Entertainment & Arts

Sam Smith's James Bond theme makes UK chart history

Sam Smith Image copyright AP
Image caption Sam Smith is the first solo male British act to perform a Bond film's theme song since 1965

Sam Smith's Writing's On The Wall has made history by becoming the first Bond theme to reach number one in the UK.

The track achieved combined chart sales and streams of 70,000 copies - 13,000 ahead of its closest competitor, Justin Bieber's What Do You Mean?

The previous highest-charting Bond themes were Adele's Skyfall and Duran Duran's View To A Kill, which both reached number two.

Smith said he was "so proud" of the song and being number one was "crazy".

He told BBC Radio 1: "Out of all the songs I've brought out in my life, I was not expecting this to even chart in the top 10, let alone number one. It's unbelievable."

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Media captionBond song 'not a classic but good enough'

Smith is the first solo male British act to perform the opening number for a James Bond film since 1965, when Tom Jones was heard over the credits for Thunderball.

Smith's song, a mournful ballad, divided opinion when it was unveiled last week, with critics labelling it both "bland" and "beautiful".

"When the song came out I was so nervous," the singer said. "It's impossible to bring out a Bond song that pleases everyone.

"Everyone's had mixed reviews when they bring one out, but the charts don't lie and people seem to love it and enjoy it and that's just the most magical thing."

Writing's On The Wall follows the success of Adele's Skyfall, which won a Grammy, an Oscar, a Brit Award and a Golden Globe.

Her song failed to reach the top of the charts because it was released on a Wednesday - meaning Swedish House Mafia's Don't You Worry Child prevailed, thanks to a 48-hour head start.

Duran Duran's A View To A Kill reached number two in 1985, while Paul McCartney and Wings' Live and Let Die only reached number seven.

Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger, possibly the most famous Bond song, was the singer's biggest hit in the US, peaking at number eight - but it only reached 21 in the UK.

Top five UK singles
1) Writing's On The Wall Sam Smith
2) What Do You Mean Justin Bieber
3) Locked Away R City ft Adam Levine
4) Easy Love Sigala
5) Can't Feel My Face The Weeknd
Top five UK albums
1) Caracal Disclosure
2) Music Complete New Order
3) Rattle That Lock David Gilmour
4) Every Open Eye Churches
5) I Cry When I Laugh Jess Glynne

Writing's On The Wall is Smith's fifth number one single, following La La La (with Naughty Boy), Money On My Mind, Stay With Me and Lay Me Down.

He is due to unveil the video on Monday at 00:07 BST.

Image copyright PA
Image caption R&B star The Weeknd has been stuck at number five for the past month

Elsewhere in this week's singles chart, R City and Adam Levine stayed at number three with Locked Away.

Sigala's former number one Easy Love slipped from two to four, and The Weeknd's Can't Feel My Face remained at five for the fourth week in a row.

Caracal triumphs

Meanwhile, dance duo Disclosure, who provided production work on Smith's Bond theme along with songwriter Jimmy Napes, scored their second number one album.

Caracal features another collaboration with Smith, Omen, as well as tracks with The Weeknd, Gregory Porter, Kwabs, Lorde, and Miguel.

Combined sales and streaming figures put it more than 8,000 copies ahead of its nearest rival New Order, who return with their 10th studio album, Music Complete.

The album is the band's highest-charting album in 22 years and features collaboration with Brandon Flowers, La Roux and Iggy Pop.

Scottish synth-pop group Chvrches charted at four with their second studio album Every Open Eye.

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