“Adele has this soulful, haunting, evocative quality, and she’s a great writer. Stylistically, it just felt right to bring back that classic Shirley Bassey feel that you associate with those early Bond films.” Lia Vollack, President of Worldwide Music for Sony.
Adele & Paul Epworth | Skyfall
Recording the theme to a James Bond film can be one of the most exciting and daunting tasks an artist can undertake. With the Bond franchise having already reached near immortal status spanning both generations and themes, it is the type of project that transcends directors, producers, singers, musicians, and even actors and actresses.
When Adele and producer Paul Epworth were tapped to write and record the theme to the 23rd Bond film entitled Skyfall (commemorating 50 years of James Bond films) the two were a little hesitant about the "instant spotlight and pressure," but ultimately fell in love with the script and agreed to take on the project. With most of the previous theme songs falling into one of two categories — overtly romanticized or following actual plot points of the film — it seems that it was that very script that was the muse for the song. Adele, an artist who admittedly only produces music that is very personal to her own life, took the challenge in stride upon deciding to do it and certainly made one of the most memorable themes to date.
Building Context | Shirley Bassey
"Skyfall" was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Compositionally and stylistically while Adele channels her inner-Shirley Bassey, Epworth is quoting Monty Norman's unforgettable four-note theme as an homage within their haunting and climactic theme. "It was interesting to want to do something that was simultaneously dark and final, like a funeral, and to try and turn it into something that was not final. A sense of death and rebirth," Epworth explained. Sam Mendes, the director of Skyfall, remembers Daniel Craig even shedding a tear and calling it the "first good Bond song" upon hearing a demo while filming.
In recording the song, Adele covers a range that exceeds an octave going from a low G3 to a high C5.
Learn to Sing Adele's "Skyfall"
Now that you know a bit about the production history take a listen and learn to sing Adele's "Skyfall" for yourself!