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James Bond’s License to Rock
There may be lingering doubts about the viability of 007’s latest alter ego, but regardless of what sort of James Bond Daniel Craig turns out to be, one thing’s for sure: The movie’s gonna rock.
Audioslave frontman and former Soundgarden mastermind Chris Cornell has been tapped to write and perform the theme song for the spy franchise’s upcoming 21st installment, Casino Royale.
“You Know My Name,” which, by virtue of its title alone practically begs the refrain “Bond, James Bond,” was written in collaboration with the longtime 007 music man, composer David Arnold.
“I’ve always loved Chris’ work, both as a writer and as an artist, and had hoped someday to find the right film to inspire him,” Lia Vollack, president of worldwide music for Columbia Entertainment, the studio behind the film, said in a statement.
“His work is both soulful and tough. It was the perfect complement to Daniel Craig and Casino Royale.”
Cornell hopes his tune enters the pantheon of great Bond themes, which includes Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Live and Let Die,” the first Bond theme to crack the Top 10, and classic songs by Carly Simon (whose “Nobody Does It Better” from The Spy Who Loved Me has since become a nightclub staple), Shirley Bassey (“Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Moonraker”) and Tom Jones (“Thunderball”), all from the 1970s-era 007 films.
Aside from Duran Duran’s “A View to a Kill,” the 1980s were less kind to Bond, saddling him with a string of clunky themes, bottoming out with a-Ha’s inexplicable “The Living Daylights.”
There was a turnaround in the ’90s, with Tina Turner (“GoldenEye”), Sheryl Crow (“Tomorrow Never Dies”), Garbage (“The World Is Not Enough”) handling the chores.
The most recent outing, 2002’s Die Another Day, featured Madonna singing the techno-infused title track.
Casino Royale is based on the first 007 novel from Ian Fleming and follows Bond’s early years. The film centers on a game of high-stakes poker (is there any other kind?) between Bond and terrorist banker Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelsen) at the Casino Royale. French beauty Eva Green stars as the requisite Bond babe.
The film is slated for worldwide release Nov. 16.