Daniel Craig returned to cinema screens as the iconic and world-famous spy James Bond in new film ‘Spectre’ last week. If you haven’t already seen it, you’re in for a real edge-of-your-seat treat – and if you have, you’ve probably already booked tickets to see it again!
To celebrate the release of the latest 007 film, Warner Leisure Hotels is playing host to The Music of Bond – an entire night’s show devoted to the theme tunes of all of your favourite Bond films, brought to you by The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and special guest vocalists. Sit back, relax and enjoy incredible live performances featuring music from ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, ‘Goldeneye’, ‘Casino Royale’ and many more. Bond lovers are not going to want to miss this.
But before you start humming along to your favourite Bond tunes, here are 15 little-known stories behind them. Get together with a friend and test each other to see how many you know.
- Sam Smith is the first British male solo artist to record a Bond theme tune since Tom Jones’ 1965 ‘Thunderball’.
- The James Bond theme tune was originally intended to be used on stage, in musical ‘A House for Mr. Biswas’. When it wasn’t used, composer Monty Norman added electric guitars to make it into the Bond theme we know today.
- The first Bond song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 was Duran Duran’s ‘A View to a Kill’ in 1985.
- Two Shirley Bassey songs feature in the Top 10 list of most popular James Bond themes: ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and ‘Goldfinger’.
- Madonna’s 2002 Bond theme ‘Die Another Day’ reached spot #8 in the UK Top 10 list. Since then, ‘Skyfall’ by Adele (#2), and Sam Smith’s ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ (the first Bond #1) are the only other Bond songs to make the list.
- Adele recorded ‘Skyfall’ with a 77-piece orchestra.
- ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ is the 24th James Bond theme tune.
- Madonna was the only Bond theme singer to be given a cameo role in the film, playing fencing instructor Verity in 2002’s ‘Die Another Day’.
- Bono and The Edge co-wrote the 1995 ‘Golden Eye’ theme tune, sung by Tina Turner.
- Weird Al Yankovic wrote a parody to Paul McCartney’s ‘Live and Let Die’ called ‘Chicken Pot Pie’.
- ‘Live and Let Die’ is the only Bond song to feature a kazoo.
- Johnny Cash wrote a track for the 1965 Bond film ‘Thunderball’ but it was rejected in favour of John Barry’s song.
- Tom Jones fainted in the recording studio while singing ‘Thunderball’ after having to hold the final syllable for too long.
- Kate Bush was originally asked to write and sing the theme tune for ‘Moonraker’ but she declined so Shirley Bassey took her place.
- The Beach Boys’ song ‘Pet Sounds’ was originally titled ‘Run James Run’ in the hopes of becoming a Bond theme tune.
If you loved these facts, check out our ultimate guide to The Music of Bond infographic, which features everything you need to know about James Bond film music, from the iconic James Bond Theme in Dr No, to the latest Sam Smith hit ‘Writing’s On The Wall’.