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The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism
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The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism

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3.3  ·  Rating details ·  23 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Starting with 1964's Goldfinger, every James Bond film has followed the same ritual, and so has its audience. After an exciting action sequence the screen goes black and the viewer spends three long minutes absorbing abstract opening credits and a song that sounds like it wants to return to 1964. In The James Bond Songs authors Adrian Daub and Charles Kronengold use the ge ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Oxford University Press
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Antonomasia
[3.5] I love academic [over-]analyses of pop-culture. But this might be another instance when I ended up reading a book like this because it was there, rather than through being a big fan of the topic under discussion. (These studies are rarely about the stuff I like most.) I've seen all the Bond films except Spectre, but the only one I'm passionate about is Skyfall.

Whilst there's an admirable technical attention here to what musically happens within the songs, (for some the The James Bond Song
...more
Ginger Marin
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways
As I was reading "The James Bond Songs", I kept wondering for whom did the authors write this. For die-hard James Bond film fans? No, it’s too stiff and technical for them. For musicians? Perhaps. For film music composers? Definitely. But even then this book is so specific to James Bond songs that they’ve narrowed the niche of readers to those who want to compose James Bond songs themselves.

I found the book tedious, redundant and not the least bit joyful to read as I was hoping. Since it was wri
...more
N.N. Light
I'm a HUGE James Bond fan and I was really excited when I saw this book. I have watched the films over and over again and can recite some classic lines. One of the best things I love about the James Bond films is the music. It goes hand-in-hand with the glitzy lifestyle of James Bond.

Boy, was I disappointed in this book. While the authors do an excellent job of explaining the behind-the-scenes of the song itself, they droll on and on about how these songs magnify the downfalls of capitalism. I
...more
Margaret Sankey
Jul 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Daub and Kronengold take on the campiest part of Bond movies (and that's saying a lot), the theme songs, which have the difficult task of both capturing the fad and singer of the moment for a carefully crafted pop song, as well as fitting into the oddly extended early 60s value system of the Bond world and its already existing catalog of songs. While providing technical musical explanations for how the songs function, they also show of the eccentric long-time Broccoli favorites, like the studio ...more
Dennis Lynch
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
An overwritten and preposterous analysis of Bond songs, trying to tie them into a cultural zeitgeist that I completely missed, hearing the songs with their films in the theatre. There is in-depth commentary here, but I was frequently scratching my head at the proposals these authors have made. It was a difficult and increasingly annoying read, and it was a struggle to finish.
Barron
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Five stars for enthusiasm.
Ron
Apr 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Have you ever wondered why the James Bond theme songs are so different over the fifty year run of the series. Why so many many artists? Why so many styles? And what do the songs actually do? The answers to those and other unasked questions are explored in The James Bond Songs: Pop Anthems of Late Capitalism.

The James Bond Songs takes a academic approach to the theme songs of the James Bond movies. Daub and Kronengold open the book by delving into "Skyfall" the latest theme song when the book wa
...more
Sophie Potter
Nov 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-wins
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

I should admit first off that my rating is undoubtedly influenced by the fact I am almost certainly not this book's target audience. I was interested in the social and cultural aspects of Bond songs, whereas this has a fair amount of focus on musical theory and production. This means there were sections where I really struggled to maintain interest as I was in quite far over my head.

By the authors' own admission, this book will quickly become out
...more
Matthew
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A fantastic overview of an accidental canon, composed of both great and not-so-great songs over the years. The authors are unsquinting and honest throughout, with an excellent mixture of analysis and theory. If I were teaching at another school, I might adopt this as a supplementary text. As it is, the last paragraph on p. 216 is an excellent justification for including analysis in a historical setting, and I will start including it in my class.
alexis
I read this for my research paper about James Bond Films in the 1960s. I love music and find the Bond Songs really fascinating, but this book really feel short and was completely boring. I expected a lot more substance.
Philip
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
I real triumph. The insights are to be expected - the humor was not. Even for someone like me with the dimmest memory of over half the Bond songs, this book from beginning to end.
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