celebrity

Daniel Craig Photos

Daniel Craig Photos
Full Story
Ralph Fiennes as M.
Full Story

Ralph Fiennes as M.

Daniel Craig Photos
Full Story
Director Sam Mendes and Seydoux on the set.
Full Story

Director Sam Mendes and Seydoux on the set.

Jesper Christensen as Mr. White.
Full Story

Jesper Christensen as Mr. White.

Ben Whishaw as Q.
Full Story

Ben Whishaw as Q.

There's Waltz again!
Full Story

There's Waltz again!

Stephanie Sigman as Estrella.
Full Story

Stephanie Sigman as Estrella.

Naomie Harris as Moneypenny.
Full Story

Naomie Harris as Moneypenny.

Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann.
Full Story

Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann.

Daniel Craig Photos
Full Story
Daniel Craig Photos
Full Story
Andrew Scott as Denbigh.
Full Story

Andrew Scott as Denbigh.

1 Bond Singer Didn't Want to Sing the Chorus — So She Didn’t
Full Story

The great Gladys Knight was the first soul/R&B singer to ever do the title song for a Bond film — perhaps the only one, unless you count Alicia Keys. Knight got a good song, in 1989’s License to Kill, and totally nailed it. Except for one thing: she was uncomfortable with violent imagery and really didn’t like the idea of singing "kill." If you listen you’ll hear that every time the chorus comes around and she’s supposed to deliver the line "Got a license to kill," she actually sings "kit" or "kin" to avoid articulating the word "kill."

Tom Jones Fainted While Singing "Thunderball"
Full Story

James Bond songs are famous for the way the singers repeat the title at the top of their lungs, especially towards the end. Tom Jones held the final syllable of "Thunderball" (the song and the word) so long, he passed out in the recording studio. It is not reported whether Shirley Bassey (who had to hold the word "gold" for just as long at the end of "Goldfinger") called him an amateur, but she certainly should have.

A-ha Might Be the Most Important Band in Bond History
Full Story

You probably don’t believe us. You probably forgot that "The Living Daylights" was a song, or even a movie, for that matter. And A-ha is still often called a one-hit wonder, which is a tip-off that their other sort-of big song was not exactly a huge hit. And sure, their contribution to the Bond songs is not among the most well-remembered, but they made quite an impact in another, unintentional way. John Barry wrote 11 James Bond songs (and many of the orchestral scores) over a span of 33 years. Then came A-ha. Producers wanted something current, so they settled on then-almost-still-hot Norwegian act A-ha. Barry, in his mid-fifties by then, found the experience working with the Scandinavian twenty-somethings so frustrating that he decided to depart the franchise. If Sweden has to answer for Roxette, Ace of Base, and Billy bookshelves, then Norway has to answer for this . . .

1 Bond Song Features a Kazoo
Full Story

Yes, it’s "Live and Let Die." By the time we hear the song’s demented bridge, McCartney and producer George Martin have already used every instrument under the sun. And a major feature of the song is its mocking attitude — "you know you did, you know you did, you know you did," the backing singers sneer in the one line the dreadful Guns N' Roses cover got right. So, yeah, why not a kazoo?

Weird Al Yankovic Did a Bond-song Parody
Full Story

Weird Al Yankovic's parody of Paul McCartney’s "Live and Let Die" is called "Chicken Pot Pie." Paul McCartney supposedly asked for this parody himself, giving Weird Al permission to use his tune.

Only 1 Singer Has Made a Film Cameo
Full Story

In over 60 years of Bond films, only one singer ever did a cameo in the actual film: Madonna, who did double duty for 2002’s Die Another Day. She sang the electro-heavy theme song and did what amounted to an extended cameo as a fencing instructor named Verity.

In many ways, though, she proved the wisdom of keeping the singers out of the films, or at least (like Sheena Easton in For Your Eyes Only) tucked away in the title sequences: not only was Madonna’s song controversial, the film itself was generally hated. In fact, many a fan claimed that after a pretty good start, the movie goes totally off the rails just around the time Madonna shows up. None of the performers have been in the films since.

Johnny Cash Almost Did a Bond Song
Full Story

The song for 1965’s Thunderball could have been this gunslinger ballad by none other than Johnny Cash — but the producers didn’t want it. It joins a whole bunch of songs written on spec that producers never seriously considered: somehow, when a band (or a singer) does a song and then sends it in, producers run the other way, all too often to the series’ detriment. Blondie wanted to do "For Your Eyes Only," and Alice Cooper did a really cool "Man With the Golden Gun." But Johnny Cash’s contribution to the what-ifs of the Bond canon might be the most tantalizing. "He’s known by very few, but feared by all in crime." If Quentin Tarantino ever did his version of Bond, this would need to be his theme song.

U2 Did a Bond Song — Sort Of
Full Story

Do you remember Tina Turner’s title song for 1995’s GoldenEye, the first of the Pierce Brosnan Bond films? Maybe not, since it sold pretty poorly outside of Europe. But it was written by U2’s Bono and The Edge, who asked to do it after learning that Turner, their neighbor in the South of France, had been chosen to sing the song. Turner sounds like Turner, but otherwise this is a pretty typical Bond song, with cryptic lyrics and a vaguely sinister vibe.

Crazy Hairstyles Seem to Be a Theme in Bond-Song Videos
Full Story

There are several Bond-song videos with amazing hairstyles, but only one has the craziest f*cking ‘do you’ll ever see. Starting with Rita Coolidge’s “All Time High,” from the 1983 film Octopussy, the Bond songs have all had music videos. Most of these are pretty clever, at least for their time. Duran Duran dressed up as James Bond and romped around the Eiffel Tower; Madonna’s video for "Die Another Day" was a $6.1 million spendathon, starring good Madonna, evil Madonna, and a sh*tload of broken antiques. But the video for Patti LaBelle’s "If You Asked Me To" — a song that plays over the closing credits of License to Kill — features a hairdo so hallucinatory, so earth-shattering, so extreme, it takes the whole video to capture just how freaking enormous it is.

For more awesome Bond-song facts, check out Adrian and Charlie's upcoming book, The James Bond Songs!

Looking good, Bond.
Full Story

Looking good, Bond.

Image Source: Sony Pictures
Christoph Waltz plays Oberhauser, the film's villain.
Full Story

Christoph Waltz plays Oberhauser, the film's villain.

Hinx and Bond get into a car chase.
Full Story

Hinx and Bond get into a car chase.