Sam Smith breaks UK chart record with first James Bond-themed number one for hit song Spectre

Writing On The Wall is however one of the lowest-selling number one singles in recent years

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Nobody does it better after all. Sam Smith’s has ended the “curse” of the James Bond theme after his title song for Spectre became the first to top the UK charts in the franchise’s 53-year history.

Unveiled last week to less than unanimous approval, Writing’s On The Wall, Smith’s dramatic ballad, entered the charts at number one, recording combined sales and streams.

The song has succeeded with pop fans where famous Bond themes, including Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds Are Forever, which only reached number 38 in the charts, have failed. Even Skyfall, Adele’s Oscar-winning theme for the 2012 film, peaked at number two.

Smith topped the chart with combined chart sales and streams of 70,000 copies, finishing 13,000 ahead of his closest competitor, Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean?.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in the upcoming film ‘Spectre’

Smith told “It was such an honour to be asked to write and record Writing’s On The Wall and it’s incredible that it’s become the first Number 1 Bond theme song.  It’s been an unforgettable experience working with Barbara (Broccoli) and Sam (Mendes) to become part of this British legacy. I couldn’t have done this without my fans – this is a special moment I’ll never forget.

Smith could achieve a unique double if Writing’s On The Wall also tops the US charts. The only Bond theme to reach number one in the Billboard Hot 100 was Duran Duran’s A View To A Kill, which stalled at number 2 in the UK in 1985.

Writing On The Wall is however one of the lowest-selling number one singles in recent years. It sold fewer copies than Skyfall which reached number 2 with 92,000 sales. Smith is likely to be dislodged from the top spot before Spectre opens in the UK on October 26th. 

Co-written by Smith with regular collaborator Jimmy Napes, and featuring production by dance duo Disclosure, Writing’s On The Wall places the Grammy award-winning singer’s tremulous vocals over a feverish string arrangement. One critic said the song justified Smith’s claim that it only took 20 minutes to write.

Writing’s On The Wall becomes Smith’s fifth Number 1 on the Official UK Singles Chart.