While posing as Peter Franks in Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond makes the acquaintance of Tiffany Case for the first time at the Trafalgar Palace.
As Bond neared the end of the corridor he could hear a piano swinging a rather sad tune. At the door of 350 he knew the music came from behind it. He recognized the tune. It was ‘Feuilles Mortes’. He knocked.
“Autumn Leaves” is the translation of that song. Later in the book when he is discussing Tiffany with Felix Leiter, he calls this song. Bond enters the room and is told to lock to the door.
Bond did as he was told and walked across the middle of the room until he was opposite the open bedroom door. As he passed the portable long-player on the writing desk the pianist began on La Ronde.
“The Round” is now playing. Bond sees Tiffany sitting astride a chair (half naked) examining her face in the dressing table mirror.
Miss Case resumed the silent contemplation of her face in the mirror while the pianist played J’attendrai. Then it was the end of the record.
“I Will Wait” was the translation of that song. She tells Bond that if he likes it, to turn the record over and play the other side.
Bond walked over to the gramophone and picked up the record. It was George Feyer with rhythm accompaniment. He looked at the number and memorized it. It was Vox 500. He examined the other side and, skipping La Vie en Rose because it had memories for him, put the needle down at the beginning of Avril an Portugal.
Two songs referenced here, La Vie en Rose translates to Life In Pink (Or Rose-colored glasses). Bond skips over this song, no doubt remembering that night at Royale-Les-Eaux, when after having defeated Le Chiffre, Bond and Vesper go to celebrate at the Roi Galant nightclub, where, as Bond and Vesper sit, that very song is played. Looking back and realizing how Vesper was very soon to betray him, one can see why Bond would not wish to hear that son.
April in Portugal is the song he instead skips ahead to. To this point, he only knows her as Miss Case. After finding a Pan-American Airways label with “T. Case” on, her inquires what it stands for.
She thought for a moment. “I guess you can find out at the desk,” she said. “It stands for Tiffany.” She walked over to the gramophone and stopped the record in the middle of Je n’en connais pas la fin. She turned round. “But it’s not in the public domain,” she added coldly.
Tiffany stops the record in the middle of “I Do Not Know The End.” and gets down to business. When matters are decided upon and Bond leaves, she turns the music back on.
As Bond walked away down the long corridor to the lift, the girl stood just inside the door and listened until his footsteps had vanished. Then, with brooding eyes, she walked slowly over to the gramophone and switched it on. She picked up the Feyer record and searched for the groove she wanted. She put the record on the machine and found the place with the needle. The tune was Je n’en connais fas la fin.
The record that they’ve been listening to, which Tiffany calls the “Best light record ever made” is this one:
Want to listen to it, and get in the mood while re-reading this post? Or better yet by reading Diamonds are Forever?
4 thoughts on “Tiffany Case’s Music”
Really like this post. It’s interesting how for Bond the sharp angles of Tiffany Case are the qualities that he finds so attractive. Doesn’t Bond eventually move her into his Kings Road apartment for a while too.
You are correct! They had parted ways just before Bond was given the assignment in From Russia With Love and M was certainly glad of it.
Thank you for telling me which album that was. Been wondering for decades. Wasn’t an Internet when I first read the book. Haven’t been able to find out anything until now.
The link to the Spotify listing you provide at the end is actually the 12″ VX 25.200 1956 release, not the 10″ VX 500 1953 release that Fleming cited. Both are different performances and have two tracks that are not on the other. It’s confusing because none of the streaming services provide a distinction of which version they’re providing. iTunes seems to also have the 1956 version as well.
For the original vinyl Fleming cited, here’s both sides of “Echoes of Paris” available on YouTube.
Side A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuQOacgb6vU
Side B: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IBOERC6nyE