Sam Smith on track to score first number one Bond theme with Spectre song 'Writing's On The Wall'

Smith's latest effort has divided fans and critics with some calling it 'soulful' and others 'bland'

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The Independent Culture

Sam Smith’s stab at a Bond theme might have been derided by many for being “bland”, but the British singer is on course to score the first ever 007 chart-topper on Friday.

“Writing’s On The Wall” is the lead song from upcoming blockbuster Spectre and despite a lot of people wishing Shirley Bassey had done it instead, the track has racked up double the combined sales of its closest rival “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber. 

It may come as a surprise that no Bond theme has ever reached number one in the UK before. Adele’s rousing “Skyfall” won Best Original Song at the 2012 Oscars but peaked at number two in the charts. Duran Duran’s “A View To Kill” also came close but narrowly missed the summit.

Spectre producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson have predictably given “Writing’s On The Wall” high praise, branding it “one of the greatest Bond songs of all time”. It is the first Bond theme recorded by a British male solo artist since Tom Jones’ “Thunderball” in 1965.

Smith, who was recently unveiled as the new Bond singer after denying rumours for months, claims he he is not expecting a number one hit.

“I don’t think it’s a number one friendly song if you know what I mean,” he told Nick Grimshaw on BBC Radio One. “Who knows, but I don’t think it will [get to number one] at all. I’m not looking for that.”

Spectre is set for UK release on 26 October. Daniel Craig returns to his starring role, alongside new faces Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes and Lea Seydoux.