December 18, 2007

"A View to a Kill"

From the A View to a Kill Wikipedia entry:

The theme song "A View to a Kill", was written by John Barry and Duran Duran, and performed by the band. It has three different versions of which the two made by Duran Duran make no reference to the James Bond theme. "A View To A Kill" was second in the British charts and first in the American charts, thus becoming the peak song in the James Bond series.

I'll always associate this song with the euphoric final months of my senior year in high school, so, good times. It was constantly played on the radio, and the video was in heavy rotation on something we called "Music Television," MTV for short. Because Duran Duran had an international, cosmopolitan image at the time (no doubt due to the exotic locations used in their music videos), the pairing (James Bond/Duran Duran) made perfect sense. "A View to a Kill" was the first thing the group worked on after splintering into the groups Arcadia and the Power Station in 1985. Apparently the Power Station sound was what they felt was best for their Bond theme, because Bernard Edwards produced it. It seems that the "reunification" wasn't entirely smooth, according to the Duran Duran Wikipedia entry:

Duran Duran were never the same after this break. According to Rhodes, the two side projects "were commercial suicide... But we’ve always been good at that." The band was still off balance when they regrouped to contribute "A View to a Kill" to the 1985 James Bond movie of the same name. This single remains the only Bond theme to go to Number 1 on the U.S. charts, and the highest-placed Bond theme on the UK chart where it reached Number 2. It was the last single the band recorded as the original five-piece for twenty years.

Le Bon, Simon Le Bon

Duran Duran performed in front of 90,000 people at Live Aid (in Philadelphia) on July 13, 1985, while "A View to a Kill" was #1 on the American charts. The original five did not play live together again until July 2003. The Live Aid performance is where Simon Le Bon's voice cracked (an unintentional falsetto note) during the final chorus of "A View to a Kill," which he later described as the most humiliating moment of his career. I think he made much too big of a deal out of it. True, it's pretty bad, but at least he was actually singing live, unlike so many "performers" today:

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