Dave Best: Give us a Bond swan song we weren’t expecting

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Apparently Sam Smith is the odds on favourite to release the song for the next James Bond film, Spectre.

Sounds like a good fit to me, all things considered. The multi-Grammy winning singer has certainly got the chops for the task, and has already proven himself a successful purveyor of catchy power ballads with his debut album In The Lonely Hour.

His style is also very similar to the singer/co-writer of the last Bond theme, Adele, who as we all know, went on to win herself an Oscar for her contribution to the most famous of British film franchises. Indeed, Skyfall was a very, very “Bondy” effort, full of familiar ominous strings and sweeping, crooning melodies that wouldn’t have sounded out of place back in the Connery days.

With this extremely well received and commercially successful act to follow, Sam Smith seems like the safe bet. He has replicated Adele’s success, on both sides of the Atlantic and has a certain aesthetic that would fit in with the Bond world well.

Me personally, I’d have loved it if there had been a slightly more left-field choice. I mean, Sam Smith just seems a little too obvious. As decent a singer as he is, and as good a job I think he’d end up doing, I just can’t help but think that the results are just going to be a bit “Bond song by numbers”. I can just imagine a slow, meandering effort with huge notes and intense atmosphere… all very Adele, all very Bassey… with little to no thinking outside the box.

My personal favourite Bond songs are the ones that maintain the ‘Bond Song’ ethos, but offer something a little different. Take for example Live And Let Die, by Paul McCartney – a triumphant mixture of slow, plodding verses and bombastic, exultant choruses that scream stadium rock. It’s everything you want from a Bond song, and then some stuff that you didn’t know you wanted. I love Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon from The Spy Who Loved Me too. It’s very nearly a standard, cheesy eighties power ballad, but there’s a certain sexiness and innuendo in there that is alluring and hypnotic. It’s also the first Bond song not to be named after the film it appears in, which is just a little bit rock and roll, isn’t it?

I’m fully aware that experimenting too much when it comes to a Bond song can be a terrible thing to do. I love Jack White and Alicia Keys, but their contribution to the Pantheon Another Way To Die was quirky to a fault: too stompy, too messy, not catchy enough. Just, well rubbish…

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’d like to be surprised, but pleasantly. I only really bother with Bond films for the songs so you can see why I take this stuff seriously.

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