Friday, February 11, 2011

James Bond Friday: Goldfinger

The James Bond franchise hits it's stride in the film Goldfinger.  The first 2 Bond movies, though great, seemed a little like they were finding their footing especially when it came to the score.  Here John Barry finds his horns.  That brassy sound that you hear and immediately think BOND.   

This is the music that has become the standard sound for the 60's in general, especially espionage spy thrillers. The horns, the lush orchestrations, the sweeping way the music takes you into the thick of the action, John Barry was a freaking genius.  This was also a milestone because it was the first Bond movie to really use the title song over the credits, and the first to use the glorious British songstress Shirley Bassey.

Whats not to love? This belttastic number written by Barry and Anthony Newley is my personal favorite Bond theme song of all time.  Bassey hits it outta the gosh dang park, her vocals are electric and thrilling, and come outta her with such ease and class.  Anthony Newley was an actor, writer, singer most famous for the score to the Broadway musical The Roar of the Greasepaint the Smell of the Crowd.  He did the lyrics for Goldfinger, but listen to this song from Greasepaint called The Joker.

It is a tad suspicious that it has the same pattern of sound as Goldfinger, and the exact same ending, and both were released in 1964. And it's no surprise that I also love the song The Joker. It's right up my brassey alley. Side Note the song Feeling Good also came from Roar....


  1. I think it's that the orchestrations on The Joker and Goldfinger are similar. I don't remember The Joker being that fabulous when I saw Sprague's production.

  2. The version of "The Joker" from Greasepaint sounds a lot more like "Goldfinger" than this version sung by Shirley Bassey, who as we all know, sang Goldfinger so you would think? But either way I love all of it, Newley, Bassey, The Joker, Goldfinger, Bond, John Barry, Rick Berutta, Marjory McDonland my darling Marjory McDonald, Charlotta Freeman, Scott Saunders I don't like him very much, but he got the money for me to do the show so tonight I love him. Sorry had an Elaine Stritch moment.