No Time To Die soundtrack: what’s the music in the new Bond film and when is it released?

1 October 2021, 13:56 | Updated: 1 October 2021, 14:04

What's the music in 'No Time to Die'?
What's the music in 'No Time to Die'? Picture: Universal

By Kyle Macdonald

The music to 007’s latest outing has been revealed. Here’s our analysis, along with the tracklisting and release date...

We’ve donned the dinner jacket, poured the martini, and wrapped our ears around the spectacular new soundtrack to Bond 25.

When it comes to Bond themes we’re expecting punchy brass, moody sweeping themes, bruising moments of percussion, and, of course, the E minor Major 9 chord that’s become synonymous with cinema’s best-dressed franchise.

Who is composing the music for No Time To Die?

Hans Zimmer has taken on the soundtrack, after replacing American composer Dan Romer just three months before the movie is set to be released.

James Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, said: “Hans and his team have delivered an exceptional and emotional score for No Time To Die. It has been a privilege to work with this legendary composer on one of the best Bond soundtracks ever.”

Watch the teaser for James Bond: No Time To Die as much-anticipated film will come to cinemas in October 2021

Zimmer’s full original score, composed with The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr, is available to listen to now across all streaming services.

The music of No Time To Die

As with the other Daniel Craig Bond outings, the mood of No Time to Die is darker, grittier and full of suspense. There’s rhythmic augmentation, used to create the drawn-out iterations of the iconic Bond themes. And it creates a heap of tension. Agogic and rhythmic accents on the familiar motif pepper Zimmer and Marr’s tracks. Punchy (just like a good Bond opening sequence).

There’s a general feel of minimalism here. We could be in a Glass opera at times, but then soaring strings enter and we’re back to Bond.

In ‘Gun Barrel’, which scores the franchise’s famous opening credits sequence, the tempo is halved, building gently until a crescendo and brief glissando takes us into the classic Bond theme, to great effect.

Hans Zimmer to score 'No Time to Die'
Hans Zimmer to score 'No Time to Die'. Picture: Getty

Who is singing the new Bond theme?

Pop star Billie Eilish has recorded the title song for No Time To Die. At just 18 years old, the US singer is the youngest artist in history to write and record a Bond theme.

She described it as “a huge honour” to be involved in the franchise. The last two themes, Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ and Sam Smith’s ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, have both won an Oscar.

Eilish’s video for the chilling theme was released on YouTube on 1 October 2020, where it received a welcome reception from audiences.

The song, written by Eilish and her brother Finneas, topped the Official UK Singles Chart in its first week of release following an electrifying orchestral performance given by the brother-sister duo, Zimmer and Marr at the BRIT Awards.

Daniel Craig on the music for Bond

Back in 2015, we spoke to ACTUAL JAMES BOND on the occasion of the 24th Bond instalment, Spectre. Daniel Craig told us about how important he feels the music is in the series, especially when it comes to those iconic motifs.

“It’s so emotive that sound, and if you use it at the right point in the movie then everyone remembers ‘Yes, we’re in a Bond movie.’”

Full tracklisting for ‘No Time To Die’ soundtrack

1. Gun Barrel
2. Matera
3. Message From an Old Friend
4. Square Escape
5. Someone Was Here
6. Not What I Expected
7. What Have You Done?
8. Shouldn’t We Get To Know Each Other First
9. Cuba Chase
10. Back to MI6
11. Good To Have You Back
12. Lovely To See You Again
13. Home
14. Norway Chase
15. Gearing Up
16. Poison Garden
17. The Factory
18. I’ll Be Right Back
19. Opening The Doors
20. Final Ascent
21. No Time To Die

When is the ‘No Time to Die’ film and soundtrack released?

Bond 25 was initially scheduled for release on April 2020 in the UK and 8 April in the US. But due to the coronavirus outbreak, plans changed – and the film will now be released in the UK on 30 September 2021, while the US release date is 8 October 2021.

No Time to Die stars Craig as 007, Rami Malek as Safin, Ralph Fiennes as M. and Naomie Harris as Moneypenny.

The soundtrack was officially released by Decca Records on 1 October 2021.