Last weekend, the twenty-third installment of the James Bond series was released in theaters across the world. Although I have yet to see it, Skyfall has been claimed to be one of the best Bond movies there is. With every good Bond movie there is a Bond girl. There is also a new car, new weapons, sometimes a new Bond, and certainly always a new theme song. So we decided in honor of everyone’s favorite British spy movies, to list out our favorite James Bond theme songs. Per usual, in order to rank this list fairly we set up a few ground rules. No using Dr. No was our first rule. Although it would have certainly been our #1, it is the standard “James Bond Theme Song” that has been used in every movie since. Also, we tried our best to judge on the caliber of the song and how it fit the James Bond theme. We paid no mind to the visuals of the opening sequence, the bond girl of that particular movie, nor which actor played Bond. Although, funny enough as you will see, Sean Connery and Daniel Craig (the two best bonds by majority vote) do dominate the list, while Timothy Dalton barely snuck by with even a mention. So without further ado, here comes our most action-packed list thus far. Brace yourself, this list is served shakin’ … not stirred.
Tom Jones may have the cheesiest Bond song to date, but it’s hard to deny how perfect his sound works for a Bond theme. His sound certainly may not have stuck around in recent generations but this remains the one accomplishment that he shall be for praised forever.
Although I have yet to see Skyfall, and am also not a big fan of Adele, we all agreed that her classically beautiful voice fits incredibly well with the classic Bond sound. She brings a modern twist to the standard tone that Shirley Bassey originally set for Bond films.
I was not aware that Sheryl was able to ever divert her attention from soakin’ up the sun while cruisin’ down Santa Monica Blvd, but when she does, the result is quite surprising. She is dark and sexy and works very well for this Bond theme. Well done Sheryl.
With this all-star lineup, we expected this track to climb high up the list. The fact of the matter is that even with a lineup such as this, you still have performances like the current Lakers. They just didn’t quite live up to the hype. Nonetheless, it is still a great tune. Jack’s guitar shreds with a creepy vibe which mixed with Alicia’s vocals, makes for a deadly combination.
Despite Austin’s efforts to keep this song off the list, Wes and I agreed that it had its place. Amongst the most commercially successful Bond songs ever, this epically cinematic three-piece ballad is still a staple of Sir Paul’s live shows. And why shouldn’t it be? He even outsourced George Martin (big surprise) to help write it. Good move all around. The only question left is if GNR’s version was the more appropriate fit? Our guess is no.
Originally I wouldn’t have pegged Garbage for a Bond tune, but after reviewing these songs, it was clear why they were so perfect for it. The industrial sounds combined with the sly and creepy way the song unfolds is the perfect recipe for a perfect Bond theme, especially the theme of this particular Bond film.
Thom Yorke once called this “the sexiest song ever written.” We are inclined to agree.
Shirley’s mark she made on the Bond films is one that cannot be topped. She defined what a Bond theme should be. Setting the record at three Bond themes (the only person to even do more than one), all three will get a mention from us.
Nancy Sinatra was made to be featured in killer soundtracks. Literally. Her music is already cinematic and seductive. To not include it in a Bond movie would have been a crime.
Shirley’s best bond performance came out of Sean’s last. Despite what you may think, we did not only choose this song for the popular samples it has been used for. The song can hold its own without the help of Kanye, although that certainly doesn’t hurt it’s case. It’s dramatic, sexy, and mysterious. Everything that makes up a good Bond song, and a good Bond film.
The “Just Missed Our List” List:
The poppiest, most electronic Bond song ever, despite A-ha and Duran Duran both having their own chance at a theme song. Madonna has been one of my most lusted after artists for many years and in my book, there isn’t anything sexier than doing a Bond song.
Yes Austin loves him some A-ha, and he also particularly loves this song. But what he really loves most, is Timothy Dalton. Still convinced that he is and always will be the best Bond, he refuses to see any new Bond movies until Dalton is reinstated to the throne.
Wes initially was going to throw his miss away with Gladys Knight’s monstrosity that was “License to Kill”, but at the last minute he was wooed over by the legend herself. Proof that no matter how hard you try, not even a man with Bond’s womanizing and promiscuous charm like Wes can resist the siren calls of Shirley Bassey.
So there is the list. Let us know what we unforgivably missed, or got right, but still feel free to just rip on us in general …