Adele: ‘Skyfall’, the song that made James Bond cry

The first time Craig David heard Adele sing Skyfall, couldn’t hold back the tears. “I cried,” acknowledged the protagonist of the 23rd James Bond film. Although initially she was not very convinced, finally the London artist took charge of the central theme of the film and achieved something never seen before. For the first time, a song from the famous British saga won an Oscar, as well as a Golden Globe or a Brit Award, among many other awards. Skyfall was published on October 5, 2012, just the day that the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Dr. No was celebrated, the first chapter of the longest series in the history of cinema.

“How can I make a ‘Bond’ song?”

In 2011, when Adele was riding the crest of a wave and enjoying enormous success twenty-onetheir second album (it would become the world’s best seller of the 21st century), Sony Pictures executives thought of her. they thought it would be a great choice for him to take on the theme song for the new agent 007 movie, the one that made number 23. His music had a feeling “captivating, moving and suggestive” And I could bring back that atmosphere of “Shirley Bassey classics” associated with some of the early spy films. We remember that the Welsh singer recorded the themes of Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker.

They met with her and proposed. But at first, she was not at all enthusiastic about the idea of ​​her: “I was a bit reluctant” admitted. She thought that she was not the person they were looking for. “My songs are personal, I write from the heart,” he objected. “I write songs about myself, how can I make a ‘Bond’ song?”. But the film’s director, Sam Mendes, was not daunted. He didn’t see that as a problem: “Well, write a personal song! nobody does it better by Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me) was a love song.” Adele went further and insisted that I wanted to read the entire script before writing a single word. He left the meeting with the script sky fall in the hand.

“Absolutely extraordinary”

later confessed: “I fell in love with the script”. So he asked Paul Epworth (co-author and producer of Rolling in the Deep, among others), who immediately began to study the musical formula of the Bond songs. The producers of the film had requested a “dramatic ballad” and tried “to do something that had both a feeling of death and rebirth at the same time”. Before getting to work, visualized the first 13 films in the series, extracted the elements of the best pieces – including Diamonds are forever (1971) by Bassey either live and let die (1973) by Wings – and set out to capture “the James Bond atmosphere.” He decided to incorporate a reference to Monty Norman’s composition for dr no (1962), the debut of the character created by novelist Ian Fleming.

Epworth feared that Adele would find the music to be too dark, but she loved it. As she told, 10 minutes after arriving at the iconic Abbey Road studios, the artist had already written a first draft of the verse and chorus. “I had the lyrics in my head when I was driving to the studio. It was the most absurd thing. She’s fast, but this was absolutely extraordinary.” sky fall it was completed with an orchestra of 77 musicians.

When the artist was asked by the BBC if she had recorded the song in 10 minutes, she said: “It was two studio sessions. It took a little longer than that. We’re good, but we’re not that good. I’m sorry.”

“I cried”

After Royal Casino (2006) and from Quantum of solace (2008), Daniel Craig got his ‘license to kill’ back in sky fall (later they would arrive Specter (2015) and no time to die (2021)). All the coldness of secret agent 007 melted away, when he first heard Adele. The English actor (the sixth James Bond) confessed in an interview with Yahoo! movies: “I cried. From the first chords, I knew immediately. Then the voice starts and becomes exactly in what I had wanted from the beginning. And it gets better and better and fits exactly with the film. The further the movie goes, the more it fits into it.”

“And I don’t look like Halle Berry”

The video of sky fall It only contains scenes from the movie. Adele does not appear. And as she herself explained: “I didn’t want a video because I was nine months pregnant and about to give birth.”. In fact, her son Angelo was born on October 19, 2012 (just a week after the single was released). And he added: “And I don’t look like Halle Berry. You don’t want to do a video for a Bond song if you don’t look like Halle Berry.”

“A glass of champagne and then I’ll go”

The single release sky fall – October 5, 2012 – coincided with the 50th anniversary on the big screen of the British super spy. Throughout the day, the so-called ‘Global James Bond Day’ was celebrated throughout the world, with different events for 007 fans. We remember that the first in the series was Agent 007 against the dr no (as it was called in Spain), from 1962. It starred Sean Connery and Ursula Andress.

The success of sky fall it was overwhelming. Not only did it hit #1 in over a dozen countries or sell over 7 million copies worldwide (making it one of the best-selling digital singles of all time). For the first time, a James Bond song monopolized the most prestigious awards (Brit Award for Best Single, Golden Globe, Grammy) becoming in the first ‘Bond song’ to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

On February 24, 2013, Adele received the Oscar at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and performed the song live for the first time. As soon as she finished her performance, she took off her high-heeled platform shoes from the French brand Louboutin and, pointing to her heavy black dress (15 kilos) with sequins and rhinestones, said: “I would pick up the shoes, but I can’t even bend down” (also she changed her dress for a lighter one). Holding back tears, Adele thanked Epworth for “always believing in me” and explained how he would celebrate the award: “with a glass of champagne and then I’m off.

“I would never do it again”

Despite the outsized success of Skyfall, the British star warned a few years later that he would never record another James Bond song. His fans won’t be able to hear it again at the start of another 007 film. He told The Sun: “I would never do it again, because it worked so well that I don’t want to jinx it.. After ’21’ I said to myself ‘why would I want to mess things up?’ then i heard that It was the 23rd Bond movie and I was 23 years old, and it felt like it was preordained.”

And on the success of the song, he added: “Having an Oscar is wonderful. The statuette is really heavy, and now, when someone comes to me home the first thing he says is not ‘How are you?’ It’s always ‘Can I see your Oscar?’”

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Adele: ‘Skyfall’, the song that made James Bond cry

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