Remember when landing the theme song to a James Bond movie was a big deal? It’s one of those things that feels like it should still be important, but ultimately, I don’t think that it carries quite the weight that it used to. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that the Bond movies don’t pack the punch they did in the 70s and 80s. I’m not sure I’ve given a shit about a James Bond movie since Pierce Brosnan played him, though I have often wondered if I’d like any of the Ian Fleming novels.
Anyway, I guess there’s a new Bond movie coming out this fall, and Sam Smith got tapped to sing it. The song’s called “Writing’s On The Wall” and I gave it a listen tonight after my Twitter stream erupted in what can only be described as a hate fest. I am no fan of Sam Smith – I think he is the whiniest of the whiny bores. As someone said, every note he sings is covered with a tear drop. Ever since he turned Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” into a funeral dirge, I’ve viewed all his music with a certain degree of suspicion. The cherry on the top was incessant overplaying of “Stay With Me” by radio.
That said, I actually kind of like it. It sounds like a Bond theme, in a way that a lot of other Bond themes have missed the mark. It might sound just a little too much like “Skyfall” but it’s still capable. I’ll give it a few more listens on Spotify and I may even eventually buy it.
You might think that my favorite Bond song is Madonna’s “Die Another Day,” but you would be wrong. Most of the time when magazines and web sites rank Bond themes, they use it as an excuse to crap all over Madonna yet again, as “Die Another Day” is inevitably ranked “worst Bond song.” Funny thing is I do think it is one of the weaker Bond theme songs, but it’s a solid song from Madonna. It is autotuned to death, but it was a new direction for her at the time and I think it holds up rather well over a decade from its initial release. It’s biggest crime is not sounding like a Bond song.
No, my favorite Bond song is, hands down, Tina Turner’s “Goldeneye.”
Tina slays this song like latter-day Shirley Bassey. Talk about a Bond song that sounds like a Bond song should. I actually saw Goldeneye in the theater and I’m pretty sure that it was during that viewing that I learned Tina sang the theme song. We didn’t have the Internet to give us all our information months in advance in 1995. I even bought the CD single of “Goldeneye” which had a questionable dance remix of the song.
Coming in a very close second is, naturally, *whispers* “A View To A Kill.”