(this blog was originally published on 18/09/2015 on a previous blog)
Recently it was announced that Sam Smith is going to be the artist singing the title song for Spectre. No matter what your opinion on that choice it’s undeniable that he was the front runner for many months. But if for some reason Sam Smith decides to not go ahead with it, I’d like to present my opinions for the five artists who deserve a shot at making a bond theme, whether its Spectre or a future instalment in the series.
Muse have been tipped for bond themes since quantum of solace, constantly being the centre of rumours and speculation. But it seems this is a case of always the bridesmaid…. Muse are well known for their theatrical approach to the music they create. This coupled with Bellamy’s unique vocal’s would make Muse an easy fit for a Bond theme.
The only downside here is that Muse’s best work often runs deep with artistic direction, everything from the music they make to the artwork on the front of their albums presents a concise, Muse approved, vision of that particular project, perhaps the need to stick to the style and tonality of a Bond film could prove troublesome for a band as focused as Muse.
I’d say there’s a good chance of Seeing Muse tackle a Bond theme eventually, there’s certainly public interest in the idea and with muse becoming more and more prestigious in the music world I imagine it won’t be long before these two media behemoths set paths for each other.
- Snow Patrol
Snow Patrol would be a more traditional pick for a bond theme, medium paced pop rock that’s as smooth as silk and just as anthemic. Luckily this is exactly what Snow Patrol do so well. It’s very easy to imagine Snow Patrol’s trademark flowing guitar riffs playing over the top of the stylistic visuals of a bond theme sequence.
The only downside here is that, at the time of writing, Snow Patrol haven’t released a new studio album in nearly 4 years. So it remains to be seen whether Snow Patrol’s musical style is still the same as it once was. After nearly half a decade between albums, it’s not a stretch to suggest that Snow Patrol may sound different when we finally hear them again.
In terms of likelihood, this is a tough one, Snow Patrol have always found popularity when they release new music, and they’ve always put out good quality albums. Do they fit the current tone of the bond films? Maybe. Do they deserve a Bond theme with their name on it? Absolutely.
(suggested Listens: Run, You’re All I Have)
- Royal Blood
Royal Blood are relative new comers to the music industry, having released only one album, after an incredible rise to popularity. But the quality of their music is undeniable and I think it would very much suit a bond theme. Their instrumentality is unique, creating vibrant rock songs with only drums and bass guitar. This vibrancy crossed with their dark lyrics but upbeat rhythm makes them a good choice for an alternative Bond theme.
However it must be said their youth could be both a strength and a weakness, Royal Blood are the only band on this list who have released only one album. So perhaps before they take on the challenge of a bond theme they need a little more time to work on their own original music and truly grow into the band they have the potential to be.
Of all the names on this list I’d say that Royal Blood are the most likely to eventually get their own Bond theme. If their first album is anything to go by Royal Blood have a long music career in front of them and if they continue to rise in popularity as they have been it won’t be long before Bond comes knocking.
Gorillaz are an odd choice I’ll admit, but I really think they could work for a couple of reasons. For one, Damon Albarn frequently uses Gorillaz as a platform for experimentation, especially with instruments from other countries and cultures. Combine this with the right, globetrotting outing of our favourite MI6 agent and Gorillaz could turn out to be the perfect introduction. The other thing to bear in mind is that Gorillaz has, from day one of their inception, been built to work with visuals, which means that Albarn know how to make a song that would fit the traditional “Bond style” title sequences.
One problem with this selection would be that Gorillaz frequently make use of guest spots on their songs, whether this be featuring musicians, singers or rappers. Making sure to select the right guest for the theme would be really important and could make or break the song. The other major problem is that Gorillaz records tend to take quite some time to make. The band formed in 1998 and have only released 3 major studio albums (4 if you count the fall but due to the nature of its recording not many places do). This could be a problem as a bond theme would need to fit into the movies tight time frame. This could impede the quality of the music Gorillaz puts out.
I’d say this choice is a fairly unlikely one, Gorillaz don’t exactly fit into the traditional style of bond themes, and whilst I think they could easily make a good Bond track I don’t know that the production studios are willing to stray too far from the norm to get a good theme.
Fightstar are known to be considerably heavier than traditional Bond theme bands. But their grasp of harmonies and melodies are second to none and they are more than familiar with the kind of orchestral string work that you might expect of the Bond themes. One of the strongest of their many strong features is the visual quality of their lyrics, their songs often conjure up vivid images and stories in the minds of their listeners. And with the bond films becoming darker in recent years Fightstar’s sound, tone and talent could easily see them rise to the occasion.
The major issue here is one of genre. Fightstar are one of the most melodic, harmonious metal acts I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to, however they are undeniably, a metal act. Do I think this is a problem for the theme? Not particularly, Id trust the band to adopt the right sound and tone for it and I’d trust audiences to give it a go. But I do think it’s a hurdle that many Hollywood producers/studios would be reluctant to attempt jumping.
Ultimately where Gorillaz are on one side of the “unorthodox scale” Fightstar are the other, so I’d say it’s fairly unlikely we’ll ever see them be given a bond theme. Which is a great shame, as they certainly have the talent to take it on.
These are just a small selection of many bands that could do a great job of an iconic bond theme song, they range from the most to the least likely, the most conventional to the most unconventional, but they are all joined by the level of talent they possess and the quality of work I believe they could produce if given the task.
(where possible, suggested listens have been linked to free official versions of those songs, to support the artists, where not possible, links have been provided to the albums they appear on in the iTunes store)