Our review of John Barry’s work, as part of #Johnuary, continues with our look at the Goldfinger soundtrack.

Goldfinger was the first Bond film where Barry was given free rein on everything: the full score and also the theme song.

Check out the first version sung by the lyricist Anthony Newley. It must be quite an early version as it doesn’t have the big brass bits after the word ‘Goldfinger’.

And now of course, here is the Shirley Bassey version.

This song just says ‘Bond’ in the first two notes. It’s all about that brass. And I love how it has such a bombastic opening for the first two bars but then really drops it down using the same notes but just plays it more quietly before the vocals kick in. And then what can I say about Shirley Bassey. She is the number one ‘Bond girl’ in my eyes. I probably associate her with Bond more than any other woman. Her vocals seem to fit so well with Barry’s powerful music. She’s classy but also packs a punch. A bit like Bond himself.

And this is one of the tracks that very cleverly incorporates just a few bars from the James Bond Theme in it. You can hear it first at 0:53, again at 1:31 and then from 2:08 onwards where Barry adds even more notes from the Bond theme. I love how Barry does this as it really helps to ingrain that Bond theme into the pysche of the viewer even more, and perfectly sets them up for the start of the movie.

I do like how several bond films have one word titles. I just find it more punchy and memorable. I wonder if it might be easier to write lyrics and music for, as well, if it is a shorter title.

This is certainly one of my favourite Bond tracks and I’m sure it will rank highly in my ranking of Barry’s work at the end of the week.