James Bond, it is the the most famous popcorn flick franchise in the world. Fast cars, thrilling action, and of course, lots of boobs. But perhaps the main thing we think about is the song, and those openings. The lush opening sequence of a Bond film is truly what makes it for me, and the song is very important.
We’ve had good Bond Songs, such as your Live and Let Dies, and we’ve had your bad Bond songs, such as your You Know my names. Then you have Die another Day, which is beyond the realm of good and bad. My point is, the song is important. Many a time, the makers of the film want an artist to do the song, but perhaps that doesn’t happen, due to contracts, or prior commitments, and another artist does the song instead. Then, there are those times when a song is written, but ultimately doesn’t get used. These 3 songs are examples of such things.
1. The Man with the Golden Gun: Alice Cooper
Yep. Alice Cooper, the band (I make that clear, as Cooper hadn’t changed his name at that point, and the band were still together) had wrote and recorded a Bond song. This would have been a fine entry into the Bond song canon, as it had the makings of a good action theme. The guitar, the orchestral, and jazzy elements would have been great additions to the film score. This song was practically ready to go, but the producers went with LuLu’s version instead, which is the one you hear at the start of the actual film. I think that is unfortunate, as the LuLu song wasn’t that good. But then, one might consider it fortunate, especially if you aren’t a fan of Roger Moore’s Bond. I like Moore’s Bond, but they should have kept him for 3 or 4 films, as they went downhill. Oh well, this song should have been a Bond theme.
2. Tomorrow Never Dies/Lies: Pulp
Moving to the 1990’s, and we have Pierce Brosnan’s Bond, who probably suffered the Moore curse of playing the role far too long. I like Pierce Brosnan, he had the suave Bond look to him, but I could never see him as Bond. Sheryl Crow’s Bond theme was weak, but it got nominated for Golden Globe. I have a theory for why it was negative, as the story behind the theme to this Bond film. The Producers enlisted 12 artists to write a Bond theme. 12. Any one of them could have been put in this spot, songs from Swan Lee, Pulp, Saint Etienne, Marc Almond, and Sheryl Crow were all considered, with Crow’s being picked. I went with the Pulp song in this spot, as I feel it had the makings of a good song, perhaps not memorable, but good. I first heard it in the This is Hardcore Deluxe re-release album, and while it probably would have worked better with an orchestra, it was understandingly unfinished, as the other song was picked. The Pulp effort became a B-Side to Help the Aged, and interestingly, this film ended up being the first Bond film to have two themes. The Crow version at the start, and another song, intended to open the film, relegated to the end credits.
3. Supremacy: Muse
For the final song in this role, I am sort of cheating. This song was not actually written for a Bond film, but it was never used. But with the current trend of Bond songs, and the way they sound today, this one suits that role. Of course, Skyfall was flanked with the vocals of Adele, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Adele is a very good singer, and embodies Bond songs of the past, making her effort Timeless and Contemporary. However, the upcoming film Spectre, will feature an effort by Sam Smith. Yes, my friends. Sam bleeding Smith. They need to get a Muse song as the Bond theme. I don’t care if the film is rubbish, it’ll make it more bearable if there was a Muse song to flank the film.
But, at the end of the day, does it really matter what the song is. Ultimately, whilst the song is meant to be timeless, it is supposed to be contemporary, and fit the theme of the film. For better or worse, the songs that were picked did fit the films that they were meant for (Seriously, Die another Day…DIE ANOTHER DAY. DIE TODAY, MADONNA). At the end of the day, I think a song should be memorable. What was picked people DO remember. But it is good to wish for a world where different songs were picked…