I'd originally planned to do five Bond top fives as a build up to the new film release but, as is so often the case when compiling them, I had one more subject I didn't want to leave out. How to fit six into five? I couldn't leave Bond without an opportunity to sing John Barry's praises. So, just one more I thought, but no, Rich from my work football team suggested another topic as well. I couldn't duck away from the challenge so, if my typing fingers are up to it, there should be a second top 5 up later today.
1. The James Bond Theme (Monty Norman, arr. John Barry)
The opening theme for "Dr No" has also become the ubiquitous theme for Bond in every film and I almost thought about removing it from contention. A fantastic instrumental that caused much debate over exactly who wrote it but remains as perfect a theme tune as your likely to hear.
2. Goldfinger (John Barry/Leslie Bricusse/Antony Newley, vocal-Shirley Bassey)Another tune that I nearly considered too obvious to include. I gave it a spin early in the week and realised it's just too good to ignore. Great vocal performance from Bassey.
3. Thunderball (John Barry/Don Black, vocal-Tom Jones)
Despite a bit of a struggle to fit the title of the film into the lyrics this is a fantastic song. Fabulous horns throughout (a sure sign of great production in my book), Tom Jones cranking out the words and a dramatically held last note that supposedly resulted in Jones collapsing to the floor when he'd finished. Superb stuff.
4. We Have All The Time In The World (John Barry/Hal David, vocal-Louis Armstrong) One of my all time favourite songs, the soppy romantic that I am. Not the official theme of the film ("On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was another corking Barry instrumental) but used as the love theme for Bond and Di Vincenzo as well as the closing theme following her death.
5. From Russia With Love (John Barry/Lionel Bart, vocal-Matt Munro)
A nice bit of lounge to lull you into a false sense of security and another wonderful vocal, this time from Matt Munro.
Disclaimer: Other composers have worked on Bond scores. They're just not as good as John Barry!