The 10 Greatest James Bond Themes…

With the recent release of Skyfall, the 23rd (canon) James Bond movie, we thought we’d take a look at some of the things that have made the series so popular, and we’re gonna start with the theme songs. Below are what I consider to be the 10 best of 007’s themes, though probably not the 10 best movies…

10. “Skyfall” by Adelle (Skyfall, 2012)

The newest song out there was good enough to sneak onto the list. “Skyfall” was released on October 5th, at 0:07 BST, as part of “Global James Bond Day”, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of Dr. No. This one has the old school feel to it, slightly reminiscent of “Goldfinger”…

9. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” by Louis Armstrong (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – 1969)

The bastard step-child of Bond movies (though I like it) – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service starred an Australian model (George Lazenby) and saw 007 settle down and get married. It would He was quickly replaced when they brought back Sean Connery for the last time (canon wise) in 1971. But that doesn’t mean the lack of popularity for the movie discounts the great Satchmo

8. “Thunderball” by Tom Jones (Thunderball, 1965)

It’s not unusual the be…err… THUNDERBALL! Tom Jones rocked it out so hard here that he actually fainted in the recording booth when singing the song’s final note. That’s heart, and if it were a woman’s heart, 007 could have it.

7. “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger – 1964)

Goldfinger is no doubt one of my favorite Bond movies and the theme is as quintessentially Bond as they get.  It was the first, and best of the 3 themes from Shirley Bassey (Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker). As most of the themes are all about what a badass James is – this one actually has more of a focus on the villain.

6. “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell (Casino Royale – 2006)

Chris Cornell, better known to children of the 80s and 90s as the lead singer of Soundgarden, spun out this 2006 hit which would become his most successful solo song. It seemed a fitting theme for a new Bond (Daniel Craig’s first movie as 007) which acted out his earliest mission, but was still unmistakably the secret agent whose name everyone knows…

5. ” Tomorrow Never Dies” by Sheryl Crow (Tomorrow Never Dies – 1997)

This is, I think one of the more underrated songs in the lineage.  Overshadowed at the Box Office by Titanic in 1997, the Pierce Brosnan and Teri Hatcher flick seems to have gotten better with age – and so has the theme. Well done to Ms. Crow…

4. “Another Way to Die” by Jack White & Alicia Keys (Quantum of Solace – 2008)

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for Jack White, so perhaps that’s why I’m such a fan of this one, cause the movie was pretty underwhelming. But Jack and Alicia Keys kicked some ass on this one. The song, which features White on vocals, guitar and drums and Keys on vocals—is the first duet in the Bond film series, and was nominated for Best Music Video at the 2009 Grammys.

3. “Nobody Does It Better” by Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me – 1977)

That’s right kids – this wasn’t written for vacuum cleaner commercials, but was one of the few on the list to find real success outside of the movie itself (much like #2).  This one might not sound all that much like a Bond theme, but it has stood the test of time and remains one of Carly Simon’s greatest songs to date…

2. “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney & Wings (Live and Let Die – 1973)

Not my favorite Bond movie (Roger Moore sucks – Yeah, I said it), but it was probably had the strongest ever combo of Bond Girl and Song. Jane Seymour as ‘Solitaire’ was an absolute knockout, and you had a fricking Beatle performing the theme. In fact, it’s so popular still that I’d be willing to bet that a vast a majority of people don’t even know it was a Bond song.

1. “James Bond Theme” by John Barry/Monty Norman (Dr. No – 1962)

It’s the original and there was nothing else that could’ve been here. And every time I hear it I have flashbacks to playing N64 and shooting my friends in the back…

That’s our Top 10 – what’s yours?

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7 thoughts on “The 10 Greatest James Bond Themes…”

  1. How could you not mention Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice”? My favorite Bond song of all. This list is also way too slanted to the more current Bond films. I hope you get thrown off a cliff.

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  2. Great song. It was perfectly used in the ending of last season’s Mad Men. Plus, it was sampled in Robbie Williams delicious pop jam “Millennium”.

    I demand an *EDITOR’S NOTE* to make up for the glaring oversight. A lot of things discussed here are subjective, but not including this song would be akin to not mentioning Arnold Schwarzenegger on a Top 10 Action Stars of All Time list. Nancy Sinatra must be rolling in her grave.

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  3. After hearing the theme song, A View To A Kill-by Duran Duran, I actually bought the album years later. The song rocks and is way better than Chris Cornell’s song (who I love) or Another Way to Die by Jack White. I like your list but would’ve put View to a Kill at #4. Ofcourse it is YOUR list .Thanks for making it, very entertaining.

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  4. I agree. Very skewed towards today’s batch of Bonds. Diamonds Are Forever, You Only LIve Twice and Goldeneye surely deserve some mention and certainly stay in the mind longer than Another Way To Die or You Know My Name. Sorry mate – but your cliff bound

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    1. I don’t know if it skews too new since the 60s and 70s are well represented, so much as it shows my distaste for the 80s themes…

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