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Monty Norman - The first man of James Bond music James Bond Theme
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Monty Norman Composer for Dr No.
and The James Bond theme
Born April 4, 1928, London.
Monty Norman - The first man of James Bond music,best known for being credited with composing the "James Bond Theme".
Norman is famous for writing the music to the first James Bond movie Dr No, and has been credited with writing the "James Bond Theme", the signature theme of the James Bond franchise. Norman has received royalties since 1962 for the theme, but it was arranged by John Barry after the producers were dissatisfied with Norman's music. Barry claims that he actually did write the theme, but nevertheless, Mr. Norman won two libel actions against publishers for claiming that Barry was the composer, most recently against The Sunday Times in 2001. During the trial, Barry testified on the stand that he had, in fact, composed the The James Bond Theme, but that Norman was contractually obligated to receive credit for the score.
Monty Norman composed some of the most memorable music ever for films and stage. His contribution to the James Bond canon, though , has always been filled with its own intrigue.
Norman sang with a British dance bands in the late 1940s, and moving
later into song writing. Norman worked on a number of musicals. His
modern, sometimes experimental sound impressed DR NO producers Broccoli
and Salzman who hired him to put together a score for the film.
Location manager, Chris Blackwell (later of Island Records fame) found Monty a shady room away from the hot sun where he could happily set to music all he had absorbed of the local atmosphere.
The director, Terence Young, asked Monty to come up with something for the three blind beggars who would be the first killers in a Bond film. He wrote a calypso based on the children's nursery rhyme, 'Three Blind Mice', called 'The Kingston Calypso' which got the film off to a good start by playing against the drama of the assassination.
Cubby Broccoli then wanted a song for Ursula Andress to sing as she came out of the ocean like a beautiful bikinied mermaid. He wanted her to be observed by Sean Connery, who would sing it back at her. Monty asked around his new found Jamaican friends (among them Carmen Manley, the Prime Minister’s daughter) for the correct indigenous flora, fauna, greengrocery and patois love words to put in the lyric. The result was a very authentic sounding number called 'Underneath The Mango Tree'.
Underneath The Mango Tree
Monty had great fun teaching Sean Connery and Ursula Andress the song which played no small part in one of cinema history's classic moments.
The latest dance craze in Jamaica was called the Jump Up. So for a scene set in the dance hall Monty wrote a number in that rhythm called 'Jump Up Jamaica', which became a local hit.
At a Count Basie concert in Jamaica, Monty met the great man himself. Basie asked him to send any numbers from DR NO that might be possible for his orchestra.
The outcome: Basie subsequently recorded four numbers: Dr No's Fantasy, The Kingston Calypso, Underneath The Mango Tree and The James Bond Theme.
And finally, on Saltzman's request, a meeting with the 'Executive Suits'
at United Artists to give them an update on how things were progressing in
Jamaica. It was obvious that for them the jury was out on DR NO until they
could see a final cut of this, in Hollywood terms, low budget British spy
film. Then to the party, given by Arthur Laurents the book writer of many
Broadway hits including West Side Story. Half the writing talent of
Broadway and Hollywood were on the guest list.
Monty Norman and Terence Young
Doctor No CD
The sound of the 007 theme was a breakthrough in session recording due to its
technique. In the early 60's, the orchestra would record only one take, on what
the studios referred to as "compatible stereo." This unique recording
method allowed for the sound of the guitar to "bleed" into adjacent
microphones of the orchestra, adding a lustrous and ambient quality to the final
|When considering cinema and music, no theme has proved to be
more memorable and timeless than that of James Bond. For countless fans,
it is indeed with ritualized anticipation that they await the appearance
of 007 at the open of each new film. No cinematic experience quite matches
it. A sequence of white dots roll across the screen, then open to reveal
our favorite British spy targeted through the barrel of a gun. He
confidently strolls on screen; he turns, shoots, and slays an unseen
assassin. It is only with the combination of this imagery and the
appropriate music, does it truly supply the audience with the proper
effect. Chill inducing, heart-pounding excitement!
The genius of this theme belies its elegant simplicity. Its chords and melody performed for the first time in history in CTS Studios, Bayswater, London, England in 1962. The James Bond theme has become the everlasting ode to all that is smooth, sultry, and spy; ultimately attesting that nobody has done it, does it, or will do it better than the music of 007. The world, therefore, owes a debt of gratitude to the one of the most influential guitarists of all time, the man behind Bond's twang, the incomparable Vic Flick.
|Flick's illustrious career has literally spanned decades, from acoustic folk in the late 1950's to live stage performances and session recordings of the early 1960's and ultimately, to partake in the soundtrack of cinema's ultimate spy, James Bond. In Flick's career, he has had the opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in music history. Tom Jones, Nancy Sinatra, Burt Bacharach, Henry Mancini, Shirley Bassey, Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, and Eric Clapton are but a few of the musical giants that have shared the recording studio floor with Vic Flick.|
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