The Skyfall theme song – initial reaction

Since a 90 second sample of Adele singing the Skyfall theme was released online earlier in the week many Bond fans were able to listen to part of the song in advance. However, today the song can be heard in its entirety after being released online at 0:07 hours online and available from iTunes.

There are two obvious ways in which you can listen to the theme song for any of the 007 films; hearing it in context, with the title sequence playing in front of you, or listening to it as a standalone song. Or perhaps there is a third way, listening to it while the title sequence replays in your head.

Obviously with Skyfall I can’t review it in context; and it’s not the kind of music I generally listen to either, although I’m can’t do anything but compare it Bond classics. So, to review Skyfall I will do it in a fourth way; listen to it while playing an imaginary title sequence in my head.

My initial thoughts on the leaked segment of song was that it was rather bland. In fact, having listened to the full track, it has been rather overproduced, as much music is these days; Adele does have a good voice, but perhaps it is too good. And at 4 minutes 46, Skyfall is surprisingly long.

The song has a John Barry-esque introduction without falling into cliche, marking it clearly as a Bond theme song; when the bass comes in at the minute mark it subtly picks out some Bond sounding chords. And then nearing 90 seconds the orchestra strings come in with more Bond-sounding motifs, although here I was expecting more of the horn section.

I’m not sure I like the backing singers much in the chorus, nor the what sounds like a synth drum track, but I think the lyric “you may have my number, you can take my name”, is a great nod to the Goldeneye ad tagline “You know the name. You know the number” as well as “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell; and I love the horns at around the three minute mark.

Overall, I think Skyfall will work well in the title sequence; at least the version I have playing in my head this morning.

Click here to buy Skyfall from iTunes

David Leigh founded The James Bond Dossier in 2002. A fan of 007 since the age of 8, he is also author of The Complete Guide to the Drinks of James Bond. You can order a copy here if you don't own it already.

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2 Responses to “The Skyfall theme song – initial reaction”

  • Bernard Brul

    Very nice song.Listening to it,I find that it sounds like Goldfinger and Moonraker theme, sung by Shirley Bassey. Adele is the good choice for this one. It’s a must for the fans.

  • Ap

    I never thought anyone could give a more insipid and emotionless rendition of a Bond theme than Rita Coolidge managed on Octopussy’s All-Time Low, sorry, All-Time High, but Adele has managed to do it. She sounds like a robot. Maybe that’s no coincidence given all the computer programming that goes into vocals these days. So much for her being the great new talent, though; I think she has been found out.
    And the song itself is dreary and miserable. Not the worst Bond theme ever, but that’s not difficult on a list that includes the awful Jack Black-Alicia Keys effort. Still somewhere near the bottom of that list, though. Thank goodness the film is so good that the song can’t spoil it.