After the blockbuster success of Adele's 2012 single "Skyfall," the main theme for the "James Bond" film of the same name, some are wondering if pop sensation Sam Smith has what it takes to match her accomplishment. Tuesday, it was announced that the English singer will perform the theme for the upcoming Bond movie "SPECTRE."
Smith, who has released such songs as “Stay With Me” and “Lay Me Down,” will perform the song “Writing’s On The Wall” for the new Bond movie, which is set to be released this November. Smith and Jimmy Napes wrote the song which will be released on Sept. 25, ahead of the film.
Napes co-wrote such songs as “Stay With Me” and “Lay Me Down” with Smith and has also worked on songs with other artists, including Mary J. Blige. Smith has won various Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year and Best New Artist.
The new movie features the return of actor Daniel Craig as Bond and also reportedly stars Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, and Dave Bautista. Actors Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw will return as well.
The upcoming release of “SPECTRE” follows the huge success of the last Bond outing, 2012’s “Skyfall,” which, like “SPECTRE,” was directed by Sam Mendes. “Skyfall” became the highest-grossing Bond movie worldwide, without calculating inflation. Singer Adele sang the title song which became a huge hit, debuting at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and debuting at No. 4 on the singles chart in Britain. It won an Oscar for best original song (the only song from a Bond movie to do so) and a Grammy award for best song written for visual media.
Songs accompanying James Bond films have had a mixed chart performance since the 1960s. While some names like those of Matt Monro (who did the song for “From Russia With Love”) or singer Lulu (who performed the song for “The Man with the Golden Gun”) may not be familiar to casual fans today, they were chosen for their popularity at the time.
The styles of Bond songs have also changed as musical tastes have changed. Recent songs like “You Know My Name” (which accompanied the film "Casino Royale") and “Another Way to Die” (which accompanied "Quantum of Solace"), which were performed by rock acts including Chris Cornell of the band Soundgarden and Jack White of the White Stripes, had a strong rock flavor. In contrast, Adele’s “Skyfall” was a throwback to the style of classic Bond songs like “Goldfinger.”
“Skyfall” also raised the bar for future Bond songs, charting much higher than some other recent recordings.
When critics select the best tracks released with James Bond movies, the songs usually chosen are those from the 1960s and 1970s, including “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds Are Forever” (1971), “Nobody Does It Better” (1977), and “Live and Let Die” (1973). After middling receptions for such other recent tracks as “Die Another Day” and “Tomorrow Never Dies,” “Skyfall” vaulted to the top of lists of best Bond songs ever.