Song:All Time High
Rita Coolidge had some big hits in the 70s like her 1977 cover of the Jackie Wilson classic Higher and Higher. But I was not aware that All Time High was the theme for the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy. And if I don't know it maybe James Bond fans don't know it either. And there are collectors of anything James Bond. By 1983 Rita was at the end of her run. She left her long time label A&M in 1984 and she has rarely recorded since then. So if you think she was an odd choice for a Bond theme, you would be correct. The 1983 film Octopussy marked the return of long time Bond composer John Barry after Bill Conti scored the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only. Barry brought in Tim Rice to write the lyrics. They weren't planning to use the film's title in the theme song. Rice gave Barry six title choices and he chose All Time High. Rice was given a script and he watched some film footage to help him write the song. The original choice to sing the theme was British singer Mari Wilson. She had some success in England but she was unknown in the US so Bond producer Cubby Broccoli nixed her. Broccoli stated in Jan. 1983 that he was trying to get Laura Branigan who was popular at the time. Barry and Rice liked that choice. But then in March Broccoli announced that Rita Coolidge would sing the theme. Barry and Rice were surprised as they knew Rita was past her peak. But Broccoli's daughter Barbara Broccoli really liked Rita and she chose her. All Time High reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it did poorly in England. So it was not one of the more successful Bond themes. You can get it on this Rita Coolidge budget comp. But the Octopussy soundtrack is available on CD and it turns up on some James Bond music comps. Here's the video for All Time High by Rita Coolidge. Supposedly this was the first music video ever produced for a James Bond theme.