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Goldfinger (soundtrack)

Goldfinger is the soundtrack for the 1964 film of the same name, the third film in the James Bond film series, directed by Guy Hamilton. The album was composed by John Barry and distributed by EMI. Two versions were released initially, one in the United States and the United Kingdom, which varied in terms of length and which tracks were within the soundtrack. In 2003, Capitol-EMI records released a remastered version that contained all the tracks within the film.

Goldfinger OST.jpg
Soundtrack album by
RecordedJuly 1964
StudioCTS Studios, Bayswater, London
Length29:35 (1964 release)
41:09 (2003 re-release)
ProducerFrank Collura (Reissue)
John Barry chronology
Four in the Morning
James Bond soundtrack chronology
From Russia with Love


John Barry had composed the previous James Bond soundtracks for From Russia with Love.[1] Due to Barry's increased "compositional depth" as seen through the soundtracks he produced since From Russia with Love, movie producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman allowed him to write the theme song for Goldfinger in addition to the soundtrack.[1] Barry created the melody for the song before drafting the lyrics with the help of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.[2] The theme was first sung by Newley at a demo session on May 14, 1964 in.[3] At the behest of Barry, Shirley Bassey was chosen to sing the track.[3] On Bassey, Barry was quoted saying "Nobody could have sung it like her; she had that great dramatic sense."[3] The theme was recorded on August 20, 1964 after an all-night session in the recording studio.[3] The session was produced by EMI in-house producer George Martin, who also was the Beatles' producer at the time. Guitarist Vic Flick, who played on the track, recalled at a 2012 Academy of Motion Pictures salute to the music of James Bond that Bassey was having difficulty getting a proper take. Martin spoke to her and then over the recording baffle her brassiere came flying. She nailed it on the next take.

Session musicians on the Bond films were separately relegated to the instrumental score versions of songs, while the main musicians (on Goldfinger: Vic Flick) were given the main film theme song to solely record, to be featured at the beginning of the film. [4]

Co-producer Harry Saltzman is said to have hated the song as too old fashioned for 1960s youth culture and only agreed to use it when persuaded by Albert Broccoli[5][6]

Originally, Newley recorded a version of the theme song, but it was later re-recorded with Bassey's voice for the film and soundtrack album. In 1992, Newley's version was released for the 30th Anniversary of James Bond on film, in the compilation collectors edition The Best of Bond...James Bond.

The score was composed by Barry, making this his second, credited Bond score. The score makes regular use of instrumental arrangements of the title theme, as well as the Bond theme from Dr. No used in the gun barrel sequence. The score makes heavy use of brass. The distinctive music for Goldfinger's henchman, Oddjob, makes use of repeated strokes on a metallic anvil. Metallic chimes are also heard in many scenes associated with Oddjob or gold, notably that in which the dead golden girl is discovered. The very effective use of music and various sound effects in the film won it an Academy Award for Best Sound Editing. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and spent 70 total weeks on the chart, but for reasons that remain unclear, received no RIAA certification.[7][8]


Two versions of the soundtrack were released.[9] The American version lasted close to 30 minutes and contained 11 tracks. It lacked the four songs discussed above but contained the instrumental rock guitar version of the title theme song not found on the British LP. The instrumental was in the style of the John Barry Seven's instrumental hits in Britain. The British record contained 14 tracks but lacked the title instrumental found on the US album and lasted around 38 minutes.[9] In 2003, the soundtrack was remastered and all the tracks originally released were compiled onto one album that contained fifteen tracks and over 41 minutes of music.[9] The remastered version was released through Capitol-EMI records.[9]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [10]

Gillian Garr, a writer for Goldmine reflecting on the album in 2013, found the album to be "less satisfying today", but stated the theme song was one of the "best-ever Bond theme songs."[11] Film Score Monthly writer Darren MacDonald found the remastered edition to be the best score of the James Bond series, giving it five out of five stars.[12] MacDonald wrote that the score was "big and ballsy, mainly jazz and orchestral fusion, with Shirley Bassey belting out the fantastic title song."[12] He added that the remastered edition's sound quality was "impeccable".[12] The soundtrack was the first James Bond soundtrack to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200.[11]

Chart positionsEdit

Year Chart Position
1965 Billboard Pop Albums (Billboard 200) 1

Track listingEdit

Side one
1."Main Title – Into Miami"3:31
2."Alpine Drive – Auric's Factory"4:22
3."Oddjob's Pressing Engagement"3:06
4."Bond Back in Action Again[N 1]"2:31
5."Teasing the Korean"2:11
6."Gassing the Gangsters"1:04
Total length:16:45
Side two
1."Goldfinger (Instrumental Version)"2:59
2."Dawn Raid on Fort Knox"4:57
3."The Arrival of the Bomb and Count Down"2:23
4."The Death of Goldfinger – End Titles"2:31
Total length:12:50
2003 Remastered edition
1."Main Title"2:48
2."Into Miami"0:57
3."Alpine Drive – Auric's Factory"4:22
4."Oddjob's Pressing Engagement"3:06
5."Bond Back in Action Again[N 1]"2:31
6."Teasing the Korean"2:11
7."Gassing the Gangsters"1:04
8."Goldfinger (Instrumental Version)"2:10
9."Dawn Raid on Fort Knox"5:48
10."The Arrival of the Bomb and Count Down"3:29
11."The Death of Goldfinger – End Titles"2:34
12."Golden Girl"2:10
13."Death of Tilly"2:04
14."The Laser Beam"2:54
15."Pussy Galore's Flying Circus"2:48
Total length:41:09




Following the success of her performance on the title track, Shirley Bassey sang the title song for two later Bond films, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. John Barry used the Goldfinger theme on his 1965 John Barry Plays Goldfinger album that featured Robert Brownjohn artwork.[14]



  1. ^ a b This composition contains the James Bond Theme, originally composed for the Dr. No soundtrack


  1. ^ a b Burlingame 2012, p. 37.
  2. ^ Burlingame 2012, p. 38-39.
  3. ^ a b c d Burlingame 2012, p. 40.
  4. ^ Barry, John in Burlingame, Jon. (2014) The Music of James Bond, Reprint Edition, Oxford University Press
  5. ^ Fiegel, E. (2012). John Barry: A Sixties Theme: from James Bond to Midnight Cowboy. Faber & Faber.
  6. ^ Lindner, C. (2003). The James Bond phenomenon: A critical reader. Manchester University Press.
  7. ^ "Recording Industry Association of America". RIAA. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2007), Joel Whitburn Presents the Billboard Albums (6th ed.), Record Research, ISBN 0-89820-166-7
  9. ^ a b c d Burlingame 2012, p. 41.
  10. ^ Steven McDonald. "Goldfinger [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] – John Barry". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  11. ^ a b Gillian G. Garr (July 2013). "Reviews: Various artists - "'Dr. No' Soundtrack"; "'Goldfinger' Soundtrack"; ""Live and Let Die' Soundtrack"". Goldmine. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications. 39 (8): 20. ISSN 1055-2685.
  12. ^ a b c Darren MacDonald (April 2003). ""Goldfinger"; "Thunderball"; "You Only Live Twice"; "On Her Majesty's Secret Service"; "Diamonds Are Forever"; "A View to a Kill"". Film Score Monthly. Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts: Vineyard Haven LLC. 8 (4): 33. ISSN 1077-4289.
  13. ^ "Goldfinger [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - John Barry". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 20 March 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  14. ^ Billboard – Google Books. 27 March 1965. Retrieved 18 February 2012.


  • Burlingame, John (2014). The Music of James Bond. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-2992-9733-6.