Barely two days after it was released, when one searches for Adele’s “Skyfall” the first searches to come up are already comparing it to the list of James Bond theme songs over the last 50 years. Everyone has an opinion. Mine is that I love it so far.
It has been years since I remember the release of a Bond movie theme song being its own event. I have looked forward to the release since Adele mentioned in late spring that she had a song coming out in the fall. With no album in the works but the new Bond film scheduled for November speculation immediately suggested that she was singing the theme. This time the speculation proved accurate in dramatic fashion.
The opening horn blast lets one know from the onset that this is Bond. The opening lyric, “This is the end. Hold your breath and count to ten,” shows such a Bondian nature. He is always one wrong step away from death. Later in the song the requisite romance rears its head – or at least its lap. At the 1:50 mark, the horn riff takes off on a variation of the Bond theme. Anyone not knowing a Bond movie was set for near release knows then that the song is part of the franchise. The soaring melody and Adele’s smooth vocals have prepared me for the opening credits with dramatic moves pitting James Bond against his enemy of the episode. It takes me back to the days of the Playhouse Theater in Victoria where I saw Moonraker with its theme song in the opening scene and credits.
This is a song I want to hear with my earphones on. Take away everything else. Let me immerse myself in the drama.
How does it measure up against other James Bond theme songs? I have no idea and am somewhat annoyed at those who would rank it before the movie has been seen. I like what it does in setting up the movie. It makes me want to see the movie which I would otherwise likely wait for some kind of online streaming to see – if then. The Bond franchise, over 50 years, has offered some musical gems: “Goldfinger,” “Live and Let Die,” “Diamond are Forever,” “Moonraker,” “Nobody Does It Better,” “For Your Eyes Only” to name a few.
Ok, I was kidding about the last one. The Adele song certainly surpasses that pop drivel. Ultimately “Skyfall” will be judged by how it fits the movie as a whole. At least until the movie is released, I am going to enjoy the theatrical thrill its orchestration lets me have.