Sam Mendes talks Radiohead's involvement with Spectre

in SPECTRE Posts: 4,240
I across this Sam Mendes interview from a few months back on iPlayer (that has now expired). Rather helpfully, someone on Reddit has summarised the main points:
https://www.reddit.com/r/radiohead/comments/7axqwn/sam_mendes_explains_what_happened_with_the/

Should be about 50 minutes in, after Skyfall, when the episode is available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09clppp

Radiohead were commissioned first and originally recorded Man of War (!!!). Everyone loved it, but decided they needed a newly written song for various reasons, including academy award eligibility
They then asked Sam Smith, and a bit later Thom asked to give it another go. Smith delivered Writing's On the Wall first, and the producers thought it fit better as Radiohead's was a bit too melancholy for the opening credits
Thom was happy to have their song used elsewhere in the film, but ultimately they couldn't make it work
Mendes has seen the credits cut with Radiohead's track on Youtube and thinks it's fabulous!


It seems that Sam Smith only got the gig as the Bond folk didn't want to repurpose a Radiohead song that already existed and only needed retrofitting into the film. When Yorke came up with his version for Spectre, it was too late and Mendes et al had grown attached to Smith's rendition.

I really like Smith's song. It's sappy and formulaic. It works terrifically as a Bond song. Radiohead always seemed a little too cool for the more earnest Sam Mendes era. However, they're a perfect fit for a Danny Boyle film...

Here's the video for almost Bond song, 'Man of War':

Comments

  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    edited April 2018 Posts: 9,117
    Radiohead were commissioned first and originally recorded Man of War (!!!). Everyone loved it, but decided they needed a newly written song for various reasons, including academy award eligibility
    They then asked Sam Smith, and a bit later Thom asked to give it another go. Smith delivered Writing's On the Wall first, and the producers thought it fit better as Radiohead's was a bit too melancholy for the opening credits
    Thom was happy to have their song used elsewhere in the film, but ultimately they couldn't make it work
    Mendes has seen the credits cut with Radiohead's track on Youtube and thinks it's fabulous!

    It seems that Sam Smith only got the gig as the Bond folk didn't want to repurpose a Radiohead song that already existed and only needed retrofitting into the film. When Yorke came up with his version for Spectre, it was too late and Mendes et al had grown attached to Smith's rendition.
    I don't really get why when they suddenly decided they didn't want to use Man of War they went straight to Smith rather than asking Radiohead to come up with something original? But then trying to fathom the rationale behind the decision making on SP is like trying to unlock the Da Vinci code.

    Also why couldn't we at least have had it on the end credits a la Surrender? Oh no there's me forgetting that these days you are only allowed to close a Bond film with the same arrangement of the Bond theme film after film.
    I really like Smith's song. It's sappy and formulaic. It works terrifically as a Bond song. Radiohead always seemed a little too cool for the more earnest Sam Mendes era. However, they're a perfect fit for a Danny Boyle film...
    I wouldn't say I really like it. It does a job. The opening bars are pretty good but after that its pretty run of the mill. That said the Radiohead SPECTRE song wasn't brilliant either and I can see why they went for Smith as they are catering to the masses after all.

    Pretty shocking that it won an Oscar though when you look at some of the great Bond songs that never came close.

    At least with Boyle one area I am expecting a definite improvement is the music.
  • Posts: 12,292
    these days you are only allowed to close a Bond film with the same arrangement of the Bond theme film after film.

    The 2006 one with the weird little "duummm dummmm daaaa-da-da" build up bit before the opening bars. Honestly I watched CR recently and the ending, which I loved at the time, has been kind of ruined for me because of how they've run that version of the theme into the ground.
  • edited April 2018 Posts: 14,391
    That «Man of War» song was very melancholy sounding. A bit too much for my liking.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    Posts: 38,613
    "Academy award eligibility" should never ever be a consideration.
  • Posts: 14,391
    "Academy award eligibility" should never ever be a consideration.

    No, it shouldn't. Yet EON seem to have that in the back of their heads these days.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 10,239
    "Academy award eligibility" should never ever be a consideration.

    Why?
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    Posts: 38,613
    I mean they should concentrate on a good and interesting end product, not just with the music either. Trying to pander to what they think some award committee may like, just doesn t cut it.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 10,239
    Fair enough. Makes sense.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Will the real NTTD release date please stand up?
    Posts: 3,863
    jake24 wrote: »
    Fair enough. Makes sense.

    What a disappointment. After yesterday's "little drama" I expected anger, insults and button-pressing threats. ;)
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    Posts: 10,239
    I meant infidel. Damn autocorrect.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Robotswana
    Posts: 38,613
    jake24 wrote: »
    I meant infidel. Damn autocorrect.

    Haha! Behead the autocorrect.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited April 2018 Posts: 3,447
    Sound like Radiohead and Sony whant to use Bond to promote that song, like some artist making a song and Sony link it with Spider-Man. In other words: Song without any connection with the movie.
Sign In or Register to comment.