You Know My Name

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“You Know My Name,” performed by Chris Cornell, is the theme song to the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale. Cornell wrote it jointly with David Arnold, the soundtrack’s composer. The track was leaked onto the Internet on September 20, 2006. It is the first Bond theme to be sung by an American male vocalist, the first to be sung by a male vocalist since 1987′s The Living Daylights (only the fifth overall) and is the first Bond theme since 1965′s Thunderball to be sung by a male soloist. It is also the first since “All Time High” (1983) — the theme to the film Octopussy — not to feature its film’s title in the lyrics (Dr. No and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service featured instrumental songs in their openings.)

Although the song does not feature its film’s title in the lyrics, references are made to casino gambling and other themes from the film. For example: “Try to hide your hand” (of cards), “I’ve seen this diamond cut through harder men” (with the image of the card suit on-screen), and “a spin of the wheel” (in reference to roulette). References to other themes include “When the storm arrives, would you be seen with me?” (a question of loyalty), “The odds will betray you,” and “Forget how to feel” (an allusion to the general dispassion of Bond).

Cornell cites Paul McCartney‘s theme for Live and Let Die and Tom Jones’s theme for Thunderball as his inspirations for writing this theme.

As with all Bond films the theme plays against a synchronized title sequence. This sequence, like those of previous Bond films starting with 1995′s GoldenEye, is designed by Daniel Kleinman; however, it eschews the nude female silhouettes sprinkled liberally throughout the title sequences of both Kleinman and his predecessor, Maurice Binder. Instead, card game and mathematical symbolism and stylized animated fight sequences (e.g., henchman burst into heart symbols after being attacked by Bond, club symbols changing into a picture of the Mandelbrot set) serve as the backdrop.

Three versions of the song were produced: the original (referred to as the “Rock Version”), the version used in the video and released on the Carry On album (referred to as the “Pop Version) and a pitched-up version used in the films opening and closing credits. The latter has yet to be released.

The song is the first Bond theme not to be included on its film’s soundtrack album. A second version with more orchestration was used for the music video. A third orchestrated version was used for the movie. Yet another version with very little orchestration was present on the MySpace page for the movie itself. The video for the single premiered on MTV’s Making the Video on October 31, 2006.

“You Know My Name” was released in the winter of 2006 and became the most successful song from Chris Cornell on the rock charts and arguably Cornell’s most recognizable and popular song. The song peaked at number 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 64 on the Billboard Pop 100 chart. “You Know My Name” was also the first single by Cornell that charted in Europe with the exception of the United Kingdom. In 2007 Chris Cornell won the Satellite Award for “You Know My Name” and garnered a first-round nomination in the “Best Original Song” category for the 2006 Academy Awards (the song did not qualify for the final list of nominees). It was also nominated for the Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media Grammy Award in 2008.

The first version of the song, the grittier one which was leaked and not used in the movie, was made available for download on iTunes Store on November 13, 2006. This version debuted on the UK Single Download Chart at number 20 on November 22, 2006. It was released as a stand-alone single on December 14, 2006. The single features a new acoustic version of the Soundgarden song “Black Hole Sun” as a B-side. The German, Dutch and Australian versions of the single offer a second version of “You Know My Name” (called the Pop Mix) as a B-side. This version is the one used for the song’s music video, and is available on Chris Cornell’s solo album, Carry On. – adapted from Wikipedia

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