This was the theme song for the 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace. It was written and produced by White Stripes and Raconteurs frontman Jack White.
This was the first ever duet in Bond soundtrack history.
Alicia Keys said in publicity materials that this was "an incredible process" for her. She added: "Rockin' with Jack White is something that has been an unforgettable experience. Mixing rock and soul for the new Bond movie theme gives it a mysterious, unexpected, strong and sexy vibe that I love. I'm glad to be a part of such a legacy."
Other artists previously rumored as vocalists for the Quantum of Solace theme song included Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Leona Lewis. Winehouse started her attempt with producer Mark Ronson without completing it, but she seemed to resent the producers of Quantum of Solace passing her up for the theme song. The troubled singer commented to New magazine: "I guess they are going for clean-cut and boring. "[They] made a big mistake. If they want a worldwide hit, I have them all up here [pointing to her head]."
In a press statement Jack White discussed his collaboration with Alicia Keys. He said: "After a couple of years of wanting to collaborate with Alicia Keys, it took James Bond himself to finally make it happen. Alicia put some electric energy into her breath that cemented itself into the magnetic tape. Very inspiring to watch." White added that the collaboration "gave me a new voice, and I wasn't myself anymore. I drummed for her voice and she mimicked the guitar tones, then we joined our voices and screamed and moaned about these characters in the film and their isolation, having no one to trust, not even themselves. Maybe we became them for a few minutes."
The famous Memphis Horns, who appeared on nearly every recording for Stax Records back in the '60s, played on this song. A few months previously they'd played on some of the tracks on the Raconteurs album Consolers of the Lonely.
Keys and White didn't particularly listen to any other Bond themes before creating this one.
Keys recalled to The Independent newspaper October 17, 2008: "It was in July (2008) that I heard I'd been chosen to sing the theme tune with Jack. The producers of the film approached Jack to write the theme song, with me in mind to sing it. I felt like us working together would create a real rock'n'soul sound. Jack's sound is very raw, very cut and dried, drums and guitar. I thought that by combining that style with mine, which already has a raw feel to it, and with my voice, we could do something really interesting that mixes rock and soul together. Jack and I have been wanting to collaborate for a long while, and this was a great opportunity to do so. This won't be the last time we work together. This is just the beginning."
David Arnold, who composed the score for Quantum of Solace, didn't really get involved in the writing of this song. He explained to The London Times October 18, 2008: "I had dialogue with Jack about what I thought the song should be about, basically taking him through story points... It was just Jack's thing, he's like Prince in that respect, he does everything."