Shirley Bassey – Diamonds Are Forever (1976 Live in Melbourne – Song 5)
Diamonds are Forever (1971)
Bond is tasked with investigating a major diamond smuggling ring which begins in Africa and runs through Holland and the UK to the United States. Disguised as professional smuggler and murderer Peter Franks, Bond travels to Amsterdam to meet contact Tiffany Case: he is given the diamonds and travels on to the U.S., where he is met by Felix Leiter. Bond moves through the chain, which leads to the Whyte House, a casino-hotel owned by the reclusive billionaire Willard Whyte.
Bond follows the diamonds to a pick-up by Bert Saxby, Whyte’s head of security, and then onto a research laboratory owned by Whyte, where he finds that a satellite is being built by a laser refraction specialist, Professor Dr. Metz. Suspecting Whyte, Bond tries to confront him, but instead meets Blofeld, who captures the agent and explains to him that the satellite can blow up nuclear missiles. Blofeld admits that he intends to auction it to the highest bidder. Bond escapes and frees the captive Whyte and they establish that Blofeld is using an offshore oil rig as his base. Bond attacks the rig, stopping Blofeld’s operation and dispersing his organisation.
To American audiences, Shirley Bassey is known almost entirely for her James Bond title songs. 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever was Sean Connery’s final Bond flick (at least until the non-canon entry Never Say Never Again), and for the occasion they brought Bassey back to belt out the title song, just as she had done for 1964’s Goldfinger. They brought Bassey back one more time in 1979 to sing the Moonraker theme, but she couldn’t quite recapture the magic. Decades later, “Diamonds Are Forever” returned to pop culture when Kanye West sampled the song for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone.”