Friday, 22 November 2013


I saw my first BOND double-bill at my local cinema on Saturday afternoon, November 25th 1972.  I know for sure because I had The MIGHTY WORLD Of MARVEL #9 with me, newly purchased that very morning.  It was dated December 2nd, but as everyone knows, comics were usually dated seven days ahead of when they went on sale to give them a full week's shelf-life in the newsagents.

What I can't tell you is precisely what two movies I saw, but there's a reason for that.  My local cinema had a Bond matinee every Saturday afternoon for what seemed like months, and they repeated the same movies, but always in a different sequence from one screening to the next.  For example, one week it was FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE;  the next week might then be DR. NO and THUNDERBALL;  the week after, it could be any combination of those flicks, including GOLDFINGER and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER flung into the mix.

One day, I'll have to see what movies were listed in my local newspaper for that date and ascertain once and for all what were the first two I saw.  I'd like to know for certain, just to satisfy my own personal curiosity if nothing else.  At least I got to see all six SEAN CONNERY Bond films on the big screen before they were sold to TV, even if the new boy, the saintly ROGER MOORE, had already begun filming his first entry in the iconic series by the time I did.

One thing's for sure though - one of the ingredients that helped secure the success of the franchise was the music.  MONTY NORMAN recycled a tune he'd previously composed for some other purpose to become the James Bond theme, but while his original version is recognisable, it was really rather a tame little tune.  It was JOHN BARRY's arrangement and orchestration that gave the theme its power and passion, its might and majesty, that has endured down through the decades to this very day.  And Norman is big enough to admit that Barry was the man responsible for the definitive sound.

Who amongst us hasn't felt the hairs bristle on the back of our neck and our heart pound a little faster in joyous anticipation upon hearing the opening bars of that rousing theme?  However, it wasn't just the theme tune that stirred (but didn't shake) one's blood;  the incidental music was also a force to be reckoned with, and John Barry left a legacy of which he can be proud.  I soon started collecting the soundtrack LPs of the films, as much for the covers as the music itself, and, a few years ago, I updated to CDs.  (Don't worry, I kept the vinyl.)  It's from those CDs that I now present the first instalment in a cover gallery of JAMES BOND original motion-picture soundtrack albums.


Gey Blabby said...

It would surely be too much of a coincidence for you to have watched those double-bills at Mosspark picture house on Paisley Road West, Kid, for that's where myself and some friends went to see them on Saturday afternoons. I believe it was closed down in 1973, so we must have seen them before that. I had just been old enough to see OHMSS upon release at the Kelburn cinema in Paisley, followed by Diamonds Are Forever at The Odeon in Glasgow, but I had to rely on those double-bills to see the first five on the big screen. As when you saw them, they were twinned in no particular order - Dr No and Thunderball, for instance.

One of the best Christmas presents I ever got was a double LP of the original music from the first seven films, all by John Barry (and Monty Norman). It was a dark blue colour, with scenes from the various films set in circles. It wasn't all the music, just 3 or 4 tracks from each film. I never actually bought the individual albums, and it was only a few years ago when I finally got ahold of all the remastered CD versions. If I was being sent to a desert island and could only take one soundtrack, I think I might have to plump for John Barry's On Her Majesty's Secret Service (even including the song by Nina).

Kid said...

GB, I saw them in the cinema shown in the photo in the previous post - 'Pay to Shop?' I have a nagging feeling that Dr No and Thunderball were probably the first two Bond movies I saw, but I'm not 100% certain. A few weeks later, Dr No will have been screened again with a different JB movie, as eventually would Thunderball.

Regarding the double LP, that was the first Bond Soundtrack album I bought along with Live & Let Die - in fact, I still have my copy and picked up another two copies over the years. Eventually, the double page insert was deleted by United Artists, so that when you opened it, it went straight from a pic of the poster for Dr No to a pic of Louis Armstrong, I think.

And I have to ask - Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?

baab said...

You only live twice is in my top ten songs.
I heard it first in my nana's house from the t.v.

It was instantly burned into my memory banks.

These days I go through phases of whistling or singing it for days at a time.
It just pops in and out,when needed.

There is nothing I could possibly add to the praise given to John Barry.

Kid said...

And he wrote The Persuaders theme as well, Baab - the man had music in his veins, that's for sure.

John Pitt said...

I look forward to seeing them all - the albums that is- a good idea for galleries.

Kid said...

Ol' Rog's coming up next, JP.

B Smith said...

They were also a good way of seeing the fabulous Frank McCarthy/Robert McGinnis poster artwork, albeit on a smaller scale.

Kid said...

Indeed, B - as were some of the Pan paperbacks which also sported them - on a even smaller scale than LP covers.

vwstieber said...

Neato! I have German variant cover LPs of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE and GOLDFINGER. Never could figure out why they bothered with different covers.

In the US, THUNDERBALL was long out of print as an LP and for years a suspect LP re-recording with just a handful of tracks was the only thing available in used record stores. Of course, right after I bought that, TBALL was reissued.

Come to think of it, I think the Germans also got a variant LP cover for TBALL...I'll have to look.

Anyhoo, I love all of these!

Kid said...

My original Thunderball LP cover has the full version of the small illo on the back of the one on this post. Will put it up at some stage.

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