Saturday, October 27, 2012

For Your Ears Only

What do Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White all have in common?

They've all played on James Bond movie themes.

20-year-old studio musician Jimmy Page got the gig of a lifetime when he was called in to record the guitar part for the theme to 1964's Goldfinger. His contribution gets buried under Shirley Bassey's vocals and some truly abysmal lyrics, but hearing a pre-stardom Page on a John Barry melody is worth the price of admission.

Clearly inspired by Bassey's "Goldinger," Bono and the Edge wrote 1995's Goldeneye theme for Tina Turner to sing. As a composition, it's not as memorable as the movie theme that Bono and the Edge wrote for themselves the same year, but "Goldeneye" works as both a vehicle for Tina Turner and a showcase for the film's opening credits.

Jack White's "Another Way to Die," recorded with Alicia Keys for Quantum of Solace, seems like a great idea. White's minimalistic touch seems the perfect antidote to Keys' gloss, and it sounds great for the first 20 seconds. Then, kind of like the movie itself, the song meanders into an aimless drag, reminding us why White never needed horns or a string section before.

None of these songs are up to par with Led Zeppelin, U2, the White Stripes, John Barry's original theme or even this guy with too much time on his hands. But it's fun to hear Page, the Edge and Jack White all outside of their comfort zones.

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