Michael Caine Was The First Person To Ever Hear Goldfinger's Theme Song

You would be hard pressed to find a James Bond fan who does not consider "Goldfinger" to be one of the top five Bond theme songs. A good percentage of those people would even put it at number one. This was the first proper Bond theme as we know it, where it plays over the intricately designed title sequence. "Dr. No" and "From Russia with Love" both featured instrumentals for its credits, though "Russia" does have a title song at the end of the film.

"Goldfinger," written by John Barry and performed by Shirley Bassey, is what everyone hopes a Bond theme will be. Sultry, brash, and delicious in a way where you cannot get it out of your head the rest of the day, if not the week. One would think that the first time someone heard this song would be when John Barry, sitting down at a piano in a recording studio, played it for Shirley Bassey and the filmmakers. As the new documentary "The Sound of 007" on Prime Video tells us, it was actually legendary British actor Michael Caine who was the first to hear it.

Caine was a young actor in London getting all the film and theatre work he possibly could. This was before "Alfie," before "The Ipcress File," even before "Zulu." Caine was not the movie star we know him to be. He was very good friends with John Barry and ended up staying with him for a brief period, which just so happened to be the time Barry was writing "Goldfinger." Lucky for Michael Caine.

Michael Caine: Horndog extraordinaire

Back in the early 1960s, Michael Caine was unsurprisingly something of a Lothario. He shared a flat with a fellow up-and-coming actor at the time, Terence Stamp, and the two enjoyed the company of women. They enjoyed it so much that the rotating parade of women entering and exiting their flat got to the point where Caine was kicked out of his place of residence, as the thought of someone having that much sex tainted the whole building, I assume. John Barry, being a good friend, offered Caine the chance to stay at his flat for the time being. In and interview used in "The Sound of 007," Caine recalls his first night staying at Barry's place:

"He had a lovely flat, and I went to sleep. And I was woken up about an hour later by the piano. John was composing, and all night long, he was on the piano. This is my first night, I thought, 'My god, I'm gonna be here two weeks. I'm never gonna get any sleep. He's gonna be on the piano every night.' In the morning ... I said, 'What were you composing last night?' 'This.' And he played me 'Goldfinger.' So, I was the first person in the world to ever hear 'Goldfinger,' and I heard it all night."

"Goldfinger" went on to become a massive hit, spending 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaking at number 8. The same year the movie "Goldfinger" comes out is when "Zulu" is released, which is the first movie to feature Michael Caine in a major role. 1964 was a great year for those two pals.