No one has contributed more hits to the James Bond canon than Dame Shirley Bassey. With three mega hits opening the exploits of James Bond throughout history, she’s as iconic as she is talented. With the more than safe assumption that Dame Bassey knows what goes into a successful theme tune, the fact that she has some thoughts on Billie Eilish’s track for No Time To Die is all the more intriguing. And as it turns out, Shirley Bassey is actually a fan of the song.
As she is promoting her final album, I Owe It All To You, the singer was primed to be asked about the chart-topping, pandemic-era hit that’s made Eilish the youngest singer to front a 007 theme. Lending her voice to openers for Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker, Dame Shirley Bassey’s expertise in Bond songs stretches over an impressive breadth of the tones the series was aspiring to reach. Her credentials all lead to the following praise that Dame Bassey gave to Billie Eilish, through a sit-down with The Big Issue:
For Eilish to get that official stamp of approval from Shirley Bassey is quite something for a singer of any magnitude. Her vocals have provided the bedrock of the James Bond title track’s essential DNA, and it’s one of her tunes that could be chalked up as one of the most often imitated, since it’s so fondly remembered. You know exactly where I’m going with this, so I’m just going to leave Dame Bassey’s performance of Goldfinger’s title track here, in case anyone needs a quick refresher on just why her opinion matters so much.
The role of James Bond has carried on through the generations, with actors ranging from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig all carrying the torch of Ian Fleming’s work to the masses. So it’s equally important to recruit musical talent that can set the tone for whatever the next mission requires, which is even harder as the duties switch hands with every film. Now, with the success of No Time To Die’s opening song gaining that extra bit of sparkle, courtesy of Dame Shirley Bassey, Billie Eilish’s song just might find itself built into the future musical history of the 007 franchise.
Soon enough we’ll even get to see how that theme plays on screen, as No Time To Die is scheduled to hit theaters on April 2, 2021. As always, if any further changes are made to that film’s debut, CinemaBlend will break that news as it happens.
Meanwhile, you can grab a copy of Dame Shirley Bassey’s I Owe It All To You, which is available for purchase right this very moment. And if you’re looking to fill your calendar with other anticipated titles set to drop within the next year, you can check out our 2021 release schedule and see what’s on the menu!
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CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.