Nobody Does It Better

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“Nobody Does It Better” is a power ballad composed by Marvin Hamlisch with lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager. It was recorded by Carly Simon as the theme song for the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. It was the first Bond theme song to be titled differently from the name of the film, although the phrase “the spy who loved me” is included in the lyrics. Released as a single from the film’s soundtrack album, the song became a hit (reaching #2 on the US singles chart and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart) and is still popular today. The song also received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song.

The title of the theme was later used for Carly Simon’s 1999 greatest hits album, The Very Best Of Carly Simon: Nobody Does It Better.

In 2004, the song was honored by the American Film Institute as the 67th greatest song as part of their 100 Years Series.

“Nobody Does It Better” has been covered a number of times and has been featured in many non-Bond films, including most recently Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), performed by 8mm. Little Black Book (2004), Lost in Translation (2003) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) also used the song.

Thom Yorke of Radiohead fame is even heard to claim, in a bootleg recording of a live performance in a TV show (1995), that this is the “sexiest song that was ever written.” The band then played a rock cover of the song.

Aimee Mann recorded a version of the song for the 1997 James Bond tribute album “Shaken & Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.”

Adam Sandler covered this song before receiving the MTV Generation award on the 2008 MTV Movie Awards. (Note: The words were modified to reflect Adam Sandler.)

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor covered the song live at the London 2012 Party in August 2008.

The group Me First and the Gimme Gimmes does a punk rock cover of the song in their 1997 album Have a Ball.

Floyd Cramer covered the song as an easy listening piano version.

Other usages

Air New Zealand adopted the song’s title as an advertising slogan, but removed it following the Erebus disaster in 1979.

In the 1980s, KDBC-TV, a local CBS affiliate in El Paso, Texas, used the song in a few of their station idents.

For the 2006 release of the new James Bond film, Casino Royale, commercials used the song’s title “Nobody Does it Better” as a catch phrase. Included in the March 2007 DVD release of Casino Royale was the documentary featurette “Bond Girls Are Forever;” a version of “Nobody Does it Better” performed by Faith Rivera is heard over the closing credits.

Various movie posters for the 1983 Bond film Octopussy featured the tagline “Nobody does him better.”

The song was also featured over a montage of James Bond film clips featuring the character Q; this was included on the VHS release (as well as the 2006 Ultimate Edition DVD release) of The World Is Not Enough in order to honor the memory of then recently deceased actor Desmond Llewelyn. Llewelyn had portrayed Q in virtually every Bond film to that point, although he had retired from the role after filming his scenes for The World Is Not Enough.

MGM Home Video used the song in its entirety as a showcase of all its most famous films in place of a preview in several videos published in 1993 and 1994.

The song was current during the breakout 1977 season of the young National Football League star Walter Payton, and was used by NFL Films over film clips of some of Payton’s more notable achievements.

The song was played at the Meadowlands Giants Stadium upon conclusion of any New York Cosmos soccer games that ended with the Cosmos’ victory back in the late 70s and early 80s at the height of the team’s popularity.

American supermarket chain Safeway used an excerpt from the song in their television and radio advertisements and “Nobody Does It Better” was used as the store’s slogan.

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