"No Time to Die" is the theme song of the James Bond film of the same name. Billie Eilish penned the haunting ballad with her brother and go-to collaborator, Finneas.
At 18 years old, Billie Eilish is the youngest artist to write and perform a Bond theme song. The previous youngest was Sheena Easton, who was 22 years old when she released "For Your Eyes Only
" in 1981.
The song finds Eilish singing about betrayal and lies; the duplicity may be between lovers or secret agents.
Fool me once, fool me twice
Are you death or paradise?
Now you'll never see me cry
There's just no time to die
One of the key themes in Daniel Craig's James Bond storyline is that of an endless string of betrayals.
Finneas produced the cinematic track with English producer Stephen Lipson. Hans Zimmer, who previously worked with Lipson on The Dark Knight Rises, worked on the orchestra arrangement. Johnny Marr, formerly of The Smiths, played guitar on the track.
Billie Eilish performed the track live for the first time at the Brit Awards in London on February 18, 2020. She was accompanied by Finneas, Marr and a full orchestra conducted by Zimmer.
Speaking in GQ Hype magazine, Finneas said the Bond people handed him and his sister the "first 20 pages" of the No Time To Die movie script. After reading it through, they tried and failed to write the track in a studio before Finneas came up with the chord progression while on tour. The siblings then wrote the tune in the bunks of their tour bus. After sending the demo to the Bond people, they finished it in London with Hans Zimmer and Johnny Marr. The entire song came together in three days, start to finish.
"No Time To Die" debuted at #1 on the UK singles chart. It was the second Bond theme to top the tally – the first was Sam Smith's "Writing's On The Wall
" in October 2015.
The song racked up 90,000 sales in its first seven days in the UK, breaking the record for the biggest opening week of all time for a Bond theme. It overtook Adele's "Skyfall
," which achieved 84,000 sales in its opening week in October 2012.
Director Daniel Kleinman's moody black-and-white video finds Eilish taking on the role of a modern-day lounge singer crooning the song's haunting lyrics in a darkened studio. Clutching an old-fashioned microphone, the songstress stares into the camera as footage of James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) flashes around her. Kleinman has designed every title sequence for the James Bond series since GoldenEye (1995) except for Quantum of Solace.
When this topped the UK singles chart, Billie Eilish became the first act born in the 21st century to claim a UK #1 single.
This won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written For Visual Media at the 2021 ceremony; Eilish also won Record Of The Year for "Everything I Wanted
" to go along with her four awards from the previous year.
Hans Zimmer's soundtrack for No Time To Die climbed to #7 on the UK albums chart, making it the highest-charting soundtrack from the James Bond franchise.