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SoundTRAX: Duran Duran "A View to a Kill"

The cover art for Duran Duran's theme for "A View to a Kill" features an illustration of James Bond in the crosshairs of a gun with bullets scattered around it.
EMI/Capitol Records

SoundTRAX is a dive into notable music from iconic films and TV shows every Monday-Thursday at 8:10.

If I asked you to name the only James Bond theme to ever go to #1, what would your guess be?

Maybe Paul McCartney & Wings with "Live and Let Die?"

"Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey?

Maybe something more recent, like Adele's "Skyfall" or billie eilish's "No Time to Die?"

All good guesses. And all incorrect.

The one and, so far, only Bond theme to top the charts was Duran Duran in 1985 with "A View to a Kill."

And it started with— like so many fun things do— with a drunken conversation.

Bassist John Taylor, photos of whom were all over the walls of my teenage self, was a die-hard Bond fan. His first big purchase when the Duran Duran money started to roll in was an Aston Martin, the definitive Bond vehicle.

When an inebriated Taylor was introduced to Bond producer Albert "Cubby" Broccoli at a party, he said something to the effect of, "When are you going to get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?"

Instead of getting angry, Broccoli introduced Taylor to Bond composer John Barry, and the rest, as they say, was history.

I don't think the film A View to a Kill makes anyone's list of best Bond movies, but the title song is so synth-y, so 1985, it really is a guilty pleasure. That I'm not guilty about at all.

And since former guitarist Andy Taylor (I know— the band is silly with Taylors, none of them related) is celebrating his 62nd birthday, today's SoundTRAX is "A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran.

Mel is the WFPK morning host. Email Mel at mfisher@lpm.org.

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