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The Music of James Bond [Paperback]

Jon Burlingame
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sep 2014
is the first comprehrensive chronicle of the songs and scores written for the movie adventures of Ian Fleming's intrepid Agent 007. New interviews with Bond songwriters and composers coupled with previously undiscovered details make this book required reading for all 007 fans. This paperback edition is brought up-to-date with a new chapter on

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA; Reprint edition (Sep 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199358850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199358854
  • Product Dimensions: 25.9 x 18.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"When it comes to writing about film music, Jon Burlingame is the man with the Midas touch. Both casual fans and 007 aficionados should find this book to be enlightening, informative, and great fun to read." --Leonard Maltin"Jon Burlingame has written an amazing behind-the-scenes dossier, revealing the personalities, the betrayals, the egos, the lawsuits, and the untold stories behind 007's hits and misses. Nobody does it better than Bond, and nobody knows Bond music better than Burlingame." --John Cork, co-author, James Bond, The Legacy"A magnificent work. Not only has Mr. Burlingame assembled a meticulously researched history of the James Bond music, but, being an expert on musical scoring and composers, he offers a degree of music appreciation and insight that few possess. James Bond fans will devour this like Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon champagne." --Steven Jay Rubin, author of The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia"Jon Burlingame provides the intriguing and often fascinating story behind the one heretofore neglected aspect of the James Bond phenomenon: the soundtracks and the incredibly talented people behind them. The Music of James Bond manages to be exhaustively researched, yet highly entertaining. Those of us who pride ourselves on being 007 scholars will be humbled by the wealth of new insights the author reveals. With this indispensable book, Burlingame reaffirms his status as one of the world's foremost experts on motion picture soundtracks." --Lee Pfeiffer, co-author, The Incredible World of007 and The Essential Bond, and Editor-in-Chief, Cinema Retro Magazine"Jon Burlingame has crafted an authoritative and uniquely informative volume--the definitive examination of a major contribution in the longevity of the James Bond film series. The Music of James Bond is packed with memorable quotes and a sprinkling of photographic gems." --Graham Rye, Editor & Publisher, 007 MAGAZINE"At last, a worthy historical analys

About the Author

The story of the music that accompanies the cinematic adventures of Ian Fleming's intrepid Agent 007 is one of surprising real-life drama. In The Music of James Bond, author Jon Burlingame throws open studio and courtroom doors alike to reveal the full and extraordinary history of the sounds of James Bond, spicing the story with a wealth of fascinating and previously undisclosed tales.

Burlingame devotes a chapter to each Bond film, providing the backstory for the music (including a reader-friendly analysis of each score) from the last-minute creation of the now-famous "James Bond Theme" in Dr. No to John Barry's trend-setting early scores for such films as Goldfinger and Thunderball. We learn how synthesizers, disco and modern electronica techniques played a role in subsequent scores, and how composer David Arnold reinvented the Bond sound for the 1990s and beyond.

The book brims with behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Burlingame examines the decades-long controversy over authorship of the Bond theme; how Frank Sinatra almost sang the title song for Moonraker; and how top artists like Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Duran Duran, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, and Madonna turned Bond songs into chart-topping hits. The author shares the untold stories of how Eric Clapton played guitar for Licence to Kill but saw his work shelved, and how Amy Winehouse very nearly co-wrote and sang the theme for Quantum of Solace.

New interviews with many Bond songwriters and composers, coupled with extensive research as well as fascinating and previously undiscovered details—temperamental artists, unexpected hits, and the convergence of great music and unforgettable imagery—make The Music of James Bond a must read for 007 buffs and all popular music fans. This paperback edition is brought up-to-date with a new chapter on Skyfall.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stirred and definitely shaken! 22 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If anyone is interested in film music, and in particular the music associated with James Bond, this is the book for you. Its interesting, informative and entertaining. Jon Burlingame has done an amazing job of going through the music of not only the official Bond films, but also the original casino Royale and Never Say Never Again. I've been a John Barry fan for over 40 years, and there were things in the book that I wasn't aware of! A must for film music fans everywhere!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is, so far as I am aware, the only book to survey the music for each of the James Bond films, with the exception of Skyfall. Other books that touch on this topic tend to be biographies of the individual composers, or books about the James Bond phenomenon, or the liner notes to releases of the James Bond music. For someone wanting to understand the music of a particular film, such books can often be frustrating, as they tend to concentrate on the way the Bond sound was initially realised in the 1960s, or how it is realised in the contemporary world. Burlingame avoids this by taking each film in turn, and providing (along the bottom of the pages) a minute by minute account of the score as it appears in the film, while (in the main text) giving the story behind the writing of the music for the film. This could have resulted in a rather dull book. Instead, while the familiar stories of Tom Jones going a bit wobbly at the end of the vocal recording of Thunderball, or Shirley Bassey ditching her bra to hit the high notes in Goldfinger make their predictable appearance, the lesser known stories of the later films are also told in full for the first time. So, for example, the section on Moonraker discusses the original version of the song written for Frank Sinatra and ultimately recorded by Johnny Mathis before that version was rejected in favour of the version as performed by Shirley Bassey. It also gives an illuminating account of John Barry's original vision of the Moonraker soundtrack as an eight movement symphony, together with the practical trials of recording a Bond score in France for the first and, to date, only time. Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Music Of James Bond 17 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's a well overdue history of the classic music from the series. However, it felt somewhat superficial in covering each film, particularly the Barry period. Burlingame has written excellent liner notes for many great CD's but he can't extend this to an entire book. Perhaps many of the stories have been told by other authors previously. To a Bond fan knowing little of the history of the music, this is an excellent start.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Factual but boring 8 July 2014
By Jon D
I can't fault the author for his attention to detail, but the book does somehow manage to take what should be a fascinating story and make it very dull and factual. There is a also a surprising amount of flattery, bordering on hagiography, of David Arnold, whose work comes later in Bond history. Arnold has been responsible for some of the most overblown and unlistenable James Bond music of recent years, so one can only conclude that the author had to be nice or else lose his access.

Ended up reading the thing to the end just so I could say I had finished it. Charity shopped it on our last turf-out.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The music to a Bond film is such an important element of the franchise - even if you are not always aware of it at the time of viewing - and this book gives a clear and interesting guide to how this is produced. Fans of John Barry will love it as the great late composer features so prominently in the book, showing how his contribution helped the films enormously in the early days and later with the introduction of new actors to the role.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! 20 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Fantastic, informative... an excellent read for a fan or fanatic! Why isn't there more books on classic films like this?
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