1964 – James Bond – Goldfinger- Title Sequence
Jimmy Page shot to global fame with Led Zeppelin in the early seventies. But now the 77-year-old has revealed he was a session musician in the early sixties and actually played the guitar on the iconic James Bond theme Goldfinger. Page even remembers Shirley Bassey collapsing on the floor after recording the hit song.
Page remembered: “There was a big James Bond session in EMI Studio Number One, where I was playing guitar in the orchestra for John Barry.
“The full orchestra sounded absolutely amazing, but then Shirley Bassey arrived. This was Goldfinger.
“She arrived with a friend, was very quiet and then was asked to come out and sing. And it took her just one take.”
But then Bassey ended up collapsing after going blue in the face, with John Barry telling her to keep holding that final note for a few more seconds.
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Speaking with GQ, Page continued: “And at the end of the tape she collapsed on the floor.
“At the end of the song she just held this one note and she basically ran out of breath and collapsed.
“You know how dramatic she is usually, what with all the stuff she does with her hands, but this was even more dramatic – and I was in the front row of the musicians, so I really had a good view of all of this.”
Despite Bassey herself only needing one take, Barry insisted on repeated ones due to musical and technical glitches
Although Bassey did have to remove her bra behind a studio partition between takes so she could keep hitting that final note of Goldfinger.
Interestingly, Tom Jones also passed out on the final note when recording his Bond theme Thunderball. Daniel Craig recounted the story to Jimmy Fallon when appearing on The Tonight Show last year.
The incumbent Bond revealed: “Supposedly on the last take, which is the one they used, he held the note for so long he passed out in the booth.
“I don’t know if it’s true, but I like to think it’s true! They were like, ‘Wow Tom! That’s great Tom!…where’s he gone?’”
Well it turns out that Tom Jones really did faint while recording for Sean Connery’s 1965 Bond movie Thunderball.
In 2005, the singer said of the final note: “I closed my eyes and I held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning.”
While Thunderball lyricist Don Black wrote for the Daily Express last year and shared how it happened.
He wrote: “One miraculous day [John Barry] asked me if I’d like to have a go at Thunderball, the new James Bond film.”
Black said being asked to write Thunderball’s theme was a “truly life-changing moment”.
He continued: “When I came up with the first line: ‘He always runs while others walk’, the rest of the song came quickly.
“We always wanted Tom Jones to sing it because he had such a muscular voice. It has often been said Tom fainted when he sang the final note and it’s true.
“I always believe a Bond song should be provocative, seductive and have the whiff of the boudoir about it.”
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