Minnie Riperton, Rotary Connection, Charles Stepney - Magical World, 1968
Bond-worthy: Minnie Riperton, Rotary Connection & Stepney - Magical World
This Rotary Connection and Minnie Riperton song "Magical World" is another stunningly beautiful Charles Stepney psychedelic soul production (for the Cadet Concept offshoot label). Note: Forget about the strangely ironic, surrealist-tinged Stalinist propaganda film montage posted by the nostalgic Russian woman and just listen to the song. (Haha)... Love the escalator scene with the hanging art deco chandeliers, though. And some scenes remind me of a Giorgio de Chirico painting...
There are a few elements of this song that make it feel like an exceptional Bond- worthy composition: Charles Stepney's grand, sweeping arrangement style (perfected during his Chess/Cadet days); the Stepney wall of sound, which is woefully unsung and underrated but would have been perfect for all kinds of movies, especially Bond movies, '60s cinema, gangster movies, urban/city dramas and almost any genre one could think of; the high quality of Minnie Riperton's vocals basically outclasses almost any other singer and here she sounds very 007-friendly; the horns are understated and not bombastic or ostentatious, but the way the horns are used carries a heavy, heavy, epic orchestral weight Stepney was so great at creating and conveying; the breathy, ethereal, dreamy vocals; the complexity of the overall composition itself. Stepney was amazing, and might I add, every bit as good as John Barry in my humble opinion. He died relatively young, but I can only imagine what he would have come up with had he lived! True genius.