Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall” Analysis, Lyrics & Reactions

It´s the moment Bond fans across the globe have been waiting for: the official release of the SPECTRE title song “Writing’s on the Wall” performed by British singer Sam Smith. Radio stations across the UK began airing the song today from 7.45am and it is available to purchase online. Expectations were high in the past weeks, especially after Smith had released a 15 second snippet of the song he wrote in just 20 minutes together with Jimmy Napes. The goosebumps many fans felt were a premonition for greatness. “Writing’s on the Wall” could even set a record in being the first ever Bond song to top the charts in the UK. In the US, it would kick Duran Duran’s 1985 hit “A View To A Kill” from the peak position throne. Even Adele’s “Skyfall”, despite having won an Academy Award, only reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 8 in the US.

Sam and Jimmy have written the most inspirational song for Spectre and with Sam’s extraordinary vocal performance, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ will surely be considered one of the greatest Bond songs of all time.Barbara Broccoli & Michael G. Wilson

FACEBOOK-SAM-SMITH_NO.LEGAL_While the kind and appreciative words of the Bond producers are surely a knighthood in itself for 23 year old Sam Smith, the same was said about previous songs that later failed miserably and fell out of favour with fans. The success of a Bond song is also measured by the acceptance of the huge international Bond fan community. Known to be very critical when it comes to their beloved film franchise, they will ultimately have it in their hands whether “Writings on the Wall” will be a winner or loser. Madonna’s entry for the 2002 Bond film ‘DIE ANOTHER DAY’ was not well received and by the time “Another Way to Die”, the title song for ‘QUANTUM OF SOLACE’ (2008) by Alicia Keys and Jack White, was released as the first ever duet in the history of Bond, many fans had lost hope for ever hearing a truly great theme again. Adele’s “Skyfall” brought back that hope and was recently named as the favourite Bond title song in the UK, kicking Shirley Bassey’s all time classic “Goldfinger” off the top of the list. However, in a media world that has seen radical change by the Internet, a peak position in the charts creates a smaller impact today than it would have 20 years ago. Around the time Tina Turner’s “GoldenEye” was released in November 1995, it went to No. 3 in the European charts and made people buy the single in stores. In the age of MP3 and online streaming, all it needs is a simple click to propel songs to the top.

I am so excited to be a part of this iconic British legacy and join an incredible line up of some of my biggest musical inspirations. I hope you all enjoy the song as much as I enjoyed making it.Sam Smith

Let´s face it: everything about SPECTRE feels downright iconic. There are obvious reminiscences of ‘LIVE AND LET DIE’ both in the teaser poster as well as in the spectacular opening sequence in Mexico City. The official trailer stunned us with utilising the famous theme music of ‘ON HER MAJESTY´S SECRET SERVICE’ and we were faced with the possible return of the most notorious Bond villain ever to grace the cinema screen: Ernst Stavro Blofeld. So why should the music be any less fascinating? Let´s have the verdict, along with reactions from all over the world:

In my personal opinion, the song is pure gold and dynamite in one go! It has been playing in a loop while editing this article and I must say, I had expected something more dramatic. As I am one of those fans who dislike quite a few of Bond songs, you could say I´m the proverbial burnt child who dreads the fire. Sure, here is a song worthy of agent 007 and the franchise but still it lacks the final power that kicks you in the teeth and says “Hey, this is BOND!” It´s an anthem, almost a love song. Sam Smith’s voice is not to my taste – too high at places, lyrics can hardly be understood. It´s not an overall bad performance, but it could have been less screamy. The composition somewhat takes me back to the golden days in which John Barry scored the Bond films and thereby almost resembles a tribute in its own unique way. Merely the music accomplishes what most of the recent title songs couldn´t: to capture the essence of what James Bond is all about – style, glamour, mystery and danger. If Sam Smith was the right choice to seal the deal is open to interpretation. Like “Skyfall”, the song might grow on me over time – today, I´ll give it a 6/10. The original radio broadcast was actually cut short – in the single release, the first verse is longer (scroll down to see the lyrics).

BUY “WRITING’S ON THE WALL” BY SAM SMITH

REACTIONS FROM THE WEB

Here are some initial Twitter reactions to radio stations blasting out the new Bond song:

THE LYRICS

[Verse 1]
I’ve been here before
But always hit the floor
I’ve spent a lifetime running
And I always get away
But with you I’m feeling something
That makes me want to stay

I’m prepared for this
I never shoot to miss
But I feel like a storm is coming
If I’m gonna make it through the day
Then there’s no use in running
This is something I gotta face

[Pre-Chorus]
If I risk it all
Could you break my fall?

[Chorus]
How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
Cause the writing’s on the wall

[Verse 2]
A million shards of glass
That haunt me from my past
As the stars begin to gather
And the light begins to fade
When all hope begins to shatter
Know that I won’t be afraid

[Pre-Chorus]
If I risk it all
Could you break my fall?

[Chorus]
How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
Cause the writing’s on the wall

[Bridge: Instrumental]
The writing’s on the wall

[Chorus]
How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
Cause the writing’s on the wall

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SAM SMITH
To learn more about Sam Smith and his music, please visit his official homepage

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