8mm - Nobody Does It Better [originally performed by Carly Simon]
Nice, atmospheric cover by LA band 8mm who recast this Bond theme as a duet between real life husband-and-wife band members, Sean and Juliette Beavan. This was the first Bond theme (besides Dr. No, of course) that did not match the film's title. While recognized widely outside of a Bond context, there's always that line about "the spy who loved me" to set anyone straight. It's arguably one of the best Bond themes, but unfortunately the themes take a sharp decline over the next few films.
The Film Score Orchestra - Moonraker [originally performed by Shirley Bassey]
Initially I wasn't much of a fan of this theme, but it's kind of grown on me. It's the third and last theme that Shirley Bassey performed after Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever. This disco cover is credited to the Film Score Orchestra, but the real performer may never be known. The exact song appears in iTunes under at least 5 different generic band names such as the Studio Sound Ensemble, Starlite Singers, Royale James Bond Collection, and Knightsbridge. I've gotta admit it's semi-decent for some quick studio cash-in.
Edenbridge - For Your Eyes Only [originally performed by Sheena Easton]
Here's a theme hampered by some really cheesy production and it ranks pretty low on my scale of Bond themes, though I will listen to it on the odd occasion without coercion. Austrian metal band Edenbridge adds a little edge to the original... well, as much edge as one could possibly add to this song (i.e. not much).
Pulp - All Time High [originally performed by Rita Coolidge]
Another one of the few themes that doesn't reference the film's title. I guess no one wanted to sing about Octopussy. Pulp actually turn this into a pretty good, if not great cover. This comes from the 1997 Bond cover album Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold Project, which also features covers by Aimee Mann, Chrissie Hynde, and Iggy Pop. I had always assumed this album came about from David Arnold's work as the modern day composer of the Bond series, but the album was actually instrumental to Arnold getting his first real Bond gig based on a personal recommendation by John Barry to the series' producers. He's scored every Bond film since Tomorrow Never Dies and co-wrote several of the main theme songs. I think a Shaken and Stirred sequel album is long overdue!
Gob - A View to a Kill [originally by Duran Duran]
I had a couple cover choices for this one, but just had to go with this fast punk cover and it may not exactly be everyone's cup of tea. After a normal opening 20 seconds, suddenly it becomes a frenetic race to perform the rest of song within the next minute or so. If you can make any sense of it, it is strangely faithful in a way... just crazy sped up. Makes me laugh anyway. The band's from BC too, so bonus points for that.
Don't forget I'm cross-posting over at BreakThru Radio all this week. In today's post I'm try to spread some maple fever south of the 49th parallel with a handful of Canuck-centric cover songs. I've got Pascale Picard covering Pink Floyd, Captain Tractor covering The Clash (an all-time fave cover), Sam Roberts covering Paul Simon, and Merry Clayton covering Neil Young (a must-have). Oops, it looks like BTR can't handle any accent aigu...
James Bond Covers Will Return... tomorrow!