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James Bond music theme marks 50 years

10-08-2012 09:16 BJT

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The upcoming "Skyfall" is the 23rd Bond film, starring Daniel Craig as refined agent 007 for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. But he is merely the sixth actor to play the part, following Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Pierce Brosnan.

However, one thing has remained constant: the music. The US Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held a gala at its Beverly Hills headquarters on Friday, honoring the famed film series, and its musical themes in particular.

Friday marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the very first James Bond film, "Dr. No." Since that fateful day, the film series’ musical themes have stuck throughout its entire lifespan, some more memorable than obscure Bond films themselves.

James Bond

"The James Bond Theme" is that familiar surf rock-styled guitar riff written by Monty Norman, arranged by composer John Barry, and made famous by guitarist Vic Flick. Five decades later it is still a pop culture phenomenon.

Vic Flick, guitarist, said, "I thought, ’well, that’s me playing,’ it was a knockout. But how we came up with it was we were supposed to make a punchy sort of arrangement for the opening of "Dr. No" and what you hear is what you got, you know what I mean?"

Memorable music and Bond go way back, according to Oscar-winning composer Bill Conti, who scored the 1981 Bond film "For Your Eyes Only."

Bill Conti, composer, said, "The love scene begins, everybody knows it, why? Because the music sounds the way it does. The chase is going, and let’s say there is a bunch of energy always on the screen, and that’s true. But if there isn’t sufficient energy on the screen, the music is going to be working overtime."

Each Bond film opens with a signature song -- Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, and Sheena Easton have all lent their singing voices to the series, and next up is Grammy-winning English singer Adele, with her song for the upcoming "Skyfall".

Jon Burlingame, music historian, said, "I think the smart thing the producers have done over the years is to make Bond change with the times. Amazingly, we’ve been through six actors playing the same role since 1962, and the Bond producers have been smart about updating, keeping it consistent with not only popular trends in filmmaking, but sort of the geopolitical climate."

"Skyfall" will be released in the United Kingdom on October 26 and in the United States November 08.

Editor:Wang Chuhan |Source:

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