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The Music of James Bond$
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Jon Burlingame

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199863303

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199863303.001.0001

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“… he looks at this world and wants it all …”

“… he looks at this world and wants it all …”


(p.47) 4 “… he looks at this world and wants it all …”
The Music of James Bond

Jon Burlingame

Oxford University Press

John Barry remains in charge of James Bond music on the fourth film. Attempting to avoid writing a song called “Thunderball” for Bond's underwater adventure, Barry and lyricist Bricusse write “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” (the title based on a nickname that the Italian press had given 007) and Barry based much of his dramatic score on the song's melodic line. Dionne Warwick sings the song, but it is scrapped in September 1965 when the studio decides it wanted a song based on the movie title. Barry and new Bond lyricist Don Black write “Thunderball”, which Tom Jones records. Shirley Bassey, meanwhile, records “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” as a possible end-title song, but the performance is sub-par and the producers reject this second try. Bassey filed suit against the producers, attempting to stop distribution unless her song is reinstated. A London judge refused to do so. The Thunderball soundtrack album hits the American top 10.

Keywords:   John Barry, Leslie Bricusse, Don Black, Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Thunderball

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