The world finally heard the much-hyped Sam Smith James Bond theme song, “Writing’s on the Wall,” on September 25, and it came as a surprise to listeners who were expecting the typical Smith sound.
But the haunting lyrics, coupled by his ethereal voice and the orchestra, were a strangely effective combination, and the song quickly made history, becoming the first – and so far – only Bond theme song to hit No. 1 on the UK charts.
— BBC Radio 1 (@BBCR1) October 2, 2015
The singer followed up his success by releasing the official music video of “Writing’s on the Wall” on Global James Bond Day, October 5. The day was introduced in 2012, to celebrate the anniversary of Dr. No’s release date. But now it seems it will also be known as the day that Sam Smith proved that he and James Bond make for an unusual but, again, strangely effective combination.
Smith brought on board his long-time collaborator and music video director, Luke Monaghan, to helm the groundbreaking video, which was shot in various locations in Rome.
The Writing’s on the Wall video began on a plaintive note, as Sam Smith stands at the head of coffins draped with the Union Jack. He’s often framed simply in the clip, with just him standing against a minimalist backdrop, a hand outstretched as if to caress someone. This was in direct contrast to the scenes from the movie that shows Daniel Craig cocking his gun, walking briskly through a courtyard or lustily kissing his co-star Monica Belluci, who plays the beautiful widow of a notorious criminal.
The artist clearly went out of his creative comfort zone with the song as he described his experience shooting the video as “the first time I’ve ever had to almost play a little bit of a character,” alluding to his somber but classy suit and persona. In that regard, he almost seemed to channel Bond’s suave charm. Some might say he could even give Craig a run for his money.
The 23-year-old London native admits that he eschewed the pop sound that has so far served him well and went for a “timelessly classic” sound for the theme song. So for Spectre, the catchy rhythms and melancholic ballads he’s known for were replaced with subtle strings, soft piano and a crescendo of voices that suitably showcased the singer’s flawless falsetto and proved that he’s once more at the top of his game.
Smith underwent “suspension microlaryngoscopy surgery” to contain a hemorrhage on his vocal cords earlier this year and had to postpone several shows. However, a recent concert he had at Columbus, Ohio’s Value City Arena showed that he has fully recovered.
Sam Smith says his vocal cord surgery was actually a ‘blessing in disguise’ http://t.co/0OTjPMp7RC pic.twitter.com/rh3ExQaGHa
— Yahoo Celebrity UK (@YahooCelebUK) September 4, 2015
“Writing’s on the Wall” was co-written by Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes, another frequent collaborator of his and fellow Grammy Award winner. With it, he joins an enviable list of stars who have contributed to the James Bond legacy, stars like Nancy Sinatra, Shirley Bassey, Duran Duran, Madonna, Jack White and Adele, who was the power behind the mighty Skyfall track.
[Image via YouTube]