My feelings about AWTD have weakened over the years. I don’t strongly dislike the song but I wouldn’t say I like it, either. I do think Sam Smith’s song is better, though, even if just for the classy melody.
One song that has faded into obscurity for me is Skyfall. I quite liked it initially, but it crumbled a bit with time…
Another Way to Die is rough-edged on various levels and definitely could have done with more production work. You can feel it had to be ready by a certain date to kick off the Coke promo campaign. But I wouldn’t underestimate it; could well be it ends up much stronger in public opinion in a couple of decades, much like Live and Let Die.
First it would have to be heard. I don’t think AWTD gets any airplay now, and I’m not even sure it did then. In contrast, LALD has been a staple since its debut. Frankly I think QoS itself went largely unnoticed by the public, compared to the entries immediately before and after it.
SKYFALL really did not stay in my mind at all. And I am quite relieved that Adele did not return and become a go to artist for Bond.
After A Star Is Born, however, I would like to see Lady Gaga do the next one.
Interesting tidbit on the Skyfall song: I recently checked out my vinyl collection on discogs.com. Not that I want to sell anything, just wanted to see what I’ve got…
The biggest surprise were the Skyfall vinyls: the lowest offers for the 7" single are at 39 Euros, with some going into the three digit area, the 12" double LP has one at 44 Euros, all other offers are north of 90 Euros. Tops everything in my collection…
That’s true, Live and Let Die never was entirely “off the stage” - but I think Guns & Roses’ cover version also helped the song along. There was some airplay for LALD - and then there was lots more, also by stations that wouldn’t normally play the original. And some kids of the early 90s first heard this version. Could be some up-and-coming artist decides to dust off AWTD too. I still think it has potential.
By the by, to clarify this: Live and Let Die was initially a very successful Bond theme and the public loved it. The ones critical of the connection Bond/Beatles were the Bond fans back in the day. Just goes to show times are a changin’…
Agreed - someone singung it solo, with no „bang bang“ scat…
Well, if you’re suggesting AWTD could be redeemed if someone someday came along and did it “right,” then I’ll agree.
Maybe “right” - maybe just add to it, or distil from it, a streak that resonates with another generation. Guns & Roses’ version of LALD had this dirty punk streak to it that wasn’t there in the Wings’ original. A streak that resonated with the fans of Welcome to the Jungle and Sweet Child O’ Mine. Who’s to say what hidden qualities somebody in a decade or two finds in AWTD? Especially, if some really outstanding voice that just hit the sweet spot of a period was to make it their own.
Frankly, I’m not sure this is flattering to the song or Keys either…
Not my taste either. Was more a “be careful what you wish for”
It is very much Jack White’s song.
I get the feeling that she just wants to get this over with, not really putting a lot of effort in this. And it sounds like half-playback, with some background singers taking over the chorus a lot of the time.
No, if you try to do this song a favor, you gotta have one really powerful deep voice, get rid of the oooo-ooo-oo-oooos and the scat part, rearranging it, giving it a full horn section.
So you think a Bond theme was the wrong time for White to go for his more experimental style?
I should note that track 4 (Abulia and Akrasia) on Boarding House Reach (White’s third solo album) is a minute and a half song of a man asking if he can have another cup of tea then track 5 (Hypermisophoniac) is…something else.
Love that album
As do I, but it’s not what you’d call…traditional?
I don´t know enough Jack White music - but I know Alicia Keyes, and she has a wonderful voice.
White´s voice on AWTD strikes me as forced and not very flexible - which is fine for a rock musician, there are plenty of guys who work wonders within their narrow spectrum.
But to put White´s voice together with Keyes´ voice and then have both of them singing in that high register is a mystery for me. Both seem to compete who can sing louder - and since Keyes could easily outsing White she holds back, resulting in a subpar performance as well.
I like some elements of the song, some motifs, and I like the stop/go rhythm - and yes, it could have been a very interesting Bond song. But for my taste it just never goes the whole way, stuck in a frustrating middle because it cannot be more courageous nor can it rely on a more thought out chorus.
Of course, I argue from a very conservative standpoint. I prefer the lush ballads for Bond (though I loved Cornell´s power rock of YKMN which, however, had a very strong chorus and verse melody). And my personal taste for music is stuck in my formative years (70´s, 80´s). So…
I do not hate AWTD, by the way. For me it just ranks at the bottom of all Bond songs.
This is probably what actually holds the song back - both White and Keyes have to compromise their own styles to match the other, theres less willingness for experimentation than White’s songs tend to have, but it’s also less willing to explore the vocal range Keyes is capable of.
I just went to YouTube and heard probably the best version of Another Way To Die that I’ve encountered (not that I’ve heard many versions). It’s from “The Music is Bond…James Bond” concert from 2009 with Taisha doing a solo performance. She goes all out and does a good job. I still wouldn’t put the song in my top half of Bond songs but it would be closer to the middle and is better than the original.
Slight re-orchestration to accommodate a larger vocalisation does change the feel of it.