GTPS Reaches 1/2 million

Get The Party Started video on YouTube reaches the half million!

 A reason for us to celebrate this great song.

Thanks to Ed

In praise of John Barry





Dame Shirley is the only James Bond singer that really matters!


Just as Sean Connery is the only James Bond that really matters, and John Barry is the only James Bond composer that really matters.


That doesn’t mean that Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” isn’t a great song (it is…and it was given the “John Barry treatment” courtesy of an orchestration by Barry’s close friend, Sir George Martin), or that Marvin Hamlisch’s theme for “The Spy Who Loved Me” isn’t a charmer(“Nobody Does it Better”). But when it comes to Bond music, Barry invented the sound and penned the classics. Here are some recommendations for the uninitiated:




1. “The James Bond Theme” – There is considerable controversy over who actually wrote the timeless, riff-driven theme (which appeared in the first film, Dr. No) — and even a court case. It seems pretty clear to me that a chap by the name of Monty Norman came up with it — but John Barry’s orchestration made it classic. They should probably share the credit…and give some to Henry Mancini as well (without Mancini’s theme for “Peter Gunn” it’s hard to imagine the genesis of the Bond riff).




2. “Goldfinger” — Barry’s brass orchestration on this gives new meaning to the term “heavy metal.” With a 100% committed vocal by the great Shirley Bassey, this one’s a stunner.




3. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” – When Connery abdicated (“replaced” by George Lazenby) it was up to Barry to maintain the spirit and continuity of the franchise via the score. Many Bond fans think the soundtrack to this film is the best of all. The title theme is certainly among my favorites. Propellerheads did a cover some years back…but nothing beats the original recording.




4. “Diamonds are Forever” – Connery came back for this one…and Barry and Bassey teamed for another memorable theme.




5. “We Have all the Time in the World” – Finely crafted lyrics (by Hal David), a classic vocal by Louis Armstrong, and Barry’s haunting melody and deft orchestration make this one a standard. (from the “On Her Majesty’s…” soundtrack).




6. “You Only Live Twice” — Nancy Sinatra is not a great vocalist by any stretch, but she sounds great on this one. The gorgeous string arrangement was sampled by Robbie Williams for his hit “Millennium.”




7. “From Russia with Love” — It was written by “Oliver!” composer Lionel Bart, but Barry’s orchestration once again makes the song a classic…as do the vocals by the late great British singer Matt Monro. (Monro sang Barry’s classic title theme to “Born Free” in a version infinitely superior to the one by Andy Williams).




8. “The Man with the Golden Gun” — Bawdy lyrics, a bombastic vocal by Lulu, and an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink orchestration by Barry. To be played at top volume.




9. “The Living Daylights”/”A View to a Kill” — Most Bond fans slate these new wave-ish tracks (by A-Ha and Duran Duran respectively)…but once again, Barry’s orchestrations turn the mundane into the marvellous.





10. “Thunderball” — What in God’s name is the is song about? Who cares! Barry’s music and orchestration are classic, the vocal by Tom Jones is fittingly over the top, and Don Black’s lyrics are classic kitsch. Wonderful. (Not to be missed: Barry’s original theme song for the film: “Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”).




Other Barry classics (non-Bond):



“Theme from ‘Midnight Cowboy'”



The theme from the British television series “The Persuaders!”



“Beat Girl” from a 1960 British teen exploitation film (with the best James Bond guitar lick never written for a James Bond film!…Monty Norman must have been listening!)



The score for “Dances with Wolves”


Thanks to a blog called Liner Notes 2


(Non DSB) Michael Amante

(Non DSB)

Good singing is what this blog is about, with DSB as the pinnacle.

Here’s the American tenor, Michael Amante. A fine singer for you to audition.

He sounds a bit like the marvellous Joe Longthorne, who is currently on a UK tour. I’m going to see Joe three times next month, including at the London Palladium. Highly recommended if you can get to see him on this tour.

Hope you enjoy hearing Michael Amante.