Thursday, May 30, 2024

No Time to Sell: Billie Eilish’s Morose James Bond Theme Hopes for Revival But Louis Armstrong Makes a Surprise Return in Film


Back in February 2020, Billie Eilish released her morose James Bond theme, “No Time to Die.”

The movie then was scheduled for April 2020. It never happened.

The Eilish track didn’t do much. It had a brief run on the charts. Total sales of downloads were just 70,000 to this date. Including streaming, though, she’s 1.1 million in “sales.” Which sounds like a lot but isn’t.

The good news is Billie won a Grammy a year later, in January 2021, for music from a movie. But because the movie was never released, she wasn’t eligible for an Oscar nomination. This year she will be.

Now that “No Time to Die” is out in the UK and coming here next Friday, it’s possible the record will have a revival. In the movie, the song sits there like a wet fish, a limp handshake, a door mat.

The single is no “Live or Let Die” or “Goldfinger” or “Nobody Does it Better.” It has all the excitement of death, which might be the point. Hearing it you think maybe there IS time to die. Maybe that’s why the producers brought Hans Zimmer in write the score, which is very lively and lets us forget those first, sleep inducing moments.

The real theme song to “No Time to Die” plays over the end credits: Louis Armstrong’s “We Have All the Time in the World.” It’s so much more apt, and its a signal from the producers that they’ll be back with a new Bond series no matter what happened in this movie. It’s also a throwback to “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” which featured Diana Rigg. It was the last song Armstrong ever recorded. Talk about ‘haunting’– this track is the definition.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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