Bond fans love the actors, the villains, the exotic locations and the gadgets, what’s made you concentrate on the music?
For me, there's nothing more important to a Bond film than its theme. Over more than fifty years the songs have become some of the most famous and well-loved pieces of movie music in history and, in many ways, the history of Bond themes is the history of popular music over the last five decades. I love that they are so recognisable and so much a part of popular culture. Everyone knows the Bond songs and everyone has their favourites – having written about Bond music for years, I thought it was about time to put this all together in one definitive book.
So what will The Complete James Bond Themes focus on?
My aim is to tell the story of each of the 24 theme songs. I'll be looking at the writing and recording process, why the artist was chosen and the critical and commercial success of the songs - all told by the singers, musicians and writers involved. Along the way there have also been a number of alternative themes that, for whatever reason, never ended up being used in the films. I'll also be exploring these 'lost' Bond themes.
Over the years the 007 films have attracted the very biggest musical stars to record the themes. Why do you think this is?
In the early days, Cubby Broccoli - the producer of the Bond films - was primarily interested in the commercial success of both the movies and the songs. For him, the Bond theme was about getting the biggest and most popular artist possible to record the song to give it the best chance of commercial success. As the franchise grew and grew and the title theme became more important, the films have continued to attract the very biggest stars, such as Paul McCartney in the seventies, Duran Duran in the eighties, and Adele today.
You're working with publishers Unbound on this project who have a new and unique way of bringing books to the market.
Unbound exist to support books and projects that may slip through the net with traditional publishers. Once they have selected a project that they feels deserves support, they work with the author to encourage financial pledges from hundreds of individual patrons. In a similar way to how crowdfunding works, people who support the book through Unbound can access a range of rewards including signed books, artwork and other Bond-related goodies. Supporters also get access to exclusive content and author updates. Unbound have seen over 140 books go into shops including a Man Booker Prize listed novel and the Sunday Times bestseller Letters of Note.
Come on then - you must have a favourite Bond theme?
In all the polls that are conducted, the public's favourites are always Goldfinger and Live and Let Die and it's hard to argue with those two choices. However, I've always had a soft spot for A-Ha's The Living Daylights. It's a dramatic, powerful pop song which, for me, is everything a good Bond theme should be.
Grab yourself a copy of The Complete James Bond Themes, and grab yourself other rewards, by supporting the project at Unbound.
The Complete James Bond Themes Unbound page