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"I was so thrilled when John Barry and Don Black asked me to do Thunderball, 'cause Shirley Bassey had just done Goldfinger and Matt Monro did From Russia with Love, so it was great. Especially then, because I was a young man, I was only in my twenties then. So, it was great, and I'm glad I did it. I'm glad I'm part of the Bond legacy."
― Tom Jones

Sir Thomas John Woodward, known by his stage name Tom Jones, is a Welsh singer who sang the eponymous theme song of the 4th James Bond film produced by Eon Productions, Thunderball (1965). Selling over 100 million records across his career,[1] Jones has had thirty-six Top 40 hits in the United Kingdom and nineteen in the United States. Some of his notable songs include "It's Not Unusual", "What's New Pussycat", "Thunderball", "She's a Lady", "Kiss" and "Sex Bomb".[1]

Bond Involvement[]

Originally, the main title theme to Thunderball was a piece titled "Mr. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang". Written by composers John Barry and Leslie Bricusse,[2] it was originally recorded by Dionne Warwick and later rerecorded by Shirley Bassey.[3] Close to the film's 1965 release, plans to use either version of the song were scrapped by the producers following a request from United Artists that the theme song's lyrics contain the film's title.[4] Barry and lyricist Don Black hurriedly wrote "Thunderball", which was sung by up-and-coming artist, Tom Jones.[3] The singer allegedly fainted in the recording booth after singing the song's final, high note.[3] Jones later recalled, "I closed my eyes and I held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning."[5]

Jones' rendition of the theme song to What's New, Pussycat? is also heard briefly during the 1967 version of Casino Royale.


  • Jones has claimed that Albert R. Broccoli had considered him to play James Bond, but deemed him to be too famous. "My name was up for James Bond at one time, but Cubby Broccoli apparently said I was too well known for people to believe it."

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 (20 June 2009) Billboard – Google Books. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved on 12 October 2015. 
  2. Fiegel, Eddy. John Barry: A Sixties Theme. New York: Macmillan, 2001.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Spencer, Kristopher. Film and Television Scores, 1950–1979: A Critical Survey by Genre. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 2008, p. 63-64.
  4. Burlingame, Jon, The Music of James Bond, Oxford University Press, 11 October 2012, p. 51
  5. Tom Jones's comments on the Thunderball song. Interview with Singer Tom Jones. Retrieved on 10 September 2005.