A brand new Bond film fuels years of hypothesis. What acquainted faces from MI6 will return? Who’s the newest large unhealthy? Then, at any time when a James Bond nears the tip of his run, virtually each British actor below the solar is rumored to be contending for the massive function. However a brand-new 007 image additionally invitations one other query: Who’s going to sing the theme track? For any performer, recording a Bond tune ensures a spot in music historical past.
Bond films may be deeply, splendidly tacky. That’s a part of what makes them so nice—the ridiculous names, the mustache-twirling villains. However whereas hammy, out-of-date films could make for very enjoyable watching, corny tunes don’t appear to carry up fairly as nicely. So whereas there are two dozen Bond theme tunes, their high quality varies fairly wildly, from the really terrible (sorry, Madonna), to the deeply boring (Sam Smith), to the true classics, like Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger.” Listed here are all of the James Bond themes, ranked from the stinkers to the gems.
24. Chris Cornell – “You Know My Identify”
Daniel Craig’s first outing as 007 was a tough reboot for the collection, however the On line casino Royale theme track by Chris Cornell did not match the movie’s daring new imaginative and prescient for the globetrotting spy. As an alternative of providing a memorable Bond track, we obtained what seems like a forgettable monitor from a late ’90s grunge rock compilation of theme track covers.
23. Tom Jones – “Thunderball”
Tom Jones looks as if the right vocalist for a James Bond tune. Coming ofnthe heels of 1964’s Goldfinger (which launched the opening credit track, sung by Shirley Bassey), Thunderball put one other Welsh singer—this time a person—behind the mic. Nevertheless it merely seems like a rehash of its predecessor, an unremarkable ballad a few man who strikes “like thunderball,” which does not really make any sense.
22. Lulu – “The Man With the Golden Gun”
Lulu’s pop stylings made her a blue-eyed soul icon, and her greatest hits are peppy and vibrant. This theme track, nonetheless, is clunky, jarring, and in the end fairly silly.
21. Madonna – “Die One other Day”
Possibly Madonna ought to have had her shot at a James Bond tune when she was an up-and-coming ’80s pop star. As an alternative, she phoned on this dance monitor for Pierce Brosnan’s final (and worst) Bond movie, Die One other Day. It is Autotuned to hell, and truly has the singer inexplicably purring, “Sigmund Freud: Analyze this.” Incorrect film franchise, woman!
20. A-ha – “The Residing Daylights”
Do not you type of want David Bowie had recorded a James Bond theme? I get the sensation that the Bond producers had the identical dream, however they could not e-book him for the gig and as a substitute obtained… A-ha.
19. Shirley Bassey – “Moonraker”
Here is one other track within the catalog that takes the entire Bond cliches: large orchestra with swooning strings, a catchy tempo, and an enormous and daring vocal efficiency from Shirley Bassey. This explicit combo, nonetheless, is usually unremarkable.
18. Sam Smith – “Writing’s on the Wall”
From the newest movie within the collection, the commonly mediocre Spectre, Sam Smith’s Oscar-winning tune is, nicely, simply effective. It actually simply seems like a tragic Sam Smith ballad.
17. Matt Monro – “From Russia With Love”
From Russia With Love is the second James Bond film, and the primary with an authentic track composed for the credit—though the opening credit went with a brief acoustic rendition, with Matt Monro’s vocal monitor taking part in over the tip credit. It is a good track, however not a standout.
16. Adele – “Skyfall”
It is actually surprising that Adele’s 2012 monitor was the primary Bond theme to win an Oscar for Finest Authentic Track. Is it good? Yeah, I suppose. Years later, it feels just like the track is overpowered by Adele herself, who on the time was coasting on the success of her record-breaking album 21.
15. Duran Duran – “A View to a Kill”
Look, I get that it is enjoyable and dancey and really Duran Duran, however I nonetheless must say it is a missed alternative not having A View to a Kill co-star Grace Jones singing this one.
14. Sheryl Crow – “Tomorrow By no means Dies”
Sheryl Crow is actually an odd selection for a Bond track, particularly because it does not actually seize her normal vibe as a solo artist (the dripping strings do, nonetheless, recall to mind Bobbie Genty’s “Ode to Billie Joe,” a track Crow later coated). However she nails the sultry vocals with a very ’90s ennui. You get the sense that Crow does not actually care both means what occurs tomorrow.
13. Gladys Knight – “License to Kill”
Gladys Knight is an R&B queen, and her try at a Bond tune brings some mandatory soul to what could possibly be an overwrought and bloated theme track. Positive, it has the entire trappings of a treacly ’80s love track (the manufacturing is bloated with keyboards and backing vocals), however Knight nonetheless makes it horny—and the video proves she will be able to pull of a tux fairly nicely.
12. Jack White & Alicia Keyes – “One other Technique to Die”
Jack White and Alicia Keyes’s duet is the one two-hander within the movie franchise, and the Quantum of Solace theme is likely one of the good true rock songs within the Bond catalog. It is an awesome mixture of White’s goth-adjacent rock and Keyes’s soulful voice. It really works quite a bit higher in apply than one would anticipate, however it’s not precisely essentially the most memorable Bond tune.
11. Rubbish – “The World Is Not Sufficient”
Rubbish frontwoman Shirley Manson has the right voice for a Bond track, and “The World Is Not Sufficient” is likely one of the better-case eventualities in the case of mixing the standard Bond vibe with a rock band. It is unlucky, nonetheless, that—very like the movie it represents—it is not precisely a standout within the franchise.
10. Tina Turner – “GoldenEye”
Tina Turner is an ideal selection for a bond theme track, and this one which accompanied Pierce Brosnan’s debut as 007 is slinky and horny and harking back to Shirley Bassey’s three songs. Whereas Turner’s vocals aren’t as highly effective as Bassey’s, her instrument blends nicely with the massive orchestrations. And that it is each harking back to a basic Bond tune whereas additionally standing out as a ’90s intercourse jam makes it the right mixture.
9. Louis Armstrong – “We Have All of the Time within the World”
There is a purpose this one seems like an outlier among the many different Bond tunes: Whereas it was written by Bond composer John Barry, it wasn’t used within the opening credit of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service—which is usually essentially the most missed Bond movie because it’s the one one which starred actor George Lazenby. This track feels extra like an ordinary than any of the remainder due to Louis Armstrong’s iconic vocals.
8. Rita Coolidge – “All Time Excessive”
This may be a controversial placement, however I stand by it. The theme from Octopussy—which, for comprehensible causes, doesn’t share a title with the movie—is basic AM Gold and a bona fide easy pop hit. It may be essentially the most anti-James Bond theme track in the complete franchise, which serves this monitor nicely.
7. Shirley Bassey – “Diamonds Are Eternally”
Diamonds Are Eternally may be finest identified for being Sean Connery’s closing movie within the Eon-produced movies (he’d return in 1983’s By no means Say By no means Once more, a sort-of remake of Thunderball), it additionally served as Shirley Bassey’s second outing as a Bond theme track singer. Whereas it is higher than “Moonraker” and fewer iconic than “Goldfinger,” this one is an earworm that can seemingly not go away your head any time quickly.
6. Sheena Easton – “For Your Eyes Solely”
One other Bond track within the bunch that earned an Oscar nomination, Sheena Easton’s contribution to the franchise stays one of many greatest hits of the Bond themes. She’s additionally the one singer to seem within the opening credit of a Bond movie—and it is one of many few that didn’t incorporate John Barry’s Bond instrumentals.
5. Nancy Sinatra – “You Solely Dwell Twice”
These moody strings that open this tune are an ideal match for Nancy Sinatra’s brooding voice. It is a putting psychedelic quantity, so completely late ’60s and darkly romantic. Whereas Sinatra wasn’t the primary selection (Bond producers initially needed Aretha Franklin, however then capitalized on the up-and-coming Sinatra who had a latest hit with “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”), the theme track in the end grew to become considered one of her best-known hits.
4. Billie Eilish — “No Time to Die”
Billie Eilish recorded the theme for the 25th Bond movie, No Time to Die, at simply 18 years previous, making her the youngest artist ever to carry out an authentic 007 theme tune. However whereas Eilish should be a child, she’s no novice—as her 2020 Grammys sweep nicely proved. “No Time to Die” caps the Daniel Craig Bond period with a haunting sluggish burn of a ballad that melds Eilish’s signature vocals with basic Bond orchestration.
3. Shirley Bassey – “Goldfinger”
Goldfinger, the third movie within the Bond collection, was the primary to incorporate an authentic track over its opening credit, thus setting the usual for the franchise. And Shirley Bassey’s booming vocals, paired with the brassy orchestrations, pull of the unimaginable: She will be able to make these ridiculous lyrics, and the ludicrous title, really work.
2. Carly Simon – “No person Does It Higher”
Whereas it incorporates The Spy Who Loves Me in its lyrics, “No person Does It Higher” was the primary Bond theme track with a unique title than the movie. And that is simply one of many explanation why Carly Simon’s love ballad (written by EGOT winner Marvin Hamlisch) was such a daring selection for the franchise. It avoids the entire theme track cliches, eschewing these large horns and jazzy melodies for one thing extra up to date and folky for the 1977 movie. It is also mild, breezy, and slightly horny—very like lots of Roger Moore’s Bond films.
1. Paul McCartney & Wings – “Dwell and Let Die”
“Dwell and Let Die” is in contrast to some other Bond theme track (or actually like most songs), and that is exactly why it takes the primary spot. It begins off as a soothing ballad, then takes on what seems like a rock opera forged off earlier than evolving right into a full-on funk jam. Regardless of being slightly below 4 minutes lengthy, the massive orchestrations and the freewheeling compositions make the track really feel large and epic in scope. That it really works as a standalone track—one which obtained an equally memorable cowl from Weapons N’ Roses—proves this monitor is greater than the film franchise for which it was written.