You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Euro-Spy’ tag.

Well my idea of posting more has gone nowhere this year so here’s something I’ve been collecting in recent years. Most of us probably browse past these records thinking ‘oh it’s a cheesy 60’s Latin take on Bond themes, probably won’t play it more than once’, but we’ve missed out on some great arrangements, playing and production! At least 80% of the compilations have been hugely entertaining to my ears, not sure what the rest of the tenants in my building think ha ha.

Not to mention the usually glorious covers! The rule seems to be to include as many as the art department can afford scantily clad ‘Bond-type’ women striking action poses in imaginary spy or crime films and TV shows. I think this ‘imaginary’ aspect actually allows for more interesting visual interpretations of the tunes than the usual screen shots used from productions. The Basie Meets Bond, Thunderball and Senor 007 covers are particularly striking, or ridiculous, depending on your point of view. Others like the Al Caiola and Bang Bang Bang records feature more imaginative design work.  I have found roughly half of these so far, which means the hunt shall continue!

Now it has to be said that in reality the covers were exploiting a current trend and one gets the sense that they were pumped out at the same rate as the movies themselves. Some have a distinct sense of something brazen and even illegal going on, much like the many Bond spin-offs and spoof films themselves. But again, some of the films and soundtracks are totally worth finding.

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lightning bolt agent 505 death trap beirut ipcress file kiss kiss bang bang

While the film genre generally known as ‘Euro-Spy’ was largely a low budget spin-off of the James Bond franchise, much of it goes well beyond the spy theme and European borders. This also includes other trilogies, franchises and the like such as ‘Agent OSS 117’, ‘Fantomas’ and the ‘Harry Palmer’ films starring Michael Caine. There are films focusing on assassins, cat burglars, master criminals (some made in the U.S.A., Brazil and Japan for example) and anything else the writers or directors could throw in! One often gets the impression that they could get away with more sex, bizarre subject matter, political in-correctness (ha ha ha some of it is truly cringe worthy!) and violence than most mainstream films. Some are really awful while others such as ‘Danger: Diabolik’, ‘Our Man Flint’, ‘Tokyo Drifter’, ‘The Ipcress File’ and ‘Girl From Rio’ are definitely worth your time!

satanik Fantomas Strikes Back kriminal million eyes of sumuru

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I’m posting on this subject matter because a lot of the sets, graphic design, fashions as well as the soundtracks from this era (roughly spanning the 60’s) are a wonder to behold. The poster designs usually offer that uniquely 60’s mix of cheese, style and danger in equal measure that I don’t think has been replicated since. There is also a cartoon like quality to some of it and its not surprising since Modesty Blaise and Diabolik were well know comic book characters. I’ve spent a bit of time searching out a few good examples of posters to include here, and who knows, you might even seek out a few of these films!

modesty_blaise 7 golden men Blue Panther lone she wolf 2

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