1970s Music: James Bond themes

The first James Bond movie theme in the 1970s started with the original Sean Connery, who in 1971 hit the cinema with "Diamonds Are Forever" sang so dramatically by Shirley Bassey, the welsh songstress who would later become Dame Shirley Bassey. This was Shirley’s 2nd hit f  from a James Bond theme, the first being in 1964 with "Goldfinger". The man behind the song was John Barry who died in 2011 at the age 0f 77, he who was the composer of the actual Bond theme, we all sang that in the school playground, and along with Don Black this must be one of the most powerful Bond themes.

Shirley was to have over 20 single hits in the 1970s, with another james bond movie theme too, "Moonraker".
See the Diamonds are Forever video here

Part of the lyrics

Diamonds are forever,
They are all I need to please me,
They can stimulate and tease me,
They won't leave in the night,
I've no fear that they might desert me.
Diamonds are forever,
Hold one up and then caress it,
Touch it, stroke it and undress it,
I can see every part,
Nothing hides in the heart to hurt me.
I don't need love,

For what good will love do me?
Diamonds never lie to me,
For when love's gone,
They'll lustre on.

70s awards

1972 – Best Female Singer – TV Times
1973 – Best Female Singer – TV Times
1974 – Best Female Entertainer – American Guild of Variety Artists
1976 – Best Female Singer – Music Week
1976 – 22-day British tour to mark twenty years as a recording artist
1976 – EMI Award for twenty years as a recording artist – UK
1977 – Best British Female Solo Artist in the previous 25 years – BRIT Award
1977 – Golden Rose of Montreaux nomination for The Shirley Bassey Show

New Bond in 1973, a Mr Roger Moore, formally "The Saint" from the 1960s TV series. The new film was "Live and Let Die", the soundtrack this time was performed by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song was even Oscar nominated, and it was a mini reunion in the fact that Beatles producer George Martin worked on the single with Paul. This version was not the original to be used, but thanks to Paul’s insistence that only he would do it, it became a Bond anthem, and later covered by 80s group Guns and Roses.

Part of the lyrics
When you were young and your heart was an open book,
You used to say live and let live.
(You know you did, you know you did, you know you did)
But if this ever-changing world in which we live in
Makes you give in and cry,
Say live and let die!
Live and let die,
Live and let die,
Live and let die.

In 1974 John Barry took back the control of the theme, and "The Man With the Golden Gun", this time 60s female singer Lulu, her with the big voice of "Shout" and long term friends to the Beatles. Not much to say about this record, but its still a great pop record.
Alice Cooper had a song of the same name that was to be used, but it was dropped in favour of the Lulu version. 

It was three years later that in 1977, the next Bond film hit the cinemas, this time "The Spy Who Loved Me", was the title, but John Barry brought in Carol Bayer Sager , who had her only 70s hit with "Moving Out Today", she supplied the lyrics to the theme, called "Nobody Does It Better", sang by Carley Simon, her of "You’re So vain " fame. Complicated? Well add this fact too, Marvin Hamlisch had the music score, he of other 1970s hits like "The Sting" and "The Way We Were".

Some of the lyrics
Makes me feel sad for the rest.
Nobody does it half as good as you.
Baby, you're the best.
I wasn't lookin' but somehow you found me.
I tried to hide from your love light,
But like heaven above me the spy who loved me
Is keepin' all my secrets safe tonight.
And nobody does it better
Though sometimes I wish someone could.
Nobody does it quite the way you do.
Did you have to be so good?
The way that you hold me whenever you hold me.
There's some kind of magic inside you
That keeps me from runnin' but just keep it comin'
How'd you learn to do the things you do?

Still with Roger Moore in 1979, and the last film of the 1970s was "Moonraker", again it was sang by Shirley Bassey, after Johnny Mathis turned it down. He went on to have many hits in the 1970s including "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late"."Moonraker" It was not a big hit, and is not that well remembered either.
Bond is still going and the james bond movie hits still flow.

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About Me

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I am one of those baby boomer's, who had the pleasure, and the FUN to grow up in the 1970s. The 70s music was so diverse, and the charts were for everyone from 8 to 80. That was when POP was fun, and the top forty really meant something as it was a shared experience. I have tried in this site to bring back the memories of the 70s, not just the pure pop, but also the heavy guys like Floyd and Black Sabbath. Everything had a place in the music of the 70s, and everything has a memory for one of us 1970s boomers.