A musical In Memoriam


Who can forget the iconic music theme from the James Bond movies?

It seems the composer of the original 007 theme, Monty Norman, died yesterday.  The story of how he developed that theme is interesting.

Bond producer Cubby Broccoli had asked Norman to compose the first movie’s score, having been impressed with his stage musical CV.

For the main theme, the composer dusted off one of his previous compositions – Bad Sign Good Sign, from an abandoned production of VS Naipaul’s A House For Mr Biswas – and re-wrote it with the suave spy in mind.

After switching the main riff from a sitar to an electric guitar, Norman knew he had captured the essence of 007.

“His sexiness, his mystery, his ruthlessness – it’s all there in a few notes,” he later recalled.

. . .

Norman also wrote Underneath the Mango Tree that accompanies the famous Dr No beach scene featuring Ursula Andress and Sean Connery.

John Barry famously arranged the Bond theme, leading some people to assume he had written it, much to Norman’s displeasure. In 2001, he took The Sunday Times to court over an article that stated he had not composed the famous guitar line, and was awarded £30,000 libel damages.

There’s more at the link.

How better to remember Mr. Norman than to remember those iconic songs?

I wonder if the angelic choir will soon be singing some new melodies?



  1. Thanks for letting us know. Pretty sure everyone who ever heard it thought is was one of the coolest music pieces ever as I do.

  2. I liked this and shared it – Thanks!
    Was surprised about Nancy Sinatra (60s) and Billie Eilish (near end), but Shirley remains the most Bond-memorable.

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