Tips and tricks for musicians who wish to follow Adele down the barrel of that gun

There are certain stylistic elements that make for a great James Bond theme song, a toolkit of tradition that everyone who has been blessed with this most sought-after of jobs is aware of, and ready to put to good use. If you fancy yourself as a future Adele, Madonna or even Jack White and Alicia Keys, all you need to do is follow these steps, add a twist of your own personal genius and you can't go far wrong.

1. Pay close attention to the stylistic formulas laid down by the master, John Barry

What that style of music was was me. It's what came out of me"
John Barry

In this fascinating clip, the great film composer John Barry - who arranged Monty Norman's original Bond theme for Dr No, then went on to compose 11 Bond theme songs and soundtracks, including classics like Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever - says: "I didn't sit down and concoct a Bond sound... It was a whole mixture of the guitar thing, that whole rock thing that I'd been through, plus... all that brass thing. That style of music for film was new, but what that style of music was was me. It's what came out of me."

He adds that Bond films are "broad-stroke movies", meaning that "subtlety isn't a virtue in a Bond score" - something which all (good) composers of the theme song have remembered since.

What that style of music was was me. It's what came out of me"
John Barry

2. Pick a provocative, seductive singer (exactly like Shirley Bassey)

I think Shirley should sing them all"
Don Black

Lyricist Don Black, who co-wrote the Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever and The Man With the Golden Gun theme songs with John Barry is pretty clear in the above clip about who he think should sing the Bond song each time. "I think Shirley should sing them all," he says, "because a Bond song should be provocative, it should be seductive, all those things, and who better to deliver that than Shirley Bassey."

Singing Goldfinger made a star of Shirley. "Goldfinger just changed everything," she says here. "I became internationally known."

I think Shirley should sing them all"
Don Black

3. Make it have lasting value, and feel like it's part of the film

Producer and songwriter Paul Epworth collaborating with Adele on the Skyfall song in 2012 turned out to be a huge success, bagging them an Oscar. And in a BBC News interview, just after the song was released, Epworth provided great insight into how to get a Bond song right. "It has to have gravity and dynamic, rather than being something that's an instant pop song," he said, adding: "The best Bond songs are part of the narrative of the film."

4. Ensure those working on the song are cool enough to have played Bond themselves

George Martin could have been a very suave actor. Almost a James Bond"
Jeff Beck

Paul Epworth is a handsome, urbane man and John Barry is about the most caddish and dashing Englishman who ever lived (listen to him on Desert Island Discs in 1999 - incredible stories). Does being a Bond-like figure help those involved with the music come up with quality material? Absolutely! And Jeff Beck would agree. Speaking about famed Beatles producer George Martin, who was reunited with Paul McCartney on the tremendous Live And Let Die, he says: "He could have been a very suave actor, I think. Almost a James Bond." As if to prove a point, in this clip, George goes on to make a perfect Martini.

George Martin could have been a very suave actor. Almost a James Bond"
Jeff Beck

5. Encourage wild speculation about who might be writing and singing the song

In his BBC News interview about Skyfall, Paul Epworth says: "This has definitely been MI6-like subterfuge to try and keep it under wraps," and that's all part of the process and fun of coming up with a new Bond theme song. Is the Spectre song byEllie Goulding? Sam Smith? Adele again? And how come someone put a £15,000 bet on it being Radiohead? This much we know: when the writer and singer is finally announced, it'll be massive news and - as ever - James Bond wins.

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