You Cannot put Adele on Paper


In 2013 Adele received an Academy Award, a Grammy Award, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song for her song "Skyfall" written in collaboration with Paul Epworth for the James Bond film of the same name.


The song is very effective and perfectly in line with the classical James Bond themes formerly written by John Barry, Bill Conti, and others. The melody of “Skyfall” is almost inconceivable without Adele's peculiar vocal qualities. In other words, it would not make much sense if you transcribe it and put it on paper.

I am reminded in this connection of the fundamental divide between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. All that is musically interesting in the Beatles can be put on staff notation. All that musically attractive in the Rolling Stones become insignificant when turned into sheet music form. 


I am not aware of any cover made of “Skyfall” so far, and I would be curious to see what vocal and arranging strategies can make it effective without Adele's voice.