Nobody Does It Better

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"Nobody Does It Better"
Nobody Does It Better cover.jpg
Single by Carly Simon
from the album The Spy Who Loved Me
ReleasedJuly 1977
Format7" 45 RPM
RecordedApril 1977
Songwriter(s)Marvin Hamlisch, Carole Bayer Sager
Producer(s)Richard Perry
Carly Simon singles chronology
"It Keeps You Runnin'"
"Nobody Does It Better"
"You Belong to Me"

"Nobody Does It Better" is a power ballad composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager. It was recorded by Carly Simon as the theme song for the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. It was the first Bond theme song to be titled differently from the name of the film since Dr. No, although the phrase "the spy who loved me" is included in the lyrics. The song was released as a single from the film's soundtrack album.

"Nobody Does It Better" became a major worldwide hit, spending three weeks at #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 but was kept out of the top spot by Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" and #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.[1] It also reached #7 on the UK Singles Chart.[2][3] The song was certified Gold by the RIAA, signifying sales of one million copies in the US.[4]

The song is Simon's longest-charting hit, as well the most successful hit of hers that she did not write herself. Her earlier hit "You're So Vain" spent three weeks at #1; however, its chart run was two months shorter than that of "Nobody Does It Better."[5] The title of the theme was later used for Simon's 1999 greatest hits compilation, The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better.

Among the most successful Bond theme songs, "Nobody Does It Better" received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song where it lost to "You Light Up My Life", as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination. At the 20th Annual Grammy Awards held in 1978, "Nobody Does It Better" received a nomination for Song of the Year and Simon was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. In 2004, the song was also honored by the American Film Institute as the 67th greatest song as part of their 100 Years Series.


Lyrically, "Nobody Does It Better" is a "lust-drunk anthem" about James Bond's sexual prowess.[6] In a 1977 documentary on the making of The Spy Who Loved Me, Marvin Hamilsch said that the decision to ask Carly Simon to perform the song was made after lyricist Carole Bayer Sager remarked that the lyrics sounded "incredibly vain", in reference to Simon's 1972 song You're So Vain.

Chart performance[edit]


"Nobody Does It Better" has been covered a number of times and has been featured in many non-Bond films, including Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), performed by 8mm. Little Black Book (2004), Lost in Translation (2003), and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) also used the song.[17][18][19]

Brazilian singer Fafá de Belém sang and wrote Portuguese lyrics from this song, called "Meu Homem".[20]

George Wright covered the song in his 1984 album Red Hot and Blue.[21]

Singer and actress Julie Andrews included the song on her 1987 album Love, Julie (also titled Tea for Two internationally) as a birthday present for husband Blake Edwards.

The English rock band Radiohead covered the song several times live from 1995 through 1997. Frontman Thom Yorke claimed in a bootleg recording of a live performance in 1995 that this is the "sexiest song that was ever written".[22]

R&B singer Bobby Brown covered the song with Whitney Houston on his 1997 album Forever.

Brittany Murphy's character in the film Little Black Book sings the song.[23]

Singer Lynn Carey (formerly of the L.A. band Mama Lion) recorded a version of the song for her Mama Lion Roars Back CD in 2001. The song comes as the 20th track on the CD after a long pause following the 19th.

Rock guitarist/singer Aimee Mann recorded a version of the song for the 1997 James Bond tribute album Shaken & Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.

Adam Sandler covered this song before receiving the MTV Generation award at the 2008 MTV Movie Awards. The lyrics were modified to reflect Adam Sandler.[24]

A version of the track was performed by the Ian Rich Orchestra with vocals by singer, model, and TV presenter Marina Berry. This version appears on the compilation albums Totally James Bond (a collection of Bond theme covers) and Simply Woman.

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor covered the song live at the London 2012 Party in August 2008.

The group Me First and the Gimme Gimmes included a punk rock cover of the song on their 1997 album Have a Ball.

Floyd Cramer covered the song as an easy listening piano version.[25]

In 1995, saxophonist David Sanborn covered the song from his album Pearls, with vocals performed by singer Oleta Adams.[26]

In 2006, saxophonist Michael Lington covered the song for his renditions album A Song for You.[27][28]

In 2009, "Nobody Does it Better" was used in the BBC TV series All the Small Things. It was covered twice, in the first episode and in the sixth episode. In both versions, it was a choral arrangement of the piece.

In 2011, Celine Dion performed this song as part of her self-titled show in Las Vegas.[29]

In 2017, Mike Viola (featuring Red Bank Catholic) covered the song on the multi-artist compilation album, Songs, Bond Songs: The Music Of 007.[30]

Other uses[edit]

A small element of the tune makes an appearance in a later Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, as an audio lock to the Indentigraph in Q branch.

For the 2006 release of the new James Bond film, Casino Royale, commercials used the song's title, "Nobody Does It Better", as a catch phrase. Included in the March 2007 DVD release of Casino Royale was the documentary featurette Bond Girls Are Forever; a version of "Nobody Does it Better" performed by Faith Rivera is heard over the closing credits.

Teaser posters for the 1983 Bond film, Octopussy, featured the tagline: "Nobody does it better... thirteen times" (this was the 13th official James Bond film).

The song was featured over a montage of James Bond film clips featuring the character Q; this was included on the VHS release (as well as the 2006 Ultimate Edition DVD release) of The World Is Not Enough in order to honor the memory of the then-recently deceased actor Desmond Llewelyn. Llewelyn had portrayed Q in every Bond film to that point, with the exceptions of Dr. No and Live and Let Die.

The song was current during the breakout 1977 season of the young National Football League star Walter Payton, and was used by NFL Films over film clips of some of Payton's more notable achievements. On the NFL pre-game show The NFL Today, a feature about Payton, with song introducing and closing the piece, became synonymous with Payton, particularly the end of the song where Simon laments how "Sweetness you're the best". "Sweetness" was a nickname for Payton.

In the 1989 VHS release of Baseball: Funny Side Up! hosted by Tug McGraw and narrated by Mel Allen, the song was used for the opening sequence of bloopers and blunders from past MLB seasons.

During the 1980s and 90s, clips of the song were used in commercials for the American Safeway supermarket chain, whose slogan at the time was "Nobody does it better." In the UK, the song was used in advertisements for the B&Q chain of DIY shops around the same time.

An adaption of the melody during the lines 'nobody does it half as good as you, baby you're the best' was used as an advertising motif for a commercial airing during the mid to late 90s, commissioned by Australian real estate company LJ Hooker. Instead of the original lyrics it was sung 'Nobody does it better, L.J Hooker you're the best'. The company's tagline has remained 'Nobody Does It Better' to the present day.

In 1997, during the final telecast of the Pro Bowlers Tour on ABC, the song was played at the end of a tribute to sportscaster Chris Schenkel.

Andy Breckman, writer of Monk and co-host of WFMU radio show Seven Second Delay announced on air that it states in his will that he wishes the song to be sung by a local middle school choir and/or his wife at his funeral.[31]

In July 2019, singer Mick Hucknall performed a rendition of the song for the last edition of the BBC One current affairs programme This Week, dedicating it to presenter Andrew Neil and changing the lyrics to "Andrew, you're the best".[32][33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 221.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  4. ^ Paul Grein (January 3, 2013). "Chart Watch Extra: Top Songs of 2012". Chart Watch. Yahoo Music. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles, 1955–2002
  6. ^ Ehrlich, David (November 2, 2015). "James Bond Movie Theme Songs, Ranked Worst to Best". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  9. ^ a b c "Songs from the Year 1977". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  10. ^ "Carly Simon: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2016-09-27. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  12. ^ "Top 100 1977 - UK Music Charts". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  13. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  14. ^ "Billboard Easy Listening Charts Singles". Billboard Magazine. 24 December 1977. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ Internet Movie Database. "Little Black Book". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  18. ^ Internet Movie Database. "Lost in Translation". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  19. ^ Internet Movie Database. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason". Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  20. ^ Klos, Lloyd E. (January 1985). "Portrait of Con Maffie". Theatre Organ. 27 (1): 14. ISSN 0040-5531.
  21. ^ DeLay, Tom (January 1985). "For the Records". Theatre Organ. 27 (1): 19. ISSN 0040-5531.
  22. ^ Ben Rawson-Jones. "Best & Worst James Bond theme covers". Digital Spy. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Brittany Murphy Singing". YouTube. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  24. ^ "Adam Sandler - Nobody Does it Better". YouTube. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  25. ^ "Looking For Mr. Goodbar". Retrieved 2015-01-30.
  26. ^ "Pearls overview".
  27. ^ "A Song for You".
  28. ^ "A Song for You overview".
  29. ^ Brissey, Breia. "On the scene: Celine Dion live in Las Vegas". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-01-30.
  30. ^ "Songs, Bond Songs: The Music Of 007"
  31. ^ "Seven Second Delay with Ken and Andy: Playlist from June 5, 2013". Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  32. ^ "This Week final show: emotional moment Mick Hucknall and live audience serenade Andrew Neil with 'Nobody Does It Better'". INews. 19 July 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  33. ^ "This Week: 'The end of an error'". BBC News. BBC. 19 July 2019. Retrieved 19 July 2019.

External links[edit]