No Gladys Knight mention?
Posted 27 January 2013 - 01:15 AM
Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:25 PM
...I never noticed that! Good question...
Right? I did notice that it's listed in the end credits though. But since Binder was always one to get the titles done at the last second before release of the film, it probably fell short of listing the song. But yeah, who knows. Probably the answer is long buried under the Eon vault.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:10 AM
I was going to comment on Binder's renown tardiness, but wouldn't that mean that the song would have been finished well beforehand?
Unless Ms. Knight was chosen to provide vocals at the last minute...
Posted 29 January 2013 - 02:47 AM
Well how about that...I was all ready to post in here that she does get a credit, cause I could have sworn she did. Then I re-watched it just to make sure, and nope, you all are right. Wonder how I never noticed that before.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:09 PM
But yeah, you're right AMC Hornet, the Bond songs are always released before hand. Maybe Licence to Kill was the one exception to the rule. Also, this was the only Bond film to have a last-minute title change in addition to keeping the British spelling of "license" in an American song.
Edited by iBond, 29 January 2013 - 05:14 PM.
Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:30 PM
The rumour I heard, and partially confirmed by the Bond Song programme on ITV a few years back, was that Gladys Knight was never comfortable about a song that could be construed as supporting killing and that she asked for her credit to not be on the main titles. On the Bond Song programme I mentioned before, it did say they had to write the lyrics to mean that the licence to kill was about protecting others, specifically a loved one, not just about random murder.
As I said a rumour, can't remember where I heard or saw, so can't provide a reference. Sorry.
Posted 02 February 2013 - 06:53 PM
Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:17 PM
I'm fairly astonished I've seen the film two times in the theatre and numerous times on the telly - never did I notice this. Back in the the day the song was out a few weeks before the start of the film, so I guess I already new who performed it and just filled in the blank when I sat through the title sequence in the summer of '89.
I never heard Gladys Knight wasn't comfortable with the song, but it's probably the explanation that makes the most sense under the given circumstances.
Posted 02 February 2013 - 07:44 PM
Here's information from Wikipedia regarding the music.
"Initially Eric Clapton and Vic Flick were asked to write and perform the theme song to Licence to Kill. The theme was said to have been a new version based on the James Bond Theme. The guitar riff heard in the original recording of the theme was played by Flick. 
The prospect, however, fell apart and Gladys Knight's song and performance was chosen, later becoming a UK Top 10 hit. The song was composed by Narada Michael Walden, Jeffrey Cohen and Walter Afanasieff, based on the "horn line" from Goldfinger, which required royalty payments to the original writers.  At five-minutes twelve seconds it is the longest Bond theme. The music video of "Licence to Kill" was directed by Daniel Kleinman, who later took over the reins of title designer from Maurice Binder for the 1995 Bond film, GoldenEye."
Edited by iBond, 02 February 2013 - 10:32 PM.
Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:05 PM
While it may be possible that Knight wasn't a fan of the song, seems odd that she would ask not to be credited in the film but was ok with appearing in the music video and having her named used in promo materials for radio play, the soundtrack and the single release.
I'm not sure when the decision was made to drop the Flick/Clapton track, but I guess it's possible that binder was never given as answer to what track he was creating the titles for. Then again, the images matched with the music, so that probably isn't the case either. It could be that Binder just left her out on accident? He was notorious for delivering the sequences at the last minute and there may not have been time to correct it.
Since a big deal was never made out of it, maybe they never felt the need to correct it?
As far as the Flick/Clapton track goes, I recommend this interview. Seems that the track was completed and even a studio session video was filmed with the intention of being used as a music video to promote the track/film. Strange that this has never been leaked in any form. Considering the many mistake that the studio/producers made in certain decisions promoting LTK, chances are this track is excellent.
Edited by scissorpuppy007, 03 February 2013 - 04:06 PM.
Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:34 PM
John Burlingame covers this pretty thoroughly in The Music of James Bond. Though he doesn't say why Knight isn't credited, she did say she probably wouldn't do that particular song again, but liked doing a Bond song. Joel Sil was the music supervisor for MCA/UA, so the Bond producers didn't really have creative control. Sil didn't like the Clapton/Flick song, and Kamen himself once said the sessions "didn't really bear any fruit." Royalty complications have prevented this theme from being released, even though it was intended as a TV promo for the movie.
Since there were two strong female leads, Sil wanted two songs to bookend the film The Eurythmics were contacted about the end title, but Lennox was turned off by the violent shark scene. So Sil went to two different writers, Narada Michael Walden for the main title and Diane Warren for the end title. The former never saw the script or any footage of the film, while Diane Warren based her song on the final phrase of dialogue in the film. Knight and LaBelle were Sil's two favorite singers. That explains why these songs are sort of disconnected from the film--R&B singers for a Latin American story, no musical theme connecting score and titles, and the song writers not actually meeting Bond producers.
Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:10 PM
...That explains why these songs are sort of disconnected from the film--R&B singers for a Latin American story, no musical theme connecting score and titles, and the song writers not actually meeting Bond producers.