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 "A View to a Kill" (That Fatal Kiss)
Released 6 May 1985
Format 7"
Recorded Spring 1985
Length 3:37 (single version)
Producer(s) Bernard Edwards
Duran Duran singles chronology
"The Wild Boys"
"A View to a Kill"
Greatest track listing
"The Reflex"
"A View to a Kill"
"Ordinary World
James Bond theme chronology
"All Time High"
"A View to a Kill"
"The Living Daylights"

"A View to a Kill" is the thirteenth single by the English new wave band Duran Duran, released on 6 May 1985. Written and recorded as the theme for the 1985 James Bond movie of the same name, it became one of the band's biggest hits. It remains the only James Bond theme song to have reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100; it also made it to number 2 for three weeks on the UK Singles Chart.[1][2]

In 1986, composer 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 most famous five member lineup of Duran Duran until their 2001 reunion. It was performed by the band at Live Aid in Philadelphia, their final performance together before their first split. Following Barry's death, the band paid tribute as their encore at the 2011 Coachella Festival, Simon Le Bon reappearing in a tuxedo for a pared-down version backed by an orchestra, before launching into the full, upbeat track. Bassist John Taylor told the crowd: "We lost a dear friend of ours this year – English composer John Barry. This is for him."

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. In the UK it entered the singles chart at No. 7 before peaking at No. 2 the following week, and remaining at that position for three weeks. In the US, it entered the charts at No. 45, and on 13 July it reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It remains the only Bond theme to do so.

In November 2014, the James Bond site MI6 revealed a previously unreleased 7:30 extended remixed 12" version of the song and it has since been mentioned on Duran Duran's website which suggests that it might be the real deal. MI6 claim that Steve Thompson created the 12" mix in Paris with the band, although John Taylor says "I don't remember hearing it at the time". The remix was added to MI6-HQ's SoundCloud. In a Super Deluxe Edition article dated November 22, 2014, Steve Thompson confirmed to an interviewer that he, Mike Barbiero and the band, with the exception of John Taylor, were in a Paris studio where they had made the 12" version of the song.[7]

Formats and track listing[edit]

7": EMI. / Duran 007 United Kingdom[edit]

  1. "A View to a Kill" – (3:37)
  2. "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)" – (2:31)
  • Also released in a gatefold sleeve (DURANG 007)

7": Capitol Records. / B-5475 United States[edit]

  1. "A View to a Kill" – (3:37)
  2. "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)" – (2:31)

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

  1. "A View to a Kill" – (3:37)
  2. "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)" – (2:31)

Covers, samples, and media references[edit]

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

Another cover version of the song was created in 1985 by a disco group called DJ's Factory. This cover of A View to a Kill has a more 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 2006, a Chilean punk rock band Los Mox included in their album called "Con Cover" their version of this song.

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


Chart (1985) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 2
US Billboard Hot 100 1
Canada 1
Sweden 1
Ireland 2
Brazil 1
Norway 2
Australia 6
Austria 1
Spain (AFYVE)[9] 1
Switzerland 7
Germany 9
France 11

Other appearances[edit]



  • Nick Rhodes: keyboards
  • Simon Le Bon: vocals
  • Andy Taylor: guitars
  • John Taylor: bass
  • Roger Taylor: drums
  • John Barry: orchestra conductor

See also[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. Archived 31 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.‹The template Wayback is being considered for merging.› 
  7. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Steve Thompson solves mystery of "A View to A Kill" remix". 
  8. ^ "Duran Duran: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  9. ^ 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