Episode 18: James Bond - Part 1

In Episode 18 we begin one of our most ambitious musical projects yet – the music of the James Bond franchise. Over the next three episodes, we’ll be looking at the sounds of Bond, James Bond, across 50 years, 24 films, and a great many composers, theme songs, and one-liners. In this first episode, we’re covering everything from the birth of the cinematic Bond to the end of the Sean Connery era, with a particular focus on how John Barry created that classic – and timeless – Bond sound.


Episode notes:

4:45 – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass make an unscheduled appearance
6:35 – The evolution of the Bond franchise and its importance in film history
10:23 – “The best Bond film is the next Bond film”
12:40 – The birth of the Bond theme, with Monty Norman’s sitar
15:30 – John Barry’s swinging ‘60s style
22:23 – Monty Norman’s Dr. No score
24:10 – ‘Three Blind Mice’ and Norman’s Jamaican grooves
26:30 – Bond and orchestra swat a bug
31:12 – Lionel Bart’s ‘From Russia With Love’, the first title song
38:15 – John Barry’s 007 theme
42:11 – John Barry’s idiosyncratic action cues and quotations of the main theme
45:47 – James Bond’s travelogue music
51:13 – Goldfinger’s swinging ‘Into Miami’
55:55 – ‘Alpine Drive’ and ‘The Raid on Fort Knox’
1:00:34 – Thunderball’s alternate themes
1:07:14 – Barry’s underwater fight scenes
1:10:05 – The brass-fanfared evil lair
1:13:08 – You Only Live Twice’s slow-moving villainous space capsule
1:20:48 – Nancy Sinatra’s ‘You Only Live Twice’
1:23:05 – The ‘Japanese’ music in You Only Live Twice
1:27:43 – On Her Majesty’s Australian Service
1:31:09 – ‘We Have All The Time In The World’
1:35:04 – “This never happened to the other synth”
1:41:00 – The horny saxophone
1:43:11 – Diamonds Are Forever
1:46:33 – The creepy saxophone

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