When Tina Turner and U2 Took James Bond to the Edge

L-R: Pierce Brosnan in 'GoldenEye,' Tina Turner in the "GoldenEye" music video
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Keith Hamshere/Getty Images; Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In the fall of 1995, after a six-year absence from the big screen, the British superspy James Bond made his 16th appearance in GoldenEye - this time played by Pierce Brosnan, the fifth actor to slip into the tuxedo. With a new star and a new decade, the now-customary theme song took two of the biggest groups in R&B and rock to come together.

GoldenEye's title track was sung for the movie by Tina Turner - well into her triumphant comeback for nearly a decade - and written by Bono and The Edge, the frontman and guitarist for U2. British producer Nellee Hooper, known for his work with Soul II Soul and Sinead O'Connor, was behind the boards for the session.

And while Turner gave an unsurprisingly great performance - a potent mix of her sultry vocals a slinky melody inspired by Monty Norman's classic Bond theme - the Queen of Rock and Roll later revealed that the song almost didn't come together, thanks to a dodgy demo Bono sent her.

READ MORE: The Classic Rocker Behind a Tina Turner Hit

“Bono sent me the worst demo," she admitted to the BBC. "He kind of threw it together as if he thought I wasn’t going to do it...This song, I (didn’t) even know what key to practice it in.” It turned out Bono was dealing with some throat trouble, and later apologized to her.

Ultimately, "GoldenEye" reached the Top 10 in more than a dozen countries across Europe - and Turner later called it an artistic high point in her career. “I had to actually come out of myself to make it a song," she told the BBC in that same interview. "I’d never sang a song like that before so it really gave me creativity in terms of making something out of something that was really rough, very rough.”

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(Michael Putland/Getty Images)
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(Ross Marino/Getty Images)
The track is from Pink Floyd's massive new 16-disc box set, "The Later Years," due out next month.
(Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
The song was a hit in America, peaking at #20.

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