The Songs of Shirley Bassey

Album 1992:
Shirley Bassey Sings The Bond Collection
also released as Shirley Bassey - The Bond Collection - The 30th Anniversary
Icon CD 007
also released 1994 as Bassey Sings Bond
Classic Artists/Tring, CD: JHD115, cassette: MCJHD115, Special-Selection-CD released in Japan: KA-011

Tracklisting:

  1. A View To A Kill
    from the 1985 "A View To A Kill" movie soundtrack, originally by "Duran Duran"
  2. Nobody Does It Better
    from the 1977 "The Spy Who Loved Me" movie soundtrack, originally by "Carly Simon"
  3. From Russia With Love
    from the 1963 "From Russia With Love" movie soundtrack, originally by "Matt Munro"
  4. We Have All The Time In The World
    from the 1969 "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" movie soundtrack, originally by "Louis Armstrong"
  5. You Only Live Twice
    from the 1967 "You Only Live Twice" movie soundtrack, originally by "Nancy Sinatra"
  6. Diamonds Are Forever
    from the 1971 "Diamonds Are Forever" movie soundtrack
  7. Live And Let Die
    from the 1973 "Live And Let Die" movie soundtrack, originally by "Sir Paul McCartney & Wings"
  8. Moonraker
    from the 1979 "Moonraker" movie soundtrack
  9. For Your Eyes Only
    from the 1981 "For Your Eyes Only" movie soundtrack, originally by "Sheena Easton"
  10. All Time High
    from the 1983 "Octopussy" movie soundtrack, originally by "Rita Coolidge"
  11. Thunderball
    from the 1965 "Thunderball" movie soundtrack, originally by "Tom Jones"
  12. Goldfinger
    from the 1964 "Goldfinger" movie soundtrack


Notes by Roman

These have all been re-recordings of the Bond songs, also for the three tracks for which Shirley Bassey had performed the original soundtrack earlier.

The recording session for this album had already been 1987, shortly after The Rhythm Divine and it shall have taken one week only. The album was due for release 1987 to co-incide with the 25th anniversary of "Dr No".

The "Woman" magazine from June 27th, 1987 (with Shirley Bassey on the cover) contained an interview with Shirley Bassey and wrote then:

... Now Shirley is back on form and has just recorded an album of Bond songs to celebrate 007's 25th anniversary this month. "I jumped at the opportunity" she says "I loved doing Goldfinger again. We slowed it up and now it's got more bite, it's a little more sinister". "Diamonds are Forever is more sexy and Moonraker is prettier than it was, it's much gentler. There wasn't the freedom before because we were locked into a tempo to keep pace with the movie credits. Now I've been able to phrase them the way I want to."

In the "Record Mirror" from August 22nd, 1987 (also with Shirley Bassey on the cover) was an article about "The Rhythm Divine" and her return to the charts, but then they also talked about the Bond songs:
Amazingly it turns out that Shirley was also to have sung the theme to Thunderball until it was given to Tom Jones. She recently recorded an entire album of Bond themes but amazingly hasn't yet found a record company to release it.
...
Right now, Shirley says she'd like to record "all these contemporary songs and do them on an album". She stresses that she wants "something I can relate to. You know, like I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner. Now, that's wonderful."
It's remarkable that this had been written more than three years before the Foreigner-song has been released on the album Keep The Music Playing.

These articles show that Shirley Bassey originally liked the songs and wanted to publish the album. She even plugged it on "Live At The Palladium" on May 3rd, 1987 when she mimed to "A View To A Kill" and did a Bond-medley.

But eventually Shirley Bassey decided not to publish the recording. I don't know exactly when and why this decision has been taken, but I heard that she did not like the "husky" quality of her voice. The singing is sometimes even embarrassing, like recorded the warm-up in the wardrobe before a concert. Another problem is simply that not all Bond songs suit to Shirley Bassey, but also her three songs are much better in any other version.

But it's especially the orchestral backing and the recording quality which is very poor - it sounds like not being completed. Actually there's no orchestra, only a cheap one-man synthesizer-keyboard accompaniment. You can't believe that Shirley Bassey shall have sung along this "music" and liked it (maybe it has been played later over the recording of the vocals).

injunction against ICON Five years after the recording, 1992, the album had been released on ICON anyhow and on DSB 1993 (September 20th as "Bond Collection") and again on TRING 1994 (January 10th as "Bassey Sings Bond" JHD115), but Shirley Bassey took legal action against these releases, so that they've been withdrawn very fast again and are very hard to find now.

1992 also an official collection of James Bond songs had been released The Best Of James Bond 30th Anniversary Limited Edition.

A new album "Bassey Sings Bond" with new recordings of Bond songs will be released end of 2002, this time with the full approval of Dame Shirley Bassey.


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