July 13 – Duran Duran Took 007 To No. 001

What a way to celebrate! This day was huge in music history of course, with the staging of Live Aid in 1985. On stage in Philadelphia as a part of that were Duran Duran. There they got to play the song that just hit #1 on Billboard on this day in 1985, “A View To A Kill.”

They followed Crosby, Stills,Nash & Young to the stage and opened their four-song set with it. “A View To a Kill” was the theme to the 14th James Bond movie and came about apparently when John Taylor of the band let it be known he was a huge fan of 007 but didn’t like most of the music used in the movies. John Barry, who’d composed music for 11 Bond movies, worked with Duran Duran (Simon Le Bon recalls him “virtually a sixth member of the group” and having “a great way of working brilliant chord arrangements”) to create this striking theme. The pairing worked well – although “Goldfinger” and “Live And Let Die” had gotten to #2 in the U.S., “A View to a Kill” was the only James Bond song to ever hit #1. It was the band’s second and last chart-topper in the U.S., hitting #1 in Canada and Ireland as well.

Over 30 years later, both the James Bond franchise and Duran Duran are still rolling. No Time to Die, the 26th Bond movie,with a theme song by Billie Eilish, is supposed to come out this fall. Meanwhile, Duran Duran just released the single “Invisible”, the lead song off their 15th album (due this fall as well), Future Past.

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13 thoughts on “July 13 – Duran Duran Took 007 To No. 001

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    I vaguely remember this song back then…which is hard to believe since it went to number 1 and had the James Bond connection. This is about the time they started to break from each other right?

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  2. The Billie song works well as a Bond theme, it’s well sung. Whether it is enough to get my bum on a seat to see Bond show off his pyrotechnics yet again, I don’t know. A nice build to the theme though. (Surely one day the villain’s expectation of ‘Oh, Mr Bond, I expect you to die’ will come to be. Wait! No, can’t kill off the franchise.)
    As for DDs latest; Sounds serviceable enough… Not massively memorable though. I think I’m becoming too picky!

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    1. I’m going to have to listen to that one again in entirety, because I listened to first minute or so and was thinking it sounded very low-key for a James Bond… but I rather thought the Adele and the Garbage 007 themes were rather lacking in the context too. I’m not a fan of the James bond movies, so I highly doubt I’ll see it but a lot of people are anxious for it to drop… I guess it’s been ready for a year or more but they want to make sure people will actually go back to theaters when it is released.
      You’re right about the new DD single… the video is flashy but the song rather unmemorable. I saw them on tV recently, they sounded exceptionally competent – the bass was very good and all around, they were performing well – but seemed to lack any passion or flair . 35 years back the opposite might have been true.

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    1. True. Very much a common story. The egos got in the way, they split up then after a few years realized they were better together than apart so reunited, but found much of their fanbase had moved on in the meantime.

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    1. Strangely, back in the day I liked it more than the big hits for them. I’ve grown to like their old stuff more through the years, I think because I actually listen to it without prejudice; back in the early-’80s I think I found the pretty boys on boats personas a bit hard to take.

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    1. yeah, 40 years or more now, that says something. As I commented earlier to someone, I saw them playing on TV recently and they sound very good technically now, but seemed a bit lacking in passion. But I do like some of their stuff. In a way they’re a bit like their contemporaries Culture Club in the way their videos really built their career quickly but probably in the long run kept a number of people from taking their music seriously

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