The first play of Dame Shirley Bassey’s new single and title track of her forthcoming album for Decca, I Owe It All To You, will be on BBC Radio 2 this Sunday (October 4) from 11pm BST. Appropriately, it will be on the final weekly show presented by the song’s writer, her longtime collaborator Don Black, who has hosted series for the network since 2013.
Black wrote “I Owe It All To You” especially for Dame Shirley as a late chapter in their illustrious recording partnership. The lyricist, who has won five Ivor Novello, Grammy and Tony Awards among many other honors, co-wrote Bassey’s deathless 1971 James Bond theme song “Diamonds Are Forever” with his own co-composer of many years, John Barry. It was one of Barry and Black’s three Bond themes together, along with “Thunderball” and “The Man With The Golden Gun.”
Dame Shirley’s new album is being presented as her “grand finale,” a thank you to her fans and for her career. That sentiment echoes through Black’s title song, as the composer says. “I’ve had the phrase ‘I Owe It All To You’ floating around my head for some time,” he reveals. “As soon as I heard that Shirley was making her final record a light came on!
“She is a songwriter’s dream”
“I then wrote it with her in mind knowing that she doesn’t just sing songs, she lives them. She is a songwriter’s dream and one of the best storytellers of all time. The lyric tells of the contentment that can be found on stage and the uncertainty that comes when the curtain comes down.”
Dame Shirley herself says: “Don has a gift of writing beautiful songs. This track feels instantly classic and the lyrics mirror exactly how I am feeling. It’s as if Don found a way into my mind! ‘I owe it all to you, you were always there; making my dreams take flight.’ This song is for my fans.”
The album I Owe It All To You is released on November 6 and can be pre-ordered here.