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The World Is Not Enough

11th April 2014

The theme to Bond's 19th screen outing charted at 15th place in the MI6 survey of 007 title songs

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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Garbage - The World Is Not Enough

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...

David Arnold's second 007 adventure as composer was "The World Is Not Enough". For his debut film as composer, the title song was written by Sheryl Crow and Mitchell Froom. This time, the composer was charged with the title song, allowing a close integration with the complete sound of the movie and, indeed, was able to contribute an evocative title song, one that honoured the old John Barry soundtracks.

Arnold wrote his theme for the American electro-rock band Garbage and their Scottish lead singer Shirley Manson. He imagined the group performing his track and contacted them out of the blue in order to secure their talents. Arnold recalled that Manson screamed when he told her the good news. He remembered never hearing such a positive response to any proposal of collaboration.

"The thing about Bond artists, the people who could sing Bond songs, is could they exist in the film?" asks Arnold. "Are they part of the Bond universe?" The answer, in this case, was 'yes'. The reputation of tough and beautiful lead singer Manson gelled neatly with writers Purvis and Wade's move to have the plot centre on a strong lead female villain. The band was founded by Duke Erikson and Butch Vig, who'd worked together since the 1980s. In 1994 they met with Shirley Manson in London when they were touring with their band Angelfish. Their first eponymously-titled album was released to some success in 1995, particularly in Australia, and the band won Best New Band and Best International Newcomer at the same year's Brits.

Above: Garbage lead singer Shirley Manson.

Once again Don Black was back in service to write lyrics. He had previously contributed to "Thunderball", "Diamonds Are Forever", "The Man With The Golden Gun", and "Tomorrow Never Dies". Black describes the lyrics as telling a story, one that runs in parallel with that of the film. Like the plot, his story concerns itself with the theme of world domination. Black also borrows the important line of dialogue, "There's no point in living if you can't feel alive,", including it as one of the lyrics. Mason requested one change to the song, that concerned the line "I know when to kiss and I know when to kill"; the change for the final recording was subtle but important to the artist: "I" became "we".

The composer had completed a demo of the theme by January 1999, and presented the theme to director Michael Apted and the two Bond producers, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. With the go-ahead from the team, the band was approached about the title song for Bond's 19th outing on 4th August 1999, and they quickly made arrangements to record the Arnold-penned title track. Timing proved critical, as the band were on tour in Europe, so they began the first part of their collaboration remotely, and Garbage set up a makeshift recording environment that they could use on tour. The final track was recorded in London at Metropolis Studios. Then, Garbage took the track to Vancouver where they mixed it to their tastes. Although Arnold had the final say over the mix that made it to the title track, Garbage did release a "Chilled Out remix" to which they felt their fans would be more receptive.

The song met critical success in English-speaking markets, as well as Iceland, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. It made it to the 11th spot on the UK charts and stayed there for nine weeks.

I know to hurt,
I know how to heal,
I know what to show, and what to conceal.

I know when to talk,
And I know when to touch,
No one ever died for wanting too much.

The world is not enough,
But it is such a perfect place to start, my love.
And if you're strong enough,
Together we can take the world apart, my love.

People like us,
Know how to survive,
There's no point in living if you can't feel alive.

We know when to kiss,
And we know when to kill.
If we can't have it all,
Then nobody will.

The world is not enough,
But it is such a perfect place to start, my love.
And if you're strong enough,
Together we can take the world apart, my love.

I feel safe,
I feel scared,
I feel ready.
And yet, unprepared.

The world is not enough,
But it is such a perfect place to start, my love.
And if you're strong enough,
Together we can take the world apart, my love.

The world is not enough.
The world is not enough.
No, noway near enough.
The world is not enough.

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