The new James Bond film Spectre is out, and I was privileged to interview Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith and his writing partner Jimmy Napes Wednesday night after a Society of Composers & Lyricists screening at The Grove. The guys were informative and entertaining, using terms like “expensive chords” that the composer/songwriter crowd loved. The song, which plays well with the lavish and beautiful title sequence — and can be best appreciated once you’ve seen the film and understand its context — has already hit no. 1 in the UK, the first Bond theme in history to do so.
I am not sure YouTube has the right to air this, but it’s been seen an awful lot (and it’s in high-def!) so I am beginning to think either nobody cares or the rights are problematic. In any case, here is part 1 (of 14!) of the best television documentary ever made on the songs of 007. I was happy to participate (I’m more in the second half than the first). The droll narrator and the generally amusing tone make up for the unfortunate “countdown” format and the various idiocies perpetrated throughout (Alice Cooper, for example). It’s nearly two hours long but it’s so much fun that it’s worth your time. John Barry is delightfully candid, and he’s not the only one; producer Stephen Franklin convinced a lot of people to go on camera and be honest about their experiences (and their opinions).