Share this 80's hit

a-ha - The Living Daylights - Single Cover

“The Living Daylights” is a song by the Norwegian band a-ha, released in June 1987 as the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name. The song is notable for its association with the Bond franchise and its success as a hit single in the late 1980s. It was a significant release for a-ha, highlighting their international appeal and their ability to contribute to a major film soundtrack. A second version of the song, re-worked by A-ha in 1988, later appeared on their third studio album, Stay on These Roads.

“The Living Daylights” was written by a-ha member Pål Waaktaar (also known as Pål Waaktaar-Savoy) and John Barry, the legendary composer known for his work on numerous James Bond films. The collaboration between a-ha and John Barry brought together the band’s synth-pop sound and Barry’s orchestral expertise. The song was recorded in the spring of 1987, with production duties handled by Jason Corsaro, along with a-ha and John Barry. There were some creative tensions during the production process, particularly regarding the final mix and arrangement, which led to different versions of the song appearing in the film and on a-ha’s album Stay on These Roads.

Musically, “The Living Daylights” combines a-ha’s characteristic synth-pop style with the grandeur and drama typical of James Bond theme songs. The track features lush orchestration, driving synth lines, and powerful vocals from lead singer Morten Harket. The use of both electronic and traditional instruments creates a dynamic and cinematic soundscape.

“The Living Daylights” was well-received by both critics and audiences. It became a hit in several countries, reaching the top 10 in the UK, where it peaked at number 5 on the UK Singles Chart. The song also charted well in various other countries, including Italy, Germany and South Africa.

The music video for “The Living Daylights” was directed by Steve Barron, who had previously worked with a-ha on their iconic “Take On Me” video. The video features footage of the band performing the song intercut with scenes from the film The Living Daylights. The visual style of the video complements the song’s dramatic and suspenseful tone, further reinforcing its connection to the Bond franchise.

a-ha – The Living Daylights – Lyrics