Tag Archives: Bond

The Music of James Bond

by Victor Field

There are very few screen productions to have had entire books written about their music; Peter Jackson’s The Lord Of The Rings,Tim Burton’s BatmanStar Trek (but not Star Wars or Doctor Who, ha ha). The Music Of James Bond sees the world’s most famous spy added to that short list.

The appropriately initialled Jon Burlingame (no stranger to writing about spy music following his liner notes for FSM’s excellent The Man From U.N.C.L.E. albums) covers Commander Bond’s musical history from the late ‘50s US TV version of Casino Royale* to almost the present day – press deadlines mean Thomas Newman and Adull (er, Adele) don’t get a look-in with Skyfall – with a minimum of musicological textwork and a maximum of revealing information. Just as Burlingame’s TV’s Greatest Hits is an essential for anyone interested in small screen music, this is a must for those who have every Bond soundtrack from LP to download.

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Serviceable

by Ricky Young

On the first day of filming the new series of Lewis, Kevin Whately smiles for the camera.

SPOILER WARNING: If worried about Skyfall spoilers, then either go to the cinema and see Skyfall, or sit down and take a long, hard look at your priorities in life.


There’s a moment in Skyfall where the villain unhooks half his face. The remaining rotten bridgework peers out and half his cheek falls away, skin stretching in a cadaverous fashion. At that point I found myself thinking – this film needs to stop messing around and have him go full-zombie, right now.

He didn’t, of course, and therein lies much of the problem with the new James Bond film. Nobody does much of anything exciting, and what they do end up doing is so low-wattage and for such low stakes that by the time it becomes clear that we’re witnessing a half-arsed series reboot, two movies after the last half-arsed series reboot, it makes you wonder that if they can’t be bothered, why on earth should we?

Oh, it’s not a disaster, by any means. Skyfall is put together competently, hits the majority of the beats it aims for without boring your tits off, and nothing jumps out of the screen shrieking ‘GAZE NOT UPON THIS TURKEY!’ like, say, Avengers Assemble. However, it’s defiantly not the return to form that preview audiences breathlessly rushed to their computers to praise to the heavens.

But if you start thinking about that question of form, then you’re left reflecting that in a 50-year, 23-film series, there’s only actually ever been five good ones. So, was anyone really expecting otherwise? Or is the prospect of a genuinely copper-bottomed feel-good Bond success so seductive that people are willing to kid themselves that they just saw something brilliant, when it’s clear that they didn’t?

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