Best Original Song – 1966

Official Nominations: Born Free. Alfie. Georgy Girl. My Wishing Doll – Hawaii. A Time For Love – An American Dream.

There is one obvious winner here, a song which everyone knows, regardless of whether or not you have seen the movie. John Barry and Don Black’s Born Free, sung with gusty by crooner Matt Munro is both timeless, and a symbol of many 60s ideals. It is synonymous with images of sprawling vistas, African grasslands, mothers and cubs, and of course, freedom. Bacharach’s Alfie has performed by every sing of all time, so take your pick between the Cher and Cilla versions. I much prefer the Susannah Hoffs version – What’s It All About, Austin? – Hoffs really transforms it into a monster, but the basis of a great song was built here in the 60s. Tom Springfield and Jim Dale’s Georgy Girl evokes similar images of the decade and is light, cheery nonsense. It’s instantly catchy and perfromed with pinache by the Seekers. However, it’s impossible to hear it now without changing the lyrics to ‘Hey there, blimpy boy’. So this is a rarity – three great songs so far, WTF is going on Oscars? Berstein and David’s Wishing Doll has an odd mixture of Western tones with the Hawaiian feel needed for the movie, another song with strong melodies, but a much more mournful song when compared to the rapture of the previous three. The final entry is Johnny Mandel’s A Time For Love – a misplaced song in an unfairly maligned film. It’s a soppy enough song which tries to fit the dreary, lurid atmosphere of the movie, but comes off as a fairly standard ballad. It’s ok as a standalone, but it doesn’t work for the movie.

My Winner: Born Free.

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My Nominations: Born Free. Alfie. Georgy Girl. Follow Me Boys.

The only addition to my list is the title song from the Disney Scout movie, a jolly little ditty which was almost adopted by the USA Scouts as their signature tune. It does feel like a song which should be sung while marching and although it’s very simple it has a pleasant innocence.

My Winner: Born Free

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Which movie song of 1966 do you think deserves the Best Song crown? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 23 -21

Lets get the rest of the junk out of the way.

23. From Russia With Love (from From Russia With Love) – Matt Monroe
MattFromRussia

‘The best singer this country ever produced’ coming from one of the worst singers the same country ever produced, Frank Sinatra. This stinker has little or nothing to do with the film, the series, or music in general – it’s yet another deep-voiced crooner howling his way through meaningless words. Have you ever noticed how singers like this sound like really loud and obnoxious nose-blows? I imagine you haven’t. Before the vocals start this one is ok, and I do appreciate the little musical nods which recall the gypsy fight. Replace those vapid vocals with something good and this would be marginally better. Until then, here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scTDEj0yYUQ

22. Never Say Never Again (from Never Say Never Again) – Lani Hall

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A strange one, because it does have some genuinely good, or at least interesting moments. The ‘never, never’ refrain is catchy, and the verse vocals are suitably sultry but the more the vocals are stretched the more you realise what an awful singer Hall is. This is as over the place as the bastard film is, with strange shifts in tone and style, and none of it really comes together cohesively. Worth a laugh though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwm1H0dxAKY

21. Thunderball (from Thunderball) – Tom Jones

What is it with Welsh people and Bond songs? Come to think of it, where’s my Manic Street Preachers Bond song? This one isn’t a bad song, it’s the first of the okay songs. There isn’t really anything wrong with it, it just isn’t my bag. The final note Jones hits is both amazing and preposterous. It has a huge, epic opening and although the movie is poor, the song makes it feel like it’s going to be something much more exciting than slow motion underwater fisticuffs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAQ-nG0AlSg

Do you think any of these songs should be higher on the list? What are your favourite Bond songs? Let us know in the comments!