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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Alternate Bond Themes--The Best Quantum Of Solace You've Never Heard!!

Not all the great alternate Bond themes are by otherwise famous performers--at least, not famous to Americans.

Which is an odd way to go about introducing you to The Best Goddamned Bond Theme That You've Never Heard Before.

Now, I don't hate the Jack White and Alicia Keys joint they used for Quantum Of Solace, but it does have some fair significant defects as a Bond theme. Like many a White song, it's 95% rhythm and 5% melody, an approach that doesn't work as well for a 007 theme as it does on a White Stripes album. Keys is so much a better singer than White that it proves distracting in a duet. Not using the film's title in the song earns major demerits. And, lyrically, it seems entirely too self aware, less about the movie or plot or themes than it about White eclaiming "I'm writing a song about writing a James Bond song"...hell, Keys' last lines in the song are "Shoot 'em up/Bang bang" and "Bang bang bang bang." Seriously now...

Yeah, these guys were hip and popular. But the best choice for the movie? Not. A. Chance.

Written and arranged by Christian Wolf, lyrics and vocals by Eva Almer, allow me to present Forever (I Am All Yours)--one of the rejected themes to QoS:

Holy crap, THAT is a Bond theme!!

And look, it actually uses the title of the freakin' movie!! Was that so difficult?!?!?!

Now, it's not perfect...the use of dialogue clips from Casino Royale is kind of lame, and not terribly clear, and frankly sounds like it's there just hide a clumsy key change. The chorus is a bit repetitive lyrically; and perhaps it is tied a bit too closely thematically to Casino Royale instead of QoS.

But it's big and brassy and over the top and in your face and clearly better--at least as a James Bond theme--than Another Way To Die.

Eva Almer is a Swedish performer, and you can find the MP3 of this tune on Amazon or iTunes...but nothing else (at least in America). Christian Wolf is harder to track down info on, because there is no shortage of people named Chris Wolf or Christian Wolf (not to mention another composer named Christian Wolff, and a German philosopher and Baron on the same name...).

But that just goes to show that you don't have to be well known on the American pop charts to write a great Bond theme. To get Eon to use it, though, you probably do...

1 comment:

  1. I agree entirely with the points made int he article.

    This song still needs a once over by the ghost of John Barry, but melody is very important to a Bond song (esp if it is ti be used in the score) and Eva has the right voice for this sort of thing.