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Fifty Years Of Bond Style And Music

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The classic Bond theme tunes and musical motifs remain for me the most attractive elements. Well, with the exception of some of the baddies, of course.

A new exhibition is currently on view at London’s Barbican Centre and it’ll be touring the world over the course of the next three years. Designing Bond: 50 years of Bond Style is an exceptional opportunity to see more than 400 artefacts linked to one of movie history’s favourite heroes.

As you walk around the exhibitions, there’s a tantalising hint of the soundtracks to the action and tension of 22 classic movies, of course, what’s yet to appear is any reference to the eagerly awaited number 23 – Skyfall, set to appear before the end of the year.

There’s been ‘insider’ gossip about the possible singer behind the theme tune. The hot money still seems to be on Adele. Meanwhile, Thomas Newman appears to have finished composing the music, taking over from David Arnold, who has been responsible for the soundtracks to the previous five films.

So, for die-hard fans of “Bond. James Bond.” this is definitely an exhibition to catch, with gadgets, costumes, sketches and storyboards. I loved the section on villains – especially the suit worn by the geeky Alan Cummings in 1995’s ‘Goldeneye’ and the escapism section, which included suits from the somewhat bizarre ‘Moonraker’.

For those of us more interested in 50 years of Bond music, there’s the ubiquitous soundtrack as you tour the exhibits themselves, but also some nice reminders of classic musical moments. Goldie’s chain from his appearance as Mr Bullion in ‘The World is Not Enough’ in 1999, the Oscar for best sound editing won by ‘Goldfinger’ in 1965 and Shirley Bassey’s gold record for the soundtrack of the same film.

If nothing else, the clips on display around the exhibition serve to remind you of how music has created tension and atmosphere as effectively as the stunning locations and (mostly) good acting for the 50 years of Bond. Get there if you can – London has so much more to offer this summer than simply world-beating sports.