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The story of the music that accompanies the adventures of Ian Fleming's intrepid Agent 007 is one of surprising real-life drama. In The Music of James Bond, author Jon Burlingame throws open studio and courtroom doors alike to reveal the full and extraordinary history of the sounds of James Bond, including: - How the James Bond Theme was written at the last minute for Dr. No and how it became the subject of controversy, ending in a libel trial 40 years later in London's High Court; - How Bond composer John Barry invented a new kind of action-adventure music for movies, and how despite writing immensely popular scores for Goldfinger , Thunderball , You Only Live Twice and eight other Bond films, he never received a single Academy Award mination for his Bond music; - How the Goldfinger soundtrack battled the Beatles and Mary Poppins to the top of the American charts and bested both in 1965; - How Thunderball went through two songs, three singers, and its own courtroom showdown, before it ended up with a title tune; - How top artists like Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Sheena Easton, Duran Duran, a-ha, the Pretenders, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow and Madonna were convinced to record for Agent 007; - How changes in the Bond sound reflected what was happening in pop and rock circles, from the twangy guitar of the Sean Connery era to a more sedate sound for Roger Moore, synthesizers for George Lazenby and Timothy Dalton, and a more contemporary approach for Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig; - How Frank Sinatra planned to sing Moonraker but didn't, then Johnny Mathis did (with a different lyric), only to be replaced by Shirley Bassey; - The untold stories of how Eric Clapton played guitar on Licence to Kill but saw his work shelved; and how Amy Winehouse very nearly co-wrote and sang the theme for Quantum of Solace. Each chapter contains the full backstory of the music for one Bond film and concludes with a reader-friendly analysis of the score itself, pointing out teworthy musical sequences from the impact of New Orleans jazz on the Live and Let Die score, to the trendy disco in For Your Eyes Only, to the electronica approach that proved disastrous in GoldenEye. New interviews with many Bond songwriters and composers, coupled with extensive research, fascinating and previously undiscovered details - including tales of temperamental artists, unexpected hits and surprising convergences of great music with unforgettable images - make The Music of James Bond must reading for 007 buffs, popular music fans, and all who are in music and the movies.
One of the nation's leading writers on music for film and television, Jon Burlingame writes regularly for Daily Variety and teaches film-music history at the University of Southern California. His other work has included three previous books on film and TV music, and articles for other publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. He also produces radio specials for Classical KUSC in Los Angeles.