Monty Norman, author of 007 theme, dies

In 2022, the film franchise of James Bond – 007, turns 60 years old. And at a significant loss. Today, July 11th, the man who composed one of the most famous songs of all time, Monty Norman, passed away. He was 94 years old.

Without many details, relatives confirmed the death, claiming that it was a “brief illness” that took the composer’s life. It was Monty who composed the James Bond theme, arranged by John Barry and which sparked a long legal battle between the two. That’s because John Barry considered himself a co-author and only in 2001 did the Justice close the dispute, in favor of Monty.

The composer moved from theater musicals to film when Albert R. Broccoli asked him to score Dr. No. From this partnership came the song Under the Mango Tree, which Ursula Andress sang in the iconic scene in which she is in a white bikini. She was actually voiced by Monty’s wife Diana Coupland. Two other songs are part of the album, Kingston Calypso and Jump Up.

As they were finishing the film, director Terence Young and editor Peter Hunt felt it lacked a more commercial sound, and Monty created the James Bond theme but called on John Barry to include the guitar riff that would make them sound more contemporary and sound jazzy.

Born Monty Noserovitch in 1928, he changed his surname when he became the singer of several popular big bands in the 1950s and early 60s. He was the first husband of actress Diana Coupland, best known in the UK for starring in the comedy Bless This House.

For James Bond fans, today is a sad day and tributes to the composer.


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