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Re: Bond girls / artists for theme song

Coolidge, apart from Kris Kristofferson had four consecutive top 25 hits in the late 70's. Re Lulu, in the US she probably is seen as a 60's one hit wonder with "To Sir With Love" but in the UK she was a big star. A-ha were a pop flavour of the month and had a #1 album in England (#15 in the US). Shirley Bassey was a recording star in the UK since the late 50's and later had crossover success in the US. We of course know her for the great Bond themes she performed but she had #1 and top 25 hits prior to Goldfinger. She was also a hugely popular live entertainer. Matt Monroe was big in England and Europe in the 50's and 60's. He was more of a remnant of the big band era Sinatra style of pop singer.

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thanks Howard, good to set those names in context.
I think, with the exception of Paul McCartney, recording a Bondtheme may end up being the one thing some of these folks are remembered for in the long run, no matter how big they were at the time.

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I think a-ha's fame in the US is different from the rest of he world. In the US they're a one-hit wonder. In much of the rest of the world they had a series of big hits in the 1980's and the group can still fill stadiums in Europe and South America.

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Number24 wrote:

I think a-ha's fame in the US is different from the rest of he world. In the US they're a one-hit wonder. In much of the rest of the world they had a series of big hits in the 1980's and the group can still fill stadiums in Europe and South America.

That's true. I would venture to say that they probably wouldn't have gotten the Bond theme unless they had success in the US.
With the internet and the ability to download music, I would think that bands, singers, etc would find it much easier to get international exposure these days.

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Morten Harket in a-ha actually sang in the wedding of a former aquaintance of mine. We knew each other from school when we were in our late teens. he was sort of the local Morten Harket - he sang solo in the christian youth choir and he was very handsome. At parties 5-10 of the pretties girls sat in  tight semi-circle around him. I wasn't at the wedding, but I have no doubt the bride was stunningly beautiful.

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caractacus potts wrote:

does B-list mean fame or talent?
Rita Coolidge was a somebody, but I think better known as a back-up singer and for her involvement with more famous boyfriends.
A lot of these performers may seem more obscure as time moves along
for example I have no idea who Matt Monroe, Lulu or A-ha are
and I'm not sure Shirley Bassey was much of a somebody before she was asked to sing Goldfinger. Wikipedia shows she had been recording for almost a decade, but I think her reputation in the longrun is based on performing that one song at the height of Bondmania.

I’m not sure where you are, but all of those artists are all still remembered in the U.K. (although maybe you have to be a certain age). I don’t know if they made it across the pond (although I’m fairly sure Take On Me was a worldwide hit).
Coolidge I have only ever heard of because she did Octopussy.

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caractacus potts wrote:

thanks Howard, good to set those names in context.
I think, with the exception of Paul McCartney, recording a Bondtheme may end up being the one thing some of these folks are remembered for in the long run, no matter how big they were at the time.

I wouldn’t think so, no. It’s more like folks finding out ‘oh, I didn’t realise Lulu did a Bond theme’.

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Imo, the one most likely to be forgotten outside of her Bond song is Sheena Easton.

The ones most people will forget did a Bond song: Madonna, Tina Turner/U2, Gladys Knight (The Pips!), Sheryl Crow, Garbage, Sam Smith, Jack White and Alicia Keys, A-ha, Chris Cornell. A-ha will forever be remembered for Take On Me (especially because of the video). Cornell will be remembered as one of the key creators of the most important musical sound of the 90s with Soundgarden.

Duran Duran and Tom Jones were bigger than their respective Bond songs. But, imho, the Bond gig totally fit with who they were at the time so the association will be remembered.

Then there are the artists who made the Bond song their own: McCartney, Carley Simon, Armstrong. The film association is almost forgotten but the song lives on.

Shirley Bassey is in a class by herself. Not sure where to put Adele yet. And I don't really know enough about the others (Lulu, Nancy Sinatra, Monro, etc) to comment.

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I think Bassey is tethered to her Bond legacy more than any other Bond Theme artist.

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canoe2 wrote:

Imo, the one most likely to be forgotten outside of her Bond song is Sheena Easton.

I dunno; she’s still quite well remembered as a pop star and her work with Prince means she’s not likely to be completely forgotten. It’s still Coolidge for me: the only one I couldn’t name another song by.

Last edited by emtiem (30th Jun 2019 08:14)

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Coolidge does a cover of "Your love lifts me higher(than I've been before)" which is an absolute delight of a 70s song. First heard it in a car trip on one of those golden oldie radio stations. Naturally this was after I knew of all time high (which is probably the bond song I sing out loud the most, if that's saying anything).
I understand she was a favourite of Barbara Broccoli at the time and that's how she got the job

“The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. "
-Casino Royale, Ian Fleming

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emtiem wrote:

I’m not sure where you are,

Canada

emtiem wrote:

although maybe you have to be a certain age

I was a teen in the early eighties, but tried hard to avoid mainstream pop all through the decade and definitely did not notice who A-ha were by 1989.
Actually this Sam Smith I have no idea who he is either, but all the others in between I think I knew. But it does depend on how much attention one chooses to pay to mainstream pop, I know I'm the  weirdo.

canoe2 wrote:

And I don't really know enough about the others (Lulu, Nancy Sinatra, Monro, etc) to comment.

Nancy I definitely know, she's Frank's daughter, most famous for These Boots Are Made for Walking. She did a duet with her father called Something Stupid, and a whole string of vaguely psychedelic country records with a songwriter named Lee Hazelwood, who sounded like Johnny Cash. look for a song called Some Velvet Morning, trippy stuff. ...Morning and ...Boots.., used to be jukebox mainstays in the downtown hipster bars when I was growing up avoiding mainstream pop.

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is it true Lana del Rey will release a New albumin a couple of months? I so I'll buy it and hopefully so will very many more people. That way her chances of singing the title song will go up. Sperhaps my favourite for that job.

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"Nancy I definitely know, she's Frank's daughter, most famous for These Boots Are Made for Walking. She did a duet with her father called Something Stupid, and a whole string of vaguely psychedelic country records with a songwriter named Lee Hazelwood, who sounded like Johnny Cash. look for a song called Some Velvet Morning, trippy stuff. ...Morning and ...Boots.., used to be jukebox mainstays in the downtown hipster bars when I was growing up avoiding mainstream pop."

I read that Cubby actually approached Frank Sinatra to perform the YOLT Theme (Cubby and Frank apparently were friends). Frank wasn't interested but recommended his daughter Nancy who had a big hit w/ "Boots". Apparently the recording sessions for YOLT were difficult as Nancy did not have a ton of range and the version of the song in the film was cobbled together piece meal from hundreds of takes. Obviously the final product is quite good and YOLT is a great Bond theme song and a fabulous score.