I heard a Shirley Bassey record the other day and that got me thinking about her unforgettable voice and her contribution to the many James Bond theme songs. Dwarfing all others was “Goldfinger.” It’s the epitome of a Bond theme. In my book, the closest runner up as a Bond theme was “Thunderball” by Tom Jones. Dame Shirley Bassey is a Welsh singer (as is Tom Jones). She has been a giant in Europe and the first Welsh artis to have a #1 song in Great Britain (“As I Love You” from 1959).
In the U.S., Goldfinger was Bassey’s only Billboard Hot 100 smash. It peaked at#8 in January 1965. Even more impressive, the Goldfinger soundtrack album, including her renowned single, went to #1 on the U.S. album charts. Bassy recorded two other Bond theme songs — “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), and “Moonraker” (1979). But “Goldfinger” is the one that stood above all others.
This “Found Performance” originally came from a TV performance in which Bassey performed three songs. The photography and the setting are both intriguing. Bassey exhibited a sensual, sexy and graceful style. I don’t know exactly where it was shot, maybe the set represents a gold mine? Regardless, it is an interesting look into the early days of the genre that would give us music videos.
If you were around in the sixties, “Goldfinger” received lots of radio and jukebox play. The beginning of this clip pays homage to the good old days of the classic jukebox in almost every restaurant and bar.