Here’s “not the Spectre theme” by “not Sam Smith”. Can we just all agree now that it would have made a better choice than his insipid warble?
Now, some people, almost all of whom I predict would self-identify as Sam Smith fans, have come out in defence of Writing’s On The Wall. Me, I couldn’t make it all the way through, falling about thirty seconds short and quite unable to withstand the onslaught. It’s so stereotypically Bond-themeish at the start as to pass beyond parody into the secret garden of the egregious. And then it threatens to launch into Earth Song, and there are weird Will Young bits. But not good Will Young. “Do you expect me to listen to this?” I silently cried. But answer came there none. Sam Smith claims (perhaps unwisely) to have written the song in only twenty minutes. Remarkably, a single listen seems to go on for much, much longer. And, incidentally, when you say you wrote it in twenty minutes, presumably you mean the melody - which starts off plain and veers off into something that sounds like mostly improvised - and the lyrics - which I don’t recall (sorry), but which I’m guessing are from the fall / call / wall school. I’m guessing you didn’t also arrange all the instrumentation in that twenty minutes, though, because that bit is both difficult and quite good.
Spectre, on the other hand, is about averagely Bond-themeish, with strings, a touch of brass and plenty of drama, and a last-minute maelstrom. Despite being quite a bit longer than Smith’s track, it feels a good deal shorter. They’ve also figured out how to get the word Spectre and variations on the rhyme into the song without having to resort to Goldeneye-style madness. Bravo. Although I still think a lyric about “Jody Scheckter, Tax inspector” would have also been viable.
Waking up this morning and listening to Sam’s song felt comforting because nothing in the world had changed. The cat yawned, the wallpaper was still there and Sam Smith really must regret telling everyone he wrote it in 20 minutes; it shows.Spectres