Nov 19, 2012
Previously Unknown Thunderball Demo Surfaces On New Lionel Bart CD
The Music of James Bond. What role did a bra (or the lack thereof) play in Shirley Bassey's classic rendition of "Goldfinger?" What famous non-Bond spy actor was the first person to hear that song? What lawsuit put Bassey out of contention for other Bond songs of the Sixties? What lyrics did Harry Saltzman strenuously object to? Why did John Barry pass on composing Live and Let Die? You can find the answers to all these and any other burning question on Bond movie music (including rogue productions Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again) in Burlingame's essential work on the subject. I'll be reviewing that in full soon (though, trust me; it's a book you definitely want on your Christmas list!), but in the meantime, Burlingame also offered an exciting tip too new to have made it into the book. He tipped me off that a hitherto unknown "Thunderball" demo penned by Lionel Bart ("From Russia With Love") had turned up out of the blue on a 2012 Sepia Records CD release of lost Bart treasures entitled The Genius of Lionel Bart: Stage & Pop Songs, Demos & Rarities. The 3-disc set is available on CD and, much more cheaply, as a digital download on Amazon, but Bond fans can also buy just the relevant tracks as individual MP3s. That's right, tracks—plural! In addition to the main vocal "Thunderball" demo (performed by an unidentified rock group and containing the lyric, "Don't come here to spy, Thunderball!"), there are also several instrumental variations no doubt intended for use throughout the film. (Which makes me very curious as to the circumstances under which this song was written, as wouldn't that have surely been stepping on John Barry's toes?) Those versions are: "Thunderball Love Theme," "Thunderball Bossa Nova" and "Thunderball Jazz."