The Amy Winehouse James Bond theme that never was

The iconic singer had been working on a soundtrack before her tragic death in 2011.

Amy Winehouse had been working on a James Bond theme before her death Quantum of Solace nearly sounded very different Image Film 4

Amy Winehouse achieved many things during her tragically short career, and she continues to be a major influence on new generation of artists and music fans alike.

Sadly though, she never completed work on her James Bond theme, which she’d been writing in the years before her untimely death at the age of 27.

Today (September 14) on what would have been her 33rd birthday, loaded looks back at the spy movie soundtrack that could have been.

Following the success of her instant classic Back to Black album in 2006, Amy was approached to work on the theme tune to upcoming Bond movie Quantum of Solace – the second movie in the series starring Daniel Craig.

She was put in touch with Bond composer David Arnold – the man behind the World is Not Enough, Die Another Day and Casino Royale soundtracks – who wanted her to sing and write a song with Mark Ronson.

Daniel Craig as James Bond
007 Daniel Craig as James Bond in Skyfall. Image Picture MGM/Sony

Recalling the initial demos of the track in an interview for the book Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Film, Arnold described the theme as a “contemporary post-sixties piece”.

“I’d sketched out an idea musically, and I didn’t want to really do a lyric, because I thought [Amy’s] got to sing it so it would be a good idea for her to write it,” he said.

“She had notes. Mark Ronson put together a rough track with a couple of layers.”

“I think it would have been something really special. Sadly it wasn’t to be.”

Arnold added: “[Ronson’s] love for [Bond composer John] Barry, the period and obviously with Amy’s style was coming out as a contemporary post-sixties piece.

“It was all the more upsetting when she couldn’t finish it, because I think it would have been something really special. Sadly it wasn’t to be.”

Issues with alcoholism and substance abuse prevented Winehouse from completing the song, and the theme never saw the light of day.

Instead, we were presented with Jack White and Alecia Keys’ forgettable duet Another Way to Die, and fans were left wondering what could have been.

Despite Amy’s issues, Arnold held out hope of uniting with her for a song as late as 2011, the year of her death.

Speaking at a tribute concert for the late John Barry before Amy’s death, Arnold said: “She’s absolutely the real deal and the problems she has are part of that genius.

“If Amy was in a position to be back to full fighting strength, she would be fantastic.”

Amy Winehouse died on July 23, 2011 following a battle with alcoholism, and her Bond theme ambitions were sadly never realised.

Asif Kapadia celebrated the life and work of Amy Winehouse in his brilliant documentary Amy. Watch a trailer below: 

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Loaded staff writer Harry Fletcher has covered news, sport and entertainment for several major websites across the UK. Follow him on Twitter at @Harry__Fletcher.