Sunday, July 19, 2015

A View to a Kill (1985) | Music

The story goes that John Taylor from Duran Duran (with a few drinks in him) approached Cubby Broccoli at a party and asked when they were going to get someone "decent" to do a Bond song. Taylor's a Bond fan (he talks about it a bit in this 1985 interview for the movie) and I can imagine that his asking that was as much out of frustration over the blandness of the last few theme songs as it was out of ambition. At any rate, Broccoli listened and Duran Duran worked with John Barry to create one of greatest Bond songs of all time.

I kind of dread writing about Skyfall and having to pick between that song and this one, but I'm a huge Duran Duran fan and "View to a Kill" pushes all my buttons. From the pounding drums and synth to the nonsensically poetic lyrics and the delightfully whiney way that Simon LeBon sings them, it's a perfect Duran Duran song and it makes me so happy to have it in a Bond movie. I remember being ecstatic at the time, hoping that this was a herald for better times for Bond music.

To go with it, Maurice Binder created a very '80s opening credits sequence with blacklight effects and girls literally dancing into the fire. There's a lot of dancing in the credits, but also pointing guns and skiing. Binder's been using more photography in his last few sequences, with silhouettes just popping in now and then. At some point he'll work in a unique image like in A View to a Kill where he has Bond shoot at a woman to turn her into ice for some reason. It's been a while since I've felt any real inspiration from his titles. He's mostly just picking a gimmick and then doing his usual thing with it and I admit that I'm getting weary of the formula. Maybe that's because I'm watching these so close together.

Barry barely uses the Bond Theme in A View to a Kill. It shows up clearly as Bond chases the parachuting May Day through Paris, but other than that it's only just noticeable as part of another action theme that Barry uses during the ski chase, the fight at Stacey's house, and the fight on top of the Golden Gate bridge.

Top Ten Theme Songs

1. A View to a Kill
2. The Spy Who Loved Me ("Nobody Does It Better")
3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service instrumental theme
4. Diamonds Are Forever
5. You Only Live Twice
6. From Russia With Love (John Barry instrumental version)
7. Live and Let Die
8. Dr No
9. Thunderball
10. Goldfinger

Top Ten Title Sequences

1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
2. Dr No
3. Thunderball
4. Goldfinger
5. From Russia with Love
6. The Spy Who Loved Me
7. Diamonds Are Forever
8. Live and Let Die
9. Moonraker
10. Octopussy

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