Category Archives: music

VOTE: The Best James Bond Song

by Jake McMillan

It’s the 50th anniversary of 007  and with it the general release of  the 23rd James Bond film Skyfall tomorrow, which means we have 22 James Bond theme songs:

Film Song
Dr No. (1962) No song, just the ‘James Bond Theme’ written by Monty Norman and arranged by John Barry
From Russia With Love (1963) From Russia With Love’, Matt Monro
Goldfinger (1964) Goldfinger’, Shirley Bassey
Thunderball (1965) Thunderball’, Tom Jones
You Only Live Twice (1967) You Only Live Twice’, Nancy Sinatra
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) We Have All The Time In The World’, Louis Armstrong
Diamonds Are Forever (1971) Diamonds Are Forever’, Shirley Bassey
Live and Let Die (1973) Live And Let Die’, Paul McCartney & Wings
The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) The Man With The Golden Gun’, Lulu
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Nobody Does It Better’, Carly Simon
Moonraker (1979) Moonraker’, Shirley Bassey
For Your Eyes Only (1981) For Your Eyes Only’, Sheena Easton
Octopussy (1983) All Time High’, Rita Coolidge
A View to a Kill (1985) A View To A Kill’, Duran Duran
The Living Daylights (1987) The Living Daylights’, A-ha
Licence to Kill (1989) Licence To Kill’, Gladys Knight
GoldenEye (1995) GoldenEye’, Tina Turner
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) Tomorrow Never Dies’, Sheryl Crow
The World is Not Enough (1999) The World is Not Enough’, Garbage
Die Another Day (2002) Die Another Day’, Madonna
Casino Royale (2006) You Know My Name’, Chris Cornell
Quantum of Solace (2008) Another Way To Die’, Jack White & Alicia Keys
Skyfall (2012) Skyfall’, Adele

Click on the links above to listen (and watch) the songs. The legendary Shirley Bassey has the record of singing the most songs, 3: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

VOTE for your favourite below. Pick the one(s) you like the best, but don’t associate it with your view of the film it goes with, e.g. The Living Daylights is not one of the great Bond films, but A-Ha’s theme song is actually very good.

Related Posts:
Where Have All The Bond Villains Gone?
Interesting James Bond Trivia
The Definitive Top 10 Bond Girls
VOTE: The Best James Bond Film
VOTE: The Best James Bond
No.1 Movie Character: James Bond
Ian Fleming’s Secret Cameo in From Russia With Love

Janet Devlin still has the X Factor

Although Little Mix were the eventual winners of 2011’s X Factor, I was extremely impressed with and very much supported Janet Devlin who got knocked out at the Semi-Final stage. I felt the judges on the show, particularly the three new ones (Gary Barlow, Tulisa Contostavlos and Janet’s mentor Kelly Rowland), really did her a disservice. Rather than sticking to her strengths and her natural style, they seemed to push her into being a more generic pop star.

Obviously, the X Factor is about creating a pop star but it still has the room and ability to allow some variation. Gary Barlow accused Janet Devlin of being predictable and boring, saying he knew what he was going to get with her performances. A successful pop star and recording artist is not a whacky variety performer, they cultivate and generate niche audiences of people who like their music and voice.

Leona Lewis, the 2006 winner of the X Factor, was extremely predictable when she was in the competition. She sang every different song the same way, quiet in the beginning before raising it up to show off her amazing voice. She did it week after week. And we loved it! Because she was brilliant at singing this way. She won easily and now has a career singing the same way too as that is because what she is good at and that is what the public like.

The Judges and the producers of X Factor really should have done a better job as the latter have not maximised their revenue possibilities. During the the live shows of the competition, Janet Devlin got the most telephone votes in the first 4 live shows and came 2nd in the 5th show. She was also the most downloaded artist of those in the competition on iTunes.

By forcing her to go out of her comfort zone and perform in a style that she was not happy with, the judges and producers really shot themselves in the foot. As well as Janet.

However, I still believe strongly that Janet Devlin will be the most successful contestant on this year’s X Factor. Apart from having a wonderful voice, Janet still has massive following:

  • almost 300,000 followers on Twitter (@JanetJealousy) with proper fans known as Devlinators!
  • her X Factor audition has been seen by nearly 6 million people on YouTube. Before appearing on X Factor she uploaded songs of herself singing and are extremely popular (see ‘Someone Like You’ below that has been viewed over 3 million times).

She seems to appeal to people of all ages. Girls her own age seem to relate to her as she is not a complete girly girl and has her own unique slightly quirky style. She is pretty in a natural way and girls can imagine being her friend. She seemed very shy on the show (she is only 17) but also seemed very tough and determined underneath it. She isn’t afraid of being who she is and she realised it wasn’t an X Factor puppet.

I don’t know what her X Factor contractual obligations are but I hope that she has someone experienced giving her guidance as I am sure there are record labels and producers out there who can clearly see there is a great market potential for her in the United States, UK and the rest of Europe. She definitely has the X Factor when she sings and I wish her the very best of luck and really hope to see and hear her soon.

I’m one of those cynical bods who watches these programmes and moans about them but never votes. I have only ever picked up the phone and voted for two people. The first was for Cheryl Cole (then Tweedy) when she was on the programme Popstars The Rivals and the second time was for Janet Devlin. If she can get a sarcastic cynic like myself to vote, then I think she can do well!

Janet Performing:

Janet singing ‘Fix You’ on the X Factor

Photos of Janet Devlin:

If only more music videos were like this?

by Jake McMillan

When someone sends you a link to a Ukrainian music video, you don’t normally have high expectations, but this one quickly grabbed my attention. Well, after 25 seconds it did. (Note: safe but not recommend for work).

So you can see why it grabbed my attention?

Although, my one complaint is that it is not very realistic. I mean, two women walk through a shopping mall and don’t buy a single thing, when does that happen in real life?

Although the video successfully grabs your attention visually, I have to confess that I really quite liked the track. I have no idea what any of the words mean, although the title ‘Verevki’ means ‘Ropes’ I believe.

When I try to sing along to the opening verse, this is what I sing:

Xarn and Zippy are really not happy while they shoot Godzilla,
They’re groaning  while they eat a cracked bowl of their big dinner,
Switch their dark mood quick and fast by preparing paella,
Da boy

Then later on, I’m sure there is mention of an electric shock, but don’t you dare mock, especially when at the dock.

Here is a funny spoof version of this video (it is very well made and it was shown to NikitA on a television programme)

The band NikitA (with a big A at the end) are made up of Dasha Astafieva and Julia Kavtaradze and in the Verevki video they use a similar concept to the video for ‘Baby Baby Baby’ by Make the Girl Dance where 3 different naked women walk through a busy street in Paris with black blocks added afterwards to cover up their naughty bits. I guess another similar-ish video is ‘Lessons Learned’ by Matt and Kim which sees Matt and Kim strip off in New York’s Time Square.

Dasha Astafieva claims that, in an interview with in 2009, she and Julia dress up like twins and exude an “aggressive sexual energy”.

Dasha is by far the better known of the two and has appeared in Ukrainian and American Playboy as well as being selected to be the 55th Anniversary Playmate. She apparently has aspirations to become a Bond girl. She has no objections from me, except I’m not sure how much of speaking role she should have judging from her Playboy interview below (totally safe for work).

For those who may be interested, here are a couple of behind the scenes photos from the Verevki video as well as some other pictures of NikitA:

Why us Brits should be ashamed of the BRITs

Tonight was the 30th BRIT Awards ceremony at Earls Court and as a somewhat-proud Brit I was totally ashamed at what I saw. For those unfamiliar, The BRIT Awards is just like the Grammys or MTV Awards with similar production values and glamour, but has been organised by the local parish council.

It is meant to showcase British music talent, but has less professionalism than a recent village barn dance I went to. All the good things about the night were not British (Lady GaGa, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys), with the possible exception of Florence and the Machine, Kasabian (who host Peter Kay described as “Leicester’s answer to Aswad”) and a nostalgic Robbie Williams medley at the end.

The Fantastic Non-British Lady GaGa

Peter Kay, who I love but was not at his best, joked at the beginning of the night that the BRITs was “20mins of entertainment stretched over 2 hours”. He was not wrong.

The award presenters were shockingly unrehearsed and every time a presenter tried to be funny or cool, it was just cringe-worthy. Liam Gallagher showed that not all nobends mellow with age. Sam Fox appeared, but without Mick Fleetwood (her partner in the most catastrophic BRIT Awards ever in 1989) it was not nostalgic or ironic, it was just shit. The less said about Gerri Halliwell and Mel B the better. Even the reliable awards show regular Jonathan Ross wore a misjudged silly outfit that made no one laugh.

Mel B & Gerri Halliwell - Unscripted, unfunny and ungood

For some reason, portable microphones were used which I guess allows presenters and award winners to move around more, but often they were carried off stage and had to be clumsily returned. Jonathan Ross was guilty of this and Lady Gaga was not able to give her acceptance speech until he gave it back and jumped off stage in embarrassment.

The British Award winners were inexcusably pathetic and inarticulate. Dizzee Rascal wittered away like he was a 14 year old who’d been given permission to stay up late and had had one too many sips of his mum’s sherry. In contrast Jay-Z was a consummate professional who was grateful, funny and clearly has stayed up late before.

Liam Gallagher. Nob.

The layout of the awards ceremony is that there is a big audience at the front and the music industry and award winners behind drinking at their tables. This means each winner spends about 2 minutes walking up to the stage. As they got closer to the stage many of them would do that quick shuffle that people do when trying to give the impression of running for a bus but not really putting in much effort. Winners were not ushered off the stage and so many did not know which way to go.

Lily Allen accepted her award like a giggling idiot and claimed she was wearing the preposterous bright orange wig she was wearing so that it would be harder for the TV cameras to spot her in the crowd. I understand that all Mi6 undercover operatives use them.

Lily Allen trying not to draw attention to herself?

The British performances were really quite poor, with Cheryl Cole winning the award for worst miming on the night. However, as she was the only performer not to win an award maybe she didn’t think it was worth making an effort? Every BRIT Award was won by someone performing at the event, it was if they knew?

“Jake, are you trying to say the BRIT Awards are a sham?”

“As if!”

The lovely Cheryl Cole

The funniest thing that happened was when I tweeted, in an erudite outburst, that ‘the BRITS is like proper w@nk’. I spelt wank with an @ to save the impressionable twitter world of my rudeness. However, my good friend Adam pointed out that I had inadvertently used (@nk) Nick Kallen’s name in vain. I don’t know who Nick Kallen is you see, but have a feeling he probably gets a lot of tweets accidentally mentioning him.

So not really that funny then, but was still the funniest thing that happened.

The 30th anniversary show was not a finely tuned, slick music extravaganza that had absorbed the learning and experience of the 29 events that had preceded it. It was another reminder of all the other rubbish BRIT Awards events that had taken place before.

I really hope that other countries do not ever get to see it.

Jake McMillan