Yes, Vic Flick is the Sean Connery of the electric guitar. Accept no impostors.
-- Pete Walker is co-author of "John Barry: A Life in Music"
Vic Flick and James Bond, 007: A Delightful Partnership
The incomparable John Barry first met the incomparable Vic Flick on Paul Anka's first tour of the UK. Spending much time together on tour as friends, Barry was impressed with the way Flick combined showmanship with technical excitement and a delightful personality.
It was not long after the Anka tour that Flick was well remembered by Barry, who added him to the legendary John Barry Seven. Off and running with the JB7 as lead guitar, Flick became on-stage leader of the Seven by 1960, as Barry worked his way to composing more music off stage, and less touring with the group.
Flick's debut track as a composer was the outstanding "Zapata" including his highly innovative signature "fade-intro" sounds. Writing new music, and increasing time as a session player, made him a highly sought after freelance artist, even as he toured with the Seven until August of 1963. Flick has worked alongside Burt Bacharach, Herman's Hermits, Tom Jones, Henry Mancini, Jimmy Page, Cliff Richard, Diana Ross, Nancy Sinatra, and countless more legendary recording artists. Flick, who resides today in Santa Monica, California, has written for television and films since those British recording studio days, serving variously as both composer and conductor.
John Barry-scored films also relied often on Flick's lead work, including six of the first seven "Barry Bonds" for United Artists. Flick's memorable Spanish guitar strains for "From Russia with Love's" splendid gypsy camp battle and dance scenes, for one notable example, bring the film much of its provocative moody feel when combined with Ted Moore's haunting cinematography and Sean Connery and cast's stellar onscreen performances. Flick's work on banjo gave a peppy feel to the "Goldfinger" soundtrack, which set numerous milestones as the most popular movie soundtrack album ever recorded, and the Barry/Bricusse/Newley title track is well covered here.
For the top recognizable tune of modern times, John Barry had but a few short days to arrange and record "The James Bond Theme" with his Seven plus an orchestra, getting a phone call on a Saturday and cutting the first take the next Wednesday, just three weeks before "Dr. No" opened in 1962 to enchanted audiences worldwide. Flick's lead on the tune helped drive three generations and half of the world's population to see the Bond movies, where 19 successive times Bond has "done it again" to the theme on screen.
No doubt the twentieth Bond, due out in 2002, will well utilize "The James Bond Theme" for its proud fortieth anniversary. A definitive tune of the early rock era, Bond's signature tune has been covered by everyone from the Royal Symphony Orchestra to Art of Noise, from Skatalites to Proteus 7, Pizzicato Five and Moby, and recent remakes still climb the charts. Vic Flick joined Eric Clapton under the baton of Michael Kamen for the title track to the 1989 Bond epic starring Timothy Dalton, "License to Kill." Although this memorable recording was not used in the film, Flick's distinctive guitar can be heard in the Kamen score.
Fans will not be missing any "Bondian" excitement today, though, as Vic has herein revisited and updated his work on "The James Bond Theme" for JAMES BOND NOW. Re-envisioning much for these renditions, Flick's Bond stylings, now in their fifth decade of success, combine his guitar and arrangements with the feel of a favorite old friend of the superspy.
A number of fresh treats have been prepared for this work, pieces not previously visited by Flick. The "For Your Eyes Only" soundtrack was prepared by Bill Conti, hot off his "Rocky" film successes and by request of John Barry himself, replacing Barry to score the 12th bond film. Flick has skillfully visited the FYEO Sheena Easton track and also "Nobody Does It Better" from the Academy Award nominated "The Spy Who Loved Me" score by Marvin Hamlisch. The original compositions, "Shaken, Not Stirred," "Copacabinsky," and "Silken Cover" add to the rich mix. Enjoy! It's good to have Vic Flick Now... doing it again on JAMES BOND NOW!
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2. Live and Let Die
3. Diamonds Are Forever
4. For Your Eyes Only
5. Shaken Not Stirred
6. From Russia With Love
7. Nobody Does It Better
8. Silken Cover
9. The James Bond Theme