dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Announce Third 'Elysium' Single: "Memory Of The Future"

Following "Leaving," Pet Shop Boys will release "Memory Of The Future" as the next single off Elysium. On their official site, they note that the full details will be made available in November, and that there will be a remix of the song by Stuart Price, who also did the single mix for their Yes single "All Over The World" in 2009.

I have to admit, "Memory Of The Future" is one of my favorite tracks off Elysium, next to "A Face Like That." As I wrote when I reviewed the album for Idolator in September, the song "is classic Pet Shop Boys, from its irresistible melody to the snaky disco beat."


Robbie Williams' "Be A Boy": The Good Song On New Album 'Take The Crown'

Robbie Williams' ninth album Take The Crown is out in the UK next week, and you can listen to samples of the tracks if you dig around.

Or you can just listen to the one exceptionally good song, "Be A Boy," here:

Incidentally, the next single off the album (following "Candy," which is currently #1 on UK iTunes) is "Different":

Oh, Robbie...


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's Carly Rae Jepsen's "This Kiss" Video

Parts of Carly Rae Jepsen's video for "This Kiss" remind me of the movie Clueless — the girls frolicking at a Val party, the game of suck and blow, the presence of the handsome blonde dude with long hair as a love interest, etc. All that's missing is Carly getting held up at gunpoint outside of Circus Liquor.

Nice song, and one of the standouts from her woefully under-performing album Kiss.


Olly Murs' "Troublemaker" Video Features Bikini Sluts And Flo Rida

I've already rambled about Olly Murs' new single "Troublemaker" — a Maroon 5 knockoff if there ever was one. It's a decent track hampered only by the useless appearance of Flo Rida. And now it has a video with some ho who looks like a Z-grade rendition of everyone's favorite dour-faced flop actress Kristen Stewart

Fuck this trash.

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The Wanted's "I Found You" Video Makes Me Think Of Naughty Things

Will The Wanted ever have another US hit again? Will their next album ever get a release? I don't have the answers to these questions, but I do know two things:
  • 1. "I Found You" is A Jam.
  • 2. I'd like to have sex with Max George's mouth.
That's entertainment, pop cats!


One Direction's "Little Things" Is Total Shit

Oh, wow — One Direction's second single from upcoming album Take Me Home has a lyric video. Oh, wow — the song is a ballad, and a really shit one at that.

Drills to the forehead, music fans!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Labrinth & Emeli Sande Take "See Beneath Your Beautiful" To #1"

Somehow obnoxious flop Mike Posner co-wrote this otherwise beautiful jam.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Beneath Your Beautiful" - Labrinth feat. Emeli Sande *new* *1 week*
2. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia
3. "Sweet Nothing" - Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch
4. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
5. "Gangnam Style" - PSY 
6. "Hottest Girl In The World" - JLS *new*
7. "Skyfall" - Adele 
8. "One More Night" - Maroon 5
9. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
10. "Wonder" - Naughty Boy feat. Emeli Sande *new*

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Ke$ha Is Beethoven

Can you believe it? There actually isn't a single song "featuring" somebody in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 this week. Technically there wasn't last week, either, since "Good Time" is actually credited as Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen, but you get the point.

Anyway, Ke$ha's "Die Young," at #5, is now not only her seventh consecutive Top 10 single as a lead artist, but also her fourth song to land in the Top 5, following "Tik Tok" (#1), "Your Love Is My Drug" (#4) and "We R Who We R" (#1). Her singles that missed the Top 5: "Blah Blah Blah" (#7), "Take It Off" (#8) and "Blow" (#7).

Elsewhere, Rihanna's "Diamonds" becomes her latest Top 10 hit as the Sia co-write jumps up to #8, while her trashy boyfriend Chris Brown is up to #11 with his Madonna reject "Don't Wake Me Up."

Meanwhile, Adele's James Bond theme song "Skyfall," which debuted at #8 two weeks ago, had a short life in the Top 40; this week it's down from #13 to #45. Below that, Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath" debuts at #54, while Christina Aguilera's "Your Body" flounders at #59 in its fifth week on the chart and Ellie Goulding's "Anything Could Happen" rises 11 positions to #64.

On a final note, this week's UK chart-topper, Calvin Harris and Florence Welch's "Sweet Nothing," debuts at #96.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "One More Night" - Maroon 5 *6 weeks*
2. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
3. "Some Nights" - fun.
4. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
5. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
6. "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber
7. "Too Close" - Alex Clare
8. "Diamond" - Rihanna
9. "Let Me Love You" - Ne-Yo
10. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" - Pink

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Calvin Harris & Florence Welch Are #1...Again

"Sweet Nothing," Calvin Harris' fifth single from upcoming album 18 Months, has become his ninth Top 10 hit in the UK as a lead artist, and his second pair-up with Florence Welch to hit #1 in 2012 (following his remix of Florence + The Machine's "Spectrum"). The song also marks the sixth time Harris has had a hand in a chart-topping single, after his own "I'm Not Alone," Dizzee Rascal's "Dance Wiv Me," Rihanna's "We Found Love," said remix of Flo's "Spectrum" and his production work on Cheryl Cole's "Call My Name."

Elsewhere, Pet Shop Boys' second Elysium single "Leaving" debuts at #44. It's far better than previous singles "Winner" (#86) and "Together" (#58) fared, but still a shame, considering it's easily the duo's best single in two decades. Their last single to crack the Top 40 was "Did You See Me Coming" in 2009, which peaked at #21.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Sweet Nothing" - Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch *new* *1 week*
2. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia
3. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
4. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
5. "Skyfall" - Adele 
6. "Standing In The Dark" - Lawson *new*
7. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
8. "One More Night" - Maroon 5
9. "Turn Around" - Conor Maynard feat. Ne-Yo
10. "I Cry" - Flo Rida

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Girls Aloud Premiere "Something New" Video & 'Ten' Hits Collection Tracklist

Ten-legged skank brigade Girls Aloud are back kind of half-assed to celebrate their decade anniversary. They're tossing out an 18-track greatest hits package called Ten on November 26 in the UK, and included are four new songs — including the single "Something New."

Here's the slutty video for that one:

And below is the Ten tracklist. I'd just download "The Loving Kind" and "Call The Shots" if you don't already have them, and skip everything else.

1. Something New
2. The Promise
3. The Loving Kind
4. Untouchable
5. Sexy! No No No…
6. Call The Shots
7. Can’t Speak French
8. Something Kinda Ooooh
9. Biology
10. The Show
11. Love Machine
12. I’ll Stand By You
13. Jump
14. No Good Advice
15. Sound Of The Underground
16. On The Metro
17. Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me
18. Every Now And Then

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Madonna's 'Erotica' Turns 20

Madonna's Erotica — probably the album of hers I listen to the most — turns 20 tomorrow (October 20). Check out Xolondon's excellent writeup on the LP's legacy at Idolator.

Incidentally, I'm seeing Ye Olde Vampyre in concert tomorrow night.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

US Chart Roundup: Ke$ha's String Of Top 10 Singles Continues With "Die Young"

Last week's trio of debuts within the Top 10 scatter down the Hot 100 and make way for Taylor Swift's promo single "I Knew You Were Trouble" (#5), Ke$ha's "Die Young" (#8) and Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Good Time," which climbs back up to #10 after previously peaking at #8. All of Ke$ha's seven singles as a lead artist have now placed in the Top 10. And that's why she's the New Queen Of Soul.

Meanwhile, this activity has Adele's "Skyfall" dropping from #8 to #13 and One Direction's "Live While We're Young" falling from #3 to #21. Last week's other new entry in the Top 10, Taylor Swift's "Red," plummets from #6 to #54.

Elsewhere, Rihanna's "Diamonds" jumps seven positions to a new peak of #11, while Ellie Goulding's lead Halcyon single "Anything Could Happen" debuts at #75.

Over on the Top 200 album chart, Halcyon makes an entry at #9.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "One More Night" - Maroon 5 *5 weeks*
2. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
3. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Taylor Swift *new*
4. "Some Nights" - fun.
5. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
6. "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber
7. "Too Close" - Alex Clare
8. "Die Young" - Ke$ha
9. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" - Pink
10. "Good Time" - Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Pet Shop Boys' "Leaving" EPs Now On iTunes

All three EPs for Pet Shop Boys' second Elysium single "Leaving" are now available on iTunes around the world. On Friday, we premiered the gorgeous "Believe In PSB Remix" — essentially an old-fashioned 12" mix — of the song on Idolator. I also did a new interview with producer Andrew Dawson for the write-up. Go read!


What's This Girls Aloud "Something New" Bullshit?

Who the fuck greenlit this "Party Rock Anthem" knockoff?

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Kelly Clarkson's 'Greatest Hits' Collection Is Missing A Pic Of Her Tits On The Cover

The cover image for Kelly Clarkson's upcoming Greatest Hits - Chapter One (out November 19) looks totally recycled from the Stronger album shoot, and the tracklist is missing stuff like "The Trouble With Love Is" and "I Do Not Hook Up." Still, it's a pretty fine collection. And it has her future Top 60 smash "Catch My Breath" on it!

Nice one, Texas bitch.

1. Since U Been Gone
2. My Life Would Suck Without You
3. Miss Independent
4. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)
5. Behind These Hazel Eyes
6. Because Of You
7. Never Again
8. Already Gone
9. Mr. Know It All
10. Breakaway
11. Don’t You Wanna Stay (with Jason Aldean)
12. Walk Away
13. Catch My Breath
14. People Like Us
15. Don’t Rush (featuring Vince Gill)
16. A Moment Like This
17. I’ll Be Home For Christmas


Steps Return With "Light Up The World": Listen

Move the FUCK over, Adele and One DirectionSteps are back with their glamourous Christmas offering, "Light Up The World" — their first single in 11 years — and pop will never be the same again.

Song of the past 500 years, clearly. Out October 22.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Leona Lewis Has A Bit Of "Troube"

Leona Lewis' "Trouble" becomes her seventh UK Top 10 single this week, as it debuts at #7. It's a shame that of all the bland warblers to come out of The X Factor over the years and have a lasting career, it had to be this milquetoast slag.

More disappointing is the fact that Mika's best album so far, The Origin Of Love, limps into the UK album chart at #24 after so far failing to produce a hit single.

The UK Top 10:

1. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia *new* *1 week*
2. "Skyfall" - Adele 
3. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
4. "Diamonds" - Rihanna
5. "Anything Could Happen" - Ellie Goulding
6. "Live While We're Young" - One Direction
7. "Trouble" - Leona Lewis feat. Childish Gambino *new*
8. "Turn Around" - Conor Maynard feat. Ne-Yo
9. "I Cry" - Flo Rida
10. "Hall Of Fame" - The Script feat. will.i.am

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

US Chart Roundup: One Direction & Adele Will Be Having Their Way With Your Ears For Awhile

This week sees three new songs debut in the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 chart — apparently only the second time this has happened (and both incidences were this year). This time around, it's One Direction's "Live While We're Young" going in at #3, Taylor Swift's "Red" at #6 and Adele's James Bond theme song "Skyfall" at #8.

This gives One Direction their second Top 10 single in the States, and their highest-charting one ("What Makes You Beautiful" peaked at #4 earlier this year). They've now matched the chart placing of "Glad You Came" by rivals The Wanted, and one-upped them, as the latter boy band has only managed one hit here to date.

As for Adele, "Skyfall" marks her sixth Top 40 single in the US, and her fourth Top 10. The song went on sale last Thursday night, and has been steadily hanging around the upper reaches of the iTunes download chart ever since, so look for "Skyfall" to climb higher on the Hot 100 once sales from its first full week are added up.

Elsewhere, after debuting at #13 last week, Ke$ha's "Die Young" slips one position to #14. Likewise, Rihanna's "Diamonds" drops down two to #18. Further down, Christina Aguilera's "Your Body" rises from #64 to #62 in its third week on the chart.

Keep jigglin', girls.

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "One More Night" - Maroon 5 *4 weeks*
2. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
3. "Live While We're Young" - One Direction *new*
4. "Some Nights" - fun.
5. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
6. "Red" - Taylor Swift *new*
7. "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber
8. "Skyfall" - Adele *new*
9. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" - Pink
10. "Too Close" - Alex Clare

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It's Pink's "Try" Video

I've come to realize that the pop world would really suck without Pink in it. "Try" is a far better single choice than "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)," and the video is one of her best — if not the best.


Kelly Clarkson's "Catch My Breath" Is Just Okay

Kelly Clarkson's songs really fall into two categories, don't they: 1.) mom-safe pop like "Mr. Know It All," "Because Of You" and "Already Gone," and 2.) balls-to-the-wall jams like "Since U Been Gone," "My Life Would Suck Without You" and "Miss Independent."

Like her most recent chart-topper "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)," new single "Catch My Breath" somewhat straddles the thin line between the two. And that's what's given her the elusive longevity other singers would kill for in the music biz — the ability to get her singles onto multi-format radio playlists. Like Pink, you'll be hearing Kelly's shit on Top 40 stations, adult contemporary stations, in the grocery store and in the elevator till the end of time.

Playing it safe, of course, often makes for a bland listening experience. I'm still on the fence, myself, about "Catch My Breath." But I'll probably come around, eventually.

The song, off Clarkson's upcoming Greatest Hits: Chapter 1 collection, is out tomorrow on iTunes.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Girls Aloud Are Back To Give Us More Pop That Will Never Be As Good As Spice Girls

Cheryl Cole and those other four strippers who couldn't find work when Girls Aloud took a three-year break are back together to inflict mediocrity upon the gullible pop-hungry once again. And, look at that — not only has it been 10 years since these broads were manufactured on UK program Pop Stars: The Rivals, their brand new Twitter account is threatening something or other called Ten.

This trash would be easily handled by one simple pay-per-view event: five bimbos, 10 legs, one stripper pole — have at it, ladies.

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Olly Murs' "Troublemaker" Doesn't Suck

I've been surprised over the past year at how much I'm not disliking Olly Murs' musical output. I mean, his greatest achievement will always be posing naked. Still, his In Case You Didn't Know album was a winner, and new single "Troublemaker" — the first off upcoming debut US LP (and his third in the UK) Right Place, Right Time — is rather catchy.

Of course, it sounds more than a little similar to Maroon 5's 2007 chart-topper "Makes Me Wonder," but I like to think it actually improves upon that one.

In fact, Olly sounds like a one-man boy band here. My only complaint is, obviously, the Flo Rida addition. Totally unnecessary.

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Sunday, October 07, 2012

UK Chart Roundup: Rihanna Beats One Direction, Adele & Ellie Goulding To #1

It was a fierce race for several singles ambling for the top of the UK chart this week, but in the end it ended up being Rihanna's "Diamonds" that emerged triumphant after the tune sold 105,000 copies. The Official Charts Company reports that "Diamonds" moved a mere 420 copies more than last week's chart topper, PSY's "Gangnam Style." The classy jam — which, let's face it, borrows chords rather shamefully from M83's "Midnight City" — had a much more modest debut in the US, where it recently entered the Hot 100 at #16.

Elsewhere, One Direction's "Live While We're Young," the boy band's lead offering from upcoming LP Take Me Home, is forced to contend with a #3 debut. This now gives the lads their fourth Top 10 in the UK. Just behind them, Adele arrives at #4 with her James Bond theme song "Skyfall." Not bad, considering it didn't go on sale until Friday.

That brings us to Ellie Goulding's lead Halcyon single "Anything Could Happen" at #5. When it first premiered two months ago, I declared that the song was "fucking fantastic." And while I still maintain that "Anything" is a decent tune, it's overall charm wore off a tad, rather quickly.

At any rate, "Anything Could Happen" gives Ellie her third UK Top 10 hit, after "Starry Eyed" (#4) and her cover of Elton John's "Your Song" (#2).

The UK Top 10:

1. "Diamonds" - Rihanna *new* *1 week*
2. "Gangnam Style" - PSY 
3. "Live While We're Young" - One Direction *new*
4. "Skyfall" - Adele *new*
5. "Anything Could Happen" - Ellie Goulding *new*
6. "Hall Of Fame" - The Script feat. will.i.am 
7. "I Cry" - Flo Rida
8. "She Wolf (Falling To Pieces)" - David Guetta feat. Sia
9. "Turn Around" - Conor Maynard feat. Ne-Yo
10. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift

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Saturday, October 06, 2012

Christina Aguilera's 'Lotus' Album Cover: Venus On A Hooker Shell

Looks like Xtina has been thumbing back through her classic rock collection to gain a little cover art inspiration for her Lotus album (out November 13).


Thursday, October 04, 2012

It's Adele's James Bond Theme "Skyfall"

This song is pretty fantastic, and more than lives up to the promise of the 90-second snippet that leaked earlier this week. Adele's "Skyfall," the theme to the same-titled James Bond film (in theaters November 9), could quite literally become the first Bond theme to top the Billboard Hot 100 since Duran Duran's "A View To A Kill," which did so in 1986.

Adele co-wrote the song with Paul Epworth, her "Rolling In The Deep" producer, and it was recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios with a 77-piecce orchestra.

The last Bond theme to chart in the Top 10 in the States was Madonna's "Die Another Day," which reached #8 in 2002. That was a different James Bond and a whole lot of Auto Tune ago.

"Skyfall" hits iTunes tonight.


Kelly Clarkson's To Release Greatest Hits (Finally) & New Single "Catch My Breath"

It's about time this broad unleashed a greatest hits collection. Ten years after she won American Idol, Kelly Clarkson's roundup of singles — imaginatively titled Greatest Hits – Chapter 1 — is scheduled for a November 19 release. No official tracklist has been announced, but a new single called "Catch My Breath" will hit iTunes on October 16.

Hopefully my favorite of all her smash hits, i.e. a four-minute loop of Clive Davis shrieking like a 70-year-old woman being Barbie Doll-legged up every orifice into Kelly's voicemail, makes the cut!


My Emeli Sande Interview

I interviewed Emeli Sande for Idolator right after the London Olympics in August, but held off on posting until this week, because her US tour was supposed to kickoff on October 8. But now her tour has been postponed until next year.

Oh, well - catch her talking about writing for Alicia Keys and the newly-reunited original members of Sugababes here.

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Pink Covers 'The Advocate'

Fuck this company.


Pet Shop Boys' Single "Leaving" To Get Full US Release On October 16

Earlier this week Pet Shop Boys premiered their video for second Elysium single "Leaving" — a cheapo affair that edits bits of their recent live-streamed Berlin concert in with black and white shots of people on a train — and now it's been announced that the song will get a full single release in the States.

Three digital bundles for "Leaving" will hit iTunes on October 16, and they'll contain the following:

Digital bundle 1
1. Leaving
2. Hell
3. In his imagination
4. Baby (2003 demo)

Digital bundle 2
Leaving Remixed
1. Leaving (Lost her love remix)
Remixed by Dusty Kid
2. Leaving (Believe in PSB remix)
Remixed by Pet Shop Boys
3. Leaving (demo)

Digital bundle 3
Leaving again
1. Leaving (PSB Side-by-side remix)
Remixed by Pet Shop Boys
2. Leaving (HappySad remix)
Remixed by Andrew Dawson
3. Leaving (PSB Freedom remix)
Remixed by Pet Shop Boys


US Chart Roundup: Christina Aguilera's "Your Body" Belly-Flops

PSY's "Gangnam Style" may have conquered the UK chart this week, but it's unable to unseat Maroon 5's "One More Night" on the Billboard Hot 100. And even though the South Korean stud promised to perform the song shirtless if he got to #1 here, he's doing it today anyway via some Ustream trash concert. Get ready for sexy.

Three broads crash the Top 20 this week with new songs: Taylor Swift debuts at #7 with her latest Red offering "Begin Again"; Ke$ha's "Die Young" enters at #13; and Rihanna's new single "Diamonds," from her upcoming 74th studio album, arrives at #16.

Meanwhile, you would have thought that the premiere of Christina Aguilera's "Your Body" video would have helped the single, but it's now dropped from last week's debut position of #34 to #64. Maybe she didn't wear enough rainbow-colored extensions in the slutty trailer park?

The U.S. Top 10:

1. "One More Night" - Maroon 5 *3 weeks*
2. "Gangnam Style" - PSY
3. "Some Nights" - fun.
4. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" - Taylor Swift
5. "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" - Pink
6. "As Long As You Love Me" - Justin Bieber
7. "Begin Again" - Taylor Swift *new*
8. "Whistle" - Flo Rida
9. "Too Close" - Alex Clare
10. "Good Time" - Owl City & Carly Rae Jepsen

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Monday, October 01, 2012

Bruno Mars' "Locked Out Of Heaven" Doesn't Suck

Bruno Mars' upcoming album Unorthodox Jukebox has an annoying title — which no doubt compliments that songs that accompany it — but first single "Locked Out Of Heaven" just might his first track that I can actually stand.

Of course, it sounds exactly like something The Police would have released in 1982, so let's chalk up this temporary lapse in Bruno aversion to that?


Adele's "Skyfall" James Bond Theme Song To Premiere This Week

Dame Adele's (she's not a Dame yet, but fuck it) Skyfall James Bond theme song is set to premiere this week, on Thursday, October 4 at 7:07 p.m. EST. And given that it's going to be made available on iTunes immediately after, I'm going to wager that this will prove to be the biggest Bond theme in ages.

The last one to chart in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 was Madonna's "Die Another Die," back in 2002. And the last one to top the chart was Duran Duran's "A View To A Kill" in 1986.

According to a press release, Adele co-wrote "Skyfall" with Paul Epworth, who produced the song. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with a 77-piece orchestra.

She noted the following:

“I was a little hesitant at first to be involved with the theme song for Skyfall. There's a lot of instant spotlight and pressure when it comes to a Bond song.  But I fell in love with the script and Paul had some great ideas for the track and it ended up being a bit of a no brainer to do it in the end. It was also a lot of fun writing to a brief, something I've never done which made it exciting. When we recorded the strings, it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I’ll be back combing my hair when I'm 60 telling people I was a Bond girl back in the day I'm sure!”
Meanwhile, Chart Rigger sidekick Moogaboo compiled the 10 Best James Bond Theme Songs, which you can read over at Idolator.