Website last updated: 26-2-2024

The Music Of James Bond by Jon Burlingame (paperback)

By: FSWL team
The Music of James Bond 2014
The paperback edition (includes a new chapter on the film music to Skyfall (2012)) of Jon Burlingame's excellent and must-read book The Music of James Bond is published by Oxford University Press in USA. (The hardcover edition was published in November 2012.)

The story of the music that accompanies the adventures of Ian Fleming's intrepid Agent 007 is one of surprising real-life drama. In The Music of James Bond, author Jon Burlingame throws open studio and courtroom doors alike to reveal the full and extraordinary history of the sounds of James Bond, spicing the story with a wealth of fascinating and previously undisclosed tales.

Burlingame devotes a chapter to each Bond film, providing the backstory for the music - including a reader-friendly analysis of each score - and highlighting musical influences and trends such as John Barry's distinctive sounds for such early scores as Goldfinger and Thunderball, Marvin Hamlisch's disco touch in The Spy Who Loved Me, and the electronica approach that proved disastrous in GoldenEye. Just as important, the book brims with behind-the-scenes anecdotes. We learn about the decades-long controversy over authorship of the "James Bond Theme"; how Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis almost sang the title song for Moonraker; and how top artists like Tom Jones, Louis Armstrong, Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Duran Duran, the Pretenders, Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, Sheryl Crow, and Madonna were enticed to record for Agent 007. Burlingame shares the untold stories of how Eric Clapton played guitar for Licence to Kill but saw his work shelved and how Amy Winehouse very nearly co-wrote and sang the theme for Quantum of Solace.

New interviews with many Bond songwriters and composers, coupled with extensive research as well as fascinating and previously undiscovered details - including tales of temperamental artists, unexpected hits and surprising convergences of great music with unforgettable images - make The Music of James Bond a must read for 007 buffs and all popular music fans.

About the author:
One of the nation's leading writers on music for film and television, Jon Burlingame writes regularly for Daily Variety and teaches film-music history at the University of Southern California. His other work has included three previous books on film and TV music, and articles for other publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. He also produces radio specials for Classical KUSC in Los Angeles.

"Jon Burlingame has written an amazing behind-the-scenes dossier, revealing the personalities, the betrayals, the egos, the lawsuits, and the untold stories behind 007's hits and misses. Nobody does it better than Bond, and nobody knows Bond music better than Burlingame."
- John Cork (Co-author of James Bond: The Legacy, Bond Girls Are Forever, and James Bond Encyclopedia)

"A magnificent work. Not only has Mr. Burlingame assembled a meticulously researched history of the James Bond music, but, being an expert on musical scoring and composers, he offers a degree of music appreciation and insight that few possess. James Bond fans will devour this like Beluga caviar and Dom Perignon champagne."
- Steven Jay Rubin (Author of The James Bond Films and The Complete James Bond Movie Encyclopedia)

"Jon Burlingame provides the intriguing and often fascinating story behind the one heretofore neglected aspect of the James Bond phenomenon: the soundtracks and the incredibly talented people behind them. The Music of James Bond manages to be exhaustively researched, yet highly entertaining. Those of us who pride ourselves on being 007 scholars will be humbled by the wealth of new insights the author reveals. With this indispensable book, Burlingame reaffirms his status as one of the world's foremost experts on motion picture soundtracks."
- Lee Pfeiffer (Co-author of The Incredible World of 007 and The Essential Bond, and Editor-in-Chief, Cinema Retro)

"At last, a worthy historical analysis of 007 that finally puts the music in the spotlight; often neglected and overlooked, John Barry's distinctive sound played a pivotal part in defining James Bond's screen persona. Jon Burlingame's incredibly detailed account successfully threads together the full story, and in doing so, reveals more twists and turns than an Ian Fleming novel.
-Geoff Leonard and Pete Walker (Co-authors, John Barry: The Man With the Midas Touch)

Book details:
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0199358850
ISBN-13: 978-0199358854

Editor's note:
For other American Bond books featured on From Sweden with Love, click here.

Photo above:
Paperback cover for Jon Burlingame's book The Music of James Bond. © 2014 Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Pre-order The Music of James Bond at a discounted price from Amazon USA:



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