x

Welcome to MI6 Headquarters

This is the world's most visited unofficial James Bond 007 website with daily updates, news & analysis of all things 007 and an extensive encyclopaedia. Tap into Ian Fleming's spy from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig with our expert online coverage and a rich, colour print magazine dedicated to spies.

Learn More About MI6 & James Bond →

All Time High

13th May 2013

The theme to 'Octopussy' charts at 18th place in the MI6 survey of 007 title songs

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
Share The Story


18
Rita Coolidge - All Time High

MI6 readers voted in their thousands during 2012 to rank all the James Bond title theme songs. Join us as we count down the results...


John Barry returned to his regular composing duties for the thirteenth Bond adventure that went head to head with Sean Connery's return to the role in "Never Say Never Again". He brought with him famed musical theatre lyricist, Tim Rice.

English jazz-pop artist Mari Wilson was on the shortlist of singers the "Octopussy" producers were considering for Bond's sound. But, Cubby's daughter, Barbara Broccoli, intervened. She wanted her father to hire Rita Coolidge and played Coolidge's tracks in the background until, one day, Cubby apparently piped up: "That's the voice I want for the new Bond song".

Despite the fact that Coolidge hadn't had a hit in the UK for five years, Broccoli hired the Tennessee-born singer.

As for every facet of the film's production, Fleming's cheeky title caused problems for the songwriters. As composer Barry reflected later, calling the title song "Octopussy" was never on the table. Tim Rice offered a series of titles to Barry and the producers, and they punted for "All Time High". Having selected the title, Rice set to work to pen the lyrics to Barry's music. On the day of recording, the lyrics were still being finalised and Coolidge recalled the atmosphere was tense, thanks in part to the hot temper of the late recording-studio genius, Phil Ramone at A&M records.

"All Time High" reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 - marking Coolidge's last appearance on that chart - in August of 1983. Adult Contemporary Radio was much more receptive, with that genre allowing "All Time High" four weeks at #1. Coolidge had previously topped the Adult Contemporary chart in 1977 with "We're All Alone" although that track's ascendancy had been a given in light of its #7 Hot 100 peak whereas "All Time High" topped the A/C charts while exhibiting fairly mild momentum in the mainstream Pop arena.

Since its poor performance on the charts, and perhaps because of the strife of the last minute lyrics and recording stresses, Coolidge sings the Bond title track live in concert only infrequently. But, she admits that the prestige of having performed a Bond song stays with one forever.

Lyrics
All I wanted was a sweet distraction for an hour or two.
Had no intention to do
The things we've done.
Funny how it always goes with love, when you don't look, you find.
But then we're two of a kind,
We move as one.

We're an all time high,
We'll change all that's gone before.
Doing so much more than falling in love.
On an all time high,
We'll take on the world and wait.
So hold on tight, let the flight begin.

I don't want to waste a waking moment,
I don't want to sleep.
I'm in so strong and so deep,
And so are you.
In my time I've said these words before, but now I realise,
My heart was telling me lies,
For you they're true.

We're an all time high,
We'll change all that's gone before.
Doing so much more than falling in love.
On an all time high,
We'll take on the world and wait.
So hold on tight, let the flight begin.

So hold on tight,
Let the flight begin.

We're an all time high.

Get Bond in Your Inbox

Sign up for occasional email updates from MI6. Get notified of breaking Bond news, and digests of recently releases features:


Share The Story

Open in a new window/tab