September 29, 2007

"Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"

Sean Connery's favorite Bond film, and the one he thought was the best, Thunderball (1965), had two title tracks.

From the Wikipedia entry:

The original title credit theme to Thunderball was entitled "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," which was written by John Barry and Leslie Bricusse. The title was taken from an Italian journalist who in 1962 dubbed agent 007 as Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. The song was originally recorded by Shirley Bassey, but was later rerecorded by Dionne Warwick, whose version was not released until the 1990s.



More information about "Mr. Kiss Bang Bang" from the uploader of the video, dibotis:

Writes Geoff Leonard in "Bond by Barry: The Story of James Bond Music": For Thunderball, the fourth film in the Bond series, the producers for this outing felt it a good idea to do away with the normal title song, ("Thunderball" was thought to prove difficult lyric-wise in any case). So they decided to use the name by which Bond had become known in Italy and Japan - Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Accordingly, Barry based the entire score around this title song which had lyrics written solely by Leslie Bricusse (Newley was working in America at the time). The Bond team had even chosen the singer - Dionne Warwick, who sang her own arrangement, after Shirley Bassey's original version had failed to impress.

John Barry

Barry takes up the story: "Dionne's was a marvellous song and she did a great arrangement for it. It was a really strange song. I had about twelve cow bells on it with different rhythms, along with a large orchestra, and thought it a very original piece. Then, at the last minute they got cold feet and decided to have a song called 'Thunderball'." The official reason for the change of mind was that the original song-title may have been considered to have sexual connotations in conservative America, but rumour has it that there may have been a threat of court action from Bassey following her replacement by Warwick. Obviously if the song wasn't used at all, there could be no case to answer!


Thunderfinger?

Whatever the reason, it led to Barry's long partnership with lyricist Don Black, as by the time the decision to change the song had been taken, Bricusse had also gone to work in America and wasn't available. When director Terence Young heard Tom Jones singing Thunderball for the first time, he said it sounded like 'Thunderfinger'. Barry's laughing rejoinder was to the effect that "I gave them what they wanted."

Wikipedia entry:

"Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" was removed from the title credits after producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman were worried that a theme song to a James Bond movie would not work well if the song did not have the title of the film in its lyrics. John Barry teamed up with lyricist Don Black and wrote "Thunderball," which was sung by Tom Jones who, according to Bond production legend, fainted in the recording booth when singing the song's final, high note. Jones said of the final note, "I closed my eyes and I held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning."

September 28, 2007

September 25, 2007

"This Boy"

Picture of rehearsal for the Miami Beach Sullivan show from thebeatlesarecoming.com

Wikipedia entry:

"This Boy" is a song by The Beatles. The song was first released in November 1963 as the B-side of the UK Parlophone single "I Want to Hold Your Hand." The Beatles performed it on 16 February 1964 for their second Ed Sullivan Show appearance in the USA.

This is such a great live version! There's just something about the sound of those three voices, harmonizing together ("Because," for example). And I think Ringo is sunburned from the time they spent in Miami Beach:


An instrumental version of "This Boy", orchestrated by George Martin, is used as the background musical theme when Ringo does his "walkabout" in the film A Hard Day's Night. The piece, under the title, "Ringo's Theme (This Boy)" is included on the American A Hard Day's Night soundtrack album.

At the 2001 John Lennon "Come Together" concert in New York City, Rufus Wainwright performed this song with John's son Sean Lennon and actor/musician Robert Schwartzman
:


Random image found whilst researching this topic (Paul and some bird on the A Hard Day's Night set):

September 24, 2007

John Williams and Indy 4

From this interview with him, we find out the two most interesting (and ironic) facts about John Williams:

1. He never goes to the movies.
2. He rarely listens to classical music.


Williams is set to begin working on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull at the beginning of October. No matter how good that film is, it's about to get a whole lot better.

He is one of those composers whose music improves the movies in which it's used. In my opinion, his soundtracks for the Star Wars movies, for example, are a big reason why they were so successful.

September 22, 2007

"Crackerbox Palace"


Wikipedia entry:

"Crackerbox Palace" is the ninth track on George Harrison's 1976 album, Thirty Three & 1/3. The song was released as the second single from the album and reached #19 on the American pop charts.

Harrison appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 20, 1976. A music video for "Crackerbox Palace" premiered on the program. The video was directed by Eric Idle, and featured Harrison, along with Neil Innes and Graham Chapman. Maybe it's the presence of so many Monty Python alum that explains George's bizarre expressions in a couple of scenes.

September 21, 2007

Centerville

Centerville, Texas (population: 903), is the Leon County Seat and is 35 miles W of Crockett, 45 miles NW of Huntsville - about midway between Houston and Dallas. It was quiet and empty.



old jail on the Leon County Courthouse grounds

old county jail (Leon County Heritage Society)



Leon County Courthouse (c. 1886, Renaissance Revival, style)


The Pix Theater - supposedly haunted by a female ghost

September 18, 2007

"You Go to My Head"

Sinatra in '48, the Columbia Records version:


from 78MAN

"You Go to My Head" was written in 1938 by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie. Sinatra would re-record it for his classic 1960 Nice 'n' Easy album.

September 17, 2007

"Fools Rush In"

Wikipedia entry:

"Fools Rush In" (1940) is a popular song written by Johnny Mercer, who wrote the lyrics, and Rube Bloom, who wrote the music. It became a favorite song for Frank Sinatra to perform, and the version he recorded attained popularity. This song has been covered by many artists, most notably by Elvis Presley in 1972 (not to be confused with Elvis' 1961 song "Can't Help Falling in Love," which also features the lyric "Fools Rush In"). It can also be heard on the soundtrack for Marie Antoinette, performed by 80s New Wave band Bow Wow Wow. The full adage, "Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread" is taken from Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Criticism."

Annabella Lwin - who I think of to this day whenever putting on a sweater

Here are two versions of Bow Wow Wow's take on "Fools Rush In." The first is from a 1980 EP cassette called Your Cassette Pet:


And here is the Kevin Shields remix from the Marie Antoinette soundtrack (Sofia Coppola chose two other Bow Wow Wow tunes for it - "Aphrodisiac" and a Kevin Shields remixed "I Want Candy"). It is radically different, and far superior (IMHO) to their original:

video

Finally, here's Rick Nelson doing it on Ozzie and Harriet. This is similar to the approach taken by Bow Wow Wow, some thirty years later:

September 15, 2007

Summertime in Scranton

The one hour (each of the first four episodes will be an hour long) season premiere of The Office is September 27th. This is what summer was like for the employees of Dunder-Mifflin:

Michael Scott says he saw Ratatouille and walked out. I wonder if he saw Evan Almighty?

Dwight attempting to prove to Michael his worthiness to become regional manager of the Scranton branch in "Beach Games."

On a related note, here's Rainn Wilson's opening monologue on Saturday Night Live. This was nicely done and occasionally surreal:

September 14, 2007

September in Paris

Paris, Texas (population: 25,898) is the Lamar County Seat and is 103 miles NE of Dallas, 50 miles NE of Greenville, and 30 miles west of Clarksville. "The Second Biggest Paris in the World" is its slogan. Paris also holds third place in a category no town wants to be in. After The Chicago Fire and The San Francisco Earthquake Fire, comes The Paris Fire of 1916. This devastating fire resulted in the entire downtown having to be rebuilt. The Culbertson Fountain in the Plaza was given to commemorate the rebirth of Paris.

Watch a slideshow.

Paris, Texas

The Grand Theater












The abandoned Gibraltar Hotel (c. 1915) on the left








United States Post Office and Court House


Paris Public Library (c. 1931)


First Methodist Church

World War I memorial

The R.F. Scott Building

Confederate memorial - the bust on the front is of Jefferson Davis



Lamar County Courthouse (c. 1917, Classical Revival style with Romanesque detail)

Paris Community Theatre

The Culbertson Fountain in the Plaza - given to commemorate the rebirth of Paris after the Great Fire of 1916 that destroyed the entire downtown.


The opening credits sequence from the film of the same name, featuring the music of Ry Cooder (incidentally, no part of the movie was shot in Paris):