Man With The Golden Gun titles

MOVIES: The Bond Themes That Never Were: ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’

The Bond songs that should of been but were replaced at the last minute!

In this series, we take a look at the songs recorded for the James Bond films that were binned and replaced with something else. The how’s, the when’s and the why’s will all be answered. Some of the songs were featured elsewhere in their respective films, others were completely dumped. In this part we look at the song that should of accompanied the title sequence to…

The Man With The Golden Gun

‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ was the ninth 007 feature produced and the second to star Roger Moore as James Bond, filmed and released in 1974. By now budgets were lingering anywhere between $7-8 million and venturing into farther and never before seen territory. ‘Golden Gun’ was Ian Fleming’s last story written before his untimely death in August 1964 and dealt with a small time KGB thug by the name of Francisco Scaramanga. When published posthumously in 1965 it was met with lukewarm adulation from the critics and subsequently did not sell as previous books had done.

A decade later, the screenwriters liberally binned the vast majority of the novel for a more ‘exciting’ plot with Scaramanga now a freelance killer who charges $1m a kill. A man who lives in opulence and luxury on a remote island in the south China sea, who enjoys only the best in food and drink and also sexy women. An equal of Bond himself in every respect. To counter the new urbane and laid-back James Bond, the producers cast a giant heavyweight villain to bring the new Scaramanga to life, one who also happened to be Fleming’s step cousin, Christopher Lee. With filming largely being centred on a remote, and at that time, undiscovered part of southern Thailand, Phang Nga Bay, John Barry crafted the score to his seventh 007 film with a Far East flavour.

When it came to the title song, American rocker Alice Cooper (born 1948) wrote and submitted a title song for the film. Cooper had just had a massive hit around the world with “Schools Out For Summer” and was looking to cement this with a key track that was associated with a successful and well known film across the globe. Cooper’s “The Man With The Golden Gun” was a typical mid-70’s glam rock affair with more than a nod to the lifestyle and notoriety of the film’s title character. So here is veteran Maurice Binder’s title sequence for the film, as it should of been, had things worked out, with Alice Cooper performing the title song he submitted:

But as we know, thing’s don’t always work out as expected. Cooper’s “The Man With The Golden Gun” was rejected and, at the last minute, a new song was written by Barry and Don Black (he of “Thunderball” and “Diamonds Are Forever”) with Scottish singer Lulu (also born in 1948) performing it. Once again, some very dubious lyrics were bound “love is required, whenever he’s hired, he comes just before the kill”! And “his eye may be on you or me, who will he bang? We shall see”! Lulu had begun 1974 with a credible recording of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold The World” and would end it with another man, this one had a golden gun. While the film was a huge success across much of the world, American audiences seemed less keen on this entry in the series that any previous films. Audience attendance and box office receipts were half that of its predecessor ‘Live And Let Die’ and unfortunately the song suffered, failing to chart at all in The States and barely registering elsewhere.

Although Alice Cooper’s “Man With The Golden Gun” was rejected, it didn’t go unreleased and featured on his 1974 album “Muscle Of Love”.

So here is the main title sequence to ‘The Man With The Golden Gun’ as we’ve always known it to be, with Lulu singing the smutty title song and the golden gun itself caressing and teasing naked women’s bodies freely and quite literally:

Click here to read about the other title songs in this series

Stay up-to-date with the latest 007 news through the official WEBSITE, TWITTER and FACEBOOK page

If you enjoy what you read on this site – feel free to donate and show your support…click to donate any amount you like, every little helps – and don’t forget to download the App!

Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
%d bloggers like this: