Story of Song
‘Writing’s on the Wall’ is an expression that references an event foreshadowing a disaster. 20 minutes is all it took for Sam Smith and co-writer Jimmy Napes to write the first ever James Bond soundtrack to top the charts in the UK. On September 8, 2015 Smith confirmed that he recorded the James Bond theme song. He said on his social media: “This is one of the highlights of my career. I am honored to finally announce that I will be singing the next Bond theme song. I am so excited to be a part of this iconic British legacy and join an incredible line up of some of my biggest musical inspirations. I hope you all enjoy the song as much as I enjoyed making it.” Smith added: “I got called into the office with Barbara Broccoli and Sam Mendes and they gave me the script, I read the script… they said ‘have a go at the song’” Smith disclosed. “It’s the quickest I’ve ever written a song – it took 20 minutes… and they loved it!” The James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli said: “Sam and Jimmy have written the most inspirational song for (Spectre) and with Sam’s extraordinary vocal performance, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ will surely be considered one of the greatest Bond songs of all time. In another interview with The Sun newspaper, Sam Smith explained more about the song, he said: “I feel like my music can be very vulnerable and I wanted to have a touch of that with Bond and have him sounding more vulnerable than normal. All my music, I try to make it honest and personal, like it’s a diary entry, and I’ve wanted to do that, but in the shoes of someone else. With Bond songs you get to be as dramatic as you want. I got to get away with unbelievable string and brass sections – I got to be a drama queen.”
Released September 25, 2015
Sam Smith – Jimmy Napes
US – 71
UK – 1
GERMANY – 17
The song went straight into number 1 in the UK, and was certified gold with sales and streams over 400 thousand. It made history by becoming the first even James Bond theme to top the charts and the first James Bond theme song recorded by a British male solo artist since 1965. The song reached the top 10 charts in Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Lebanon, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland, while it topped the chart in Scotland.
‘’Writing’s on the Wall’ debuted at number 71 in US and at number 43 in Canada. The song is nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards
Artist’s age on release date
Sam Smith was 23 years old when he released ‘Writing’s on the Wall.
Sofia Karlberg covered it with over 3 million views on YouTube.