Over the last five years, the series of James Bond has revitalized through one man–you know the number, you know the name, Pierce Brosnan. His films, all sucessful, with fans, critics and at the real MI-6 Headquarters, the box office. Yet the series is unfortunately stuck in one of it’s largest ruts ever, musically speaking.
The scores by Eric Serra (GoldenEye) and David Arnold (Tomorrow Never Dies and TWINE) were both strong scores if lackluster, and were considered by some to be as good as the original scores of John Barry. The last three title songs, done by female leads, have been less than stellar. Since the return of Brosnan/Bond, the three gals have tried without success to emulate legend Shirley Bassey, most outstanding for her terrific “Goldfinger”. Even composer David Arnold has admitted his favorite was and is Bassey, and he tried to have Sheryl Crow (TND) and Shirley Manson (TWINE) take up a “Bassey feel”.
The sad fact is that both Crow and Manson, very strong vocalists in their own right, trying to emulate Ms. Bassey comes off forced and a near-impossible standard for a Bond theme song. Give Bond XX to a male solo or group! The last men at work for Bond was Norwegian flash-in-a-pan sensation “A-Ha” twelve long, Dalton years ago. Who would be the best bets today? Well, the same four lads from Dublin that have been continually mentioned with Bond, even writing the title track to GoldenEye, U2.
“Another fella this never happened to” who some hail as the next Crown Prince of 007, is Brit sensation, Robbie Williams. His “You Only Live Twice” takeoff (John Barry says, rip off!) “Millennium” had him pegged as the singer for TWINE, a lovely rumor that was never officially confirmed. Third of my picks, and hardly last, Britain’s most successful band of the 1990’s, (at least critically) the Messrs. of “Radiohead”.
If Shirley Bassey is the female singer’s highest goal in the Bond series, Paul McCartney might just be the male to idolize for would-be 007 crooners. Can all three, U2, Williams and Radiohead come up with something, either solo, or with the next musical producer of the series? Sure. Would any of the three become a commercially viable song? Yes, absolutely. It is also something that the series has been lacking in recent years, a high-selling soundtrack. Any way that EON and MGM wants to cut it, it might be a good idea for the next movie to have a male-led title track.
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