How Radiohead Wrote the Perfect Bond Theme

2021 ж. 28 Мау.
1 237 541 Рет қаралды

Like every James Bond film that came before it, Spectre begins with a title sequence accompanied by a newly-written song. For this 24th installment in the franchise, Sam Smith provided 'Writing's On The Wall' for the opening, but they were not the first choice to provide a new song for the film. Radiohead were initally approached to write a new theme song, and what they delivered was, in my opinion, one of the greatest Bond themes ever written. In this video, I look at the musical components that make up a great Bond song, and consider what makes Radiohead's 'Spectre' so good.

Purchase a PDF of the study score for Radiohead's 'Spectre':

How Jonny Greenwood was Influenced by Penderecki:
Radiohead's Masterpiece in Orchestration:
Radiohead: Pyramid Song - Analysis:

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  • What's your favourite Bond theme? Also, if you'd like to purchase a PDF of the score for my transcription of Radiohead's 'Spectre', visit my new Musicnotes page:

    Listening InListening In5 ай бұрын
    • Living Daylights hands down

      Simon TemplarSimon Templar13 күн бұрын
    • Choosing between Live and Let die and View to a Kill is tough, but for me it's between those two. Skyfall is beautiful as well. You know my name and Another way to die aren't the worst, but both are overproduced in a way where the cabaret/big band elements and the modern elements never quite fuse together naturally imo. It's too bad that there will never be a Bond theme by Amy Winehouse. I feel her style would have been a natural fit for the franchise.

      Donny DarkoDonny Darko19 күн бұрын
    • For awhile it was Skyfall, only because it was the only bond theme I knew at the time. I really really love No Time To Die but then I was just informed of Spectre. I've always loved Radiohead but I don't listen to them enough. It's definitely now Spectre.

      Jaci WJaci W19 күн бұрын
    • Live and let die is way is the most original, imho: any other later song is "catchy", but obvious and ordinary too

      uffaizeuffaize20 күн бұрын
    • 🤩 Living Daylights. 🤩 View to A Kill. You Know My Name. Surrender (Tomorrow Never Dies- kd lang 🤩). If There Was a Man & Where Has Everybody Gone (Pretenders 🤩) Tomorrow Never Dies.

      CL CLCL CL29 күн бұрын
  • Recently recorded an acoustic cover of the main theme from James Bond , I would appreciate if anyone has the time to listen and support the channel , most importantly hope you enjoy :)

    JG _uitarJG _uitarКүн бұрын
  • Interesting and compelling. I think it’s important for young people to know that they can be rejected, but still recognized. One of the coolest things brought forth by these musical dissections is that the composers/writers know exactly what they’re doing. To this regard there is no way around having skill in your profession. Is it more important to get the job, or is it more important on a personal level to display your skill? I say to display your skill!

    Yogi CecilyYogi Cecily3 күн бұрын
  • The string in spectre is fucking Awesome and by "fucking" i just cannot describe how i love it so much

    Angelo maAngelo ma4 күн бұрын
  • actually, chris cornell did it.

    Jesse StoreyJesse Storey5 күн бұрын
  • Pretty cool, but nothing will ever beat You Know My Name

    KlausKlaus5 күн бұрын
  • It's a bag of crap is this. It's not catchy at all. A load of student waffling about tortured chromatic d majors doesn't make it any more impressive either. Give me 'Goldfinger' any day, 'He's the man, the man with the Midas touch...... the spider's touch'.

    UserUser6 күн бұрын
  • I am kind of glad that they didn’t use this song for the opening sequence. It is a good song but if it was in the movie I think it is best for it to be played near the end. The song doesn’t really work for the title sequence because it doesn’t hype up the audience for the rest of the movie. Just my opinion

    Louis JohnsonLouis Johnson7 күн бұрын
  • This track might tick all the boxes in terms of music theory, but it lacks a hook/anchor point from which the rest of the piece builds upon. I other words, it’s just not catchy enough to the lay-person IMO

    Kien D LuuKien D Luu8 күн бұрын
  • Such a shame this wasn't the official theme for specter. I despise so much the Sam Smith song. Funny how the weakest score match the weakest film of the Craig era.

    KaramazovKaramazov8 күн бұрын
  • This is a great piece of music and far better than Sam Smiths effort. They should have gone with this.

    VaderRacing VRVaderRacing VR9 күн бұрын
  • why the hell did they cancel this song for the film? Some hair-brained exec without an ounce of creativity i bet.

    Half AlligatorHalf Alligator10 күн бұрын
  • It's an amazingly well crafted song, but I think the rhythm of the percussion is what had Sam Smith's song picked instead. Radiohead's structure and composition is great, but if you can't get a sense of the tempo, the staggered hits of the drums can be distracting.

    Sarjant BobSarjant Bob10 күн бұрын
  • Augmented and imperfect cadences used to perfection. So glad I came across this. You just made an old O' level musician of the early eighties revisit his school years. Top draw walk through!

    Mark my WordsMark my Words11 күн бұрын
  • I understood nothing, but I loved it

    OliviaOlivia11 күн бұрын
  • Good video. But, I literally understood none of it.

    Michael HillMichael Hill12 күн бұрын
  • 👍

    Raj ModiRaj Modi12 күн бұрын
  • Sounded like you were talking about Calculus in Chinese, but I liked it!

    SuperZekethefreakSuperZekethefreak12 күн бұрын
  • 0:08

    Octopi BrothersOctopi Brothers13 күн бұрын
  • No one at all has disliked this analysis -- that says a lot already! Keep up the great work, dude!

    Brandie BraxtonBrandie Braxton13 күн бұрын
  • Billy Eilish had no business writing a James Bond theme song.

    MGR1900MGR190013 күн бұрын
  • Nah, it sounds meh. Spectre was a forgettable movie but the song. Studio made the right choice.

    NoPenguinsOnKharakNoPenguinsOnKharak14 күн бұрын
  • Just watched the movie (1hour) last night and an hour is all I could take. Totally implausible plot. If you want to watch a good spy thriller, the last Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

    andy klompenburgandy klompenburg14 күн бұрын
  • All Bond themes are good in their own way, but for me (other than Norman's theme...) it has to be *You Only Live Twice,* neck and neck with *OHMSS* and Casino Royale. Radioheads offering was sublime. But their politics (such as it is) stinks, so I'd never vote for anything Radiohead does.

    Deebz270Deebz27014 күн бұрын
  • My sense is that it was rejected because it was deemed too challenging a listen for normie audiences who mightn't be able to clap along and hum the tune the next day. That sentiment was likely reinforced by the downright haunting vocals and lyrics. Had Radiohead foregone or even toned down either the rhythmic or harmonic ambiguity it likely would have been a stronger contender. In any case it is a veritable masterpiece. Thanks for the analysis.

    HermielHermiel14 күн бұрын
  • Radiohead's Bond theme reminds me of their otherworldly, Pyramid Song. Just no words for what they produce. They are Vincent VG in 2021.

    Tracy LFTracy LF15 күн бұрын
  • I don't know musical theory, but I've shared this with some friends of mine who do because... WOW. This was an exemplary video, absolutely loved it! I love how you can teach us what you have without being a snob in the slightest. It really did welcome me in with open arms, and I have a huge amount of gratitude and respect for that. Thank you ever so much for making this content!

    Niall MullengerNiall Mullenger15 күн бұрын
    • Oh, and I completely agree with you. I never even knew Radiohead had written a prospective Bond song, but even just hearing it in this video, I completely agree with you. That's how amazing not just the song itself is, but also your ability to make me understand/convince me why the song was the better fit. Such a shame that it wasn't chosen, but thanks to people like yourself, that doesn't mean it can't be loved!

      Niall MullengerNiall Mullenger15 күн бұрын
  • Shut upppppp

    chaiya miyayachaiya miyaya15 күн бұрын
  • The newest bond song is absolute trash

    Ashadelo李世杰Ashadelo李世杰15 күн бұрын
  • Poor video getting copyrighted left and right. Thnaks for making this.

    Wei Zen YangWei Zen Yang17 күн бұрын
  • Sam smith’s song is typical for him, crying. Awful

    RistubeRistube17 күн бұрын
  • 6:17 I’m almost positive that the line is “the only truth that I can see, is when you put your lips to MEET” Like the only truth is when lips are closed.

    RistubeRistube17 күн бұрын
  • Its kinda mind-blowing they went with Sam Smith over this, he's got a nice voice but its just such a plain and average pop song. This is so haunting, beautiful, sophisticated and ambitious - on a completely different tier in every aspect.

    John HioJohn Hio18 күн бұрын
  • The Living Daylights is the best Bond Song

    hoopesfamilyhoopesfamily18 күн бұрын
  • I respectfully disagree. Sounds more or less like a typical Radiohead song. Doesn't stand out in any really significant way, for me.

    insrtcowjokeinsrtcowjoke18 күн бұрын
  • I'm going to recommend getting your hands on - if you can - an LP recorded in 1971 by the London Sounds Orchestra conducted by Go Misawa in Japan, in 1971, on the EMI "Music for Pleasure" label. It contains "Diamonds are Forever" as the then latest but also contains guessed at music for "The Living Daylights", "Moonraker", "the Man with the Golden Gun" as well as "Live and Let Die" long before they were made - and composed in Japan at the time. "Moonraker" was particularly fascinating, as it dramatically encapsulated a modernisation in terms of the then-current space-race, with themes for both the Russians and Americans, with an excellent feel to them. the conjectural themes should be better saved, and they conform precisely to the format of their prdecessaors.

    Martin La GrangeMartin La Grange18 күн бұрын
  • That's some clever song writing. Typical radiohead, classic bond!

    ThiefOfNavarreThiefOfNavarre18 күн бұрын
  • The worst Bond theme is Die Another Day by Madonna, it's way too upbeat for a Bond theme, Spectre by Radiohead and Writings on the Wall by Sam Smith for Spectre, and Skyfall by Adele for Skyfall are brilliant, especially Skyfall, since it matches the dark tone of the film but it grabs your attention with Adele's powerful voice

    Patrick KennedyPatrick Kennedy18 күн бұрын
  • The best Bond theme might be "I Belong To You" by Caro just needs to make it into a Bond film now.

    Michael FrostMichael Frost19 күн бұрын
  • Very good video chap

    Wyatt KlineWyatt Kline19 күн бұрын
  • Damn, that was some good material. Thank you for making this. This really was a solid piece of material. Wow.

    MalapropifyMalapropify19 күн бұрын
  • Tim Yorke's vocals are woven into the song more like an instrument that is part of the music rather than the focus of the song like most people are accustomed to. I'd be willing to bet that if they had someone else sing on it in a more traditional manner that it probably wouldn't have been rejected. Not saying the song would have been better for it at all though, just trying to look at it in an objective manner of them wanting to appeal to the widest possible audience.

    Donny DarkoDonny Darko19 күн бұрын
  • well I just saw No Time To Die, and I can tell you which is the worst Bond theme song!

    davescardcreationsdavescardcreations19 күн бұрын
  • How Shirley basey's theme for Quantumn wasn't used is crazy.

    Mohamad F.A GheewalaMohamad F.A Gheewala19 күн бұрын
  • my favourite is Live and Let Die :) and this song is great too

    ChrisChris19 күн бұрын
  • I keep being reminded how much I'm in love with Radiohead even though I don't listen to them enough. I feel like I go through periods every few years where I'll just listen to them non stop, and then I just stop out of nowhere.

    Jaci WJaci W19 күн бұрын
  • This is so not the Perfect Bond Theme.

    Si HopebgoodSi Hopebgood20 күн бұрын
  • I'm a huge radiohead fan but you're mad if you think this is the perfect bond song. A bond song should be sexy, classy, symphonic and easy to hum. Go count your triplets.

    James RobertsonJames Robertson21 күн бұрын
  • This song is wow

    Jan VillapazJan Villapaz21 күн бұрын
  • Almost ready to subscribe. Ya just need a few more Radiohead videos.

    Chuck McFaydenChuck McFayden21 күн бұрын
  • I like music too.

    Bryan PolitteBryan Politte21 күн бұрын
  • This is a fantastic review - I love music in many forms but am by no means an expert, however your insightful and instructive narrative is fantastic. I was so gutted when Spectress didn’t make it as the bond theme tune - I knew it felt/sounded absolutely perfect , but had no idea why. Your video explains it so vividly. Bravo 👏

    WillWill22 күн бұрын
  • Well done video, horrible premise. As a Bond theme, this doesn't even come close.

    MDWMDW22 күн бұрын
  • Remember what Radiohead did to Scott Tenorman? Yeah this song sucks.

    The Warden of OzThe Warden of Oz23 күн бұрын
  • Love Radiohead, clearly you do as well, but this lacks the Barry punch and sensual melodic sensibility. Might be interesting as a construction but does nothing for me.

    Mark Thomas ChristopherMark Thomas Christopher23 күн бұрын
  • "sometimes the truth can only be seen in the shadows"

    Josephine BlueJosephine Blue23 күн бұрын
  • VERY F'n COOL dude...

    Larry A. Boyd.Larry A. Boyd.23 күн бұрын
  • nice work

    Dan brownDan brown24 күн бұрын
  • A brilliant educated analysis of Bond music. But for me the RH offering was a bit 'blah'. Just rather 'grey' Stuff doesn't have to be complicated to be memorable, even in minor chords.

    Peter EvansPeter Evans24 күн бұрын
  • Honestly, it would probably have been accepted if it wasn’t out of time ( I know they did that on purpose, but it sometimes makes it hard to listen to)

    DofgeeseDofgeese24 күн бұрын
  • Anal people talk too much about music & think that the more words they use the smarter it sounds; however, like as been told before that, Brevity is the soul of wit".

    Tom AtoTom Ato24 күн бұрын
  • t'd help if you stopped whittering throughout....

    Billy BBilly B24 күн бұрын
  • Craig didn’t deserve it.

    Ringbearer1420Ringbearer142024 күн бұрын
  • Oh, I remember this. Definitely should have been a Bond theme. Reminds me of the Muse piece Supremacy, which although not written for Bond, AFAIK, could easily have been one of this cinematic institution's best.

    Paulo MartinsPaulo Martins24 күн бұрын
  • i still think man of war is better

    Mesum NaqviMesum Naqvi25 күн бұрын
  • I hate it and Radiohead. I love the older themes.

    sabbracadabrasabbracadabra25 күн бұрын
  • I'll leave it to the experts to determine the "perfect" Bond theme(s), but my personal favorite is "You Only Live Twice."

    RonRon25 күн бұрын
  • Lots of nostalgia and sentimentality possibly clouding my vote for best, but Billie & Finneas' is positively *_unearthly_* ... gotta go with them

    Steve XSteve X25 күн бұрын
  • Def should've been Radiohead. But how long till they _finally_ commission the band _born_ to do the best theme ever - *Portishead* 😳 Yeah I know right 👐✨🙏

    Steve XSteve X25 күн бұрын
  • I've always thought Portishead "sour times" would make a great Bond theme. Does it follow this musical form?

    Greg BoyingtonGreg Boyington26 күн бұрын
  • It was a travesty that it wasn’t chosen for the actual movie.

    Derek ArrowsmithDerek Arrowsmith26 күн бұрын
  • Beatles, Bowie and Radiohead -. that's my Holy Trinity of rock.

    Zed PZed P27 күн бұрын
  • I could see the producers being like “i dont get it”

    ThurstonThurston27 күн бұрын
  • In a world where people like predictable progressions and structures of a song, ofcourse they wouldn't like radioheads work... That's musically brilliant and unsafe to listen for "Casual Listeners"... Also they we're probably caught off guard by the percussion not synching to the song, it's called Time Signature....

    Mezniv FinishMezniv Finish27 күн бұрын
  • The rejection of this song is by far the biggest mistake in the history of cinema

    Volv DjVolv Dj27 күн бұрын
    • Uh no this song really isn’t that good

      Mirage475Mirage47527 күн бұрын

    Kay RodneyKay Rodney27 күн бұрын
  • My favorite genre is Bond Song

    KTMKTM28 күн бұрын
  • Kewl song bruh

    Oliver KalamataOliver Kalamata28 күн бұрын
  • Side note , but they've covered Bond themes before

    Bob LewisBob Lewis28 күн бұрын
  • I really enjoyed watching this, though my grasp of music theory is limited to what I picked up in my youth learning to play clarinet, and later basic guitar chords. I think it's a really pity that the producers didn't pick this up. That leaves us on a ...discordant note! And that's not a 'minor' problem. Ok, I'll scale back the puns as I treble to think how you might react. KUDOS on a very interesting video! :)

    Unstoppable ZoneUnstoppable Zone28 күн бұрын

    Joel LaCruanzaJoel LaCruanza28 күн бұрын
  • I Soooo AGREE WITH your commentary of this Radiohead song. It's a shame this wasn't the Theme song of Spectre. The lyrics and chord progressions makes so much more sense!! Well Done, Radiohead!!

    Amandula GarciaAmandula Garcia28 күн бұрын
  • The key signature at 2:40 is B minor (not C minor as indicated). Using numerals, the root chord would be Im to distinguish it from a major tonic I, and so I would also notate the second chord as a bVI and not just VI (because you would have to then notate a G# minor as #VI, and even though the sixth is a G in a B minor scale).

    Tony FratesTony Frates28 күн бұрын
  • Best Music Score ' On Her Majesty's Secret Service" John Barry wrote a fabulous music score - Ski Chase - Gumbold's Safe - Escape From Piz Gloria 🎯

    Martin JensenMartin Jensen29 күн бұрын
  • This song definitely captures Bond’s soul beautifully. My all time favorite song

    Drizzt BonesDrizzt Bones29 күн бұрын
  • I love radio head and I have a passion for bond music. Whist this one is hauntingly beautiful and truly a masterpiece, I can see why it was rejected. I think the pacing and discord of the chords, the tonal shifts from minor to major, whilst is on the nose musically, may have been a bit much for the average Joe. It is a shame, I prefer this to the one they chose, but then popular opinion is not ofteny opinion and I respect that. Its simply a case of the music being "too good" to the point where I think a lot of people wouldn't appreciate it in this age of studio sampled music where people are spoon fed hooks and popular music is no longer about taking risks or exploring musicality, rather making everything sound kinda familiar so that it sells.

    Awesomer BobAwesomer Bob29 күн бұрын
  • meh. rather boring.

    StallnigStallnig29 күн бұрын
  • Classic stuff - great job

    Stephen AllenStephen Allen29 күн бұрын
  • I've never heard so much pretentious blah about music ever.

    paddotkpaddotk29 күн бұрын
  • The studio's rejection of RH's song remains, in my most humble and biased opinion, one of the greatest missed opportunity and travesty ever... Complete nonsensical decision!

    Kev MusicluvaKev Musicluva29 күн бұрын
  • I like the song but the vocals let ot down for me

    That Gaming Guy 29That Gaming Guy 2929 күн бұрын
  • Guess many missed out on Live and Let Die.

    GameXentralGameXentralАй бұрын
  • I love Radiohead, and the orchestral work, but his vocals did not work for me. Since when did he use vibrato? He put me in mind of a cabaret singer. Why no mention of Jack White's/Alicia Key's version. That was also a great solution

    The Wagners The WagnersThe Wagners The WagnersАй бұрын
  • Exceptional breakdown. Goosebumps

    WillWillАй бұрын

    hangemhigh63hangemhigh63Ай бұрын
  • I have no idea what you are talking about, BUT the music sounds real good.

    George NoszaghGeorge NoszaghАй бұрын
  • who else?

    Mar nigMar nigАй бұрын
  • KZworld has been recommending this incessantly

    Хамза ПателХамза ПателАй бұрын
  • Radiohead wrote the Second best bond theme song after U2 Golden Eyes.

    Stochastic Differential EQ.Stochastic Differential EQ.Ай бұрын
  • As great as this Production is and you know a great deal about music, and i might add that i know nothing about music other than i know it when i hear it and good music spans all generations . But the John Barry version is the only version i am afraid . While Radio Heads is a master piece of musical writing NOTHING is more QUITENSITAL than the Original Bond Theme by Monty Norman . I shall try to put it another way Henry Mancini v Beethoven John Williams v Bach .Frog stomp is to Young Modern (Silver Chair)Whilst the classical Composers music may be more Articulate . Every one loves the Baby Elephant walk and the Pink Panther every one has muttered the Jaws theme when swimming and i mean every one ,or knows the Darth Vader tune , whilst technically not even in the same league as the classical composers every knows them with out a doubt . I do understand that they are both entirely different times as well as is the Bond Movies almost 60 years apart . I mean in 60's not every one had a phone let alone a TV .Now we havethe entire information of the world at their finger tips. I mean in the last 20 years Phones became more powerful than the entire computers used to go to the Moon more Powerful than a PC from 11 years ago . So in Summary the original is the best Bond theme to me .I did thoroughly enjoy this video .

    viol8r007viol8r007Ай бұрын