James Poole reflection

An unlikely Bond theme

Now, bear with me here. I know I’m going to lose many of you with this post.

Still here? I promise you, in about two minutes, I’m going to lose you. I’m confident.

Bond is good. I can think of few finer ways of spending a Christmas afternoon than watching a Bond film (unless, that is, the Bond film in question is Octopussy: ‘The Nadir of The Bond Franchise’). Give me some unrealistic action, some fine one-liners (‘as long as the collars and cuffs match’ is a personal favourite – Diamonds Are Forever, in case you’re wondering), and some top-notch theme tunes, and I’m a happy man. And, for the record, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service really is a contender for the best Bond film. It’s got it all.

‘You Only Live Twice’, ‘Live and Let Die’, ‘Nobody Does It Better’ – they’d all stand up as tunes regardless of their connection with Bond. They’re belting. They encapsulate a certain ‘Bondness’ that’s hard to put into words. At once cinematic, but also with a pinch of something to keep them grounded. There’s a common feel to a classic Bond theme. And, for further vindication of my point re: ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, I give you both the score, and ‘We Have All the Time in the World’. Remarkable.

I’ll be honest, I’m trying to avoid all things ‘Skyfall’. I’ve not seen the trailer, and will try to keep it this way. I prefer to see my films with fresh eyes, without any spoiler-delivering set pieces being revealed as a tease. I don’t need to see what’s coming – I’m already going to the cinema to see the film. Don’t sell me again.

With ‘Skyfall’ being around the corner, it’s time to start to speculate as to who will get the nod for the next theme. Jack White may have given the last Bond film a theme to be proud of, but it’s been a fairly barren time for many, many years. Can you even remember the Garbage tune? One thing is for sure, my band of choice have absolutely NO CHANCE of getting the gig.

Swing Out Sister.

And, there you go. I did promise that I’d lose you.

Let me explain.

Swing Out Sister are a band that have – at times – captured the very essence of a Bond theme. Ensconced in straight ahead, unapologetic pop music, you’ve got a certain feel – a cinematic sweep – that is just bang on the money. And, to make my point, I’m just going to highlight one album: Kaleidoscope World. OK – I’ve really lost you now, but I have a point. Honestly.

I think that every tune on Kaleidoscope World sounds like it could have been penned with Bond in mind. From ‘You On My Mind’ through to ‘Forever Blue’ and ‘Tainted’ – the notion of silhouetted women dancing through a pseudo-Saul Bass opening credit sequence is not hard to imagine. But, perhaps the biggest clincher is the Western-tinged ‘Masquerade’. It’s Ennio Morricone doing Bond. It’s The Best Bond Theme That Never Was!

Oh, suit yourselves. And, I bet it’ll be Florence + Her Bloody Machine. Or Adele.

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