With the new Bond movie Skyfall coming out, there's a tsunami of 007-related books headed our way and I've been buying a bunch of them. The best so far is Jon Burlingame's The Music of James Bond. It's terrific, but I wouldn't expect anything less from the author of TV's Biggest Hits and an acknowledged expert in soundtrack music.
This book charts the evolution of every Bond score in a lively, breezily-written narrative that is as entertaining as it is informative. Everything you ever wanted to know about the scores, themes, and business behind the Bond music is here. Even if you aren't a Bond fan, this book is a revealing look at the business, marketing, and creative influences on how movie scores assigned and produced. It's a must-have reference and historical book for all Bond fans and soundtrack collectors that will have you listening to all the Bond albums again and searching YouTube and iTunes to listen to the many rejected theme songs. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, learned a lot, and hope that Jon will be updating it every few years…though I am still waiting for the sequel/update to TV's Biggest Hits!
I was eagerly awaiting Roger Moore's Bond on Bond, figuring that he'd give us a unique,
insider's perspective on the series. I was very wrong. This book is a huge disappointment that offers nothing new…its simply a fluffy rehash of previously reported information, seemingly ghostwritten by someone else and interrupted with occasional, dull ancedotes from Moore that aren't nearly as interesting, or informative, as the Bond reflections he shared in his earlier, and far superior, autobiography My Word Is My Bond: A Memoir. There's no substance, no revelations, no telling details. It's reheated left-overs from earlier, tastier meals. Save your money and buy Moore's memoir instead.