Friday Night is Music Night

chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,331MI6 Agent

I apologise in advance. I was going to advertise this BBC Radio 3 program, but completely forgot. It is the perils of the Radio Times listings for radio being separate to the television schedules, I can't view them as a whole day.

Anyhow, while I was eating dinner or reading Len Deighton, I was listening to a concert recorded at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2023 featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra performing James Bond themes. Did anyone attend this concert? The conductor was Martin Yates and the singing was performed by Alice Fearn and Oliver Tompsett.

My thoughts:

The James Bond Theme – a jazzy little number that turned all disco on us, the arrangement injected snippets of Spectre, YOLT and Arnold’s zippy reworking from TND.

The World Is Not Enough – glad they got this one out of the way early, performed as a duet and splendidly operatic with a full orchestra blowing the guts out of Arnold’s music.

Diamonds are Forever / Live and Let Die / Goldeneye / You Know My Name – all nicely done, GE was an orchestral version and very dramatic.

Licence to Kill – always loved the opening bars of this song as well as the classy fade out and the orchestra reproduced it brilliantly.

A James Bond Suite (arranged by John Coleman) – this was a rather good mixture of traditional themes, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was followed by Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and OO7, faint echoes of GF were intermingled in OHMSS.

A View To A Kill – sped up and given that same Curtis Mayfield groove we heard earlier, I enjoyed this more than the Duran Duran original, you could dance to it and I did across the kitchen floor at one point.

Nobody Does It Better – they didn’t mess with this one, thank you!

The Living Daylights – another duet, another melody ratcheted up.

A Dr No Suite – an interesting menage of themes that offered a flavour of the first Bond film but none of the flavours of Jamaica which Monty Norman included, still they made a better job of killing the spider than old Monty did.

Goldfinger / From Russia With Love – well done in copycat fashion.

We Have All the Time in the World – instrumental version, very pleasant with a nice fugle horn solo.

All Time High – described by the conductor as a very 1980s ballad, this one sounded as like James Last had scored a Bond film.

For Your Eyes Only – goodish.

The Look of Love – Alice and Oliver mutilate Burt Bacharach, but then no one is going to beat Dusty, a great tune nonetheless.

A You Only Live Twice Suite – very good interpretation of Barry’s themes and cues, demonstrates how well integrated the music score is to the landscape and culture of Japan.

Skyfall – hmmm.

Moonraker – Martin Yates gave a long preamble to this one, Oliver sung it, great to hear it performed by a full orchestra although the peeping trumpet disturbed the lush strings occasionally.

The Man with the Golden Gun – no one can make this a successful tune, but they really try, jazzing it up somewhat, it was more perky than I expected.

Thunderball – one of my favourites, I love the big bold brass in this one and Tom Jones’s voice, we don’t quite get any of that, slowed down a beat I suddenly detected a samba rhythm which completely surprised me, nice.

Tomorrow Never Dies – odd choice for a concert finale, but well, there it is.

This may be available on BBC Sounds. I have no idea and didn’t check.    


  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 26,744Chief of Staff
  • The Red KindThe Red Kind EnglandPosts: 3,187MI6 Agent

    Many thanks for sharing @chrisno1 and your thoughts on each number. I didn't get chance to tune in so will definitely catch up on BBC Sounds.

    "Any of the opposition around..?"
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 3,331MI6 Agent
    edited May 8

    You are both welcome and thanks for the link.

  • BarbelBarbel ScotlandPosts: 36,584Chief of Staff

    Well, apologies for arriving late to this party. Sounds good, thanks @chrisno1, and I'm going to try to listen today if it's still available.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 5,749MI6 Agent

    I wasn't massively keen on the whole, but I thought Moonraker was a very good version. Better arrangements than the BBC usually use though I guess although I thought the Bond theme itself was a miss. Dr No was an odd choice and they used the Bond vamp for the theme: did Norman use that? The YOLT suite was very nice, can't go wrong there.

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