Remembering Blondie’s punk cover of James Bond theme song ‘Goldfinger’ from 1978
When Goldfinger was released in 1964 it gathered pace for the wave of interest in her majesty’s secret weapon, James Bond. It’s a tidal wave of fandom that continues to this day. It’s fair to say that included in that fandom was Debbie Harry and Blondie, as this clip of the band covering the film’s theme song can attest to.
The video below comes from the Blondie’s trip to Europe in 1977 as they sought out fame and fortune on the other side of the pond. With no big networks biting in their homeland, the group made their way to Europe and were granted the exposure they deserved.
One such moment of promotion came in December of 1977 when Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, Clem Burke, Gary Valentine and Jimmy Destri were invited on to the prestigious West German show, Musikladen Extra. Filmed by Bremen TV, the show was formerly known as Beat Club—a live version of the original Musikladen show—and allowed Blondie a chance to flex their new wave muscles.
The band, who were still promoting their debut record Blondie, hadn’t quite assimilated themselves at the top of the punk pile. That said, from this performance, you can see one thing’s for sure—they aren’t scared of anybody or anything as they take on the most iconic Bond theme tune of all time.
Although ‘No Time To Die’ is one of the best, nobody can match the velvety smooth gut punches that Shirley Bassey provides on the theme song for 1964’s Goldfinger. While nods and affectionate appropriation has happened across the subsequent theme songs, Bassey’s original remains the tastemaking watermark.
That, however, didn’t scare Blondie one jot and the band delivered a punkified version of the track that has to rank among one of the best covers of the song ever—and there have been about four million. Harry and the band tear through the song like they’re late for work and rip it to shreds as they go. It makes for thrilling watching. The performance was aired in January 1978.
It wouldn’t be the final time Blondie would cross paths with the makers of James Bond. In 1981 Stein and Harry sat down to write one of the best Bond songs to never be released as they wrote the paranoid and fractious theme song for For Your Eyes Only. Sadly, it was canned as the producers opted to place Sheena Easton as the singer for their own paultry ballad.
The band’s affection for Bond may have ended there but in 1977 it was still going strong. The group had been playing the ‘Gold Finger’ cover during their live performances for some time but now this rendition on TV really had people talking.
Watch Blondie’s punk cover of James Bond theme song ‘Gold Finger’ below and find their shelved ‘For Your Eyes Only’ below that.