MUSIC MONDAY “You Know My Name” is the theme song of the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, performed by American musician Chris Cornell, who wrote and produced it jointly with David Arnold, the soundtrack’s composer!

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NO TIME TO DIE | Final US Trailer

007 : James Bond : Theme

 

Casino Royale – Chris Cornell – You Know My Name

You Know My Name” is the theme song of the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, performed by American musician Chris Cornell, who wrote and produced it jointly with David Arnold, the soundtrack’s composer. The film producers chose Cornell because they wanted a strong male singer. Cornell and Arnold tried to make the song a replacement theme for the character instead of the “James Bond theme” reflecting the agent’s inexperience in Casino Royale, as well as an introduction to Daniel Craig‘s grittier and more emotional portrayal of Bond.

The track was leaked onto the Internet on September 20, 2006, and later released as an official single on November 13, 2006 through Interscope Records. It charted in many countries, notably peaking at No. 7 on the UK singles chart.[1] It sold 148,000 copies in 2006 in the UK,[1] and has sold 323,000 digital copies and garnered 3.5 million streams in the U.S. as of 2017.[2] Reviews of the song were positive; it won the Satellite Award and the World Soundtrack Award, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. It was not included in the Casino Royale soundtrack, but appeared on Cornell’s second solo album, Carry On.

 

Composition and recordingEdit

Lia Vollack, Sony Pictures‘s President of Music, called Chris Cornell inviting him to make a song for the new Bond movie, which would “reflect the dramatic new direction of James Bond”, with a “strong male singer”.[3] Cornell thought it was a strange offer, considering that he was American, and assumed he would perform a secondary song instead of the main theme.[4] Cornell declared he liked the Bond movies, particularly the ones with Sean Connery,[3] but that he “wasn’t really a big fan of the last several movies”. But Daniel Craig‘s casting as James Bond intrigued him, and he decided to accept. He then went to Prague to visit the film’s shooting location, and was impressed with its emotional content when he was shown a rough cut.[5] In Prague he also met the film’s composer, David Arnold, who suggested writing a song “that echoed the film score”.[3]

The composers started their writing separately, Cornell in his apartment in Paris, and Arnold in his house in London.[6][7] Cornell said, “It is difficult, I think, to write lyrics for a character, so really I just kind of wandered around for about a month not thinking about it too much, until I sort of formulated some idea of a way that I could approach it, where I’m kind of relating to what’s in the character in the movie. And because this particular Bond is very edgy, but also has a lot of emotional depth, it’s a lot easier.”[8] Later the two musicians met to share their ideas, and according to Arnold “it was almost like we wrote two parts of the same song.”[6] Cornell wrote lyrics, to which Arnold added some lines and later music.[3] Some of Arnold’s ideas included the song’s title, the heavy introduction, and “having the same genetic material as the Bond theme, but in a different order and in a different shape”.[6]

After a demo of the song was approved by the film’s producers,[7] both musicians recorded the full version in AIR Studios London.[3] Cornell and Arnold recorded the guitar and bass parts themselves and hired a session musician for the drums. They were finished by the time Casino Royale wrapped its principal photography on July 21, 2006, and Arnold played it at the wrap party. Afterwards he mixed in the orchestral parts.[6]

Speaking to the film music fan site Maintitles, Arnold said he wanted “You Know My Name” to be a substitute for the James Bond theme, to represent Bond’s immaturity. The song’s motif is heard throughout the film, and the classic theme plays only during the end credits to signal the end of his character arc.[9] Arnold felt the song should tie closer to the score, and have the “DNA of the James Bond music”.[7] The musical arrangement tried to create “the right blend of rock aggression and sophisticated instrumentation”,[10] with Cornell describing it as “more up-tempo and a little more aggressive than any other Bond theme has been, maybe since Paul McCartney’sLive and Let Die‘.”[11]

“I (wanted) an orchestra. I didn’t want to do a song for a James Bond film and not have it sound somewhat like a James Bond song.”

Chris Cornell[12]

Cornell stated that the biggest two influences on “You Know My Name” were Tom Jones, who performed the theme for Thunderball, and Paul McCartney, who composed and performed the theme for Live and Let Die. “I decided that I was going to sing it like Tom Jones, in that crooning style. I wanted people to hear my voice,” Cornell said. “And ‘Live and Let Die’ is a fantastic song. Paul McCartney wouldn’t have written it if not for that movie. I [also] wanted to write a song in its own universe. I knew I’d never have it again — a big orchestra — so I wanted to have fun with it.”[13]Cornell did not put the film’s title in the lyrics, because he “couldn’t imagine it fitting into a song lyric that would come out of my mouth”.[14] And he jokingly stated “Casino Royale didn’t make a good rock title, but I would write a song named Octopussyjust for fun”.[15]

Before producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli announced on July 26, 2006, that Cornell was performing the theme for Casino Royale,[16]various names were reported in the media, including some reports that other performers claimed they were working on the song. Some names mentioned were Tina Turner, who previously sang “GoldenEye” for the 1995 Bond film of the same name,[17] and Tony Christie.[18]

The lyrics try to illustrate Bond’s psyche in Casino Royale, described by Cornell as a conflicted and tough spy with more emotional depth, not the “superconfident, seemingly invincible, winking kinda ladies’ man superspy” of the previous incarnations.[10] Cornell tried to focus on the existential dilemmas and possible sacrifices of secret agents: “There’s an isolation in that; the stakes are very high. I’ve done a lot of living in my 42 years, and it wasn’t hard for me to relate to that.”[12]The song was also an introduction to the character, even though he has been in many previous movies—hence the title “You Know My Name”—dealing with Bond’s actions such as his first assassination, “introducing himself to what may be the rest of his life and how he will live it and what it will mean.”[19]

 

ReleaseEdit

Three versions of “You Know My Name” were produced. The “Main Version” took the primary spot of the single release. A “Pop Mix” was used in the music video, featured on the Carry On album, and appeared on German singles as the second track. “Film Versions” were more orchestral and used in the Casino Royale’s opening and closing credits.[6][7]

The song was leaked on the internet on September 20, 2006.[20] The first version, the grittier one which was leaked and not used in the movie, was made available for download on iTunes Store on November 13, 2006. It debuted on the UK Single Download Chart at #20 on November 22, 2006. It was released as a stand-alone single on December 14, 2006,[21]with a new acoustic version of the Soundgardensong “Black Hole Sun” on the B-side.[22] The German, Dutch and Australian versions of the single have a second version of “You Know My Name” (called the Pop Mix) as a B-side.[23] This version was used for the music video, and is on Chris Cornell’s solo album Carry On. The orchestral version in the film’s opening titles has not been commercially released.

The song is the first Bond theme not to be included on its film’s soundtrack album. Cornell declared that it happened because he wanted the song to be “his”,[14] and since he wrote “You Know My Name” in midst of recording the solo album Carry On, he felt the song belonged to the album.[3] In 2008, it was included in the compilation The Best of Bond…James Bond.[24]

The song’s music video was directed by Michael Haussman, who tried to compare “the lives of a professional spy and a rock star”.[25] It premiered on MTV‘s Making the Video on October 31, 2006.[26]

CoversEdit

 

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

“You Know My Name” received critical acclaim, with critics feeling it fit well in the film. Film reviewer James Berardinelli considered the song to “sound eerily like something by John Barry“;[29] DVD Verdict’s review praised the song, describing it as “working remarkably well in the film’s context, lyrically and sonically”,[30] and Cinefantastiquecalled it “the best Bond theme song in years, [that] captures the full-blooded glory of classics like ‘Goldfinger‘”.[31] Entertainment Weekly listed “You Know My Name” on a list of Academy Award snubs for Best Original Song, describing it as “a musically suave, lyrically ominous rock tune that is perfect for Casino Royale’s dark reboot of the spy franchise”.[32] Among music critics, Billboarddescribed it as “the best Bond theme since ‘A View to a Kill‘”, praising the minimal production;[33] on its review of Carry On, the magazine considered “You Know My Name” to be the best track of the album, describing it as “some of Cornell’s most uncomplicated and accessible music to date”;[34]the BBC‘s unnamed reviewer considered that Cornell’s voice “weighs down” the song;[35]

CommercialEdit

“You Know My Name” was released in the winter of 2006 and became the most successful song from Chris Cornell on the rock charts, and arguably Cornell’s most recognizable and popular one. It peaked at number 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 64 on the Billboard Pop 100 chart.[36][37] In Europe, “You Know My Name” charted in several markets and peaked at number 7 in the UK Singles Chart.[38]

AccoladesEdit

Chris Cornell won both the Satellite Award and the World Soundtrack Award for “You Know My Name” in 2007,[39][40] and garnered a Grammy Awardnomination for Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media the following year.[41] The song also received a first-round nomination in the Best Original Song category for the 2006 Academy Awards, but did not qualify for the final list of nominees.[42]

 

Track listingEdit

1

  1. “You Know My Name” 4:02
  2. Black Hole Sun” (Acoustic) 4:38

2

  1. “You Know My Name” 4:02
  2. “You Know My Name” (Pop Mix)
  3. “You Know My Name” (Video)
 

ChartsEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

“You Know My Name”
A man stands in front of an out-of-focus sports car. The background is a gradient that goes from red to green. Besides the man is written "Chris Cornell", with "You Know My Name" below it. In the down right corner is the text "As featured in the motion picture CasinO ROyale", with a gun-like "7" below Royale's "O".
Single by Chris Cornell
from the album Carry On
B-side Black Hole Sun” (Acoustic)
Released November 13, 2006
Recorded 2006
Studio AIR, London
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:02
Label Interscope
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Chris Cornell
  • David Arnold
Chris Cornell singles chronology
Preaching the End of the World
(1999)
You Know My Name
(2006)
No Such Thing
(2007)
 
James Bond theme singles chronology
Die Another Day
(2002)
You Know My Name
(2006)
Another Way to Die
(2008)
Chart (2006–07) Peak
position
Austrian Single Chart 28
Danish Single Chart 2
Dutch Single Chart 10
Euro Digital Tracks[43] 2
European Hot 100 Singles[44] 16
Finnish Single Chart 3
French Single Chart 51
German Single Chart 15
Greek Singles Chart[45] 9
Irish Singles Chart[46] 11
Italian Single Chart 4
Norwegian Single Chart 5
Swedish Single Chart 21
Swiss Single Chart 10
UK Downloads Chart[47] 4
UK Singles Chart[38][48] 7
US Billboard Hot 100[36] 79
US Billboard Pop 100[37] 64

Year-end chartsEdit

Year Chart Rank
2007 German Singles Chart[49] #87
 

See alsoEdit

 

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b “Chris Cornell wrote and performed the James Bond theme song for Daniel Craig’s first 007 outing in Casino Royale”. Daily Mirror. 18 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  2. ^ “Chris Cornell, Soundgarden Frontman, Dies at Age 52”. Variety. Archived from the original on 26 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f “Rock Star Chris Cornell (formerly of Soundgarden & Audioslave) Talks About His New Solo Album, Carry On”. SongwriterUniverse magazine. 11 May 2007. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  4. ^ Chris Cornell on New Solo Album. MSG.com. 2007-08-01. Archived from the original on 2016-04-10. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  5. ^ “Chris Cornell Working On Solo LP — But Dismisses Rumors Of Audioslave Split”. MTV. 2006-07-26. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  6. ^ a b c d e Burlingame, Jon (2012). The Music of James Bond. Oxford University Press. pp. 238–240. ISBN 9780199863303.
  7. ^ a b c d “In Conversation With David Arnold (3)”. MI6-HQ.com. 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  8. ^ “CHRIS CORNELL: New Audio Interview Available”. Blabbermouth. October 10, 2006. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  9. ^ Bregt De Lange and Mario Schuurmans. “Interview with David Arnold at the World Soundtrack Awards 2007”. maintitles.net. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  10. ^ a b “In the mix”. Variety. 2007-01-02. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  11. ^ “Cornell Plotting First Solo Album”. Billboard. Retrieved 2010-04-05.
  12. ^ a b Nelson, Steffie (2006-11-29). “Alt rockers flock to the movies”. Variety. Retrieved 2009-07-09.
  13. ^ Lo, Danica (2006-11-19). “CORNELL, CHRIS CORNELL – FORMER GRUNGE GOD GOES SECRET AGENT WITH 007 THEME SONG”. The New York Post. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  14. ^ a b “Talking Shop: Chris Cornell”. BBC. 2006-11-20. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  15. ^ Chris Cornell – Casino Royale Premiere. 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
  16. ^ Steve Elzer (2006-07-26). “Chris Cornell Has Written and Will Perform the Main Title Song for CASINO ROYALE” (Press release). Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group. Retrieved 2006-07-26.
  17. ^ “Tina Turner links herself to Casino Royale theme song”. MI6-HQ.com. 2006-06-21. Retrieved 2006-06-21.
  18. ^ “Tony Christie Writing ‘Royale’ Theme Song?”. CommanderBond.net. 2005-10-02. Retrieved 2006-06-21.
  19. ^ Robertson, Alex. “Chris Cornell interview”. Virgin Media. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  20. ^ Weinberg, Scott (2006-09-21). “Check Out the New 007 Song … or not”. Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  21. ^ “Music – Casino Royale”. mi6-hq.com. Retrieved 2010-01-29.
  22. ^

Chris Cornell Remembered by Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

Casey Curry/Invision/AP
Chris Cornell poses for a portrait to promote his latest album, “Higher Truth,” at The Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, Calif. on July 29, 2015.

Chris Cornell was good friends with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington. When he toured with Linkin Park in the late-’00s, Bennington would join Cornell to sing Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” and Cornell would repay the favor and help sing “Crawling.”

On Thursday (May 18), in light of Chris Cornell’s death, Bennington has shared a note to remember his friend. Read it below:

 

Dear Chris,

I dreamt about the Beatles last night. I woke up with Rocky Raccoon playing in my head and a concerned look on my wife’s face. She told me my friend has just passed away. Thoughts of you flooded my mind and I wept. I’m still weeping, with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your beautiful family. You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one. I suppose that’s what we all are. You helped me understand that. I just watched a video of you singing ‘ A day in the life ‘ by the Beatles and thought of my dream. I’d like to think you were saying goodbye in your own way. I can’t imagine a world without you in it. I pray you find peace in the next life. I send my love to your wife and children, friends and family. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.

With all of my love.
Your friend,
Chester Bennington

Chris Cornell * A Day In The Life (Beatles Cover) Live HD

 

SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND ALBUM was the Beatles’ finest work and in my view it had their best song of all-time in it. The revolutionary song was A DAY IN THE LIFE which both showed the common place part of everyday life and also the sudden unexpected side of life.  The shocking part of the song included the story of TARA BROWNE. You can read more about Tara Browne later in this post and another fine article on him was written by GLENYS ROBERTS in 2012 called, “A Day in the Life: Tragic true story behind one of the Beatles’ most famous hits revealed in new book.”

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer noted that King Solomon said that death can arrive unexpectedly at anytime in Ecclesiastes 9:11-13: 

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them. 13 I have also seen this example of wisdom under the sun, and it seemed great to me.

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Death can come at anytime. Albert Camus in a speeding car with a pretty girl, then Camus dead. Lawrence of Arabia coming over the crest of a hill at 100 mph on his motorcycle and some boy stands in the road and Lawrence turns aside and dies.  

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The Beatles reached out to those touched by this reality. No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON (at 14 min mark) Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”

 

_

Let’s get back to Solomon and his search  for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). After searching in all these areas just like Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington he found them to be  “vanity and a striving after the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 2:7-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

7I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8 I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem…10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained UNDER THE SUN.

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36 (Christ’s words)

God put Solomon’s story in Ecclesiastes in the Bible with the sole purpose of telling people that without God in the picture they will find out the emptiness one feels when possessions or anything else BELOW THE SUN are trying to fill the void that God can only fill.

Then in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon returns to looking above the sun and he says that obeying the Lord is the proper way to live your life. The  answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. If you need more evidence then go to You Tube and watch the short videos  “Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1),“(3 min, 5 sec) and “Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2),” (10 min, 46 sec).

Alicia Keys & Jack White – Another Way To Die [Official Video]

 

Goldfinger Theme Song – James Bond

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Adele – Skyfall (Lyric Video)

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Billie Eilish – No Time To Die

 

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Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall (from Spectre) (Official Video)

 

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Thunderball Theme Song – James Bond

 

Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice (HQ)

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The Man with the Golden Gun Opening Title Sequence

 

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The spy who loved me (1977) INTRO HD

Sheena Easton • For Your Eyes Only – James Bond/007

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James Bond – Octopussy – Theme Song

A View to a Kill Opening Title Sequence

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A-ha • The Living Daylights – James Bond 007

 

LICENCE TO KILL HIGH DEFINITION

 

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James Bond – Goldeneye Opening Theme (HQ)

Sheryl Crow – Tomorrow Never Dies

 

Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

 

British actor Daniel Craig poses during a photocall to promote the 24th James Bond film ‘Spectre’ on February 18, 2015 at Rome’s city hall. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO and TIZIANA FABI / AFP)

Paris, France — Ever since the twanging guitar of John Barry’s theme song first appeared in “Dr No” in 1962, music has been crucial to the James Bond phenomenon.

The songs written for each title sequence have become a way of marking out the evolution of pop music through the past 60 years, from the classics of Shirley Bassey and Paul McCartney to Adele and Billie Eilish.

Nobody remembers Monty

Many assume the original theme was written by John Barry, in part because he became so closely associated with the Bond franchise, composing the soundtrack for 11 of the films.

 

In fact, Barry only arranged and performed the theme tune.

The famous dung-digger-dung-dung line was actually written by theater composer Monty Norman, developed from an unused Indian-themed score he had written for an adaptation of VS Naipaul’s “A House for Mr Biswas.”

It was Barry’s job to jazz it up, adding the blaring horns that made it so dramatic.

While Norman was given a one-off payment of just £250, Barry built a Hollywood career that has included five Oscars and classic soundtracks to “Midnight Cowboy,” “Out of Africa,” and many more.

Golden girl Shirley Bassey

Bassey became almost as closely linked to Bond as Barry — the only singer to deliver three title tracks: “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979).

The first two are considered the most memorable in Bond history, the latter less so — Bassey later admitted she hated the “Moonraker” song and only did it as a favor to Barry.

“Goldfinger” made her a star, but the recording sessions were grueling, with Barry insisting that Bassey, then 27, hold the last belting note for seven full seconds.

“I was holding it and holding it — I was looking at John Barry and I was going blue in the face and he’s going — hold it just one more second. When it finished, I nearly passed out,” she later recalled.

 A new Beatles beginning

The first Bond film without Barry on the baton was “Live and Let Die” in 1973.

For this, the producers turned to another famous “B” The Beatles.

The group’s producer George Martin took over composing duties and brought in Paul McCartney and his band Wings for the theme song.

It became another classic and spawned a famous cover by Guns’N’Roses in later years.

From this point on, the Bond title song became its own mini-industry, without the involvement of the composer.

Big pop tie-ins followed, ranging from the not-so-successful (Lulu’s “The Man with the Golden Gun”) to classics like Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better” and Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill.”

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

FILE PHOTO: Auctioneer specialists hold a rare intact James Bond ‘Thunderball’ (1965) film poster (estimate £8,000-£12,000), featuring two panels of poster illustrations on the left by Frank McCarthy and two on the right by Robert McGinnis, at Ewbank’s Auctioneers, ahead of an upcoming sale, in Woking, Britain, April 7, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

 

The next generation

After a few desultory outings during the Pierce Brosnan years, the Bond genre got a shot of adrenaline with Adele’s “Skyfall” in 2012, which was the first to win an Oscar for best song.

<img class=”i-amphtml-intrinsic-sizer” role=”presentation” src=”data:;base64,” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Barry, Beatles, Billie: 60 years of Bond tunes

 

Image: Twitter/@007

The following year’s “Writing’s on the Wall” by Sam Smith also won an Oscar, though it got a more mixed critical reception.

The latest incarnation is pop princess Billie Eilish with “No Time to Die,” which she co-wrote with her brother Finneas.

It already has a thumbs-up from the doyenne of the Bond theme world, with Bassey telling The Big Issue: “She did a good job.”

Golden girl Shirley Bassey Bassey became almost as closely linked to Bond as Barry -- the only singer to deliver three title tracks: "Goldfinger" (1964), "Diamonds are Forever" (1971), and "Moonraker" (1979).  The first two are considered the most memorable in Bond history, the latter less so -- Bassey later admitted she hated the "Moonraker" song and only did it as a favor to Barry.

The latest James Bond movie “Skyfall” stars Daniel Craig. 007 boozed so much that in all reality he would have had the tremulous hands of a chronic alcoholic, according to an offbeat study published by the British Medical Journal. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK.COM/JAMESBONDOO7

Live And Let Die Theme Song – James Bond

 

 

Paul McCartney Uncle Albert Rare Studio Demo

Paul McCartney; Uncle AlbertAdmiral Halsey. (RAM 1971)

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”
Single by Paul and Linda McCartney
from the album Ram
B-side Too Many People
Released 2 August 1971 (US only)
Format 7″
Recorded 6 November 1970
Genre
Length 4:49
Label Apple
Writer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Producer(s) Paul and Linda McCartney
Paul and Linda McCartney singles chronology
Another Day
(1971)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
(1971)
The Back Seat of My Car
(1971)
Ram track listing
 

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is a song by Paul and Linda McCartney from the album Ram. Released in the United States as a single on 2 August 1971,[1] but premiering on WLS the previous week (as a “Hit Parade Bound” (HPB)),[2] it reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 4 September 1971,[3][4] making it the first of a string of post-Beatles, McCartney-penned singles to top the US pop chart during the 1970s and 1980s. Billboard ranked it number 22 on its Top Pop Singles of 1971 year-end chart.[5]

Elements and interpretation[edit]

https://youtu.be/XI6C7L66zq8
“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is composed of several unfinished song fragments that McCartney stitched together similar to the medleys from the Beatles‘ album Abbey Road.[6] The song is noted for its sound effects, including the sounds of a thunderstorm, with rain, heard between the first and second stanza, the sound of a telephone ringing, and a message machine, heard after the second stanza, and a sound of chirping sea birds and wind by the seashore. Linda’s voice is heard in the harmonies as well as the bridge section of the “Admiral Halsey” portion of the song.

McCartney said “Uncle Albert” was based on his uncle. “He’s someone I recall fondly, and when the song was coming it was like a nostalgia thing.”[7] McCartney also said, “As for Admiral Halsey, he’s one of yours, an American admiral”, referring to Fleet Admiral William “Bull” Halsey (1882–1959).[7] McCartney has described the “Uncle Albert” section of the song as an apology from his generation to the older generation, and Admiral Halsey as an authoritarian figure who ought to be ignored.[8]

Despite the disparate elements that make up the song, author Andrew Grant Jackson discerns a coherent narrative to the lyrics, related to McCartney’s emotions in the aftermath of the Beatles’ breakup.[9] In this interpretation, the song begins with McCartney apologizing to his uncle for getting nothing done, and being easily distracted and perhaps depressed in the lethargic “Uncle Albert” section.[9] Then, after some sound effects reminiscent of “Yellow Submarine,” Admiral Halsey appears to him calling him to action, although McCartney remains more interested in “tea and butter pie.” McCartney stated that he put the butter in the pie so that it would not melt at all.[9] Jackson sees a possible sinister allusion in the use of Admiral Halsey as a character in the song, since Halsey was famous for fighting the Japanese in World War II and claiming that “after the war, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell,” and McCartney’s ex-Beatle partner John Lennon had recently married a Japanese woman, Yoko Ono.[9] The “hands across the water” section which follows could be taken as evocative of the command “All hands on deck!”, rousing McCartney to action, perhaps to compete with Lennon.[9] The song then ends with the “gypsy” section, in which McCartney resolves to get back on the road and perform his music, now that he was on his own without his former bandmates who no longer wanted to tour.[9]

Reception[edit]

Paul McCartney won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists in 1971 for the song.[10][11] The single was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for sales of over one million copies.[12]

According to Allmusic critic Stewart Mason, fans of Paul McCartney’s music are divided in their opinions of this song.[13] Although some fans praise it as “one of his most playful and inventive songs” others criticize it for being “exactly the kind of cute self-indulgence that they find so annoying about his post-Beatles career.”[13] Mason himself considers it “churlish” to be annoyed by the song, given that song isn’t intended to be completely serious, and praises the “Hands across the water” section as being “lovably giddy.”[13]

On the US charts, the song set a songwriting milestone as the all-time songwriting record (at the time) for the most consecutive calendar years to write a #1 song. This gave McCartney eight consecutive years (starting with “I Want to Hold Your Hand“), leaving behind Lennon with only seven years.

Later release[edit]

“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” also appears on Wings Greatest from 1978, even though Ram was not a Wings album, and again on the US version of McCartney’s 1987 compilation, All the Best!, as well as the 2001 compilation Wingspan: Hits and History.

Personnel[edit]

Song uses[edit]

Charts[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Australian Kent Music Report[14] 5
Canadian RPM Top 100 Singles[15] 1
Mexican Singles Chart[16] 3
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 1
West German Media Control Singles Chart[17] 30

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1971) Position
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[18] 14
U.S. Billboard Top Pop Singles[16] 22

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[19] Gold

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ McGee 2003, p. 195.
  2. Jump up^ “89WLS Hit Parade”. 1971-08-02. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  3. Jump up^ Billboard.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Allmusic: Paul McCartney: Charts & Awards”. allmusic.com. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  5. Jump up^ “Top Pop 100 Singles” Billboard December 25, 1971: TA-36
  6. Jump up^ Blaney, J. (2007). Lennon and McCartney: together alone: a critical discography of their solo work. Jawbone Press. pp. 46, 50. ISBN 978-1-906002-02-2.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b McGee 2003, p. 196.
  8. Jump up^ Benitez, V.P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Praeger. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Jackson, A.G. (2012). Still the Greatest: The Essential Songs of The Beatles’ Solo Careers. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0810882225.
  10. Jump up^ “Past Winners Search”. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
  11. Jump up^ “1971 Grammy Awards”.
  12. Jump up^ riaa.com
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c Mason, S. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
  14. Jump up^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  15. Jump up^ “Top Singles – Volume 16, No. 5”. RPM. 18 September 1971. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b Nielsen Business Media, Inc (25 December 1971). Billboard – Talent in Action 1971. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. Jump up^ “Single Search: Paul and Linda McCartney – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”” (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
  18. Jump up^ “RPM 100 Top Singles of 1971”. RPM. 8 January 1972. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  19. Jump up^ “American single certifications – Paul Mc Cartney – Uncle Albert”. Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH

References[edit]

Preceded by
How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by Bee Gees
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
4 September 1971 (one week)
Succeeded by
Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
Preceded by
Sweet Hitch-Hiker” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Canadian “RPM” Singles Chart number-one single
18 September 1971 – 2 October 1971 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
Maggie May” by Rod Stewart

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