Monty Norman, original Bond theme composer, dies at 94
Monty Norman, who wrote the iconic main theme for the James Bond series, has died. He was 94.
Even if you've never seen a James Bond movie, you probably know the main theme and its signature riff which launched dozens of other copycat "spy guitar" themes. It opens pretty much every installment of the Bond Franchise as agent 007 is seen from the point of view of the barrel of a handgun, walking across the screen, turning to the camera and firing as blood pours down from top.
Norman was asked to compose the theme for 1962's Dr. No by producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli after hearing some of his stage musical work. It was actually reworked from a piece titled "Bad Sign Good Sign" that he had composed for a production of V.S. Naipaul's A House For Mr Biswas, switching the main riff from sitar to guitar. The theme was then arranged by composer John Barry, who went on to score many of the early Bond films (and write their theme songs). He also wrote "Under the Mango Tree," that's used in famous Dr. No beach scene where Ursula Andress emerges from the ocean.
Norman's CV also includes music for Hammer films The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1960) and The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961). Rest in peace, Monty.