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Another Way To Die

21st January 2013

The first duet for a James Bond film limped in second from last in the MI6 survey of 007 title songs

MI6 logo By MI6 Staff
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21
Jack White & Alicia Keys - Another Way To Die

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...


It was announced Jack White of The White Stripes and Alicia Keys would collaborate on "Another Way to Die", which is the first duet in Bond music history, on 29 July 2008. According to White: "After a couple of years of wanting to collaborate with Alicia, it took James Bond himself to finally make it happen."

The song was recorded at Sputnik Sound Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee; White played the drums while Keys performed on the piano.

The pair filmed a video for the song in Toronto on September 6, 2008, whilst Keys was at the Toronto International Film Festival promoting her new film The Secret Life of Bees while White was there with It Might Get Loud, a documentary on the electric guitar.

The core of the track was written and recorded by White in his Nashville studio, with Keys adding piano and vocals. "Alicia put some electric energy into her breath that cemented itself into the magnetic tape. Very inspiring to watch," explained the film's composer Arnold. "You're definitely taking on a responsibility. There's a tradition of powerful music in all these films. But that's why I'm involved creatively with music, for challenges like this."

Before the film had opened, Arnold acknowledged that the song was far from typical Bond. "It's not a big tune with the kind of long leading melody John Barry used to write. But there's something about the duality of those two voices that mirrors what's happening in the movie. Its dirty and raw, and yet there's an element of sophistication with Alicia's involvement, and that's kind of what you get with James Bond in Quantum - he's sitting there waiting to explode and barely keeping a lid on it. The way it drops in the film, it's exactly the right temperament, exactly the right vibe, and it means business."

A few tabloid reports claimed that it was far from harmonious in the studio, with White and Keys going "toe-to-toe". One source source at the recording said that "Keys was not happy with a number of technical details and initially wasn't too crazy about the song itself. She also wasn't totally in sync with how the song was being produced."

Many fans would voice their discontent with the track when they finally got to hear it, but Jack White himself also found a reason for his blood to boil. The world got their first listen of the track when Coca Cola used it in the background of a TV commercial to promote Coke Zero Zero 7 and plug the tie-in with the film. White quickly denounced the ad, and his management issued a statement distancing The White Stripes and Raconteurs man from the advert, claiming that it was not his decision to license the song for use in the promo. "Jack White was commissioned by Sony Pictures to write a theme song for the James Bond film 'Quantum Of Solace', not for Coca Cola," read the statement. "Any other use of the song is based on decisions made by others, not by Jack White. We are disappointed that you first heard the song in a co-promotion for Coke Zero, rather than in its entirety."

Whether they worked out their creative differences, or just put on good game-faces for the publicity push on the track, Keys herself seemed excited about the film. "It just starts BAM! with a crazy car chase. Things are spinning out of control and then when it's all over he opens the trunk and then the song starts! It's crazy! I did start screaming in the theatre, I was personally excited."

Lyrics
Another blinger
With the slick
Trigger finger
For Her Majesty
Another one
With the
Golden tongue
Poisoning your fantasy
Another bill
From a killer
Turned a thrill
Into a tragedy

Chorus
A door left open
A woman walking by
A drop in the water
A look in the eye
A phone on the table
A man on your side
Someone that you think
That you can trust is just
Another way to die

Another tricky little gun
Giving solace to the one
That will never see
The sunshine
Another inch of your life
Sacrificed
For your brother
In the nick of time
Another dirty money,
Heaven sent honey
Turning on a dime

Chorus
A door left open
A woman walking by
A drop in the water
A look in the eye
A phone on the table
A man on your side
Someone that you think
That you can
Trust is just
Another way to die

Wo-oh-oh-oh-oh-oah!
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!

Another girl
With her finger
On the world singing
To you what
You want to hear
Another gun thrown down
And surrendered
Took away your fear
Hey!
Another man
That stands right
Behind you
Looking in the mirror

Chorus
Oh, a door left open
A woman walking by
A drop in the water
A look in the eye
A phone on the table
A man on your side
Oh,
Someone that you think
That you can trust
Is just another way to die

Suit him up
Bang bang...

Bang bang bang bang

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