As of this year, the James Bond film franchise has been going strong for half a century, and while the movies’ have changed casts and varied in quality during that time, ever since Shirley Bassey belted out “Goldfingahhh” in 1964, there’s been one constant: the James Bond theme song. The honor of composing these title tracks has fallen to some of pop music’s most venerable figures, from Paul McCartney and Gladys Knight to Madonna and Jack White.
But perhaps even more fascinating than who ended up on a James Bond soundtrack is who didn’t. The sizable list of acts whose contributions didn’t make the cut includes the likes of Johnny Cash, Blondie, Pulp — and even Alice Cooper, whose rendition of “The Man With the Golden Gun,” intended for the film of the same name, has surfaced on Dangerous Minds. To us, it brings to mind a book report written by someone who didn’t bother to read the book (with some spooky “ooh”ing and hard-rock riffs thrown in for Alice Cooper branding purposes), so it’s not difficult to understand why Lulu’s more spirited, double entendre-packed version won out. Click through to hear Cooper’s rejected song, and if you’re interested in the stories behind other nixed themes, Badass Digest has a great post on the topic.