Academy Celebrates 50 Years Of James Bond Music From ‘Goldfinger’ To ‘Skyfall’

Beginning with a performance of Monty Norman’s iconic James Bond theme by Vic Flick — the original guitarist who performed it on the Dr. No soundtrack in 1962 — the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences threw a smashing salute, “The Music Of  Bond: The First 50 Years”, in front of a packed house Friday night. It was part of a worldwide celebration known as Global James Bond Day; it was on October 5, 1962, that the first Bond film, Dr. No, starring Sean Connery, debuted in the UK. The franchise has continued through six different actors playing the title role including current Bond Daniel Craig, whose third outing as 007 in the 23rd film in the series, Skyfall, opens November 9th.

The evening, produced by the Academy’s Ellen Harrington and flawlessly hosted by film music historian Jon Burlingame, author of the new book The Music Of James Bond, featured a series of terrific clips and several classic opening-credit sequences that highlighted the Bond songs that are a much-awaited part of every one of these films. Onstage guests included Oscar- and Tony-winning lyricist Don Black, who wrote five Bond songs; Bill Conti, who received an Oscar nomination for his title song to For Your Eyes Only (1981); Flick; and a special taped message from Bond star Roger Moore.

Burlingame saved the biggest surprise for last when he debuted a montage of scenes from Skyfall scored with Grammy winner Adele’s title song, which she just “secretly” recorded in London with a 77-piece orchestra. She also co-wrote the tune while 10-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman got to score  his first-ever Bond film. Burlingame noted that within the first 16 hours of the song’s release, it was already in the top 10 in 21 countries and No. 1 in 10 of them including the UK. (more…)

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