"Goldfinger" was the title song from the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. Composed by John Barry with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley, the song was performed by Shirley Bassey for the film's opening and closing title sequences, as well as the soundtrack album release. The single release of the song gave Bassey her only US top ten hit, peaking at #8; in the UK, the single reached #21. The song was produced by George Martin, who was also busy producing The Beatles.
Reportedly, upon being asked to create a theme song for the film-in-progress, Bricusse and Newley looked at each other instantly and sang out, "Goldfinger . . . wider than a mile," parodying "Moon River," the successful theme song from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Newley originally recorded the song, but it was re-recorded with Bassey to great effect. In 1992, Newley's version was released to mark the 30th Anniversary of James Bond on film, in a compilation collector's edition: The Best of Bond…James Bond. The release on vinyl of Bassey's version sold more than a million copies in the US, and it also reached #1 on the Japanese charts and the top ten of many European countries. The song has become Bassey's theme song and she has performed it in most of her concerts since the 1960's, often as an opening number.
After the release of the later James Bond theme song "Licence to Kill", from the 1989 film of the same name, it was felt to significantly reuse important elements of the Goldfinger song, and so the songwriting credits for the former were adapted for all subsequent releases.
The song "Goldfinger" also featured prominently in the film Little Voice, appearing in the film in much the manner of its first use but with Michael Caine slamming the door that becomes the song's first chord blast, rather than, of course, Sean Connery.
The song was remixed by Propellerheads for the 2000 album Diamonds are Forever: The Shirley Bassey Remix Album. It was also sampled by reggaeton artist Tego Calderón on his song "Alegría". It has also been covered in a heavy metal fashion by Finnish rock group Leningrad Cowboys.
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