Posts Tagged ‘John Barry’

40th Anniversary ::: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

December 22, 2009

40 years ago this month, an Australian actor/model by the name of  George Lazenby had stepped into the role of the world’s greatest secret agent – James Bond, after Sean Connery had retired from the part [for the first time] in 1967.

Directed by Peter Hunt (the editor of the earlier Bond films) and written by Richard Maibaum, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service put 007 face-to-face with his arch-nemesis, Ernest Stavro Blofeld, and his plan to use biological warfare to threaten the world. During the mission, Bond meets Tracy di Vicenzo, a countess whose courage and charismatic spirit earns her the title of  Mrs. James Bond.

At its premiere on December 18th, 1969, at the Odeon Theatre, Leicester Square in London, UK, the film proved to be  faithful to Ian Fleming’s original novel. With a budget of $7 million, and a run time of 140 minutes, George Lazenby’s first and last James Bond outing ended up grossing around $87 million worldwide.

You can read my review of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service here.

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Film Review ::: Octopussy

September 11, 2009

Following the down-to-Earth, Fleming thriller, “For Your Eyes Only”, “Octopussy” seems to relax a bit, and reverts to the jolly, humorous Roger Moore Bond film style — but this time, in moderation.

The film starts off with some great espionage and action. James Bond uses a disguise to infiltrate an air base and plant a bomb. The plan ends up falling through, and Bond comes face to face with the man he’s imitating. After being captured, Bond is able to escape from the back of a military truck with the help of his attractive, fellow agent. Cleverly hidden within a horse trailer, Bond hops into his AcroStar Mini Jet and flies off — only to come into contact with some opposition. After dodging a heat-seeking missile, and performing some amazing stunts, Bond casually lands near a gas station. After pulling up, he lightheartedly says, “Fill her up, please.”

The characters in this film aren’t of the high quality of the characters in “For Your Eyes Only”, however, they work well with the material. I’ve never really been amazed by Louis Jourdan’s performance of the villain Kamal Khan. He certainly doesn’t rank up there with Wiseman’s Dr. No, or Sheybal’s Kronsteen, or even Savalas’ Blofeld. On the other hand, though, he’s not a terrible character. I just never found him to be menacing. On the other hand, Kabir Bedi’s performance (as Gobinda) was quite menacing; I consider him to be a henchman to match the might of Oddjob. I like how the character was taken rather seriously, instead of being turned into a joke like Jaws. Perhaps that’s what added so much menace to the character. The knife-throwing twins, Mischka and Grischska, and the power-hungry General Orlov held these similar characteristics. As far as allies go, Vijay was pretty standard. He wasn’t as amazing as Jack Lord’s Felix Leiter, but he wasn’t as terrible as, say, Rosie Carver. The Bond girls seemed standard to me, also. Maud Adams returned to play Octopussy — but, Bond’s been there and done that. Kristina Wayborn (Magda) played a minor Bond girl, but I seemed to think that she wasn’t much of an actress, and more so an object to please the average male viewers’ eyes. It was fun to see Q in the field, though, landing a hot-air balloon on top of some of Khan’s goons.

John Barry did a favorable job with the film’s score. Though, I don’t consider it to be as legendary as the scores to “You Only Live Twice” or “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, it still beats the hell out of Bill Conti’s dated, cheesy score to “For Your Eyes Only”. Rita Coolidge’s theme song was decent, also, but surely doesn’t match some of the classic themes of the series. Again, I prefer it to that annoying, sappy theme to “For Your Eyes Only”.

As far as locations go, India worked well in this film. The locations in Germany seemed grim, but worked well, also. The rest of the film tends to stay pretty serious, although we do get some ridiculous scenes that tend to take an audience out of “the moment”. For example, there’s a scene where Bond tells a tiger to “sit”, a scene where Bond swings across some vines and the Tarzan jungle-cry is heard, and then just plain-old cheesy lines like “That should keep you in curry for a few weeks”. Though Roger Moore was nearly 60-years-old at the time of the film’s release, he still held up pretty well, and looked pretty damn good.

Overall, the film is a laid-back successor of “For Your Eyes Only”. There are some scenes/aspects in which “Octopussy” tops “For Your Eyes Only”, but there are also some scenes/aspects in which “Octopussy” reverts back to the old, ridiculous nonsense that plagued Bond films like “Moonraker”. Roger Moore’s Bond era tend to catch a lot of harsh criticism, but sometimes for good reason. This film, however, doesn’t deserve any of that. It’s serious, yet fun. And most of all, it’s Bond. This is one of Moore’s best portrayals, I’d say.

7.5 / 10

7.5 / 10

Top 5 — John Barry 007 Scores

June 28, 2009

1. You Only Live Twice – John Barry captures the beauty of Japan in this score. Alongside the sweeping strings, and Far Eastern sounds, this soundtrack is also infused with some great themes. This score delivers music of suspense, romance and action. The sliding bass guitar  also brings the “coolness” of the James Bond theme to a whole different level. To me, this is Barry’s finest score of all time.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “James Bond in Japan” – Track 13
  • “Fight At Kobe Docks / Helga” – Track 3
  • “Mountains and Sunsets” – Track 7



2. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Another brilliant soundtrack by John Barry. This seems to be a score that features one of his earliest uses of synthesizers, and it works extremely well. The score is infused with romantic music that fits the film perfectly. It also features some of the series’ greatest action cues. There’s plenty of music to enjoy on this score.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Main Theme: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – Track 6
  • “Battle at Piz Gloria” – Track 10
  • “Try” – Track 3



3. The Living Daylights – John Barry’s last James Bond score, and certainly one of his best. This score relies on synthesizers like “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, but the outcome is superb. This score is infused with many melodies, both romantic, suspenseful, and action-packed. This is definitely a perfect 80’s Bond score.

Recommended Tracks:

  • The Sniper Was a Woman – Track 3
  • Mujahadin and Opium – Track 10
  • Assassin and Drugged – Track 16



4. “Diamonds Are Forever” – Though the film was silly, John Barry seemed to have taken the score seriously, as always. Barry offers listeners a haunting theme for the film’s henchmen – the best henchmen theme of the series – and his style matches the sleaziness of the film perfectly. Some cues capture the silliness of the film, also, but I’d say that, overall, this is one of Barry’s more dark scores.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd / Bond to Holland” – Track 14
  • “Gunbarrel and Manhunt” – Track 13
  • “Airport Source / On the Road” – Track 16



5. “Goldfinger” – This is most likely one of Barry’s more popular scores, and for a good reason! Not only does it feature Dame Shirley Bassey’s iconic Bond theme, but it also features a collection of great action and adventure music. This score is very jazzy at times, too. Overall, there’s not much to dislike about this Bond score. It has certainly earned the status of “quintessential”.

Recommended Tracks:

  • “Main Theme: Goldfinger” – Track 1
  • “Alpine Drive / Auric’s Factory” – Track 3
  • “Oddjob’s Pressing Engagement” – Track 4

Film Review ::: Moonraker

June 19, 2009

“Moonraker” brings the fantasy of the James Bond films to a whole different level … a level that I don’t care much for.

The film’s story hardly resembles Fleming’s classic novel. As a matter of fact, it’s simply another lame rehashing of the story from “The Spy Who Loved Me” (courtesy of Christopher Wood) … which was essentially a rehashing of Roald Dahl’s story for “You Only Live Twice” – quite original, eh?

The characters don’t have much going for them. The most complex character of the film is probably James Bond, which is really no surprise. Roger Moore portrays him elegantly and humorously as he did in the past three films. Lois Chiles’ character, Dr. Molly Goodhead, is quite bland, to say the least. Michael Lonsdale portrays Hugo Drax in an interesting fashion, but hardly comes off as menacing or diabolical; he’s more or less a wealthy and extravagant nut case. “Jaws” unfortunately returns in this film and adds more ridiculous nonsense, also. However, this time around, the ingenious writer had the audacity to incorporate a half-witted love story amongst the metal-mouthed henchman and a petite, pig-tailed blonde named Dolly. By the end of the film, Jaws realizes that the odd couple isn’t fit for Drax’s superior race and rebels. This would’ve been a nice cash-in, made-for-TV, spin-off flick.

The greatest aspect of this James Bond film has to be John Barry’s score. If there’s one man behind-the-scenes of a Bond film who always does his job well, it’s John Barry. Somehow, Barry was able to add some sort of redeeming quality to even the cheesiest scenes of the film. One of his best pieces of music for the film is “Corinne Put Down”, which is played during Corinne’s death. The strings and winds really add emotion and depth to the scene. Shirley Bassey’s title track for the film was also great although it was wasted on such a shameful Bond film. The mellow and lovely style of the track really didn’t fit the style of the film. The locations of the film were admirable, also. Bond travels to California, Rio de Janeiro, Venice, and Brazil. The only undesirable location was outer space.

Overall, I think that “Moonraker” starts off just like the previous Moore films, however, it gets out of control as it moves on. It’s obvious that the success of George Lucas’ “Star Wars” films helped to blast this Bond film into outer space. However, while “Star Wars” succeeded as a science-fiction/action/adventure film, “Moonraker” failed as a science-fiction/action/adventure film. Actually, I’m not even quite sure what genre “Moonraker” falls under, as it’s more like a science fiction/action/adventure/espionage/comedy.

I think Bond films like this took the main character off of the path of “secret agent”, and took him onto the path of “generic action hero”. While a Bond film should have a sufficient amount of action, the character must never enter the realm of “generic action hero”. Bond is a trend-setter, not a trend-follower. Bond’s an elegant secret agent, but also a cold killer, if need be. James Bond isn’t a man who flies around outer space and blasts poison pods with lasers, as one would in a Space Invaders video game.

I think it’s safe to say that James Bond should wield his Walther PPK on planet Earth, rather than wielding a laser gun in outer space.

4.5 / 10

4.5 / 10

Top 5 – Quintessential Fleming Thrillers

June 19, 2009

Below I’ve listed the top 5 Bond films that qualify as quintessential Fleming thrillers. In my opinion, these five films capture the essence of Fleming’s novels and legendary characters.

I’ve provided a small blurb for each, regarding why I consider it to be “quintessential”.

1. From Russia With Love – Perhaps one of the finest Cold War thrillers ever made. The second film of the Bond series, and also my second-favorite. This features another cast of brilliant characters, with an even more interesting plot than “Dr. No”. This is not only a must-see Bond film, but also a must-see espionage film.

2. Dr. No – The first Bond film, and what I consider to be the best. This Bond flick is made in true Fleming fashion. It contains some great espionage and detective work, a wonderful cast of characters, and a solid plot.

3. The Living Daylights – Though Fleming was long-gone in 1987, “The Living Daylights” pays a wonderful tribute to the Bond author. Timothy Dalton’s portrays Fleming’s character brilliantly, in a great Cold War thriller. If you take your Bond seriously, this is surely the one for you.

4. For Your Eyes Only – Moore’s finest Bond flick. Most of the film is taken seriously. The only downfall is its score. Otherwise, the film proves to follow Fleming’s short story, “Risico”, quite well. Great characters, and a very down-to-Earth and interesting plot. This is certainly a fresh, new start, following Moore’s out-of-this-world adventure, “Moonraker”.

5. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – George Lazenby’s first and final Bond flick surely makes for a great Fleming thriller. Though I’m not keen on Lazenby’s acting, the other actors in the film make up for what he lacks — especially Diana Rigg. The film preserves many aspects of the novel and also features one of the best John Barry scores of all time. It’s surely a refresher from the over-the-top “You Only Live Twice” and takes a more realistic approach.

In Review: The Bond Music of the 90's

June 17, 2009

The Scores:

Ranking The Scores:

My ranking is chronological. The quality seems to decrease as the years roll on:

  1. “GoldenEye”
  2. “Tomorrow Never Dies”
  3. “The World Is Not Enough”

Composer Eric Serra opened Pierce Brosnan’s Bond era with a fresh, original score which not only complimented the post-Cold War era, but also the new Bond era.

David Arnold’s debut Bond score was one of his best efforts. It contained quite a bit of music, and generally stayed orchestral, rather than relying heavily on synth/techno trash. Another good debut score.

“The World Is Not Enough” had few perks, and sounds more and more like a video game score whenever I hear it. The music sounds messy through out most of the score.

The Best Tracks of the 90’s:

“GoldenEye”

Track 02: The GoldenEye Overture
All around stylish. Definitely the most original Bond theme rendition of the 90’s … and perhaps one of the most original of all time.

Tank Drive Around St. Petersburg (Theatrical Version)
Very stylish action piece. The track sounds very much like a Barry action piece, and compliments the scene in the film perfectly. There’s a nice take on the Bond theme in this track, also.

Track 08: Whispering Statues
Perhaps one of the most original tracks of the 90’s Bond music, also. Definitely very different than what we’ve heard pre-1995, and sets the mood of the scene very well.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”

– Track 14: Bike Shop Fight
One of his finest tracks. The opening cues really set the mood of the scene, and the music following compliments the location of Saigon.

– Track 15: Kowloon Bay
Though not a very romantic scene in the film, it’s a very romantic piece. Shame he couldn’t have done more like this with “Casino Royale”.

“The World Is Not Enough”

– Track 09: Elektra’s Theme
Definitely one of Arnold’s finest themes of the 90’s. I wish he would’ve done something more like this with Vesper’s theme in “Casino Royale”. This track is very elegant and romantic. Used through out the film, it works very well.

– Track 10: Body Double
Very synthy, but has a nice style. It’s probably one of his more stylish overly-synth pieces. It also compliments the scene in the film well, and makes for a quality stealth cue.

The Worst Tracks of the 90’s:

There are too many to name, but I’ll cover the worst of each score…

“GoldenEye”

Track 03: Ladies First
Pure trash. Sounds like the theme to a pinball game. I believe someone once stated that it sounds like it was performed by “R2-D2”.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”

Track 18: All in a Day’s Work
Very messy. The over-lapping of synth beats and noises make this a very unenjoyable track.

“The World Is Not Enough”

Track 18: Christmas In Turkey
A very poor “romantic track”. This sounds like it belongs in a soap opera, rather than Bond film. Compare this to the love themes of John Barry’s earlier scores — I think you’ll feel the same way as I do.

The Best Theme Songs of the 90’s:

  • “GoldenEye” – Tina Turner
  • “Tomorrow Never Dies” – Sheryl Crow
  • “Surrender” – K.D. Lang
  • “The World Is Not Enough” – Garbage
  • “Only Myself to Blame” – Scott Walker

I’d rank them as:

  1. GoldenEye
  2. Surrender
  3. Tomorrow Never Dies
  4. Only Myself to Blame
  5. The World Is Not Enough

Turner’s “GoldenEye” theme has to be one of the best Bond themes since Bassey’s work.

“Surrender” was another great piece by K. D. Lang; the brass was outstanding and very Bondian, reminiscent of “Goldfinger”. I think this should’ve been the main theme song.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”, by Sheryl Crow, was a quality song. I enjoyed the romantic style of it, but I could be bias here, as I’m a fan of Crow’s non-Bond work, also.

“Only Myself to Blame” is an interesting track. Performed by Scott Walker, I can definitely hear where “Elektra’s Theme” was derived from. It’s also got a slight jazzy, noir style to it.

“The World Is Not Enough” isn’t a terrible track, but I don’t think it’s outstanding either. The style and tune is interesting. I enjoy the Bondian guitar riffs and brass through out, too.

Final Thoughts:

The Bond music of the 90’s was surely a mixed bag. The 90’s Bond scores started out quite original, but ended on an unoriginal note with “The World Is Not Enough”. It seems as if Arnold has kept up with this unoriginal tradition with the release of his “Quantum of Solace” score. This decade didn’t feature many glamorous Bond themes, as John Barry once did, either. I can’t say that most of the music of this decade is memorable, either. Perhaps some of Serra’s score, and some of the theme songs … but I’d say that’s about it.

"Hero… Guitar Hero."

March 8, 2009

Kotaku.com > Guitar Hero Marches on with Queen, Hendrix, and James Bond…

Activision details their downloadable content lineup for Guitar Hero World Tour this month, bringing players more Hendrix, a little Queen, a smattering of European tracks, and the James Bond theme song.

The month’s downloadable songs kick off this Thursday with the third European track pack, with Italy, Finland, and France represented by Vanilla Sky, The Rasmus, and Les Rita Mitsouko respectively. On March 19th the European invasion continues with Dutch symphonic rock band Within Temptation, German punk band Die Toten Hosen, and Spanish rock from M-Clan.

The second Jimi Hendrix Track Pack also drops on the 19th, with “Freedom”, “Angel”, and a recording of the classic “Foxey Lady” from 1969’s Woodstock festival, all complimenting Hendrix’s appearance as a playable character in the game.

The month ends on a seriously high note, with three songs from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Queen. The classic “We Are The Champions” and “C-Lebrity” from their 2008 album make up two thirds of the pack, but they could have simply released the third track – “Fat Bottomed Girls” – and I would have gladly payed full price.

Backing up Queen on March 26th will be a new original recording of the classic James Bond theme, which World Tour singers should have a complete blast with, making up their own lyrics.
Check out the full listing of tracks by date below!

March 5th
Rasmus – In the Shadows
Vanilla Sky – Break It Out
Les Rita Mitsouko – C’est Comme Ça

March 19th
Within Temptation – What Have You Done
Die Toten Hosen – Her Kommt Alex
M-Clan – Carolina
Hendrix Track Pack 2

March 26th
Queen Track Pack
James Bond Theme

Pretty interesting. I don’t play Guitar Hero, but who hasn’t wanted to play the James Bond theme on guitar? Hopefully the gamers will have fun with this.

Film Review ::: "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"

November 23, 2008

Many seem to hold this film in their number 1 Bond spot. I, on the other hand, cannot do this. While there’s a steady amount of good in this film, I think it has its fair share of bad, too. 

The Good: 
The story; I thought it was outstanding. One of the greatest Bond stories, for sure. Very Bondian, and I think the whole film stuck pretty close to Fleming’s novel, though I haven’t read it for years now. 

Diana Rigg; One of the most beautiful Bond girls, for sure. At first, she came off so genuinely harsh. It was great. But later on, as she fell in love with Bond, she was a very sweet Bond girl. My favorite meeting with her in the film is after Bond’s 1st escape from Piz Gloria. As Bond’s sitting near the ice rink, a girl with blades on comes up to him. We move from the feet, to her face, revealing it’s Tracy- with a beautiful smile on her face. 

The main titles; loved them. They rank up there with “Goldfinger”. 

The soundtrack; My 2nd favorite Barry score. My only complaint about this score is the use of synthesizers. Had they been left out, I’m sure this would tie with my #1 soundtrack spot (alongside “You Only Live Twice”). My favorite cue of this soundtrack is Bond’s escape from Piz Gloria and his chase after Blofeld. The music begins as Blofeld shoots at the world map that Bond is taking pictures of- the music complemented this chase sequence so well. 

This film also had plentys of Bondian traits. It certainly has Bond written all over it, as far as style goes. The visuals are also gorgeous in this film- not as great as locations from “Dr. No” or “You Only Live Twice”, however, I think this ranks up there with them. This film also had some top-notch Bond action. 

The Alright: 
Telly Savalas played an OK Blofeld. I kept thinking of Kojack, but it’s alright. Savalas played the part pretty well. I still like Pleasence’s character more, however. As a side note: everyone says “Can you imagine Pleasence on skis in OHMSS?” To that, I’ll say that Savalas on skis was hardly a pleasure for my eyes. Irma Bunt was quite the henchwoman, too. Very tough, and fit right in with the head of SPECTRE. I’ve got no complaints about her. Reminded me a bit of Rosa Klebb.

The girls at Piz Gloria- they were all beautiful. They weren’t exceptional actresses, however. Overall, they made for quite a sight. I’d say even that Ruby Bartlett, to my own surprise. I took quite a liking to her during this viewing. When you set that mat on her head aside, she’s a gorgeous girl. 

The Bad:
My major dislike- this film’s editing was absolutely atrocious. I thought it seemed like a mess, and was quite disappointed by it. 

The James Bond theme used during the attack of Piz Gloria. It worked when Draco’s men and Bond were moving in, however, it played mostly during Tracy’s fight scene? That didn’t make sense to me. They should’ve used more of Barry’s source music. There was plenty to go ’round. 

The Hilary Bray dubbing. Actually, this whole aspect of the film didn’t make much sense to me either. It seems as if Bond automatically learns to mimic Bray’s voice. 

George Lazenby as James Bond: 
I’ll be frank- I didn’t care for Lazenby’s Bond performance all that much, which is one reason why I can’t rank this film too high in my Bond rankings. I think Lazenby had potential and the looks. However, to me, it seemed like he forced himself to be Bond. It didn’t come on naturally, as it seemed with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, or Daniel Craig. Something about the way that he delivered lines bothered me too. There were quite a few witty quips in this film, but when delivered by Lazenby, they didn’t have any flare about them. 

All in all, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” certainly proves to be a decent Bond film, but in my opinion, has some major flaws. It’s certainly better than Brosnan’s films, and most of Moore’s… but it’s just not my cup of tea, I suppose. On the other hand, it makes for a great holiday Bond film. 

 

6.5 / 10

6.5 / 10

Film Review ::: Thunderball

November 21, 2008

It’s safe to say that James Bond is back in action.

Sure, they said that about “Goldfinger”, but I believe “Thunderball” was far more exciting and more down-to-Earth than “Goldfinger” was. Of the films following “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love”, I also think that “Thunderball” was the film that could most closely relate to those two. By that, I mean, Bond seems like the Bond he was in those films, the locations are again stunning, we’ve got beautiful women, tons of danger, and the return of another bunch of ruthless SPECTRE agents.

The locations in this Bond flick were nearly as gorgeous as the places we saw in “Dr. No”. Sure, at first we’re stuck with Bond while he’s at the clinic- what could be beautiful about that location? However, as we move on to Nassau, there’s hardly an unattractive site. The water’s gorgeous, the beaches are beautiful, the hotel is high-end and comfortable looking, and the streets are swarming with plenty of people. Then, we even get a look at SPECTRE’s main meeting room- grand and diabolical-seeming, thanks again to Ken Adam.

Barry delivers another superb soundtrack, with plenty of themes that fit right in with the underwater scenes, beach scenes, and the beauty of the locations. We also get a few Bond themes, which also add Connery’s suave and stylish looks in the film. Not much to complain about here. My favorite piece is probably the Chateau Flight, which really enhances Bond’s pre-title sequence fight.

Emilio Largo- I see him as a Dr. No: 2.0. He’s certainly a well-respected SPECTRE member, and even has the high rank of #2. He’s a very serious man, even when he’s joking around with Bond. By the way he treats Domino, and his fellow SPECTRE henchmen, it’s pretty easy to notice that Largo will do anything to succeed with his plans and impress Blofeld.

I see Connery’s performance in this film as one step below his performances in “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love” . For me, they’re his top-notch performances… but his acting in “Thunderball” doesn’t fall far from them. Again, as he had in the past three pictures, he’s got that natural Bond style, look, and attitude. Having viewed all of the Connery films this week, to me, it’s safe to say that this man is the only classic cinematic James Bond. I don’t think anyone can replace him.

The girls in this movie were gorgeous. We had Domino, Fiona, and Paula. Unfortunately, we didn’t see Paula as much as the others; however she was a very pretty woman for Bond to be working alongside of. Fiona- definitely the best bad girl of the Bond series, and sexiest bad girl, too. Then, Domino- an innocent, nice girl, caught up in one big mess, in my opinion. The gorgeous Claudine Auger played the part well, and she was certainly a memorable Bond girl.

Rik Van Nutter played a decent Leiter, I suppose. It wasn’t great, nor atrocious. I certainly thought his Leiter could be taken more seriously than Linder’s from “Goldfinger”. It further proves that no Leiter was as great as Lord, though.

Aside from those aspects, “Thunderball” offers classic Bondian action, romance, humor, locations, plots, and characters. The overall plot of the film wasn’t too complex, and intelligent- much like the earlier films. The gadgets were kept to a minimum: Bond had the re-breather, which is probably one of the most useful Bond gadgets. The jetpack was good fun in the pre-title sequence, too. The rest of the gadgets seemed more like real spy gadgets- the watch, the camera, the tracking pill. I think they threw a realistic touch on the world of Bond gadgets.

There are a few choppy bits of editing in this film, however, it’s not anything to get worked up about.

Other than that, “Thunderball” makes for an excellent Connery Bond film, and is a superb addition to the series. While I hold “Dr. No” and “From Russia With Love” higher than it, “Thunderball” is given a secure #3 spot in my Bond film ranking list. Also- perhaps Terence Young has to do with my liking of some of the early Bond films. I just thought I’d give him a nod here, as he’s my favorite Bond director.

9.5 / 10

9.5 / 10

"A Quantum of Covers" for Children In Need

November 19, 2008

Article Link: BBC Oxford > Children In Need > A Quantum of Covers

 

A Quantum of Covers
The Name’s Bear, Pudsey Bear… 

The BBC Oxford team certainly like their music shaken and not stirred judging by their idea for this year’s BBC Children In Need.

It seems Nobody can do a Children In Need Event better than BBC Oxford Introducing who have brought together eleven of the best Oxfordshire bands you’ve never heard of to record their favourite Bond themes for the appeal.

The album, called a Quantum of Covers is available on iTunes and for every individual track downloaded 49p goes to Children In Need and for every album purchased £4.90 will go to the charity.

And with the likes of former Miss England Eleanor Glynn contributing to an industrial electro version of The Living Daylights with Banbury’s Sikorski to Borderville doing a glam-stomp through the Wings classic Live and Let Die, it is sure to be a hit.

Talking about the charity project and their choice of theme Nobody Does It Better, David Balch, from Witches said: “I think A Quantum of Covers is an excellent idea. Bond is an institution and the themes are such iconic songs, it’s great to be a part of it. Hopefully it’ll raise a load of cash for Children in Need’s work with disadvantaged children.”

Xmas Lights took on the challenge of the Bond theme. James Gray-King of the band commented: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in the project and a huge challenge. The main theme has been tackled by so many incredible people over the years that finding a route in and keeping it recognizable while retaining our sound was a really interesting endeavour. I am proud of what we have done and very proud that it is for a worthy cause…”

Sikorski joined forces with their own Bond girl and former Miss England Eleanor Glynn for the Living Daylights, with Jan and Darren saying: “We really enjoyed the process of reinterpreting and recording this song. It was a real challenge from the outset, but one we enjoyed and endeavoured to get right. We wanted to make it our own and not just a copy of the original, and we think we have achieved this.”

And Maria Ilett noticed how BBC Children in Need brings out the generosity in people:
“We were really excited to be asked to record a song for a Quantum of covers BBC Oxfords Children in Need album, people have been extra generous when they realised what charity the song was for- Barry and Markus from The Doghouse Studio donated their studio and engineer time! Just goes to show what a much loved charity Children In Need is.”

BBC Children in Need positively changes the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

This theme of this year’s Appeal is Do Something Different and we are asking you to take up the challenge and help thousands more young people, here in the UK, who need our help. Doing Something Different doesn’t mean anything difficult, expensive or scary; it just means something outside of your normal routine which will help raise money.  There are lots of fun, silly and unusual ideas in our BBC Children in Need Fundraising Pack. For more information go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey or call 0345 607 3333.

Remember, for every penny raised, a penny will go towards projects helping those in need. We couldn’t do it without you, so a big Pudsey thanks in advance!

iTunes — “A Quantum of Covers”

Cover songs, especially of Bond tunes, are always interesting to listen to. Even if you buy this, and don’t like it, you’re still contributing to a good cause. If you buy this, and do like it, then I suppose it’s a win/win. I’ll definitely check it out, as it’ll make for a good piece to add to my Bond soundtrack collection. Plus, I like the idea of helping the Children In Need organization.

If you’re not interested in the music, but feel like being generous and helping out the organization, here’s their site link: 

Children In Need