Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Cult Cuties - These Stone Walls

Art of the Cover - John Barry's "Goldfinger OST" (1966)

Ah, the delectable Margaret Nolan, after a gold spraypaint job!

It's John Barry's classic soundtrack to "Goldfinger" - the quintessential `spy jazz' album that it changed action film music forever.

This remastered expanded version of Barry's "Goldfinger OST" includes four tracks that had heretofore only appeared on the British LP version, plus Shirley Bassey's all-time great rendition of the theme song!

This CD release of "Goldfinger," the most famous of all James Bond scores and without a doubt one of the most influential soundtracks ever produced, expands the album for the first time for U.S. buyers to the original length of the U.K. album. The U.K. album had four extra tracks ("Pussy Galore's Flying Circus," "Golden Girl," "Laser Beam," and "Death of Tilley") that were mysteriously cut from the original Stateside release. These four tracks later appeared on a compilation CD, but this is the first time all the tracks have been released on one CD for American consumption.

The CD is also wonderfully re-mastered, far superior to the old CD release that was muffled and even had misaligned track markers! (The sound difference is most notable on the brassy, hard swingin' instrumental cover of the theme song, which on the original CD sounded scratchy, as if it were lifted directly from an old vinyl record!) This album, however, is missing a track that would have been a nice extra: Anthony Newley's original demo recording of the theme song, smooth and low-key, which makes for an interesting contrast to Shirley Bassey's hard jazz-pop rendition heard in the film.

What is there to say about this music that hasn't been said a million times in books, documentaries, reviews, and Internet forums? It's the quintessential `spy jazz' album, and it changed action film music forever. John Barry had worked (mostly un-credited) on "Dr. No," did the full score for the remarkable "From Russia, With Love," but here he absolutely explodes with an original vibrant style for the series and charted the way for every score to follow. Barry took his experience as a jazz/rock trumpeter and bandleader (he headed the popular British group "The John Barry Seven") and expanded it into a tremendous orchestral juggernaut. The melody "Goldfinger" (with lyrics by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse) becomes a screaming, sexy jazz anthem, with Shirley Bassey's sassy and snarling reading of the lyrics making the piece into an instant, unforgettable classic chart-topper. It's the most famous title song from the Bond films, and deservedly so.

Throughout the rest of the score, Barry uses the theme song in interesting ways. "Alpine Drive" presents the lyrical, laid back John Barry. The instrumental version of the theme song (which isn't in the film) is gritty and guitar-driven, and also includes music from "Dawn Raid on Fort Knox." "Oddjob's Pressing Engagement" makes great up-tempo use of the Goldfinger theme as well. The famous James Bond theme appears in "Bond Back in Action" (the music for the pre-credits sequence). Barry uses very mysterious, sexy music for "Teasing the Korean" (lots of musical jokes and stings on this one), "Golden Girl," "Auric's Factory," "Gassing the Gangsters," and the extremely tense "Laser Beam."

The score highlight, however, is the lengthy, pounding "Dawn Raid on Fort Knox," which starts with a slow building military march on snare-drums and gradually grows into an explosive version of the Goldfinger Theme and concludes with dramatic, tense vibraphone and brass punctuations as Goldfinger's private army lasers its way through the doors of Fort Knox. This is followed up with "Arrival of Bomb and Countdown," where a thundering hypnotic brass piece builds up the `seconds-to-doom' finale. ("A few more ticks and Mr. Goldfinger would have hit the jackpot.")

This really is a quintessential film music album. It's jazz. It's lounge. It's swing. It's rock. It's lyrical. It's JAMES BOND in a single CD, and it will transport you back to the mid-sixties when Bond, martinis, divas, and loud sexy trumpets seemed to rule the world.

Tip your razor-bladed bowler hats to John Barry, the Bond musical master -- and buy this album!

--by Claude Avary 


 1. Main Title - Goldfinger (2003 - Remaster) Shirley Bassey 2:48  
  2. Into Miami (2003 - Remaster) The John Barry Orchestra 0:56  
  3. Alpine Drive - Auric's Factory (2003 - Remaster) John Barry 4:27  
  4. Oddjob's Pressing Engagement (2003 - Remaster) John Barry 3:08  
  5. Bond Back In Action Again (2003 Digital Remaster) John Barry 2:31  
  6. Teasing the Korean (2003 - Remaster) John Barry 2:16  
  7. Gassing the Gangsters (2003 - Remaster) John Barry 1:05  
  8. Goldfinger (Instrumental) John Barry 2:09  
  9. Dawn Raid On Fort Knox (2003 - Remaster) John Barry 5:48  
10. The Arrival of the Bomb and Count Down (2003 - Remaster) John Barry 3:28  
11. The Death of Goldfinger - End Titles (2003 - Remaster) John Barry 2:34  
12. Golden Girl (2003 Digital Remaster) John Barry 2:10  
13. Death Of Tilley (2003 Digital Remaster) John Barry 2:04  
14. The Laser Beam (2003 - Remaster) The John Barry Orchestra 2:54  
15. Pussy Galore's Flying Circus (Instrumental) (2003 Digital Remaster) John Barry 2:48

Gamer Gals - Curvy Guitar Heroine

"Her cups doth surely runneth over!!"
- Willy The Shake ( 'Ye Olde Playboy Magazine' -1616)

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Gravure Dolls - A Nod & A Wink

Beach Bunnies - What really knocked me out was her cheap sunglasses

Art of the Cover - Nancy Sinatra's "Boots" (1966)

Nancy Sinatra sings the facts of love ...

Are you ready, boots?

A hot shot of sprawled sweater-gal Nancy (who looks great even in wool!) wearing those titular boots, adorns Sinatra's debut LP, released on Frank's Reprise Records a few weeks after her worldwide smash single  "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" in March 1966.

The cover was shot and designed by Ed Thrasher.


This one's a real pop classic that is totally evocative of its era; one that could only have been recorded in 1966!

A wondrous mishmash of musical styles; loungy bossa nova, bright Memphis horns, David Rose-style bump-and-grind, easy listening choruses, catchy bumblegum pop and big Vegas showstoppers.

The great Lee Hazlewood, who produced the album and wrote three of the songs, was a maestro who had a finely tuned ear for commercial music. He helped Nancy's image overhaul into tough street chick and crafted her low vocal style which meshed perfectly with - and counterpointed - his bubblegum pop and brilliant arrangements. 

Sinatra was signed to Reprise Records mainly because pop owned the record label. After a whopping eleven flop singles, Nancy was given "one more chance", with the understanding that she would be dropped by the label if her next record didn't sell.

Having nothing to lose, she hooked up with maverick producer/songwriter Lee Hazlewood at her next recording session. The resulting record, "So Long, Babe", wasn't a major hit, but it sold enough copies to save Nancy's job.

Then the next record that Lee cooked up for Nancy, "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", was a major smash and turned her career around.

What comes next after a Number One hit single? An album, of course! An album centered around that massive hit. A mix of originals and cover versions.

Lee must've been a little short on new material because over half the album consisted of covers of artists like The Rolling Stones/ Marianne Faithfull, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Knickerbockers and The Statler Brothers.

The cover versions though are actually damn good, thanks in no small part to the interesting Hazlewood arrangements.

The remastered CD version of the album includes four bonus tracks. "The City Never Sleeps at Night" was the B-side of "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'". "In Our Time" was a relatively unsuccessful single, and "Leave My Dog Alone" was it's B-side. The mono single version of "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" closes out the album.


    As Tears Go By     2:50   
    Day Tripper     3:01   
    I Move Around     2:46   
    It Ain't Me Babe     1:55   
    These Boots Are Made For Walkin'     2:40   
    In My Room     2:35   
    Lies     2:46   
    So Long, Babe     3:04   
    Flowers On The Wall     2:37   
    If He'd Love Me     2:45   
    Run For Your Life     2:25    

Bonus Tracks
The City Never Sleeps at Night
Leave My Dog Alone
In Our Time"
These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" [Mono Single Version]

Cult Cuties - Little Bessie

The Shot - Zen Pyjamas

Art of the Poster - Barbet Schroeder's "Maîtresse" (1975)


Voluptuous Vixens - Welcome To Bazookaville

Art of the Advert - Abigail Hawks Tarax 'Black Label' Lemonade (1974)

An advertisement sign for some Aussie concoction called Tarax 'Black Label' Lemonade, from 1974.

The advert features sultry actress Abigail Rogan, who was Australia's most famous sex symbol of the 1970s.

Just wondering if Black is Twice as Beautiful, as claimed in the byline here, why they didn't have a black chick promoting the product.

Tarax soft drinks were originally made by the Taraxale Brewing Company, an independent Melbourne soft drink bottler. The company was purchased in 1972 by the insidious entity, Cadbury Schweppes, which continued to market Tarax as a regional brand.

The Art - Down By The Lake

Hot Poppers - Bad Bad Hair Day

Be Your Mirror - White Heat

Art of the Cover - Yvette Mimieux & Ali Akbar Khan's "Flowers Of Evil" (1968)

Pout Yvette  ... Pout!!!

An interesting concept album of sorts featuring blonde bombshell, Cult Cutie Yvette Mimieux, with no small help from Ali Akbar Khan.

Producer Alan Silver was talking to Life Magazine cover girl and actress Mimieux while both were attending a performance by Khan at the Hollywood Bowl when she admitted to a fantasy of recording a musical interpretation  of Charles Baudelaire's classic "Les Fleurs du Mal". 

According to Nat Hentoff's liner notes, Khan just happened to be in the room ("Yes Mr. Khan, a Miss Mimieux would like to come backstage, would that be alright?... Of course sir, I'll show right her in!") and when asked if he could conceive of participating in such a project, he assured them that with his admiration for the poems - and for Yvette, no doubt! - he would love to get involved!

No one knows exactly what substances Yvette and Ali were partaking in that night!

Yvette narrates the pieces here, over original music composed by Ali Akbar Khan - who also plays sarod and lute. 

Khan also plays sarod and lute, while Pandit Mahapurush Misra plays the tabla. The tamboura player here is, unfortunately, not credited.

Yvette Mimieux had great success in the 1960s as a film actress. While she displayed talent and charisma in films such as Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Time Machine, an album of poetry reading seems a bit perplexing. Is this a supercilious vanity project or spoken word performance? The answer is the latter and a near-masterpiece at that. Yvette Mimieux took translations of Les Fleurs du Mal set to the impeccable classical Indian music of Ali Akhbar Khan, and created a very special album here.

The album begins with "To a Passer-by," where a beautiful widow is admired by the narrator of the poem (Charles Baudelaire) as she passes by in Paris. "Veuve" and "widow" both derives from ancient words for loneliness in several languages such as Latin and Sanskrit. There is a great deal of poetic wonder and admiration here.

The next poem, "A Voyage to Cythera," details a trip in the Mediterranean near the famed island where the beautiful goddess Aphrodite was born. Baudelaire traveled on an aborted trip to Calcutta and passed Cythera, and he also alludes to Journey to the Orient (Peter Owen Modern Classic) but with a more cynical, rather bitter-sweet attitude.

The poem "Murdered Woman" reflects on a recently deceased woman like a martyr to an irresistible seductress and indelible muse of passion and love. This is a darkly romantic poem, which was surprisingly not one of the ones censored by French authorities in the 1850s.

The poem "The Albatross" is the best of the album. It details the large and powerful bird, which was often abused and mocked by cruel and bored sailors who failed to respect the wonder of this magnificent beast. The allegorical relationship between the tormented albatross and the poet is perfect and Baudelaire has a tender sympathy for the oppressed in the world whose wings are clipped by the vicious and powerful. Mimieux's performance on this track is fierce and strong.

Throughout all these readings, Yvette Mimieux directly, purposefully and serious recites with passion, humor and vigor at apposite times. Khan's masterful and gorgeous music is the perfect backdrop for Mimieux's velvety and feminine voice. I would not hesitate to recommend this for any fan of Baudelaire, poetry or spoken word performances.

By Endless Kitchen  


1. To a Passer - by
2. A Voyage to Cythera, Pt. 1
3. A Voyage to Cythera, Pt. 2
4. Murdered Woman, Pt. 1
5. Murdered Woman, Pt. 2
6. The Albatross
7. Lethe, Pt. 1
8. Lethe, Pt. 2
9. Episode, Pt. 1
10. Episode, Pt. 2


The Set - 24 Carat Cutie

A golden Margaret Nolan during the shooting of the infamous title sequence to Goldfinger (1966).

Moving Models - Jug Jugs

Art of the Cover - Kurt Cobain's "Montage Of Heck : The Home Recordings" {Deluxe edition} (2015)

Grasshhopper blues, perhaps!

In the process of making his recent documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage Of Heck, director Brett Morgen was granted access to a trove of the Nirvana frontman’s home recordings and demos, most of them previously untouched and unheard.

A few of them made their way into the final film, and now all of them are out in the world in the form of Montage Of Heck: The Home Recordings, which is being billed as an official Kurt Cobain solo album.

This comes in both a standard 13 track CD and an expanded deluxe track double CD release.

The standard version focuses on the music found on Cobain's personal cassettes while the 31 track deluxe version showcases tracks from the documentary including spoken word, demos and full songs.


Deluxe edition
"The Yodel Song" (Explicit)
"Been a Son (Early Demo)"
"What More Can I Say"
"1988 Capitol Lake Jam Commercial"
"The Happy Guitar" (Instrumental)
"Montage of Kurt"
"Burn the Rain"
"Clean Up Before She Comes (Early Demo)"
"Reverb Experiment"
"Montage of Kurt II"
"You Can’t Change Me/Burn My Britches/Something in the Way (Early Demo)
"Scoff (Early Demo)"
"Aberdeen" (Explicit)
"Bright Smile"
"Underground Celebritism"
"Retreat" (Instrumental)
"And I Love Her"
"Sea Monkeys"
"Sappy (Early Demo)"
"Letters to Frances"
"Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle (Demo)"
"Kurt Ambiance"
"She Only Lies"
"Kurt Audio Collage"
"Poison's Gone"
"Rhesus Monkey"
"Do Re Mi (Medley)"

Standard edition
"The Yodel Song" (Clean) 3:35
"Been a Son" 1:20
"The Happy Guitar" (Instrumental) 2:12
"Clean Up Before She Comes" 2:34
"Reverb Experiment" 2:52
"You Can't Change Me/Burn My Britches/Something in the Way" 4:18
"Scoff" 0:37
"Desire" 2:27
"And I Love Her" 2:04
"Sappy" 2:28
"Letters to Frances" 2:04
"Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle" 4:23
"She Only Lies" 2:47