Shirley Bassey

Goldfinger

Composed by John Barry

Song Review by

In 1962, Monty Norman wrote the instrumental title music for Dr. No, the first James Bond film, even though the score was written by John Barry. In 1963, noted musical theater composer Lionel Bart (Oliver!) wrote a title song for the second Bond film, From Russia With Love; Matt Monro, who sang the song on the soundtrack, took it into the U.K. Top 20, while the Village Stompers had a U.S. chart entry. By the time of the third Bond film, 1964's Goldfinger, Barry had enough clout to claim composing credits on the title song, while the lyrics were written by the hot musical theater team of Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley (Stop the World -- I Want to Get Off, The Roar of the Greasepaint -- The Smell of the Crowd). Like the Bond films, it was a melodramatic and subtly comic work, full of portentous orchestral effects and threatening lyrics about the evil genius of the title. Barry was a student of the Henry Mancini school of jazzy suspense film composing, to which he added his own orchestral flair. Shirley Bassey sang the song in a pull-out-the-stops manner under the opening credits, and the film, which opened just before Christmas, was a critical and commercial success. The soundtrack album topped the charts, and United Artists Records released both Bassey's vocal version and Barry's instrumental version of the title song as singles from it. The Bassey recording reached the Top Ten, while the Barry track, competing with two other instrumental recordings by Billy Strange and Jack LaForge, like them became a minor chart entry. "Goldfinger" established a pattern for the title songs of James Bond movies that would provide other memorable tunes, but it remains the best-known song associated with one of the films. It has been recorded in its instrumental form dozens of times, though few singers have attempted to compete with Bassey's bravura vocal performance.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Something [EMI] 1970 Bcd
Live at Carnegie Hall 1973 Beat Goes On 2:42
Magic Is You 1978 BR Music 2:50
The Best of Shirley Bassey [Capitol] 1981 Capitol
Sassy Bassey 1985 Pair 3:19
The Singles 1988 EMI Music Distribution / Parlophone 2:50
No Image 1989
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
AM Gold: 1965 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:50
As Time Goes By [EMI] 1991
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:50
The Best of James Bond: 30th Anniversary [2 Disc Set] 1992
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:46
The  Best of Shirley Bassey 1993 Parlophone 2:48
Rock Is Dead But It Won't Lie Down: 24 Greatest Hits of All Time, Vol. 2 1993
Various Artists
Alliance 2:47
Spy Magazine Presents: Spy Music, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Rhino
Her Greatest Hits 1995 Nettwerk 5:53
Best of United Artists Records 1958-1972 1996
Various Artists
Stardust Records 2:49
1964: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
A Time To Remember 2:51
Birthday Concert 1998 Snapper 2:51
Sings the Movies 1998 Disky 2:51
Little Voice 1998
Original Soundtrack
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 2:49
Divas Exotica 1999
Various Artists
Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 2:49
Great Shirley Bassey [Riviere] 1999 Riviere International Records 2:48
Best of Shirley Bassey [EMI-Capitol Special Markets] 1999 EMI-Capitol Special Markets 2:50
The Best of James Bond 1999
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 2:49
The Best of Shirley Bassey [Intercontinental] 1999 Intercontinental Records 2:48
Four Decades of Song 1999 EMI
The Best Sixties Love Album Ever! 1999
Various Artists
Circa
40 Great Songs 2000 Import 2:51
The EMI/UA Years 1959-1979 2000 Parlophone 2:50
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: The Album 2000
Various Artists
Buena Vista / Disney 3:01
Film 2000 2000
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:49
The Greatest Hits: This Is My Life 2000 Parlophone 2:50
Greatest Hits 2001 Parlophone 2:50
Voices of the Century 2001
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 2:49
Twenty of the Best 2001 EMI
Magic of Stage & Screen 2001
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 3:08
Viva Las Vegas [Universal International] 2002
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 3:05
Party at the Palace: The Queen's Jubilee Concert [Video/DVD] 2002
Various Artists
BBC/Opus 2:56
Bassey Sings Bond 2002 Classic Artists 2:32
The Best of Bond [First Budget] 2002
Various Artists
First Budget
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: Best of Las Vegas 2002
Various Artists
Universal International 2:50
Legendary Performer 2002 Audiophile Legends 2:49
No Image 2002
Various Artists
Realm Records 2:50
The Ultimate Shirley Bassey 2003 Parlophone 2:50
The Essential 2003 EMI Music Distribution
Lady Jazz 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:48
Thank You for the Years 2004 Sony Music Distribution
Capital Gold British Legends 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:47
Memories: 28 Classic Tracks From the 50's & 60's 2004
Various Artists
EMI
Finest Collection 2004 EMI Music Distribution 2:49
Simply the Best Singers 2005
Various Artists
WEA/Warner
Sex and the '60s 2005
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande / Varese 2:51
All by Myself [Pegasus] 2005 Pegasus (Pinnacle)
Simply the Best 2005 Disky 2:50
Platinum Collection 2005 Prime Sound 2:49
Complete Sixties 2005
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:49
Complete EMI Columbia Singles Collection 2006 EMI Music Distribution 2:50
An Introduction to Shirley Bassey 2006 Fuel 2:49
Produced by George Martin: Highlights of 50 Years 2006
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:49
Superstar Series 2006 Payless 2:31
Sixties Power Ballads 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
Top of the Pops 1964 2007
Various Artists
EMI 2:48
Very Best of Shirley Bassey [Double Classics] 2008 Double Classics 2:48
Shirley Bassey [Music Ages] 2008 Music Ages / Proper 2:46
Top of the Pops Collection [43 CD] 2008
Various Artists
EMI
This Is 1964 2008
Various Artists
EMD Int'l 2:49
Live in Japan 2008 Beat Goes On 3:13
Best Film...Ever! 2008
Various Artists
Pomaton EMI 2:49
No Image 2008 EMI UK 2:49
Pop Memories of the '60s: Honey 2009
Various Artists
Tiem Life 2:50
Pop Memories of the 60s [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:50
100 Hits: Ladies Night 2011
Various Artists
100 Hits / Demon Music Group 2:50
Best of Bond... James Bond 2012
Various Artists
Capitol 2:47
The Diamond Collection 2013 Music Club Deluxe 2:51
Massive Hits!: Easy 2013
Various Artists
EMI Gold / EMI Music Distribution 2:49
Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa [The Original Movie Soundtrack] 2013
Original Soundtrack
Rhino 2:48
The Essential Collection 2013 Metro Sound+Vision
Hello Like Before 2014 RCA
Playlist: The Best of Shirley Bassey 2016 Rhino 2:50
No Image Parlophone 2:48
20 of the Best [EMI] Parlophone 2:48
No Image EMI Music Distribution
All the Best EMI / EMI Gold 2:50
De Pre Historie: 1965, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Eva 2:49
Legendary Voices
Various Artists
StarVista / Time/Life Music 2:48
Original Hits: The Girls
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:48
Party at the Palace, Vol. 1
Various Artists
SBP
No Image
Various Artists
Mixed Repertoire 2:49
The Best of Shirley Bassey [Dino] Dino Entertainment
The Singles/The Remix Album: Diamonds Are Forever EMI / EMI Gold 2:49
No Image EMI Music Distribution 2:49
Ultimate '60s Pop Classics
Various Artists
Rhino
blue highlight denotes editor's pick