Nobody Does It Better

"Nobody Does It Better" is a power ballad composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager. It was recorded by Carly Simon as the theme song for the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). It was the first Bond theme song to be titled differently from the name of the movie since Dr. No, although the phrase "the spy who loved me" is included in the lyrics. The song was released as a single from the movie's soundtrack album.

"Nobody Does It Better"
Nobody Does It Better - Carly Simon.jpg
Single by Carly Simon
from the album The Spy Who Loved Me
B-side"After the Storm"
ReleasedJuly 1977
RecordedApril 1977
GenrePop rock
Length3:29
LabelElektra
Songwriter(s)Marvin Hamlisch, Carole Bayer Sager
Producer(s)Richard Perry
Carly Simon singles chronology
"It Keeps You Runnin'"
(1976)
"Nobody Does It Better"
(1977)
"You Belong to Me"
(1978)
Side A of one of US single pressings
45 RPM side label
45 RPM side label

"Nobody Does It Better" became a major worldwide hit, spending three weeks at No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 but was kept out of the top spot by Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life" and No. 1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart.[1] The song was certified Gold by the RIAA, signifying sales of one million copies in the US.[2] It also reached No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart, and was certified Silver by the BPI.[3][4]

Among the most successful Bond themes, the song received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for Best Original Song in 1978, losing both to "You Light Up My Life" from the 1977 film of the same title. At the 20th Annual Grammy Awards held in 1978, "Nobody Does It Better" received a nomination for Song of the Year, and Simon was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female. In 2004, the song was also honored by the American Film Institute as the 67th greatest song as part of their 100 Years Series. In 2012, the song ranked No. 3 on Rolling Stone's list, and No. 2 on Billboard's list, of the Top 10 James Bond Theme Songs.[5][6] In 2021, USA Today crowned "Nobody Does it Better" the greatest James Bond Theme Song.[7]

Adam Sandler covered "Nobody Does It Better" before receiving the MTV Generation Award on the 2008 MTV Movie Awards (the words were modified to reflect Sandler).[8] Celine Dion also performed the song as part of her self-titled show in Las Vegas.[9] Radiohead used to perform the song as part of their set during the mid-90s;[10] indeed, Radiohead's lead singer, Thom Yorke, called it the "sexiest song ever written".[11][12][13] Bobby Brown covered the song with Whitney Houston on his 1997 album Forever.[14] Julie Andrews covered the song on her 1989 album Love, Julie.[15]

BackgroundEdit

"Nobody Does It Better" is Simon's longest-charting hit, as well the most successful hit of hers that she did not write herself. Her earlier hit "You're So Vain" spent three weeks at No. 1; however, its chart run was two months shorter than that of "Nobody Does It Better".[16] The title of the theme was later used for Simon's 1999 greatest hits compilation, The Very Best of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better.

CompositionEdit

Lyrically, "Nobody Does It Better" is a "lust-drunk anthem" about James Bond's sexual prowess.[17] In a 1977 documentary on the making of The Spy Who Loved Me, Marvin Hamilsch said that the decision to ask Carly Simon to perform the song was made after lyricist Carole Bayer Sager remarked that the lyrics sounded "incredibly vain", in reference to Simon's 1972 song "You're So Vain".

ReceptionEdit

Billboard Magazine described "Nobody Does It Better" as a "typically inventive and bombastic" James Bond theme song, stating that Simon sings it "as if she believed sincerely in the superhuman love powers of 007."[18] Cash Box said that it is "strictly star material in every detail" and that it has "a good enough melody to stand on its own," even if it wasn't a James Bond theme song.[19]

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref
1978 Academy Award Best Original Song Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager Nominated [20]
Golden Globe Award Best Original Song Nominated [21]
British Academy Film Awards Best Film Music Marvin Hamlish Nominated [22]
Grammy Award Song of the Year Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager Nominated [23]
Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female Carly Simon Nominated [24]

Chart performanceEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Silver 250,000^
United States (RIAA)[37] Gold 1,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 221.
  2. ^ Grein, Paul (January 3, 2013). "Chart Watch Extra: Top Songs of 2012". Chart Watch. Yahoo Music. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard Books
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums. London: Guinness World Records Limited
  5. ^ Edwards, Gavin. "Carly Simon, 'Nobody Does It Better' (1977) – The Top 10 James Bond Theme Songs". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  6. ^ "Top 10 James Bond Theme Songs Ever". Billboard. 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
  7. ^ Ruggieri, Melissa (October 8, 2021). "James Bond theme songs: We rank the exceptional and unremarkable, from Adele to Madonna". Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  8. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Adam Sandler – Nobody Does it Better". Retrieved May 18, 2015 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Brissey, Breia. "On the scene: Celine Dion live in Las Vegas". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  10. ^ "Best & Worst James Bond theme covers". Digital Spy. October 24, 2012. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  11. ^ Greene, Andy (April 4, 2017). "Flashback: Radiohead Cover Carly Simon's 'Nobody Does It Better'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  12. ^ Radiohead – Nobody Does It Better, retrieved March 7, 2022
  13. ^ "Radiohead take on Carly Simon's 'Nobody Does It Better'". January 18, 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  14. ^ Forever. "AllMusic review". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  15. ^ Love, Julie. "AllMusic review". Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles, 1955–2002
  17. ^ Ehrlich, David (November 2, 2015). "James Bond Movie Theme Songs, Ranked Worst to Best". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 20, 2015.
  18. ^ "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. July 9, 1977. p. 100. Retrieved July 11, 2020.
  19. ^ "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. July 9, 1977. p. 15. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  20. ^ Oscars - 1978 ceremony (https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/1978)
  21. ^ Golden Globes - Spy Who Loved Me, The (https://www.goldenglobes.com/film/spy-who-loved-me)
  22. ^ "Film in 1978". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved November 11, 2021.
  23. ^ "Carole Bayer Sager". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  24. ^ "Carly Simon". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  25. ^ "Cash Box - International Best Sellers" (PDF). worldradiohistory.com. Cash Box. 18 March 1978. p. 63.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  28. ^ a b c "Songs from the Year 1977". Tsort.info. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  29. ^ "Carly Simon: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  30. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  31. ^ "Top 100 1977 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  32. ^ "Top 100 Hits of 1977/Top 100 Songs of 1977". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  33. ^ "Billboard Easy Listening Charts Singles". Billboard Magazine. December 24, 1977. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  34. ^ "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1977". Cashbox Magazine. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  35. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 2, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  36. ^ "British single certifications – Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  37. ^ "American single certifications – Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 15, 2020.

External linksEdit