If you’re one of the many millions of Bond fans, you will know Susie Vanner.
As a Bond Girl in the 1979 classic The Spy Who Loved Me (known affectionately as Log Cabin Girl), she was catapulted into stardom, with whirlwind promo tours and junkets – even to this day she is considered royalty in the Bond family.
The kudos this brought were film roles alongside Hollywood legends including Kirk Douglas, Tim Roth and Sly Stallone, and major TV parts in BBC and ITV series (including Kiss The Girls and Make Them Cry, Minder and Tales Of The Unexpected). She also had the Midas touch for brands, appearing in a slew of major TV advertisements.
So what brings us today? Success aside, she has enjoyed and perhaps endured many lives in one – success, trauma and heartbreak, leading Vanner to a reset moment – returning to her first passion, music.
Susie is now preparing to release her debut album early next year. In advance of this, she has shared the first taste of the album – an effervescent cover of Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side”. Vanner’s take on the track adds a knowing British stylishness to the original, sits well on an album whose carefully picked tracklist mixes the fun with soul-baring. Listen here
But to get where the vision – and the conception of this album – came from, you first have to take a step back to before Susie’s acting success.
Vanner signed a record deal with RCA at the age of 19 (under the name Sue Lynne), recording a handful of singles that became Northern Soul standards including the hit Don’t Pity Me. Music was always – and will always be – her first love.
So, it is equal parts serendipitous and an interesting stroke of fate that Susie has gone full circle, re-establishing her singing career.
This element of destiny comes in through a chance meeting with renowned Sting producer Kipper Eldridge at a charity dinner. She sat next to him, chatted easily and quirkily in Susie’s own way that she has. Her then husband, who had been a long-time fan of her singing, placed a bid in the auction for a producing session with Eldridge and won.
This encounter then led to what would become the formation of the album project – all recorded at Mark Knopfler’s (Dire Straits) studio, with the tracks all featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
You could say it’s an album that’s been a lifetime in the making.