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Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film “Spectre”

spectre poster
When it comes to theatrical theme songs, it’s hard to beat the ones that begin the James Bond franchise. I’ve loved the franchise since childhood (it’s the sort of thing a son bonds over, no pun intended, with the older male members of his family), the songs included. There have been over 20 songs to date in the Bond canon, as you obviously know, and a few are outright classics. Last time around, Adele made one of the biggest 007 musical hits with Skyfall from the identically titled Skyfall. Now, following in those footsteps, we learned earlier today that recording artist Sam Smith will be doing the theme song for this year’s Bond flick Spectre. It’ll be called Writing’s on the Wall and officially becomes one to look out for in the Best Original Song race in a pretty big way at the Academy Awards.

Historically, Bond films have done decently well overall with Oscar, though the franchise is hardly an awards juggernaut. Goldfinger was the first to get a nomination from the Academy, winning in Best Sound Effects. Thunderbolt won Best Special Visual Effects, Diamonds Are Forever was nominated for Best Sound, Live and Let Die was the firs to get a song nominated in Best Original Song, while The Spy Who Loved Me was the first 007 outing to get multiple nominations, getting nods in Best Art Direction, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song. Moonraker got a solo nom for Best Visual Effects, and For Your Eyes Only was nominated in Best Original Song, but then there was a long drought, which was finally broken by Skyfall. That one received nominations in Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song, easily making it the most honored of the franchise, especially considering it won for both Sound Editing and Original Song. Now, it will be Spectre hoping to follow in its footsteps.

Smith is an up and coming star in the music business, having won a bunch of Grammy Awards for his album In the Lonely Hour, with the song Stay With Me becoming a huge hit on the radio. Though perhaps not the first person you’d associate with a Bond song, Smith has a unique sound that could fit in real well with this sort of revisionist 007 that Daniel Craig has been playing. Especially considering how well crafted Skyfall was under the direction of Sam Mendes, having him return for Spectre gives me confidence in just about anything that they try in this sequel. In some ways, this is the last Bond prequel, as they establish the beginning of the character we grew to love in the decades prior. Smith has a throwback sort of voice, so I can see it working really well.

Obviously, we won’t know for sure about Spectre’s awards hopes until the fall, and I’ll be doing a more thorough rundown of its chances then, but the Smith song announcement at least puts Original Song in our heads. Honestly, up until now I’d forgotten about it and hadn’t included it in my Oscar predictions, but it will be heavily considered now. Spectre doesn’t come out until November, so there’s time, but we’ll be hearing Smith’s tune later on this month, so sit tight until then…

As a bonus, here’s how I would rank the ten best Bond songs to date:

10. Another Way to Die (Quantum of Solace)
9. You Only Live Twice (You Only Live Twice)
8. You Know My Name (Casino Royale)
7. Nobody Does it Better (The Spy Who Loved Me)
6. A View to a Kill (A View to a Kill)
5. We Have All the Time in the World (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)
4. Diamonds Are Forever (Diamonds Are Forever)
3. Skyfall (Skyfall)
2. Goldfinger (Goldfinger)
1. Live and Let Die (Live and Let Die)

*Look for a ranking of all of the Bond films to date at some point in early November*

Stay tuned for Smith’s 007 song Writing’s on the Wall on September 25th online and in Spectre when that hits theaters on November 6th!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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