1. A James Bond reunion for Shirley Bassey's new album

    By Devin Zydel on 2009-09-07

    Earlier this year, reported that Welsh superstar and three-time 007 theme song performer Shirley Bassey had returned to the studio to work on her first full studio album in more than 20 years.

    The album, which is now titled The Performance, has been produced by five-time James Bond composer David Arnold and according to a new report from the BBC News, includes contributions from a few other very notable 007 regulars.

    David Arnold to produce Shirley Bassey's The Performance

    David Arnold to produce Shirley Bassey’s The Performance

    Of particular notice is the album track Our Time Is Now, written by composer John Barry and lyricist Don Black. As endless 007 fans are well aware, Barry is best known for essentially creating the James Bond sound following his 11 scores for the films, beginning with 1963’s From Russia with Love and concluding in 1987 with The Living Daylights.

    Black also has an extensive Bond career, working alongside both Barry and Arnold on songs such as Thunderball, Diamonds are Forever, Surrender and Only Myself to Blame.

    This new song for Bassey marks the first time they have all collaborated together since 1971. Says Black: ‘It’s been quite a few years since Diamonds are Forever, but that lyric still applies to Dame Shirley. She lustres on.’

    ‘Whenever the great Terry Wogan plays a Dame Shirley Bassey record, he says “she doesn’t just sing songs, she bites lumps out of them”,’ he continued. I thought of Terry’s words as I sat down to write these new songs for her. In other words, you have to give her some meaty emotions to sing about.’

    Other songs on The Performance come courtesy of the Manic Street Preachers, the Pet Shop Boys, Gary Barlow, KT Tunstall and Richard Hawley.

    Talking about the new album, Arnold said: ‘All these songs were just songs, until Dame Shirley Bassey sang them.’

    ‘There’s something about a Bassey performance that can knock the wind out of your sails, make you laugh, make you cry, let you in on the joke or be led to a more exotic place.’

    The Performance is due for release this November. It follows her 2007 covers and remix album Get The Party Started.

    Keep watching the main page—and our Twitter feed—for more news on this exciting album.