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Brian Strikes back with James Bond 007 covers

(Scott) How about that Brian? gotta give the guy credit
 for continually coming up with different and intersting stuff to post.....I never would have dreamed of this one....I've carpet bombed it, it's pretty damn solid, and his write up this time is of particular interest, imo........some damn fine stuff here, as we try to strive for variety  and eccentricity......hope you guys enjoy this one, from what I've heard thusfar another winner!

I followed a sudden impulse with this post. I finally got around to seeing the James Bond movie Spectre recently. While I have mixed feelings about the movie, one thing I feel solidly about is Sam Smith's theme song to the film. It sucks. Just a weak ass, hook-less song that doesn't have any heart to it, and he was just handed an Oscar for it. I figure after Adele's "Skyfall", Hollywood just impulsively heaps awards on Bond movies now.

Forgive me, but I like to think that opinion comes from a well-informed place. I've been a fan of Bond music since I was 6. My first trips skulking into record stores as a child were to try to find James Bond soundtracks. Those forays taught me about music - release dates, copyright issues, different recordings and performers, audio fidelity, etc. I can't tell you how many budget label studio band albums I got through before I got to the real stuff.

I was originally just gonna post the 2 disc Bond: 50 Years, 50 Tracks compilation, but it occurred to me... could I do Bond songs as a covers compilation? I knew of a few good tracks - maybe an EP's worth - but was pleasantly surprised by how many songs I actually found. In the end, there's only two theme songs left out of this: the aforementioned "Writing's On The Wall" from Spectre, and Madonna's loathsome theme to Die Another Day (hands down the worst theme in the series). All these covers go in the chronological order of the movies. I also found several great versions of "The James Bond Theme", which I've sprinkled throughout the album. This one is definitely a treat, guys; I'm proud of it.

John Barry is famous as the composer for the early Bond music, but did you know the well-known version of the theme was actually recorded by The Monty Norman Orchestra? So to start things off, I've included Barry's original version from the opening credits of Dr. No. The arrangement is a little different, as well as the guitar tone being cleaner and deeper than the version you're used to hearing. Makes an interesting comparison. Then Japanese saxophonist Akira Tana does a good version of "From Russia With Love". It's got a great soul-jazz feel.

German punk band The Bates do a great cover of "Goldfinger". It was a surprising find, and I like it. Latin percussionist Ray Barretto plays a grooving salsa version of "Thunderball", which is from his 1966 album Señor 007. New Wavers Soft Cell perform "007", also known as the Bond "action theme" from Thunderball. The next version of the main theme is by 60's instrumental rockers Davie Allan & The Arrows. Actually sounds like an 80's recording, but I like the arrangement. 

Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan performs a lovely acoustic version of "You Only Live Twice". Didn't see that one coming, huh? Swedish techno/surf group Robert Johnson & Punchdrunks tear into "On Her Majesty's Secret Service". Bond composer David Arnold does a beautiful version of "We Have All The Time In The World", with vocals by none other than Iggy Pop! Funk/Disco diva Chaka Khan digs into the meat of "Diamonds Are Forever". These were all great finds.

With "Live and Let Die", I thought it would be a no-brainer to put Guns N Roses here. But I actually went with Geri Halliwell. That's right... Ginger Spice. Just give it a listen. I think she does great. Who woulda thought, right? The next version of the main theme is a full orchestral one by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Symphony. Now, I really didn't expect to find a version of "The Man With The Golden Gun", but then discovered this great one by Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini. She sings it out, and manages to have a voice that's not as annoying as Lulu's! Punk pop group Me First & The Gimmie Gimmies perform a rip-roaring, killer version of "Nobody Does It Better", proving that no matter what the genre, a hook is still a hook.

Young jazz chanteuse Jaimee Paul sings a lovely version of "Moonraker", off of her album Bonded: A Tribute To The Music Of James Bond. Norwegian band Faith Circus perform a good melodic rock cover of "For Your Eyes Only", which has always been my favorite Bond love song. David Arnold returns with a version of "All Time High", this time with Jarvis Cocker from Pulp on vocals. Talk about a great match of singer and song!

The next version of the Bond theme is by avant garde musical terrorist John Zorn, off of the first Naked City album. I like how the melody is played at hyperspeed by Fred Frith's bass. Goth/techno group Razed In Black give a high energy reimagining of Duran Duran's song "A View To A Kill". South African alternative group The Narrow perform a great version of "The Living Daylights". It certainly rocks more than A-Ha's original - and sorry about the little bit of compression on it. Penny Chillin give "License To Kill" a decent modern pop/R&B sheen.
OK, if you were to tell me that we live in a world where a heavy metal version of Tina Turner's "Goldeneye" exists, I wouldn't of believed you. But it does... By death metal cover band Ten Masked Men. This might be my fave on this whole compilation. Fucking. Brilliant. Jaimee Paul returns with a torch song reading of "Tomorrow Never Dies". She's definitely got more vocal range than Sheryl Crow did. Next is a version of the Bond theme performed by Taylor Davis, playing fantastic lead violin.

Polish alt-metallers NeraNature do a good take of Garbage's "The World Is Not Enough". Norwegian rockers Sandmarx cover Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name" from Casino Royale. While I admit the singer struggles a little with the vocals...it is a Cornell tune, after all...it still rocks. And look up the video on YouTube... she is hot! U.K. indie group Colour The Atlas do an in-studio cover of "Another Way To Die". It's good; I just wish it was a duet like the original.

There's been any number of covers of "Skyfall", so I ended up picking this one by the beautiful Madilyn Bailey, off of her Covers, Vol. 4 album. To end things, I cheated a little; Moby's version of the Bond theme was actually on the soundtrack to Tomorrow Never Dies, but I thought it would be a perfect closer for this.

The bonus link is, well....I'm just gotta say it: you guys need to hit up this C. Gap file I posted awhile ago!!! It's gotten less than 100 DLs, and it's one of the best comedy albums of the 70's! So, get to it if you haven't, please. God, just for "Kingpin" and "Where's Johnny" alone...you're missing a good one otherwise.

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