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The composer of the most famous action film music track has died. Monty Norman, the composer of the legendary “The James Bond Theme”, was 94 years old. Norman wrote the songs for several musical stage plays during his lifetime, including staged musical versions Pinocchio and stand and deliver. But despite a massive body of work, Monty was undoubtedly forever associated with that “dum di-di dum dum” guitar riff for the James Bond film series that began in 1962 dr No.

In honor of Norman’s death and in celebration of this absolutely world-changing piece of film music, here are five things you probably don’t know about the James Bond theme music. Attention 007!

5. “The James Bond Theme” served as the theme song for dr No

dr Nowhich played in the cinema in the London Pavilion in 1962.

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Although all subsequent James Bond films have featured a specific theme song sung by a guest musician (e.g. Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” or Billie Eilish’s “No Time To Die”), is the very first James Bond film by Sean Connery, dr No, Not. Instead, Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme” serves as the primary “song” for the film. Curiously, however, two other songs feature prominently in the film; both are decidedly a bit un-James Bond. A version of the children’s song “Three Blind Mice” features prominently in the film’s opening, while the song “Under the Mango Tree” plays a major role in the film. The version “Underneath the Mango Tree” on the film’s soundtrack was sung by Monty Norman’s then-wife Diana Coupland. Even Sean Connery in the film sings “Underneath the Mango Tree,” something James Bond never does with his own theme song.

4. Monty Norman only directed ONE James Bond film

Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi will be there Greetings from Russia 1963

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Although Monty Norman’s “James Bond theme” appears in all 25 “official” James Bond films, he only wrote the film’s music dr No. The more famous old school James Bond composer is John Barry; who worked on arranging the music for dr Noand from the second James Bond film took over the complete musical scoring tasks, Greetings from Russia 1963. Because John Barry arranged the Bond theme from Monty Norman dr Nohe actually claimed partial authorship of the song many times. This led to several lawsuits.

3. There is actually ANOTHER James Bond theme song

Although less famous than Norman’s “James Bond Theme”, John Barry wrote and arranged another theme piece called “007”. This bombastic and exciting piece of music debuted in Greetings from Russia but is probably most memorable during the fight scenes in thunderball (1965). So far, this theme song was last released in moonraker (1979) and has not reappeared since.

2. James Bond knows his own song

Roger Moore in Octopus. It’s actually not as raunchy as it sounds.

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In Roger Moore’s Bond film Octopus (1983) one of James Bond’s allies – disguised as a friggin’ snake charmer – plays “The James Bond Theme” to alert 007 that he’s made contact. This is a rare example of music from a James Bond film that is also present in the story as diegetic music. Another similar example is found in the first Roger Moore outing, live and Let Die (1973), in which a lounge singer actually belts out a version of “Live and Let Die” while Bond listens.

1. Daniel Craig broke a “James Bond theme” tradition

Daniel Craig and Eva Green at a press conference for Casino royale in 2007.

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Before 2006, at the dawn of the Daniel Craig era, every James Bond film produced by EON began with a – sometimes very abbreviated – version of Monty Norman’s “James Bond Theme”. However inside casino royale, that didn’t happen at all. In fact, it’s the first time the James Bond theme hasn’t appeared in a James Bond film at the very end of the movie. Subsequent films starring Daniel Craig would continue to play fast and loose with how much the famous theme music is actually used. Actually in no time to die – the last Daniel Craig 007 film – the Monty Norman theme is used very briefly. Once at the beginning of the film and again partially when James Bond drives his 80’s BMW back to MI6 in the track composed by Hans Zimmer, aptly titled ‘Back to MI6’.

Get the original Monty Norman James Bond theme and all other themes on vinyl here.

Here is paternal Guide to James Bond

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