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"Where's that from?" Bond Music and Six Underground

The Sneaker Pimps must love themselves some James Bond.

I've been re-watching some of the old Bond movies recently, and one of the scenes caught my ear. Before you read more, start the Goldfinger video playing below: it's a couple minutes of an old Bond soundtrack.  Read the rest of this post while listening.

 

 

Remember that scene in Goldfinger where Sean Connery discovers the girl all covered in gold?

If you weren't completely absorbed by the creepy beauty of the woman painted gold, the 60's decor or the cool lighting, you might have noticed the french horns playing familiar sounding chords.  For those who care about music theory (probably not many), you could consider it an F major chord going to a C sharp minor chord, but I think it's better understood as an F chord followed by an F minor over C#.  It's a fancy play on major/minor, something I like to do in Made of Wood.

That horn progression first caught my ear a few years ago when I heard it in a trip hop song, Six Underground, by the awesomely named "Sneaker Pimps."

It took some adjusting to get used to the singer's voice, but man I loved those two chords.  Then an awesome harp melody came in over vibraphone, all the better.  Rock it, harp.  Two great chords and a little repeating melody can carry a whole song and create a little world.

Well, it turns out someone in the Sneaker Pimps really liked the music to Goldfinger as well.  I don't really have a problem with sampling, as long as they give credit where it's due and create something unique:  they did create an entirely new feel.  I'm sure there's copyright ramifications/legal issues, especially since it seems like it's actually a sample of the recording, but leave that for the Sneaker Pimps/lawyers for the late John Barry to deal with.  I don't think they were hiding it: one of the dudes dancing around in the background is doing little James Bond moves.

This kind of thing happens all the time- usually it's just people copying Bartok or something, but the actual sampling of an old James Bond movie into a triphop song was interesting.  Looking at the youtube comments, I'm not the only one who's put it together.

If you're not hearing it- re-listen to the James Bond score up top: horn chords are at about 0:17.  There are three chords there, Sneaker Pimps loop the first two.  Then the harp part is around 1:05.

Here's Six Underground.  For whatever reason, they do it a half step higher, in F Sharp, which is nice and atmospheric.  Probably it's just the singer liked that key better.

For those wondering, I do use samples in my music, but nothing without permission.  Here's a couple of my songs where I play with major and minor chords going back and forth. Both are on the more "chill" side of my "chill/funk"

 

Comments Section

Not to get too much into the whole intellectual property thing, but to me it's all about "did you use their thing to basically re-sell their thing." People get so tied up in music boiling down to a specific melody or line, but for me it's less about that and more about the little world created. So Sneaker Pimps maybe took the iconic hood ornament off the car, but not the whole car or anything.
All music is essentially stealing cars and giving them a paint job and new plates. The gold standard used to be a vehicle that seemed completely new and never heard before, but today its hip to pay tribute to awesome cars by expressly showing their parts. The machine tools we have at our disposal makes this less like the inability to hide defects and more like a new, fresh take on the creative art of stealing and reconstructing vehicles. Someday we will see the folly of trying to copyright sounds that crash our party uninvited and wind up spending a week trashing our apartment and having a good time and then leaving. We can be good friends, but we can never own them. Still. the danger of sounds taken without permission adds to the music, doesn't it? kopecks
 

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