My Sunday Song – “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell

For My Sunday Song #333, we are going to discuss a James Bond Theme song. This one is “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell. It holds the distinction of being the only Bond theme song not to be included on the soundtrack. And we have Chris to thank for that as he wanted the song to be his and as a result it appears on his 2007 album ‘Carry On’. The song was written by Chris and David Arnold who was the composer of the Bond music for the film ‘Casino Royale’. The song was leaked early, but did get an official release on November 13, 2006 and did really well in the U.S. where it made the Hot 100 landing at #79 and sold 290,000 copies. In the U.K. it faired better at #7 on the UK Singles Chart and reaching Silver status selling over 200,000 copies.

The song doesn’t mention the movie title and instead is about the person not the movie and thus they came up with “You Know My Name” because after 40+ years of Bond, you know his name. It is about the conflicted side of Bond and not that overly confident super spy. It is about his sacrifices and struggles he battles with internally with being the spy. When he kills, the impact it has on him internally. The fact that everyone ends up betraying him, the impact that has on him. All giving us a different look at Bond which is how Daniel Craig’s Bond has done in his stint as the infamous character.

Chris approached the song two-fold. First, he was inspired by Tom Jones and wanted to sing the song in an almost Crooner style. Second, he loved the intensity of Paul McCartney’s “Live & Let Die” Bond Theme song so he and David made sure to include some heavier rock elements along with the heavy orchestration we get with Bond themes. It is a great combination of styles. I have to say, I think Chris did a great job as I did love his approach with the singing and there are hints of Mr. Jones. There is no mistaking the Bond musical elements as every Bond theme. It is a great Bond Theme!

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