The Living Daylights
by a-ha

Album: The Living Daylights Soundtrack (1987)
Charted: 5
  • This was the theme tune to the James Bond film The Living Daylights, which was Timothy Dalton's debut in his short reign as 007.
  • A-ha were the last act to collaborate with score composer John Barry. The Norwegian pop group were hot at the time but they treated their role with cool disdain and the English composer did not see eye to eye with the young upstarts. Barry later compared working with them to "playing ping-pong with four balls."
  • This reached #1 in a-ha's native Norway.
  • A-ha do not have happy memories of working with John Barry on this song. Vocalist Morten Harket recalled to The Guardian in 2016: "He was not an easy guy to like, quite honestly. He was very strange in that he started to befriend us by talking bad about Duran Duran [who sang the previous Bond theme, "A View To A Kill"]. He made some degrading comments about them and what they'd been doing and that didn't sit well with any of us."

    He added: "Then he made some derogatory comments about women and it was all uncalled for. There will be people who knew him who will have a very different view of him. But he didn't go down well with us."
  • Despite the band's tense relationship with the composer, a-ha guitarist Pal Waaktaar admitted he liked what Barry brought to the song, especially the "really cool string arrangement." He explained in a Bond music retrospective: "That's when it, for me, started to sound like a Bond thing."
  • A-ha included a reworked version on their 1988 album, Stay On These Roads.
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Comments: 5

  • Seventhmist from 7th HeavenI'll have to respectfully disagree with Karen's take on Dalton. He provided a (badly-needed) serious take on the 007 role, which Roger Moore had turned into a parody of what Sean Connery gave us in the 60s.
  • Shandroise De Laeken from Davao City, PhilippinesThe Living Daylights may be incomprehensible but once you read the lyrics, you'll be able to make out what Morten was singing. a-hahahaha!!! This is another good Bond theme song - I prefer it over A View to Kill and Live and Let Die~ imo, take note. I just heard today DD's A View to a Kill and I don't understand what's the quality in it which made it #1. It's... o_O
    Anyway, maybe I'm just too biased.
    Barry must be glad. A-ha reciprocated his cold feeling towards a-ha. They think working with him was so frightening - shut the living daylights out of them!
  • Karen from Manchester, NhWhile everyone has their own opinion, I have to respectfully disagree with both of esskayess's comments; love the song, and Dalton is the WORST Bond.
  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxBizarre song and a pity the great John Barry's final 007 score (with a great take on the part by Timothy Dalton) was marred by such an almost incomprehensible song. This gr0up was clearly over its head here.
  • Shane from Columbus, Oh"The Living Daylights" was the last James Bond film to be a film adaptation of an Ian Flemming work BEFORE Dan Craig began his tenure as Bond in "Casino Royale."
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