Various Artists – Music To Read James Bond By (1965)

FrontCover1This is a rather oddly-conceived eclectic mix of vintage Bond-era tunes, twelve tracks shaken, not stirred, with the shameless intent of both promoting the movies and selling more records. The bartenders at United Artists Records cannily mixed up this hi-fi cocktail: one part straight off the cinescores, one part covers from high-profile artists of the era, and the remaining third being some seemingly arbitrarily chosen lounge-y fluff, courtesy of the pen of LeRoy Holmes. And speaking of those, “Black on Pink” is a must for crypto-lounge enthusiasts who are always in search of that next obscure Sir Julian (Gould) nugget. In this case, it is a smoky little striptease number led by the good Sir’s overheated Hammond. Another one, “Golden Girl” is the lone track actually also performed by Holmes’s orchestra.

Good ol’ Al Caiola has a bangin’ twang on here, “From Russia With Love,” which was a big hit for him in 1964. It sounds like it should have been in the movie, but it wasn’t. My esteemed bro, Perez Prado, checks in with a funky, over-syncopated version of Goldfinger, which, although an impeccable performance, sounds like a bootleg tape recorded at a night club. Oh! That man can bark!

Ursula Andress & Sean Connery

A thing that might make this record kind of a “jenny stamp” for collectors is the inclusion of a remarkably proto-reggae version of Monty Norman’s “Underneath the Mango Tree,” done by The La Playa Sextet. Please note, however, that on this record they are listed as both The La Playas and The La Playa. I don’t know if this was just a typo, or an attempt to skirt royalties, or to not conflict with the Mardi Gras label or something. I don’t know; The La Playa Sextet was also a part of UA’s standard roster . . .

You also get the standard Shirley Bassey version of Goldfinger, which I’m sure broke one of my tweeters, and the official John Barry version of 007. It’s period fluff, but has some surprisingly worthwhile nuggets on it. A must for lounge lizards! (by Marganon)

Great cheesecake cover photo of nude “golden girl.

01. Ferrante & Teicher: The James Bond Theme (from film “Dr. No”) (Ferrante/Teicher/Norman 2.25
02. John Barry: 007 (from film “From Russia With Love”) (Barry) 2.49
03. The La Playas: Underneath The Mango Tree (from film “Dr. No”) (The La Playas/Norman) 2.25
04. Sir Julian: Black On Pink (Holmes/Sir Julian) 3.11
05. Perez Prado: Goldfinger (from film “Goldfinger”) (Barry/Prado) 2.24
06. The Leasebreakers: Living It Up (Holmes/The Leasebreakers) 2.10
07. Al Caiola: From Russia With Love (from film “From Russia With Love”) (Caiola/Bart) 2.45
08. Monty Norman: Jamaica Jump Up (from film “Dr. No”) (Norman) 2.08
09. Shirley Bassey: Goldfinger (Newley/Barry/Biscusse/Bassey) 3.07
10. Leroy Holmes: Golden Girl (Holmes) 2.02
11. John Barry: Girl Trouble (from film “From Russia With Love”) (Barry) 2.27
12. Dick Ruedebusch: The Elegant Venus (Ruedebusch/Holmes) 2.01