With ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, Sam Smith is the first British male solo artist to lay down a Bond theme tune since Tom Jones recorded ‘Thunderball’ for the 1965 film of the same name.
Smith told BBC Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw that he recorded the track in January 2015. “I got called into the office with producer Barbara Broccoli and director Sam Mendes and they gave me the script, I read the script… they said ‘have a go at the song'” Smith disclosed. “It’s the quickest I’ve ever written a song – it took 20 minutes… and they loved it!”
Mendes stepped in because an early demo of the track made Bond appear too soft. Sam Smith explained to The Sun: “I feel like my music can be very vulnerable and I wanted to have a touch of that with Bond and have him sounding more vulnerable than normal.”
“All my music, I try to make it honest and personal, like it’s a diary entry, and I’ve wanted to do that, but in the shoes of someone else.”
“With Bond songs you get to be as dramatic as you want. I got to get away with unbelievable string and brass sections – I got to be a drama queen.”
“But at the same time, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ was a huge collaboration between me and Sam Mendes, who obviously has the Bond in his head. He wants to get across and the story he wants to tell. Sam had a say in some of the lyrics and made sure Bond didn’t sound weak, that he still sounded powerful.” – Edited from Songfacts