Sunday, August 31, 2014

Song of the Day: Nancy Sinatra - You Only Live Twice (1967)

It's funny sometimes how songs that you've loved for a long time can take on entirely new meanings when placed in a different context. You Only Live Twice was the title song from the fifth James Bond film, released in 1967, and it has been my favorite Bond song for as long as I can remember. I love the epic string intro, the vocal and lyric, and the Japanese musical elements that echo the film's settings. I also love the way it was sampled in the great Robbie Williams song "Millennium."

But then came the end of Mad Men season 5, with this song playing over the final montage that closed out the season (which, for my money, has been the show's best season). I can't recall a more perfect choice of music being paired with visuals and thematics. As each of the show's main characters settles into their new status quos, Nancy Sinatra's beautiful voice makes us question whether these are the lives they're living for themselves, or the ones for their dreams. And then there's Don Draper's great ambiguous look before the fade to black. Ever since that moment, this song has been elevated in my mind into one of the best pure pop songs of the 60's.

This was originally written and posted on Facebook on May 18, 2014

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