Yesterday I posted about “I’ll Take It All,” written and performed by Joss Stone and Dave Stewart for the upcoming James Bond 007: Blood Stone video game. I think it’s among the best Bond tunes from the post-Shirley Bassey era, which had me thinking about the themes that have come since she last sang for the British spy series with 1979′s “Moonraker.”
The Eighties featured head-scratching entries from Rita Coolidge (1983′s “All Time High,” from Octopussy), a-ha (1987′s “The Living Daylights”), and Gladys Knight (1989′s “License To Kill”), but two Bond themes from the decade do stand out as stellar: 1981′s “For Your Eyes Only” by Sheena Easton and 1985′s “A View To A Kill” by Duran Duran. I’ll leave the former as a story for another time, as Easton’s dramatic turn holds an interesting place in my history, and put the latter tune in today’s sights.
Twenty five years ago this week, “A View To A Kill” was spending its second week atop the Billboard Hot 100, with Duran Duran holding the honor of having recorded the only Bond theme to hit the #1 target. That success was no doubt assisted by the music video, which hit MTV at just the right time in the cable channel’s history.
Casting the Fab Five as spies and assassins not all playing for the same team — vaguely foreshadowing Roger Taylor and Andy Taylor’s departures from Duran Duran the following year — the video takes place at the Eiffel Tower, interweaving scenes from the movie starring Roger Moore and Grace Jones. The entire clip is very cheekily constructed, cleverly disguising a detonator as a Panasonic portable cassette player and ending with Simon Le Bon introducing himself to a female admirer as, “Bon… Simon Le Bon.” I bet the whole treatment was made to ensure that pun could be worked in, because really, it was too brilliant to pass up.
Go on, dance into the fire once again: