It remains one of the most coveted slots in music history given the clout of the film, but surprisingly the honor of being a James Bond theme song topliner has not historically had the best perks.
Despite courting big names like Madonna, Tina Turner, Adele, Sam Smith, Alicia Keys, and more, of the 14 leading original songs appointed to the movie series over the last 40 years, only six have hit the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40.
The sixth and latest to earn the accomplishment is Billie Eilish‘s ‘No Time To Die’ – the title track for the newest Bond installment’s soundtrack of the same name. A history-making effort as the 18-year-old is the youngest to ever record a song for the franchise, the Finneas-produced tune – after a warmly received performance at the 2020 Academy Awards (click here to watch) – made an impressive #16 debut on the Hot 100 at the end of February.
Less than a month later, it vanished from the Billboard Hot 100.
Despite its promising top 20 opening, peruse of the most refreshed Billboard Hot 100 sees ‘No Time to Die’ notably absent in what would’ve been its fourth week on the tally. As previously mentioned, the short shelf-life is not unusual for themes attached to Bond movies, but ‘Die’ met a special set of circumstances when its parent film’s premiere was pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic (click here to read more).
The postponement undoubtedly impacted any promotion the song would have been afforded, including the unveiling of its highly anticipated accompanying music video.
The Eilish cut – like most of the Bond tunes before it – has fared much better on the United Kingdom side of the pond, however. Opening at #1 on the Official Charts (as we reported here), the ballad debuted with the highest first week sales of a James Bond theme ever there. Five weeks later it remains in top 20.