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Friday 9 December 2016

Listen: Sam Smith's new Bond theme is slammed by critics

Sam Smith, the voice of the new Bond theme song, Writing's on the Wall. (James Bond Twitter feed)
Sam Smith, the voice of the new Bond theme song, Writing's on the Wall. (James Bond Twitter feed)

Sam Smith's highly-anticipated theme song for the new James Bond film Spectre has been unveiled.

However, opinion appeared to be split, with some hailing it a "classic" and others comparing it to Michael Jackson's Earth Song, which was panned by critics.

Smith has admitted he was nervous about how Bond fans would react to Writing's On The Wall.

Former 007 Sir Roger Moore wrote that Smith had "delivered a very haunting and wonderfully orchestrated" song, but most opinion on social media appeared to be negative, with many making the Jackson comparison.

TV presenter Jenni Falconer highlighted the likeness, tweeting: "Anyone else think #WritingsOntheWall has an Earth Song sound to it in parts?"

Other reactions included: "The new Bond theme is way better than I expected although it's poor lyrically. Anyone picking up some Earth Song vibes? #writingsonthewall" and: "Initial reaction to #writingsonthewall - sounds like a mixture of 'Earth Song' & something you'd hear in a theatre production. Disappointed."

Listen for yourself here

A few hours after its release Smith thanked fans on Twitter, writing: "Thank you for all your amazing messages. Today is such a special day for me and I am so grateful to everyone supporting this track xx."

Speaking to the Capital FM Breakfast Show about the song, he said: "I'm excited for people to hear it and I hope it just does the film and the legacy justice."

The 23-year-old confirmed earlier this month that he was taking up the gauntlet from Adele after months of speculation and denials.

The responsibility for producing the song has been weighing heavily on Smith, who tweeted on Thursday: "1 more day till Writing's On The Wall #007 xx very scared, very nervous, very excited."

Writing's On The Wall, co-written with Grammy winner Jimmy Napes, is the first Bond theme performed by a British male solo artist since 1965, when Tom Jones sang Thunderball.

The track is the bookies' favourite to reach number one and would be the first 007 theme to do this. Even Adele's Skyfall fell shy of the top spot, although it did earn the Bond franchise its first Oscar in 47 years.

Ajay Chowdhury, from the James Bond International Fan Club, said the song has "automatically achieved classic Bond song status".

He said: "It's a perfect combination of Sam meets Sam. Taking its cue from a moment in the film where Bond sees his name spray-painted on the Memorial Wall of the derelict MI6 HQ. It's big and dramatic and showcases the full range of Sam Smith's extraordinary voice.

"There are three types of Bond song - the big, bombastic showstopper exemplified by Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger, the dark, melancholic, regretful ballad of which Nancy Sinatra's You Only Live Twice is an example, and finally the heroic, rock anthem like Paul McCartney's Live And Let Die.

"Sam Smith's song belongs to the second of these categories. Writing's On The Wall will undoubtedly go on to endure as an evergreen: another quality of the best Bond songs."

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