“… you gotta give the other fellow hell …”

Jon Burlingame

in The Music of James Bond

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199863303
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199979981 | DOI:
“… you gotta give the other fellow hell …”

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Roger Moore takes over the role of James Bond while John Barry, busy writing musicals for the screen and London's West End, departs the 007 scene. Former Apple Records executive Ron Kass, who then worked for Harry Saltzman, suggested that ex-Beatle Paul McCartney try writing the title song. McCartney, with wife Linda, penned a song that would be played by him and his new band Wings. He asked his old Beatles producer George Martin to produce and arrange it for orchestra; Martin took the demo recording to Jamaica (where a clueless Harry Saltzman would listen and then ask, “who should we get to sing it?”). The song was accepted and Martin wrote the film's underscore as well. Up-and-coming singer-actress B.J. Arnau contributed an on-camera performance of “Live and Let Die.” McCartney's single reached no. 2 in the U.S. in the summer of 1973 and became the first Bond tune to be Oscar-nominated as Best Song. Martin's score had more of a rock-tinged edge than the earlier Barry scores; he would win a Grammy for his arrangement of the title song.

Keywords: Paul McCartney; Linda McCartney; Wings; George Martin; John Barry; Live and Let Die; B.J. Arnau; Harry Saltzman

Chapter.  4738 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music ; American Music

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