All Time High

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“All Time High” is a song written by John Barry and Tim Rice, sung by American singer Rita Coolidge, and recorded and mixed by Stephen Short as the theme song for the James Bond film Octopussy.

Rita Coolidge’s recording of “All Time High” spent four weeks at #1 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary singles chart and was also a moderate pop hit at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983 (see 1983 in music).

According to the Billboard Book of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt, Coolidge is said to have disliked the song despite its chart success. Because it was written so quickly, she felt it was not a finished work, and in later concerts she often had her backing musicians play “All Time High” as an overture so she wouldn’t have to sing it herself. The song only made #75 on the UK Singles Chart and has been least successful Bond theme song recorded to-date, partly due to the fact that there was no obvious link between the song title and the film. This is the first Bond theme song (as opposed to instrumental) to not make any reference to the film title in the lyrics; this would not happen again until “You Know My Name“, the theme song from the 2006 Bond film, Casino Royale.

The song was later covered by the British group Pulp for David Arnold’s Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project album.

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