Video of the Week – Adele – Skyfall (James Bond Theme Song)

This past week the highly anticipated theme song for the new Bond film, Skyfall, was released. As with all twenty-two previous songs they used a popular artist to be the voice of the film, namely Adele. How does she compare with the iconic Shirley

Bassey’s Goldfinger or Diamonds are Forever or Tom Jones’ Thunderball or Carly Simon’s The Spy Who Loved Me? Well it is a return to the dramatic, over-the-top, heavily orchestrated themes of the past and Adeles vocal reminded me a lot of Shirley Bassey. These are big shoes to fill but Adele does so perfectly. Personally, I would put it in my top ten Bond themes and a welcome return to the excesses of the truly great movie themes.

Adele has a very strong, distinctive vocal style and presence and the seventy-seven piece orchestra compliments it admirably. Definitely a more emotional than technical singer, Adele still has an impressive voice. Her rich contralto is nicely layered over the orchestral dynamics giving the song the tension needed to fulfil it’s destiny as a Bond classic. The song starts slowly and builds as the orchestra fills the chorus while Adeles voice adds a sultry undertone to the whole song. Of course, no one does a Bond song as well as Bassey, she just had a natural gift for belting out the last notes of any song, the end of Goldfinger gives me chills but I quite like this and I’m not a big Adele fan. There is the obligatory big finish however where Goldfinger ends sharply and with a drum roll, Skyfall kind of tales off lamely with Adele oooing the last few notes. This is really my only compliant. Anyway, you can compare Bassey and Adele as I have included Goldfinger, although Skyfall reminds me more of Diamonds are Forever, at the bottom of this post. And we won’t ever talk about Cheryl Crow’s contribution to the Bond canon, k?

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