I’ll be writing my thoughts on Spectre soon, but I wanted to discuss in extra detail the aspect of Bond theme tunes. Especially as there was such a cool response to Sam Smith’s much anticipated song Writing’s on the Wall. I sided with the majority and was hugely disappointed. Smith is clearly an undoubted award-winning talent, and he is evdently aware of previous Bond songs, but for me there wasn’t a strong enough melody and I didn’t like his style of singing for the song. Unlike the hugely popular Skyfall and every other Bond theme, it did actually top the UK charts so clearly has its fanbase.
Where would you rank it in terms of Bond themes? Are there any you particularly like or dislike? I’ve focused on the songs themselves, but if you are curious about the graphics side within the credits, I recommend this piece by Vinnie H.
Adele’s Skyfall is mesmerising, and captures the vulnerable, lonely and tortured soul that Bond is beneath the surface. It may have missed out by one place by topping the UK chart, but it rightfully won at the Golden Globes, the Brit Awards and the Academy Awards; the first Bond song to do so.
Roger Moore was always one of the more smoother, charming and funnier Bonds, so it was only fitting that Duran Duran’s US chart topper (the only Bond theme to do so) had a memorably silly video. It still remains an enduringly popular pop tune.
Is there a better introduction to a 007 theme tune? Or a better choice to have sung it? Its cheeky lyrics capture the sex appeal that’s always been evident within the franchise. Kanye West’s sampling of the song for his smash hit Diamonds are from Sierra Leone show just well it has fared.
After a six year gap where the franchise’s future was being debated and a new Bond was on the scene, mysterious lyrics, a majestic chorus and a wonderful vocal performance by a singing performance was always going to make an impression. One of the more underrated within the series.
For all number of reasons, the third in the Bond series really was one of the more spectacular. Only fitting then that it had one of the more striking tunes to accompany it. And most certainly one of its best vocals. Note to self: Never attempt at karaoke.
It may not be among people’s favourite Bond films, but Nancy Sinatra’s beautifully sung theme tune is a wonderful addition to the series. Its luxurious, exotic feel and dreamy lyrics is perfectly in keeping with the escapism always prevalent in Bond films.
Having a Beatle on board meant there was always a very strong chance that it lead to one of the more famous Bond offerings. And so it proved. Particularly memorable is its switching between the calmer and more dramatic musical beats.
I really do believe a James Bond song should refer to the film’s title, but On Her Majesty’s Secret Service doesn’t have your traditional ending, and this is far from a traditional song. Armstrong’s voice is just the perfect fit to legendary Bond Composer John Barry’s favourite piece.
Certainly the creme of the crop, Alex.
Thank you kindly. It was tricky to narrow to narrow it all down. In case you were curious, Die Another Day is bottom of my list.
I really liked Goldeneye and A View To Kill. They always get me singing along. Skyfall is pretty good too. I don’t mind Writings on the Wall by it’s not overly memorable.
That’s just it. There are worse songs, and it’s reasonable enough, but it isn’t memorable enough.
Thanks for the shout out Alex. What an excellent post, part of my undying love for the Bond movies stems from the music.
Happy to do so. Could you pick an actual favourite so far? Who do you want to perform the next one?
Goldfinger is probably my favourite, closely followed by You Only Live Twice. As for who should sing the next one, I’d love it to be Lana Del Rey.
Perfect choice. Now you mention it, I can’t think of anyone else I want to do it.
I like how she has an old-fashioned quality that is mixed with something contemporary.
Very true. And what a glamorous, sensual voice.
Exactly. It’s the kind of voice that I can imagine over the title sequence. Speaking of which, the one for Spectre has garnered a lot of attention.
A lot. I did like the graphics for it though.
But even there some people have stated that the graphics didn’t do it for them.
I guess some people can’t see it.
I for one really liked the graphics. The octopus tentacles and the fire were excellent.
The songs are generally better than the films.
There’s only two or three songs I actively dislike.
God the Sam Smith song sucks…
Tell me about it!
Love this post! I’m happy to see my favourite Live and Let Die on the list. One day I’ll do a list of my own!
I look forward to it 🙂
Great picks! Over the years though, I’ve come to appreciate two of the underrated Bond songs: The World Is Not Enough and Tomorrow Never Dies. Both movies are pretty bad but I do love the songs!
Could you pick a favourite? I’m between Skyfall, View to a Kill and You Only Live Twice.
Ok if I can only pick three, it’d be Skyfall, For Your Eyes Only, and Tomorrow Never Dies. I kinda have a soft spot for Moonraker also though, I mean Shirley Bassey’s voice is just superb!!
Cool choices. Die Another Day bottom I assume?
The song AND the movie YES! Rubbish production through and through, I mean what the heck was Madonna even doing there??
The same place as the invisible car
Exactly!! What an idiotic idea.
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All great choices pretty much matches my tastes. Although I will admit I really love the strings in The Writing’s On The Wall. Will say the addition of You Only Live Twice and All The Time In The World and why I completely agree with.
The composition is very good for sure. Just not a fan of how he sung it. It’s interesting to see how all the songs have charted. I didn’t like Die Another Day at all, but it did well. Bond songs tend to do better in the UK too.
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