I’m a massive fan of all things James Bond, and this love of 007 definitely extends to the music and theme tunes of the numerous film offerings. Thanks to my 80’s childhood, when it came to Duran Duran taking on A View to a Kill, I was singing along in 1985 and my purchase of the 7″ single helped propel the song towards the top of the charts.
I learned recently that the band also produced a 12″ extended mix of the titular track, but it went unreleased thanks to bass player John Taylor. According to the MI6 HQ website, Taylor wanted to ‘keep a certain purity’ to the original and that was that, the track vanished for almost 30 years.
The song is obviously good enough to listen to it twice, so treat yourself to the original video too:
And I’ll finish with an interesting fact from Wikipedia; Shirley Bassey covered the song for an album of Bond theme songs, however, she wasn’t satisfied with the quality, so the album was withdrawn from sale. You can hear the track over on Youtube!
Isn’t this just the greatest set of book covers you’ve ever seen? And they’re all real! Honor Blackman really did release a book about self-defence and she did so properly, using the Judo skills she developed at London??s Budokwai dojo, and teaming with wrestler Joe Robinson and his brother Doug, a judo champion and black belt in karate. I love that Penguin released a version of this, complete with terrible cover photo!
The book is basically full of images of Honor dispatching men, often in situations like this one:
Ignoring the dubious spelling of ‘vapor’, this 1965 James Bond set from the American Character company is one of the coolest 007 gadgets I’ve ever seen. You can never go wrong with a spy pen, especially one that fires projectiles and doubles as an alert whistle!
This video also includes the expanded pack which adds to the fun with a spy ring and ID bracelet!
The real gimmick here though isn’t the pen, it’s the paper. As you’ll see in the video, once you’ve written your secret messages, you can place the paper in a cup of water and marvel as it disintegrates. Fantastic stuff until you realise that once it’s gone, you can’t drink the water and you can no longer write a further message. Ah well, you’ve still got that pen!
If I had to name my favourite film series, it wouldn’t be Star Wars, Trek, Potter or any of those other pretenders. It would be without question, Bond, James Bond. The series has such a rich history and every single film holds a special place in my heart.
Around 15 years ago I received a book about film posters and within its pages was a section about the Connery and Moore-era James Bond films. At that point I had no special interest in poster art, film or otherwise, but that ignited something and I’ve been a huge fan ever since.
A great place to start with poster art for the series is with the first film, Dr. No. As an unknown entity, I imagine it would have been a challenge for those asked to create posters and you can see this in the huge variety of designs from around the world.
The UK original with the yellow background is an instant classic but efforts from Italy and France (above), and Germany (below) are all brilliant works too.
In my opinion, the best came from a 1972 re-issue in Japan. Not too many posters have the film score in the art!
All the art on this page is from the superb Movie Posters Collectors website and its James Bond collection. Go take a look for higher resolution versions of those here and to see the 10 other posters that they have.