Listen to Radiohead’s unused James Bond theme song for Spectre


Spectre was sort of wonky as recent Bond movies go. The film was full of Bond callbacks, particularly to the Roger Moore era, which was nice for a cheap nostalgia pop but a big step backwards after the strengths of Skyfall. On top of that, Sam Smith’s theme song for Spectre, “Writing’s on the Wall,” was as bland as tepid water. The title is a cliche, the lyrics are comprised of cliches, and the song sounded like a neutered Bond them, devoid of danger, swagger, or personality. Not even Shirley Bassey could find the soul in that song if she sang it.

As it turns out, we could have had a James Bond theme song courtesy of Radiohead.

Radiohead recorded a theme song for Spectre that was ultimately not used. The band posted the song online recently for your listening pleasure. Check it out below:

Here’s what the band said about the track:

Last year we were asked to write a theme tune for the Bond movie Spectre.
Yes we were. It didn’t work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much.
As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it.
Merry Christmas. May the force be with you.

While it’s definitely more interesting than the Sam Smith song, I agree with /Film’s Ethan Anderton that it never culminates into something resembling a Bond theme. Off the top of my head, something along the lines of “Exit Music (For a Film)” or “You and Whose Army” is more Bond-theme appropriate from Radiohead. (Obviously you’d have to sex them up, but you get the idea.)

The best would-be Bond song that was never a Bond song, however, is David Bowe’s “Lady Grinning Soul.”

What do you think of Radiohead’s unused Spectre song? Use the comments to chime in.

[via /Film]
Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.