Thursday, April 2, 2015

Snap Your Fingers and Tap Your Toes for Musical Nods to James Bond….Day 93 of Bond 365

Since I have not found any events to report in Bond history today and it has been quite some time since I gathered a post of "nods to Bond" I’m going to segue into the arena of music. When discussing the influence of James Bond in popular culture, music is often overlooked. However, music is a component of the formula that makes filmic James Bond work in popular culture. When you think about James Bond on the big screen, at some point, someone will ask what was your favorite theme is. Hence, it should not be all that surprising that James Bond’s influence can be heard and seen in music videos.

Presented in alphabetical order below, I have gathered some nods and covers from all musical styles and countries that have been inspired by our suave British secret agent. How many do you know? And which ones do you like?

Birmingham 6 – “Contagious”
The practice of sampling from popular culture such as films isn’t done often in the US, but Europe is known for doing so. I think this is the typical “inspiration” that one would expect, however I believe sampling from the James Bond films and themes is appropriate. In “Contagious” English band Birmingham 6 samples the countdown from Diamonds Are Forever that you hear at the beginning of the song.

Blotto – “Goodbye, Mr. Bond”
There is no mistaking that Blotto was inspired by James Bond in the lyrics and the video by selecting clippings from many of the Eon Productions and non Eon films. It's a fun homage to Bond through the years. 

Kool Moe Dee – “I Go To Work”

This is more about the visual than the lyrics that Kool Moe Dee raps, however the lyrics are catchy. 

Moby – “James Bond Theme (Moby’s Re-Version)”
A direct cover of the “James Bond Theme” we all know and love coupled with a tense-ridden video. Nicely done Moby!

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult – “Sexplosion”

I cannot help but tap my foot and bob my head a bit listening to TKK. I love the gritty feel of the music, the vocals, and the lyrics. This is a fantastic album by the same name, but in this song, you’ll hear TKK sample a riff from the James Bond Theme. Pull up a chair and turn up the volume for TKK.

Poets of the Fall – “You Know My Name”
If you ever played the video game Alan Wake a couple of years ago, then you might just remember this pair of Finnish men in which Alan and Barry had to hold off an attack as Poets of the Fall put on a concert. They had done a cover of Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” from Casino Royale (2006). Cornell’s song is one of my favorite Bond theme songs and you know what, Poets of the Fall did a solid cover.

Robbie Williams – “Millennium”

Robbie Williams samples from You Only Live Twice (one of Williams’ favorite Bond films) in his own song, which is accompanied by very unusual lyrics about addiction, dysfunction, etc. It’s all rather odd, but in spite of that, I really like the song. The video makes reference to Thunderball and From Russia with Love

Spectra*Paris – “License to Kill”
Founder and lead singer of the band Kirlian Camera, Elena Fosse took James Bond character and blended him with Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise (1974) resulting in a Bond inspired introspection of the music industry in this concept album. To me, it’s the first James Bond rock opera. You can read my in depth review and below is the opening song from the album.

Trevor Sewell – “Bridge of Spies”
I cannot complete this list without the talented Trevor Sewell who wrote the Afterword to James Bond and Popular Culture in which he talked about James Bond’s music influenced him. Sewell blended spy genre with 1960s beach fun  and a spice of film noir in this album. “Bridge of Spies” is from Surf, Spies and Film Noir and leans toward the noir side. 

Welle Erdball – “8 Bit Cover of James Bond Theme”
This video is from a live European show. Welle Erdball is doing a live radio type of introduction, so if you prefer, you can fast forward to the one-minute mark and you’ll get an 8 bit treat of the James Bond theme. I don’t often listen to Welle Erdball, however I do like their neo retro look and they have a solid sound.

I hope you have enjoyed this nods to Bond via his influence and inspiration in the realm of music. Have a fantastic evening and see you on the flip side! 

 © Copyright. Michele Brittany. 2011 - 2015. All rights reserved. All text, graphics, and photos are protected by US and International Copyright Laws, and may not be copied, reprinted, published, translated, hosted, or otherwise distributed by any means without written permission.

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