NEW YORK, Dec 26, (AFP): Art-house rockers Radiohead offered a Christmas surprise Friday — a new song, initially intended for the latest James Bond film. The British band, which has not released an album since 2011 amid persistent speculation about new recordings, said it had been asked to write the theme for “Spectre,” the latest installment in the series about the dashing secret agent.
“It didn’t work out, but became something of our own, which we love very much,” Radiohead wrote on its website.
“As the year closes we thought you might like to hear it,” Radiohead said, offering Christmas greetings and releasing the track free of charge.
The song, simply entitled “Spectre,” strikes a balance by staying broadly in style with Radiohead’s recent output, which has been increasingly experimental in form while keeping the structure of a pop song.
The song opens in frequent Radiohead fashion with a series of minor chords on a piano but with a backdrop of strings and synthesizers.
The lyricism relates more to the song’s title than Bond action themes, with frontman Thom Yorke opening in his trademark falsetto, “I’m lost/ I’m a ghost/ Dispossessed.”
While Radiohead did not explain why the song was not used, the filmmakers eventually chose a young British singing sensation, Sam Smith, for the theme of “Spectre,” which was released in October.
Smith’s track, “Writing’s On the Wall,” is also in a minor key. It became the first Bond theme song to reach number one on the British singles charts.
News of the previously unknown Radiohead track will renew speculation on how far along the band has moved on a long-awaited ninth album.
Guitarist Jonny Greenwood revealed in interviews in mid-2015 that the band was back in the studio, but gave few details on the project.
Radiohead members have been busy with side projects, with Yorke last year releasing his second solo album, “Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes” — an innovative work dominated by electronic rifts and reflections on the role of the individual in modern society.
A choir of doctors and nurses beat Justin Bieber to the Christmas number one spot in Britain’s pop music chart Friday after the heartthrob urged his fans to buy their song.
The Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir’s charity single, “A Bridge Over You”, outsold Bieber’s “Love Yourself” to snatch the coveted festive top spot.
That came after Bieber wrote on Twitter Wednesday: “So for 1 week it’s ok not to be #1. Let’s do the right thing & help them win. It’s Christmas. @Choir_NHS good luck”.
The southeast London-based choir is made up of staff who work for the state-funded National Health Service.
Their song is a mash-up of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel and Coldplay’s “Fix You”.
Other songs in this week’s top ten which it has beaten include two other hits by Bieber plus Adele’s “Hello” and One Direction’s “History”.
Harriet Nerva, a junior doctor in the choir, decided to start a social media campaign to get the song to number one after a particularly tough day at work.
“A patient with cancer that I had been looking after for quite a number of weeks died,” she told the Guardian newspaper.
“I was listening to the song and it dawned on me that a great way of translating how I was feeling and how proud I was to work for the NHS would be getting (the song) to number one”.
Britain’s NHS is the fifth largest employer in the world, providing health care which is largely free at the point of delivery.
It is widely respected, with pollsters YouGov rating it the institution which most people view positively, and Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to reform the service are highly politically sensitive.
LOS ANGELES: A production company behind an upcoming biopic about hip hop artist Tupac Shakur acknowledged last Wednesday that the film’s script was among those allegedly peddled by a Bahamian man who was arrested for hacking celebrities’ email accounts.
Alonzo Knowles, 23, is being held without bail after a appearance in Manhattan federal court on criminal copyright infringement and identity theft charges.
Among the information that Knowles allegedly hacked was a recently finished script for “All Eyez On Me,” a biopic of Shakur, who died in a 1996 shooting, according to Greg Mielcarz, executive vice president of marketing and publicity at Los Angeles-based Morgan Creek Productions, the studio making the biopic.
The film stars Demetrius Shipp Jr as Shakur.
Earlier this month, Knowles offered to sell a popular radio host “a script for an upcoming hip hop artist biopic movie once it is completed at the end of the month,” according to a criminal complaint filed against Knowles on Tuesday.
Knowles later tried to sell the script to an undercover agent, according to the complaint, which said Knowles showed the script to the undercover agent but did not actually give it to him.