Bond or BOND (formerly often typeset as bond in deference to the owners of the 007 trademark) is an Australian/British string quartet that specialises in classical crossover and synthpop music. Bond has been described as the best-selling string quartet of all time, selling over 4 million records.
Bond was formed following initial conversations between music producer Mike Batt and promoter Mel Bush, after Batt suggested to Bush that the two of them should put together a quartet consisting of "four beautiful, talented musicians". Some time later, Bush pushed ahead with the idea, recruiting producer Gareth Cousins to help choose the line up and define the band's sound. This resulted in an initial four recordings the band made, leading to Bond being signed by Decca. Three of those original recordings, "Duel", "The 1812" and "Dalalai", were the backbone of the first album, Born, with producer Magnus Fiennes providing additional tracks and Mike Batt adding a remix of "Victory", which became the first single.
The quartet currently consists of Tania Davis (first violin, formerly viola, from Sydney, Australia), Eos Chater (second violin, from Cardiff, Wales), Elspeth Hanson (viola, from Upper Basildon, England) and Gay-Yee Westerhoff (cello, from Hull, England). Hanson replaced original band member Haylie Ecker (formerly first violin and from Perth, Australia), who left in 2008 to have a child.
Genre and success:
Their début album Born was removed from the UK classical chart, apparently owing to its "sounding too much like pop music". Born later rose to the #1 position on 21 different charts around the world. Shine, their second album, went gold in six countries. Remixed, their third release, featured remixes from their first two hit albums as well as three new unreleased pieces. Their third studio album Classified was a popular and successful release: Classified went double platinum in Australia, reaching the number one spot on both the classical and pop charts. Explosive: The Best of Bond is a "best of" collection that includes three previously unreleased pieces. They also participated at the Miss World 2000 pageant in London.
Appearances and recent work:
The quartet spent much of 2003 touring, particularly throughout Asia, and participating in the Miss Universe 2003 held in Panama City, Panama. They also fitted in performing and filming a TV commercial for American department store chain Marshall Field's and made a commercial in Los Angeles for the Japanese karaoke manufacturer Daiichi Kosho. The group made their movie debut playing themselves in a scene in Rowan Atkinson's James Bond spoof Johnny English for which they also contributed the track "Kismet", composed by Gay-Yee, and played on the Main Theme. They also appeared as themselves in the film XXX: State of the Union, performing "Victory".
The classical violinist Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra performed live on New Year's Eve in Vienna in a set that includes many Strauss favorites, as well as an appearance from Bond performing "Victory".
In 2009, Peugeot commissioned Bond to record Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" to advertise the 308CC. All four members of the band helped arrange these tracks. The tracks were available for download from Peugeot's website free of charge, with "Summer" and "Winter" also appearing on Bond's album Play.
In an interview of Tania Davis by the Birmingham Mail, Davis revealed that they were currently working on their next studio album. She also noted that the next album would have Gypsy, Folk and Eastern European influences. In late 2010 the band started to perform new material from their new album "Play" at concerts in Mexico, including the new single "Diablo".
Songs on the album include their first single, titled "Diablo". It is characterized by an up-tempo beat, and features Bond's own Eos Chater as vocalist in the song. The string quartet also showcases Jai Ho, a huge hit from the movie Slumdog Millionaire. The album also features a few more recognizable hits, such as the song "Pump It", a version of the Dick Dale and His Del Tones' hit song "Miserlou", featured in the opening credits of Pulp Fiction. The song "Last Time" is an interpretation of the song Bitter Sweet Symphony by the band The Verve. Members of Bond have also written their own tracks on the album. Gay-Yee Westerhoff wrote the song "Beatroot", which is strongly Russian influenced (noticeable by a clarinet improvising over the strings).
According to the band's webpage, the group recorded a medley of Lady Gaga hits at the request of its Japanese label. The Lady Gaga medley was available initially by phone download and was released digitally, soon after, as part of a special Japanese album release.
More recently, Bond also performed "I Am the Walrus" alongside Russell Brand at the 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony. They returned to the Olympic Stadium in London in July 2013 to perform at The National Lottery Anniversary Run event.
Bond performed the Australian National Anthem at the Australia versus New Zealand match of the 2013 Rugby Championship in Sydney, 17 August.
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