A Famous Artist Wasn’t Able to Work on the Only James Bond Song to Hit No. 1

Tie-in songs are an iconic part of the James Bond movies. Major artists like Adele, Sam Smith, and Billie Eilish have all contributed songs to the series. Despite this star power, only one of the songs from a 007 film reached No. 1 in the United States. Notably, the band behind the song said it was incredibly difficult to record.

Roger Moore as James Bond in front of a red background
Roger Moore as James Bond | Silver Screen Collection/Archive Photos/Getty Images

This James Bond movie marked the end of an era

Roger Moore played 007 on the big screen for many years. Between 1973 and 1985, he starred in seven Bond films. While many fans enjoyed his over-the-top antics, all good things come to an end.

In 1985, Moore starred in his last 007 film: A View to a Kill. The film didn’t deviate significantly from the formula of previous movies in the franchise. On the other hand, the film featured a song that was a lot more modern than some of the other songs from the movies.

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A famous musician couldn’t work on a James Bond song that was difficult to record

Duran Duran contributed the song “A View to a Kill” to the film of the same name. According to Music News, members of the band were all 007 fans. Duran Duran member John Taylor discussed the origin of the song.

“It was a terribly difficult song to record, if it wasn’t a No. 1, it was going to be a disappointment,” Taylor said. “So it had to serve a specific purpose for the James Bond people, but it had to serve an even greater purpose for us in a way. We recorded it in London and New York, and we brought in Bernard Edwards from Chic, we actually asked Nile Rogers, but he couldn’t do it.

“It was the first time that we’ve worked in such a multi-level way, because you’ve got the band, then another texture of sound effects and then you’ve got the orchestra,” he added. “It was a big, big record to make. And when the film came out, it was we really got a sense of the intersection of two great brands to at that time.”

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The way the world reacted to the song

“A View to a Kill” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “A View to a Kill” remains the only song from a 007 movie to top the chart. It was the only Duran Duran song to reach No. 1 in the United States, with the exception of “The Reflex.”

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The response to “A View to a Kill” was less warm in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports the track reached No. 2 in the U.K. Subsequently, two 007 songs topped the charts in the U.K.: Sam Smith’s “Writing on the Wall” and Billie Eilish’s “No Time to Die.” While U.S. and U.K. audiences have different tastes in music, they both seem to like Bond songs.