51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 2: Shirley Bassey – Get The Party Started

Welcome back to one of the new features I launched last week here on Hugh’s Views And News. Thank you to everyone that joined in and shared one of their favourite songs. Check out all the songs in the comments section of the post for week 1 by clicking here.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past poster

On Sunday 8th January 2017, Dame Shirley Bassey celebrated her 80th birthday. What better way to celebrate than with a party. Take it away, Dame Shirley…


Born in 1937 in Cardiff, Wales, Shirley is probably best known for recording the songs to the James Bond films, Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. However, in 2007, at the age of 70, she recorded and released ‘Get The Party Started’, a song originally released by American recording artist, Pink, in 2001.

Charting at number 47 in the UK and at number 43 in the Billboards Year-End Hot Dance play tracks charts, this is how one newspaper described the track.

“Bassey is the only singer alive who could take the bouncing, enthusiastic R&B of the original Get the Party Started and turn it into a grand, imperious swoop worthy of a Bond Theme; it’s a terrific cover version, even if it perhaps didn’t quite merit the album attached to it.”

Happy 80th Birthday, Dame Shirley. I think you did a splendid job with this track.

Have you heard Dame Shirley’s version of the song before? Did you enjoy it?

Thanks to Ruth, Barbara, and Kat who joined in and published their own blog posts about a favourite song.

Want to join Hugh in building up your 51 favourite songs from the past? Leave a link in the comments section below and showcase your next song.

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  1. Personally, I think this elevated a very good Pink song to something extraordinary. I love it, though I will admit to being influenced by the Bond theme style it brings with it.
    Funnily enough, on that theme (did you see what I did there?) if I had to pick one it wouldn’t be any of Shirley’s, excellent as they are. It would be Live and Let Die. In part, because it was my first Bond movie – and is still my favourite – but also because it’s the first theme that feels like it integrates with the narrative. The previous songs were all brilliant, and I know the words by heart (I’m a big Bond fan), but in Live and Let Die extracts and alternative arrangements from the theme appear regularly in the signature moments in a way that the others didn’t.
    So that’s my recommendation this week:

    1. The theme to Goldfinger sends shivers up my spine. Shirley seems to be known for her Bond themes and the ones she sang certainly did justice to the titles. However, there is one other Bond theme that I like more, but you’ll have to wait to find out what it is because it’s in my 51 weeks lineup. 😀 (I know, I’m so cruel!) Thanks for sharing your favourite Bond theme, Graeme. I love how ‘Live and Let Die’ starts off slow and has that frenzy fast pace midway.

  2. Love the song you chose for this week, Hugh. I didn’t know she sang this, as I’d only heard Pink sing it. Ms Bassey has such a wonderful singing voice, and I’ve enjoyed her songs. That was a really cool video, too! Here’s my entry for the week 2…enjoy! 🙂 http://wp.me/p3RE1e-2gQ

    1. The song was only ever released in the UK, Barbara, and it only made it to number 47 in the charts. However, it was used for a TV commercial one Christmas and I think would never have even made it into the charts if it hadn’t been for the commercial. However, Shirley Bassey is a huge worldwide success and seems to be able to pull off any song given to her.
      Thank you for joining in with the challenge this week.

  3. She has such a rich voice. I hadn’t heard her sing this before but wow, it’s so different than the Pink version! Whenever an original song is remade, I always hold my breath. It’s one thing to just sing it with slight variation, but to make it feel like a completely different song is very cool. 🙂

  4. Great choice, Hugh. I saw Dame Shirley on a programme the other week celebrating her birthday with David Walliams. She sang quite a few numbers and was brilliant – almost impossible to believe she still has such a strong voice.

    1. I missed that program, Mary. I’m sure it will be repeated, though. I hope, at the age of 80, I’ll still be able to sing as good as Shirley can. 😀 Mind you, you’ve not heard my singing, and nor has Shirley. 😀

  5. Hi Hugh. I have hundreds of favourite songs! I am a baby-boomer and music was our life.
    I am going to share a very old one and I love this clip of Jackie DeShannon MIMING to “When You Walk In The Room’. Such an innocent age. I love her hand movements and the way she starts to mime too soon. I still love the song today.

  6. Great choice Hugh. I remember the vinyl playing Bassey on the stereo in our home when I was a kid. She was a powerhouse and the best Bond singer.
    I promise I’ll contribute eventually. It’s very late now and I just came across your post. 🙂 ❤

    1. No worries, Debby. Join in as and when you can. I’m loving what music people are digging up from the archives.

      Shirley Bassey seems to be a very popular worldwide singer. It’s great to hear. 😀 I’ve seen her in concert many times; even left a bottle of champagne on stage for her once. She had about another 20 bottles left for her as well. 🥂 Likes her champagne, does our Shirley.

  7. Hi, Hugh – You are only on the second week of this series, and I am already totally hooked!! I originally didn’t think that our blog themes would line up two weeks in a row….but with the incredibly striking, dark and mystical images of your video (especially at the beginning), the mood again is a perfect match.
    I was originally thinking that ‘Monster Mash” would be a good song choice to match my upcoming theme. Here it is, just for fun:

    I am already looking forward to your Week 3!

    1. Thanks, Donna. ‘Monster Mash’ is a song I only tend to hear being played around the time of Halloween. It may be an old song, but it’s still got it appeal to almost everyone. Not seen the video for many years, so it was great to watch it again.
      Thank you for sharing your song for week 2. Keep on building up that playlist.

  8. I loooooove Shirley Bassey! I was part of revue in 2008 and there I sang her song “This is my life”. She has such a unique and powerfully expressive voice! One of my idols!

  9. We both loved watching Shirley Bassey in the seventies/eighties… those frocks!! That figure/ that voice. Judith Durham is Husband’s all time favourite. I always say he only started going out with me because I had the same name! Huh!! Bring on more songs, Hugh

    1. I’m glad you agree, Van. She’s an incredible lady and has never allowed her age to stop her what she does best. I’ve seen her in concert many times. When she sings ‘Goldfinger’ it sends shivers up my spine.

    1. Well, so much for Lionel’s dress sense, Geoff, but he belts out an incredible voice. Haven’t heard this track for a very long time. Great choice. Those guys look like they were having the very best of times.
      As for Shirley…well, she’s Welsh isn’t she; so that voice is one of the best out there. 😀

    1. I agree, such a sad song, Judy. It’s like all the fun is coming to an end. But The Seekers have always been a favourite of mine. I love the 1960s look, am a 60s baby and would love to travel back to that decade if only to see Cilla Black sing a few songs.
      Thanks so much for including your second song choice. You’re on your way to building up a playlist for 2017.

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