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
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.