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The James Bond SongsPop Anthems of Late Capitalism$
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Adrian Daub and Charles Kronengold

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190234522

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190234522.001.0001

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Looking the Part

Looking the Part

James Bond’s New Wave Years

(p.139) 6 Looking the Part
The James Bond Songs

Adrian Daub

Charles Kronengold

Oxford University Press

The mid 80s found the Bond franchise buffeted by market forces and creative exhaustion. Bond had been a brand for a long time, but by 1985 it was no longer clear whether he was anything more than that. The Bond-contributions from bands associated with new wave or the New Romanticism of the 80s, Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill” and a-ha’s “The Living Daylights,” address this problem by reconfiguring both the sound of the Bond-song, and the relations between singer, music and audience. Until the mid 80s the singer’s voice had been the dominant feature of the Bond-song. The new-wave bands reverse that configuration: their untrained singers are at the mercy of relentless drum machines and overwhelming orchestration—a feature that the Bond-songs of the early 21st century turned into a formal principle.

Keywords:   New Wave, a-ha, Duran Duran, New Romanticism

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