Category Archives: Bassey News

Happy birthday Dame Shirley!

On today’s blog we want to wish Dame Shirley Bassey a very happy birthday! What better song to play now than I Capricorn from her YouTube channel.

Glamor, glamor and “gold fingers”: Dame Shirley Bassey turns 85 (From 24 world hours)
In the past 70 years she has been an absolute constant: Shirley Bassey has been in the top 40 with at least one album in every decade. The British woman is the first artist to have succeeded – thanks to her last album “I Owe It All To You” , which made it to fifth place in their home country. At the same time, the “grand finale”, as she called it, marked her departure from the world of music. She will be 85 years old on January 8th. Most recently, the singer was hardly seen in public – not even on her social media channels.

Like hardly any other singer, Dame Shirley stands for pomp, glitz and glamor, for theatricality and something triumphant in her voice. This made the singer, who was born in the rough working-class and harbor district of Tiger Bay in Cardiff, the ideal candidate to sing the song “Goldfinger” composed by John Barry in 1964. Two more 007 songs followed later, “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971) and “Moonraker” (1979). That means a lot to her, emphasized Bassey: “I’m the only person who has sung three Bond songs! How fantastic is that?”

In fact, Bassey, dubbed Dame Shirley since she was knighted in 2000, had her first number one hit in Great Britain five years before “Goldfinger” with “As I Love You”. She was 22 at the time and had had a tough youth. She left school at the age of 14 and began performing as a singer in clubs and bars as a teenager. Her private life has always been turbulent and complicated. In 1954, at 17, she became a mother for the first time, and in 1963 for the second time. Who the father of her two daughters is was never made public.

After the death of her daughter Samantha Bassey temporarily lost her voice. But every time the public almost wrote her off, the singer came back successfully.

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Happy Birthday, D.S.Bassey!

Best wishes, Dame Shirley Bassey! Happy Birthday and thank you for your magnificent talent, for your art that enchants generations through your incredible voice interpreting beautiful and unforgettable songs!

Merry Christmas -2021-

The Blog Team wishes Dame Shirley Bassey and her team and all blog viewers a merry Christmas! Below Dame Shirley’s Christmas card from this year.

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Dame Shirley Bassey at the premiere of No Time To Die

The world premiere of the James Bond film No Time To Die was held at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday 28 September 2021. Dame Shirley Bassey attended the premiere in Monte Carlo. Below a poll of the James Bond songs.

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A gun sight centres on a man walking across screen holding a gun. Bang! Blood dribbles down. A pre-credits sequence significantly longer and more expensive than the one in the last film plays out. And then… what? Billowing strings, brazen brass and purring divas? Staccato synthpop? Grunge? Reggae?

That all very much depends on your preferences in Bond theme songs. Are you still blown away by Bassey or shaken and stirred by Billie Eilish’s latest No Time To Die entry? Is Sheena Easton for your ears only or does nobody do it better than Carly Simon? Here’s our ranking – do we expect you to agree? No, Bond fanatic, we expect you to troll…

#25
Sam Smith, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’
From: Spectre (2015)

#24
Byron Lee And The Dragonaires, ‘Kingston Calypso’
From: Dr. No (1962)
In the year 2BB (Before Bassey), the intro of the first official Bond film followed Monty Norman’s legendary ‘James Bond Theme’ with a spot of bongo mania and then this calypso rendition of ‘Three Blind Mice’, accompanied by the shadow of three blind men tottering along, neither naked nor swinging on the barrel of a 20-foot Luger. It would be the closest to ‘woke’ that a Bond title sequence would get for the next 60 years.

#23
Rita Coolidge, ‘All Time High’
From: Octopussy (1983)

#22
Tina Turner, ‘GoldenEye’
From: GoldenEye (1995)

#21
Lulu, ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’
From: The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

#20
Shirley Bassey, ‘Moonraker’
From: Moonraker (1979)
Having defined the Bond theme with her two earlier contributions ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever’, the franchise producers should really have kept Shirley Bassey out of the sexy trumpet cupboard until they got around to filming something similarly extravagant – The Spy With The Bitcoin Balls or something. Instead they reeled her out for the frustratingly mundane and soporific ‘Moonraker’, the song that Elaine Paige was born to sing.

#19
Chris Cornell, ‘You Know My Name’
From: Casino Royale (2006)

#18
Madonna, ‘Die Another Day’
From: Die Another Day (2002)2002 AO

#17
Matt Monroe, ‘From Russia With Love’
From: From Russia With Love (1963)

#16
Gladys Knight, ‘Licence To Kill’
From: Licence To Kill (1989)

#15
Tom Jones, ‘Thunderball’
From: Thunderball (1965)
Tom’s stab at emulating Bassey’s dramatic fireworks the year after Goldfinger was certainly stalked by lascivious trumpets and beaten with so much percussion it sounded like Blofeld was interrogating him with the blunt end of a kettle drum. But its tune was working as a double agent for LACKLUSTRE and its cover was quickly blown.

#14
Jack White and Alicia Keys, ‘Another Way To Die’
From: Quantum Of Solace (2008)

#13
Sheryl Crow, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
From: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

#12
Sheena Easton, ‘For Your Eyes Only’
From: For Your Eyes Only (1981)

#11
Billie Eilish, ‘No Time To Die’
From: No Time To Die (2021)
As one critic said: Dame Shirley Bassey used more are to blow out the candles for her 84th. birthday cake than Billie Elish used to sing this Bond song.

#10
A-Ha, ‘The Living Daylights’
From: The Living Daylights (1987)

#9
Shirley Bassey, ‘Diamonds Are Forever’
From: Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Just as Connery returned in the wake of George Lazenby’s brief, audience shedding stint, Bassey also reprised her bling-based theme song duties in the interest of giving the Bond crowd what they wanted – opera house diva extravagance and plenty of it.

#8
Nancy Sinatra, ‘You Only Live Twice’
From: You Only Live Twice (1967)

#7
Adele, ‘Skyfall’
From: Skyfall (2012)

#6
Garbage, ‘The World Is Not Enough’
From: The World Is Not Enough (1999)
By the end of the ‘90s, with the arrival of composer David Arnold, the idea of moving on from the classic Bassey Bond theme gave way to the strategy of reinventing it for modern audiences. Garbage, then, were an inspired choice to perform ‘The World Is Not Enough’, their industrial textures and Shirley Manson’s roof-lifting voice made for an ultra-modern theatrical showstopper.

#5
Duran Duran, ‘A View To A Kill’
From: A View To A Kill (1985)

#4
Shirley Bassey, ‘Goldfinger’
From: Goldfinger (1964)
The classic to which every bombastic Bond theme pretender aspires and by which every subsequent, horn-blasted copycat effort has been judged. Do they expect you to sing? No, Shirley Manson, they expect you to wail in sequins…

#3
Louis Armstrong, ‘We Have All The Time In The World’
From: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

#2
Carly Simon, ‘Nobody Does It Better’
From: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

1#
Wings, ‘Live And Let Die’
From: Live And Let Die (1973)