What SPECTRE’s song tells us about the Craig era of 007

SPECTRE poster

SPECTRE poster

Sam Smith’s title song for SPECTRE stirred strong reaction, from former 007 actor Sir Roger Moore giving it a big vote of approval while a number of fans on social media declared it to be “the worst Bond theme ever” with some even launching an instant petition drive to have the song moved to the end titles from the main titles.

All of that may be missing the forest for the trees. In some ways, the title song for the 24th James Bond film reflects the Daniel Craig era of 007 films.

Starting with 2006’s Casino Royale, this isn’t a Bond who always wins.

In Craig’s 007 debut, Bond won money from terrorism banker LeChiffre, only to see a mysterious organization steal it back. This never happened to the other fella. It was also a major deviation from Ian Fleming’s first novel.

In 2012’s Skyfall, Bond “failed” (Craig’s own words in a recent ESQUIRE INTERVIEW) when Judi Dench’s M dies at the end of the film. “That was a big decision,” Craig told Esquire.

And, of course, in all three Craig 007 films to date, the agent doesn’t get the girl at the end, formerly part of the Bond film formula.

Part of Smith’s “Writing’s On the Wall” evokes a similar mood. At one point, Smith (who’s singing from Bond’s point of view), tells us this:

A million shards of glass
That haunt me from my past
As the stars begin to gather
And the light begins to fade
When all hope begins to shatter
Know that I won’t be afraid

Later:

How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?

In other words, Smith singing as Bond evokes the struggles of Craig playing Bond. The song also appears to contain hints of SPECTRE’s story.

Here’s a non-spoiler example.Early in the song, Smith sings, “I feel like a storm is coming.” In the trailers, Mr. White, Bond’s nemesis from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, tells Bond the agent is “a kite dancing in a hurricane.”

Coincidence? We’ll see when the movie comes out — especially when the song is matched with Daniel Kleinman’s title design.

SPECTRE song debuts; BBC describes reaction as mixed

SPECTRE LOGO

Sam Smith’s “Writing’s On the Wall,” the title song for SPECTRE, is out today and, ACCORDING TO THE BBC, “split opinion.”

The song for the 24th James Bond film was made available early today at outlets such as ITUNES (where it was priced at $1.29) and SPOTIFY.

One of the song’s most prominent backers was Roger Moore, star of seven 007 films, who said IN A TWEET that “Writing’s On the Wall” is “very haunting and wonderfully orchestrated.”:

The BBC also quoted others, including its own entertainment reporter, on the subject. Here’s an excerpt:

BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson said it was “good enough, but not a classic”.

The song, whose full version runs for 4 minutes and 38 seconds, begins with the words: “I’ve been here before / But always hit the floor.”

“I’ve spent a lifetime running, and I always get away,” it continues. “But with you I’m feeling something, that makes we want to stay.”

“I think it’s a song about a man deciding to quit it all for love,” Paterson said of the track on BBC Breakfast, comparing its melody to that of Michael Jackson’s 1995 single Earth Song.

SPECTRE title song debuts early Friday

Sam Smith took to Twitter to remind fans that his title song for SPECTRE comes out early Friday.

The song, “Writing’s On the Wall,” is due out at 7:45 a.m. U.K. time, 2:45 a.m. New York time. Not much else to say. He’s already provided a 15-second tease. Here’s the tweet from Smith:

Sam Smith provides brief preview of SPECTRE song

SPECTRE LOGOSam Smith has provided a 15-second preview of his title song for SPECTRE.

The singer took to Twitter, where he made a posting that included the short preview of “Writing’s On the Wall.”

The title song for the 24th James Bond film is to be unveiled later this week. Here’s the tweet from Smith:

Our guide to incorrect stories about SPECTRE’s title song

New SPECTRE poster

New SPECTRE poster

So, according to THE BBC, Sam Smith recorded his title song to SPECTRE back in January.

With that in mind, here’s a number of stories the past few months that were totally incorrect but caught the attention of James Bond fans anyway.

BILLBOARD, JULY 30:

British band Radiohead has emerged as a sudden favorite among U.K. bookmakers to be named the performers of the theme for Spectre, the latest James Bond.

One bookie revealed that it had suspended betting after an anonymous customer asked to put a £15,000 ($23,000) wager on the band.

Why British bookies supposedly had inside information was never made clear. Still, bookies adjusting odds generates stories about James Bond films in general.

Sam Smith interviews: THE TELEGRAPH compiled a number of times Smith himself denied he was performing the 007 film title song, another reminder that people deny things they know to be true.

Here’s an excerpt with some samples:

Just last week, he told BBC Radio 2’s Jo Wiley: “That’s not me. That’s definitely not me.”

Back in July, Smith batted the rumours back again on Absolute Radio. He said: “I’ve got to tell you it’s the funniest thing just to sit back and watch everyone confirming something I know nothing about.

“Sia would be sick but she’s not British. I think you’ve got to have someone who is British. Saying that, I loved the Jack White and Alisha Keys one.”

And on Capital FM last year, the singer said: “People seem to think I’m doing it but I have no idea what’s going on.

“I’m being deadly serious. I think I would know by now… I heard Ellie Goulding was going to do it.”

Ellie Goulding as supposed frontrunner: There were stories at CAPITAL FM on July 29, IGN.COM on July 28 and THE INDEPENDENT also on July 28 that the singer was going to perform the SPECTRE title song.

Obviously, all were wrong. The DIGITAL SPY WEBSITE ran a story there may have been a deliberate misinformation campaign to fool everyone.

If that’s case, however, perhaps instead of trying to fool people about the title song performer, more attention should have been paid to the SPECTRE scripting process and avoided wasting time on questionable ideas that became public because of the Sony hacking.

Sam Smith performs SPECTRE’s title song

SPECTRE LOGO

Sam Smith performs the title song to SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond film, according to an announcement at THE OFFICIAL JAMES BOND WEBSITE.

Here’s an excerpt from the announcement:

The theme song for SPECTRE will be performed by Sam Smith it was officially announced today. The track, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, was co-written by Smith and fellow GRAMMY© Award winner Jimmy Napes and it’s the first James Bond theme song recorded by a British male solo artist since 1965.

Commenting on the announcement, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, the producers of SPECTRE, said, “Sam and Jimmy have written the most inspirational song for Spectre and with Sam’s extraordinary vocal performance, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ will surely be considered one of the greatest Bond songs of all time.”

Smith previously denied he was doing the SPECTRE song.

“That’s not me,” he told BBC Radio 2 when asked if he would be singing the song as noted in a story IN VARIETY. “That’s definitely not me. I’ve still got loads to do.”

In today’s announcement, Smith said: ““This is one of the highlights of my career. I am honored to finally announce that I will be singing the next Bond theme song.”

The song will debut on Sept. 25, according to the announcement.

UPDATE: According to a story on the DARK HORIZONS WEBSITE (spotted by the Commander Bond website Twitter feed), Smith recorded the song back in January.