Today's song is brought to you by Danny Y!
Who wasn’t in love with Agent 99? I know I was.
Get Smart’s sexy and deadly agent, she played it straight but was madly in love with Maxwell Smart. Played with allure by Barbara Feldon, she helped make Get Smart the TV hit it was.
In the height of the show’s popularity, Feldon was talked into recording a novelty single – “99” (and it’s b-side “Max”). It’s hardly the only TV show tie-in song (the Monkees is pretty much a whole show of them), but “99” is a cut above the standard novelty song. Both Beck and the White Stripes have covered it.
Get Smart may be a rip on James Bond, but “99” is a loving tribute to James Bond music. John Barry-esque orchestra, that chinkiny chink guitar and Feldon purring over the top. The lyrics are great, it still sounds great – it really should have come back around and been an ironic hit with the hipster scene. One or two more cover versions ought to do it, I think.
The single was a flop, released on a Motown subsidiary and treated as nothing more than junk food for kids. It was only saved in Australia of all places when Glenn A Baker’s Raven label did a Get Smart soundtrack and put both sides of Feldon’s single as bonus tracks. That compilation is no longer on the Raven website so could well be gone as well. You can still enjoy it here...