Again (we don't talk about that one). This is a wonderful cover by the self-proclaimed "world's only theremin lounge band". Check out Project: Pimento's official site for some more mp3s including a cover of You Only Live Twice. Both their CDs are available on CD Baby.

Live and Let Die (1973)

Butch Walker - Live & Let Die [originally by Paul McCartney & Wings]
John Barry took a temporary hiatus from scoring the Bond series with George Martin filling in for Live and Let Die. Martin had previously produced Bassey's Goldfinger in 1964 in between his Beatles duties, so I guess it shouldn't really be a surprise then that Paul McCartney was brought in to do the film's theme song, a orchestral rock number unlike any previous theme. This faithful cover is by rocker Butch Walker from his 2005 EP Cover Me Badd. I've been a casual fan since his days as lead member of Marvelous 3 who broke up in 2001. Butch has been busy since then as a solo artist, producer, and songwriter. He has a multitude of pop producing/songwriting credits including Avril Lavigne, The Donnas, Pink, Hot Hot Heat, Katy Perry, and even Japanese duo Puffy AmiYumi (whose 2006 album Splurge had a Marvelous 3 cover song!). By complete coincidence, I was checking Amie Street earlier and learned Butch Walker has a new solo album Sycamore Meadows released today! Back to Live and Let Die... I just have to mention that this film has the most ridiculous villain death in the entire series (you know what I'm talking about).

**EDIT: I meant to mention that a new Live and Let Die cover by Duffy (hand-picked by McCartney himself!) will be arriving on the new WarChild cover compilation early in the new year.

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974)

Emiliana Torrini - The Man With the Golden Gun [originally by Lulu]
Apparently considered one of the worst themes in the series, I've always kinda liked it, but then again I only outright hate one Bond song... we'll get to that later. The lyrics are also amusing since they're about as subtle as Pussy Galore. This cover is by Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini, who I recognize from some of her other covers like White Rabbit and The Sound of Silence. This film starred Christopher Lee as the title man with the golden gun, Scaramanga, who is also the man with the superfluous third nipple (utilized by Bond to impersonate him). Trivia buffs should know that Christopher Lee is a cousin of Bond creator and author Ian Fleming.

Don't forget I'm cross-posting over at BreakThru Radio all this week. Today's post is simply rehashing some Max Vernon for readers over there, but I've got some great covers lined-up over the next few days. Don't worry, I'll be reminding you every day...

James Bond Covers Will Return... tomorrow!

1 comment:

How Marvellous... said...

love the pimento - Diamonds cover, thanks. & gotta listen to some otehrs soon.