Come Spy with Us: The Secret Agent Handbook

Come Spy with Us: The Secret Agent Handbook


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Such a brilliant idea for a compilation, it's a wonder it hasn't been done before, Ace's 2014 set Come Spy with Us: The Secret Agent Handbook collects 25 secretive swingers from the '60s, splitting the difference between pop tunes and cinematic espionage. Impressively, the entire affair avoids both James Bond and Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" aside from covers (the signature Bond theme is handled by Johnny & the Hurricanes, while Al Caiola serves up an instrumental of the Rivers staple). Usually, compiler Tony Rounce -- who does give thanks to Matthew Jones -- prefers splashy arrangements built on bold brass and sweeping strings, but there are certainly a lot of echoing guitars and splashes of exotica, all suggesting danger and adventure. Naturally, novelties take up a fair amount of space here -- the best might be the Supremes' go-go parody "Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine" -- but most of this occupies a similar territory as Nancy Sinatra's "The Last of the Secret Agents," which is delivered with a straight face and a wink. Even during this secret agent peak, which ran roughly from 1965 to 1967, plenty of musicians were ready to good-naturedly send up spies and that mischievous humor keeps things lively, while the craft of the composers and songwriters give this music heft. John Barry, Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, and Lalo Schifrin are responsible for those grand cinematic peaks, providing the context for Scott Walker ("Deadlier Than The Male," a classic Walker Brothers hit) and Smokey Robinson ("Come Spy with Me," the theme to a lost 1967 flick) to play with on their tunes. It's all fun but it's not really campy: it's a well-rounded portrait of a '60s fad that turned into a pop culture touchstone, a touchstone that is splendidly heard here.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/08/2014
Label: Imports
UPC: 0029667058421
catalogNumber: 1161674
Rank: 31895

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Lalo Schifrin   Composer
Henry Mancini   Composer
Elmer Bernstein   Composer
Jerry Goldsmith   Composer
Quincy Jones   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
John Barry   Composer
Peter Callander   Composer
John Dankworth   Composer
Scott Walker   Composer
Ray Evans   Composer
Howard Greenfield   Composer
Guy Hemric   Composer
Jay Livingston   Composer
Monty Norman   Composer
Jerry Styner   Composer
William Robinson   Composer
Tony Rounce   Liner Notes,Memorabilia,Records
Ernie Sheldon   Composer
John Franz   Composer
Eddie Jones   Composer
Mario Nascimbene   Composer
Malcolm Baumgart   Records
Irving Szathmary   Composer
Edwin Astley   Composer
Mack David   Composer
Steve Bari   Composer
Vicki Fox   Memorabilia,Records
Herschel Burke Gilbert   Composer
Philip Sloan   Composer
Robert Kingston   Composer
Lee Hazelwood   Composer
Colm O'Brien   Sheet Music
Lars Nilsson   Records
Bernard Green   Composer
Earle Hagen   Composer
Ronald Bridges   Composer

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