Duran Duran Wiki
A View to a Kill
single by Duran Duran
B-side "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)"
Released 6 May 1985
Recorded Spring 1985
Format 7"
Genre New wave, synthpop
Length 3:37 (Single Version)
Label Capitol, EMI
Writer(s) Duran Duran, John Barry
Producer Bernard Edwards
Duran Duran

"A View to a Kill" is the thirteenth single by Duran Duran, released by Capitol-EMI on 6 May 1985.

About the song[]

This is a stand-alone single created for the James Bond movie A View to a Kill. It remains the only James Bond theme song to have reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100; it also made it to #2 on the UK Singles Chart and #6 in Australia.

The song was written by Duran Duran and John Barry, and recorded at Maison Rouge Studio and CTS Studio in London with a 60-piece orchestra.

The song was the last track that the original five members of Duran Duran recorded together until their reunion sixteen years later, in 2001. It was played at their final 1985 performance together, at Live Aid in Philadelphia. It is the most often performed James Bond theme of all time, with the band themselves having play it over 750 times to date.

Duran Duran were chosen to do the song after bassist John Taylor (a lifelong Bond fan) approached producer Cubby Broccoli at a party, and somewhat drunkenly asked "When are you going to get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?"[1][2] This inauspicious beginning led to some serious talks, and the band was introduced to Bond composer John Barry, and also Jonathan Elias (whom Duran Duran members would later work with many times).

Song Development[]

In a 2022 interview, Simon said that the initial demo for the songs came during making The Wild Boys video in July of 1984. Nick brought a small portable keyboard into the studio dressing room, and played a few chords. Simon said he knew the title of the movie already, and began to sing "Meeting you, with a view to a kill". This story contradicts some demo recordings, where Simon is still searching for the words.

A writing meeting at Taylor's flat in Knightsbridge on November 2nd led to everyone getting drunk instead of composing.[3]. The band had had a few drinks by the time he arrived. John Barry said something like "Oh, it's going to be like that is it?", and left. Barry comes back much later, very drunk. In later interviews Barry said he was not normally a drinker, so the alcohol hit him hard. He briefly talks in John's kitchen, then they put him in a taxi.

The initial studio sessions for the song occurred around Christmas time 1984, most likely December 23rd and/or 24th. A bootleg recording an early demo session can be found on The Medicine called Duranies Studying (8:38) and the Rough Take (4:59); in which Andy can clearly be heard ad-libbing over apparently John Barry's strings, along with Simon, John and Nick similarly making things up - with Roger providing the only similarity to the final song. Perhaps these were warm-up jams, or recorded at an earlier date with/without John Barry. Simon does not sing any of the lines from the final song.

According to Simon, Le Bon said, of Barry: "He didn't really come up with any of the basic musical ideas. He heard what we came up with and he put them into an order. And that's why it happened so quickly because he was able to separate the good ideas from the bad ones, and he arranged them. He has a great way of working brilliant chord arrangements. He was working with us as virtually a sixth member of the group, but not really getting on our backs at all."[4]

Three different takes were apparently recorded during the Christmas demo sessions. The first take (3:42) has a very rough structure and no final lyrics except the first line of the song. It includes the lines "Jump out of the Fire, another day, I'm gonna make it". The second take (3:44) seems to play too slowly, but is otherwise almost finished. The third take (3:47) is the complete song with minor differences; such as the ending chords; and leaving some noticeable gaps for John Barry to fill in later. None of these three recordings feature any instruments from John Barry, giving credibility to the story that the song was finished before John Barry added his parts.

Strings were added to the song in January 1985. The song was finally completed in April, and was released worldwide in May.

Pat Boone Critisism[]

This song was the subject of criticism from singer Pat Boone when it was performed at Live Aid in 1985. Although Duran Duran donated their time in this historic fundraising effort for African famine relief (like every other artist on the bill), Boone commented that if singing lyrics like "Dance into the fire" were the only way to raise money and awareness of this issue, then maybe it was not worth it. (source). This sparked further Duran Duran's Satanic Links claims.

Music video[]

The song was accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek video filmed in June. It was directed by the duo Godley & Creme (who had also directed their 1981 video for "Girls on Film".) The video cast the band members as spies and assassins scampering all over the Eiffel Tower, in a rather tangled thicket of half-sketched storylines. Band members shoot at, take pictures of, spy upon and direct sonic accordion attacks upon each other as the lead singer Simon Le Bon wanders about, using a portable cassette player to set off a series of explosions elsewhere in the world. These shots are intercut with scenes from the movie A View to a Kill, including those featuring Roger Moore and Grace Jones on the Eiffel Tower, so that it appears the actors and the band are participating in the same storyline.

Le Bon ends the video with a parody of James Bond, smarmily introducing himself as "Bon. Simon Le Bon."

B-sides, bonus tracks and remixes[]

The B-side was an instrumental piece orchestrated by John Barry, titled "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)".

It is thought that there was no 12" remix for the song because the band ran out of time. However, Capitol Records did commission and receive at least one remix of the track.

Covers, samples, & media references[]

Cover versions have been recorded by popular Welsh band Lostprophets, as well as Icelandic artist Paul Oscar (as a 1997 Eurovision Song Contest entry), Canadian punk band Gob, Australian band Custard, and Chilean band Los MOX!.

In 1986, John Barry and Duran Duran were nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for "A View to a Kill".

Chart positions[]

On 13 July 1985, it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2007 remains the only Bond theme to do so. It was preceded at number one "Sussudio" by Phil Collins and followed by "Every Time You Go Away" by Paul Young.

On 25 May, it made it to number two in the UK Singles Chart, also a record for Bond themes. (It was held out of the top spot by the song "19" by Paul Hardcastle.)

The song officially went to No.1 in 6 countries, although it was reported to be #1 in 11-15 countries unofficially; including several in South America, the Far East, and several (mostly British owned) islands in the Caribbean.

Year Chart Position
1985 US Billboard Hot 100 1
US Cash Box Top 100 1
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 1
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders) 1
Denmark (Hitlisten) 1
Poland (LP3) 1Spain (AFYVE) 1
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 1
UK Singles (OCC) 2
Ireland (IRMA) 2
Norway (VG-lista) 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 3
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 3
South Africa (Springbok Radio) 4
Australia (Kent Music Report) 6
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40) 6
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 7
West Germany (Official German Charts) 9
France (SNEP) 11
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 13

Track Listing[]

7": EMI DURAN 007 (UK)

  1. "A View to a Kill" - 3:34
  2. "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)" - 2:28
  • Also released in a gatefold sleeve (DURANG007)

CD: Part of the "Singles Box Set 1981-1985"

  1. "A View to a Kill" - 3:34
  2. "A View to a Kill (That Fatal Kiss)" - 2:28

Other appearances[]


Box sets:



Duran Duran are:


Meeting you, with a view, to a kill
Face to face in secret places, feel the chill.
Nightfall covers me, but you know the plans I'm making,
Still oversee, could it be, the whole earth opening wide?
A sacred why, a mystery gaping inside
The weekends why

Until we dance, into the fire
That fatal kiss, is all we need
Dance, into the fire,
To fatal sounds, of broken dreams.
Dance into the fire,
That fatal kiss, is all we need
Dance, into the fire.....

The choice for you, is the view to a kill
Between the shades, assassination standing still.
The first crystal tears, fall as snowflakes on your body
First time in years, to drench your skin, with lovers rosy stain
A chance to find a phoenix for the flame,
A chance to die...

But can we dance, into the fire?
That fatal kiss is all we need
Dance, into the fire
To fatal sounds, of broken dreams.
Dance into the fire
That fatal kiss, is all we need
Dance, into the fire
When all we see.. is the view to a kill

Misheard Lyrics[]

Face to faces, secret places
Still oversea, could it be the whole lot opening wide?
Who weekends why
Two fatal sounds, of broken dreams
fall of snowflakes, on your body

See also[]


  1. Malins, Steve. (2005) Notorious: The Unauthorized Biography, André Deutsch/Carlton Publishing, UK (ISBN 0-233-00137-9). pp 161-162
  2. Paul Gambaccini, Interview with John Taylor, 1985, Greatest DVD extras.
  3. Pattenden, Sian. "Blame It On Rio." Deluxe Magazine, December 1998 (pp 125-129)
  4. Leonard, Geoff. Bond By Barry: The Story of James Bond Music.

Simon Le BonNick RhodesJohn TaylorRoger Taylor
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