With the recent announcement that a certain Sam Smith is singing the title song for the upcoming Bond movie Spectre, called “Writing’s on the Wall”, I start to wonder if he was the right choice. In an interview with Radio 1, Smith stated that he wrote it in “a few minutes”. Now I haven’t been familiar with Smith’s work before, but his breakthrough song “Stay With Me” (which got him into some copyright-related trouble with Tom Petty) is like a TV-dinner for the ears: Boring and not worth to pay undivided attention to it.
In my ears, there has not been a great Bond song since…. License to Kill (1989)? I think that even Tina Turner’s “Goldeneye” is a rather mediocre affair.
So who should really sing the title song for the next 007 outing? Here are some of my suggestions, in no particular order.
What can I say, I always loved this guy’s work. And he brings all the qualities that are necessary:
- He is a brilliant songwriter, who can effortlessly conjure that certain Sixtyish- glam vibe with his work.
- He is very good at injecting a subtle, almost gentle irony into his lyrics and vocals, something the 007-series is in dire need of nowadays.
- He sounds as British as a lower jaw filled with a set of jumbled teeth.
There is no need to introduce this legend. Like Cocker, he can masterfully blend mystery, drama and irony without those elements contradicting or hampering each other. Does that mix sound like “Bond” for you or what? Not to speak of his ominous, idiosyncratic vocals that can make us believe in the sexiness of danger again. Why did none of the producers ever think of him before?
Another voice that is pure eroticism distilled into soundwaves. Does that make any sense to you? I don’t know, who cares. Alison is one half of the electronic music duo Goldfrapp and a good third of all songs in their back catalogue already sounds like out of a 007 movie already. So why did nobody ask them yet?
This choice is a little different from the other ones, but I can imagine the Swedish pop artist with the distinctive voice singing a more modern, pumping piece in the tradition of Duran Duran’s “View to a Kill”.
Corner started his singing career with the “Sneaker Pimps” in the mid 90s and is fronting his solo-project “IAMX” since 2004. His trademarks are his slightly androgynous, fragile voice and his talent for writing simple, but haunting pop tunes with a darkly glamorous vibe. Again, doesn’t that scream “Bond” for you?
Yet another legend that never got a stab at performing a Bond song. Her return with the song “Love Crime” for the finale of Hannibal almost sounds like the perfect application letter for that job.
David Bowie: That would be epic. And every British pop legend should have a Bond song on the resume, dammit, that’s much better than getting knighted by the Queen!
Chris Isaak: Would be ideal for a smooth Bond song in the tradition of “From Russia with Love” or “We have all the Time in the World” ( from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).
Lady Gaga: Not a big fan of her body of work, but she can definitely has the voice and is talented.
No more goddamn Rock ballads! James Bond does a lot of things, but he does not rock. “You know my name” (Casino Royale) by Chris Cornell channeling Jon Bon Jovi was embarrassing enough. The same goes for the ear-splitting Jack Whyte/Alicia Keys duet “Another Way to Die” with its misguided mix of screeching guitars and polished orchestra parts.
No casting show winners. Make a name for yourself before you apply for that job, you noobs.
No more song titles containing the word “Die” in all its variations. Come on.
None of the following artists should be ever considered: Olly Murs, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift, Lorde, Robbie Williams.
No vocoder bullshit. You know why.
What do you think? With which choices do you agree and with which ones do you disagree? Who else could do a Bond title song?