The Italian media called Sean Connery’s version of James Bond, Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. It so inspired the composer, John Barry that he and co-writer Leslie Bricusse decided to write a theme song for Thunderball as a description of the character of James Bond called Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Unfortunately for Barry United Artists production team liked the fact that the previous James Bond theme songs like From Russia With Love and Goldfinger were the same as the movie titles and with less than 3 weeks before it’s theatrical release John was instructed to write a new theme song using the movie’s title Thunderball.
Tom Jones, who sang the new theme song, fainted in the recording booth after singing the song’s final, high note. Jones said of the final note, “I closed my eyes and I held the note for so long when I opened my eyes the room was spinning.”
John Barry, the composer of many James Bond films including the unauthorized film version of Thunderball, Never Say Never Again, died on January 31st 2011.
Side note: Country musician Johnny Cash also submitted a song to EON productions titled “Thunderball” but it wasn’t used. The lyrics of Cash’s “Thunderball” describe the story of the film.