A View to a Kill (song)

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"A View to a Kill"
Single by Duran Duran
from the album A View to a Kill
B-side "That Fatal Kiss"
Released 6 May 1985
Recorded Spring 1985
Genre New wave
Length 3:34
Label EMI, Capitol - DURAN 007
Writer(s) Duran Duran and John Barry
Producer(s) Bernard Edwards
Duran Duran singles chronology
"The Wild Boys"
(1984)
"A View to a Kill"
(1985)
"Notorious"
(1986)
Greatest track listing
"The Reflex"
(2)
"A View to a Kill"
(3)
"Ordinary World
(4)
James Bond theme chronology
"All Time High"
(1983)
"A View to a Kill"
(1985)
"The Living Daylights"
(1987)

"A View to a Kill" is the thirteenth single by Duran Duran, released in 6 May 1985 and created for the James Bond movie A View to a Kill. It was a stand-alone single, and remains the only James Bond theme song to have reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; it also made it to number 2 for three weeks on the UK Singles Chart.[1][2]

In 1986, John Barry and Duran Duran were nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for A View to a Kill. The song was the last track recorded by the original five members of Duran Duran until their 2001 reunion. It was played at their 1985 performance at Live Aid in Philadelphia, their final performance prior to their first split, while still at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

About the song[edit]

The song was written by Duran Duran and John Barry, and recorded at Maison Rouge Studio and CTS Studio in London with a 60-piece orchestra.

Duran Duran were chosen to do the song after bassist John Taylor (a lifelong Bond fan) approached producer Cubby Broccoli at a party, and somewhat drunkenly asked "When are you going to get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?"[3][4] This inauspicious beginning led to some serious talks, and the band was introduced to Bond composer John Barry, and also Jonathan Elias (whom Duran Duran members would later work with many times). An early writing meeting at Taylor's flat in Knightsbridge led to everyone getting drunk instead of composing.[5]

Singer Simon Le Bon said of Barry: "He didn't really come up with any of the basic musical ideas. He heard what we came up with and he put them into an order. And that's why it happened so quickly because he was able to separate the good ideas from the bad ones, and he arranged them. He has a great way of working brilliant chord arrangements. He was working with us as virtually a sixth member of the group, but not really getting on our backs at all."[6]

The song was finally completed in April 1985, and was released in May 1985. It entered the charts on 18 May 1985 at No. 45, and on 13 July it hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and still currently remains the only Bond theme to do so.

Covers, samples, and media references[edit]

Cover versions have been recorded by the Welsh band Lostprophets, Canadian punk band Gob, and Australian band Custard.

Another cover version of the song was created in 1985 by a euro disco group called DJ's Factory. This cover of A View to a Kill has a more disco/house sound as compared to that of Duran Duran's.

Shirley Bassey covered the song for an album of Bond theme songs, however, she wasn't satisfied with the quality, so the album was withdrawn from sale.

Finnish Melodic Death Metal band Diablo has covered the song, so has Finnish symphonic metal cover supergroup Northern Kings. In 2008, the song was covered with a bossa feeling by former Morcheeba singer Skye on the cover album Hollywood, Mon Amour.

Måns Zelmerlöw performed a live version of the song at the beginning of the Andra Chansen round of Melodifestivalen 2010 in Örebro, Sweden.

In 2011, Dutch artist Danny Vera performed a shortened version of the song during the football programme "Voetbal International" on Dutch television.

Chart positions[edit]

Country Peak
position
United Kingdom 2
US Billboard Hot 100 1
Canada 1
Sweden 1
Ireland 2
Italy 1
Norway 2
Australia 6
Austria 6
Spain (AFYVE)[7] 4
Switzerland 7
Germany 9
France 11

Track listing[edit]

7": EMI DURAN 007 (UK)[edit]

  1. "A View to a Kill" (3:34)
  2. "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)" (2:28)
  • Also released in a gatefold sleeve (DURANG007)

CD: Part of "Singles Box Set 1981–1985" boxset[edit]

  1. "A View to a Kill" (3:34)
  2. "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)" (2:28)

Other appearances[edit]

Albums:

Personnel[edit]

  • Nick Rhodes: Keyboards
  • Simon Le Bon: Vocals
  • Andy Taylor: Guitars
  • John Taylor: Bass
  • Roger Taylor: Drums
  • John Barry: Orchestra Conductor

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
  3. ^ Malins, Steve. (2005) Notorious: The Unauthorized Biography, André Deutsch/Carlton Publishing, UK (ISBN 0-233-00137-9). pp 161–162
  4. ^ Paul Gambaccini Interview with John Taylor, 1985, Greatest DVD extras.
  5. ^ Pattenden, Sian. "Blame It on Rio." Deluxe Magazine, December 1998 (pp 125–129)
  6. ^ Leonard, Geoff. Bond By Barry: The Story of James Bond Music.[dead link]
  7. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 


External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Everything She Wants" by Wham!
Canadian RPM Singles Chart number-one single
29 June 1985
Succeeded by
"Never Surrender" by Corey Hart
Preceded by
"Sussudio" by Phil Collins
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
13 July 1985 – 20 July 1985
Succeeded by
"Everytime You Go Away" by Paul Young