This takes an outright disturbing turn in 1995’s GoldenEye—whose turgid, S & M-themed lyrics (“Golden chain take him to the spot”) were penned by Bono and the Edge. The image of insistently macho U2 members stalking Bond (“You’ll never know how I watched you from the shadows as a child”) turns an otherwise forgettable song into a camp classic.
“Another Way to Die” is a rephrased “Die Another Day”, and “You Know My Name” sounds like a desperate Ron Burgundy rather than an ever-cool James Bond. Working “Skyfall” into the song was tough, but thank goodness Adele wasn’t left struggling with a portmanteau to the effect of “Lose Life in Some Other Manner”.
But however wretched the title tracks can get, all hold an innate fascination for their time-capsule qualities. It takes only a listen to Madonna’s “Die Another Day” (and a suppression of the involuntary gag reflex) to remember the sound of 2002 with painful exactness. In that context, Adele’s selection for the next instalment, Skyfall is about the most inevitable since … well, since Alicia Keys and Jack White doing the last one.
Why, then, have the last lot been so troubled? I think it may be as simple as that absent Fleming snap. In its absence, component words have been recycled beyond their natural lifespan—I mean, “Another Way to Die” is a rephrased “Die Another Day”, and “You Know My Name” sounds like a desperate Ron Burgundy rather than an ever-cool James Bond.