Freddie Matthews writes from London: It’s no surprise that Adele has been confirmed as the voice behind the theme of the new James Bond movie Skyfall. Well, she is one of the best selling artists in Europe and the US in recent times, so I hardly think it’s any surprise for anyone. In fact, had she ‘not’ been asked that would have been more of a shock.
The song is expected to be released in early October and will be called Skyfall. Adele is thought to have put the finishing touches to her recording at Abbey Road studios in early September. Only substantiated, mind you, by recently being spotted there.
You may, or more likely may not, remember that the previous song to be released in association with a Bond movie was Jack White and Alicia Keys’ Another Way To Die. It was the theme to Quantum Of Solace and in all honesty was not good at all. I always thought it was a ridiculous choice of artists. I mean, Jack White sold a load of records with The White Stripes and The Raconteurs and Alicia Keys was hugely successful in her own right but together this track from a James Bond classic was a total flop. It brought mixed media reaction too but to most was just very disappointing and certainly not even on the same scale as the Bond classics that spring to mind, such as Sheana Easton’s For Your Eyes Only, Paul McCartney’s Live and Let Die and Duran Duran’s mid 80s A View To A Kill.
If you’re an avid James Bond fan, Skyfall – the 23rd Bond movie – will get its UK premiere in London on October 23rd. It will then go on general release three days later. It has nothing to do with the music but the film sees Daniel Craig return for the third time in the role of James Bond.
So what of the best Bond themes over the years then?
Shirley Bassey sang the original version of Goldfinger for the 1964 film of the same title, from the same year. The music was composed by the most prolific of Bond composers, the late John Barry. He also wrote the soundtracks for the films: Midnight Cowboy, Dances With Wolves and Out of Africa. I always thought that the Tina Turner vocal of the 1995 Goldeneye was highly reminiscent of Shirley Bassey’s performance some 31 years previously. This composition was a whole new ball game as both Bono and The Edge wrote it, the main men of course from the Irish rock band U2. The song subsequently and unsurprisingly became one of Tina Turner’s highest charting UK singles.
If you want a true Bond classic we have to consider the merits of Paul McCartney & Wings’ 1973 track Live and Let Die. Like Tina Turner’s, it became one of the band’s most successful songs and reunited Paul McCartney with his former Beatles producer George Martin, which alone was a perfect recipe for success. In later years Guns ‘n Roses were also to record an equally blisteringly throbbing cover version for their Use Your Illusion 1 album, which sold over 10 million copies worldwide. McCartney once said of writing the song, ‘I read the novel and thought it was pretty good. That afternoon I wrote the song and went in the next week and did it… It was a job of work for me in a way because writing a song around a title like that’s not the easiest thing going.’
However, the credits for the song cite both Paul and Linda McCartney as the writers. Did she write the mascara part or something?
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