10 Best James Bond Theme Songs

10 Best James Bond Theme Songs

MGM / UA


Multi-Grammy-winning Billy Illish is the new voice behind the James Bond franchise. On Thursday she dropped her theme song, “No Time to Die,” For the 25th Bond film. While it will also soon be revealed how it fits into the film (it will not be released until April), it bears the familiar hallmark of a Bond theme song, though more sober than most. (Given that it is expected to go to the finale for Daniel Craig, who plays the British secret agent, we are all feeling a little bit of this possibility.)

From Shirley Bassi to Adele, many artists have held a track record for the long-running film franchise over the years. The 24 previous James Bond themes are by far the most memorable film musicals.

Click for our countdown to the top 10 Bond songs:

10. “Nobody Does It Better”

“The Spy Who Loved Me”. Music by Marvin Helmick, lyrics by Carol Bare Sager; Done by Carly Simon.

It was one of only four songs from the highly popular hit official Bond films that were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Musically it is a bit repetitive, but Carly Simon’s soothing vocals give us complete confidence that she is indeed in love with James Bond. It is also a rare Bond song, which could exist quite well outside of the Secret Agents universe despite the secret line:

The detective who loved me
Tonight is keeping all my secrets safe.

9. “Thunderball”

Music by John Barry, lyrics by Don Black; Done by Tom Jones.

The Welsh singer’s swagger matches perfectly against the boisterous brass of this arrangement. It is not subtle at all, but still, neither is the film.

Oddly, while the song and the film’s title refer to intelligence agencies’ plan to obtain a stolen nuclear warhead (Operation Thunderball), the lyrics begin to tell us more about the protagonist:

He always walks while others walk.
He works while other men just talk.
They call him the winner who takes all –
And he strikes like a thunderball. …

Any woman he wants, he will get;
He would break any heart without any regret.

His asking days were over.
His fight goes on and on.
But he thinks the fight is worth it –
So he strikes like a thunderball.

8. “Diamonds are forever”

Music by John Barry, lyrics by Don Black; Done by Shirley Bassi.

Shirley Bassi received a lot of street cred from her stunning performance of “Goldfinger” and so we cut her a few cuts for her other Bond performances (anemic theme from “Moonkar,” and “Quantum of Solace”). gave. . But he brought one of his games, “Diamonds Are Forever,” challenging his voice and breath tolerance, as much as “Goldfinger”.

The song lyrics have an advantage over some of the other Bond themes that are less pointed (“The Man with the Golden Gun” is as plot-specific as a song), but the chorus is a tad repetitive repetitive repetition.

7. “The world is not enough”

Music by David Arnold, lyrics by Don Black; Done by garbage.

people like us
Know how to survive
There is no point in living
If you can’t feel life.

We know when kissing
And we know when to kill.
If we can’t do it all
Then there will be no one.

It is performed by Scottish-American alternative rock band Garbage (featuring singer Shirley Manson), who expect a much harsher sound from the creators of the 1996 song “Stupid Girl”. But this collaboration, supported by a 60-piece orchestra between the group and the film’s composer David Arnold, created a lush amalgamation of electronica beats and seductive strings.

6. “Writing on the wall”

Music and lyrics by Sam Smith and Jimmy Knapp; Done by Sam Smith.

For the 2015 film “Spector”, Sam Smith’s stirring song marked the first recorded record by a British male soloist since Tom Jones in 1975. It became only the second Bond song to win an Academy Award – and only the second, after “A View to a Kill,” to hit # 1 on the Billboard charts. The underlying orchestration by Simon Hale perfectly achieves the classic Bond sound of John Barry’s opening score.

Smith’s performance about Bond’s character is astounding – a man of privacy and violence whose quest for justice is also a discovery of human connection, which could prove to be truly fatal in his field of work.

how do I Live? How do i breathe
I hurt when you’re not here
I want to feel love, run with my blood
Tell me this is where I give it all?
I would risk you all this
‘Reason to write on the wall

5. “For Your Eyes Only”

Music by Bill Conti, lyrics by Mike Lesson; Done by Sheena Easton.

The song that Scott rocked with her hit singles “Modern Girl” and “9 to 5” (released in the US as “Morning Train”) screened with the title song between Maurice Binder’s impeccable visuals Became the first singer.

4. “You only live twice”

Lyrics by Leslie Brickus, music by John Barry; Performed by Nancy Sinatra.

You live only twice, or so it seems:
One for life and the other for your dreams.
You drift through the years and life seems hard,
A dream is visible, and love is his name.

The melody and melody of “You Only Live Twice” has a mesmeric property that flows from the preceding credit sequence (seen when we believe we’ve killed Bond). While Nancy Sinatra does not get to carry the conviction of “These boots are made for walking”, her coarseness leads her (and us) to the savory strings of John Barry.

3. “Skyfall”

Written by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth; Done by Adele.

Originally it is a rich distillation of the time-honored standards of Bond music as originally explained in John Barry’s horn-rich orchestration, Minor Chord and Seasless Energy. Dramatically, it delves deeper into the film’s plot and exposes Bond’s relationship with M and MI6. And in terms of performance, today the only singer who can match Shirley Bassi as the voice for Bondi.

You can have my number, you can take my name,
But you will never set my heart on.
let the sky fall,
When it splits up,
we will stand tall,
face it all together …

where you go I Go,
What do you see me
I know that I will never be.
Without protection
Of your loving arms
keeping me from harm.
Put your hand in my hand
And we will stand.

There was some concern that the song, which J.A.C. Radford pressed his voice too loudly into chords borrowed from the classic Monty Norman / John Barry Bond theme and disqualified for the Academy Awards, but cooler heads prevailed on this very quiet tune – the first Bond song to win is. An Oscar.

2. “Live and Let Die”

Written by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney; Performed by Paul McCartney and Wings.

How many tonal shifts can you have in a theme song? Classically from pop ballad to hard rock, they are all here, with a fast, fast drive that is impossible to resist (see Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle” For an entertaining example).

1. “Goldfinger”

Music by John Barry, lyrics by Leslie Brickus and Anthony Newley; Done by Shirley Bassi.

It set the standard for Bond theme songs, and has not topped it to date.

gold Finger,
He is a man, a man with Midas touch,
Touch of a spider.
Such a cold finger
To enter the web of your sin,
But don’t go in

The golden words he will put in your ear,
But his lies cannot frighten you,
Knows – for a golden girl when she kissed him
It’s a kiss to death from mr
gold Finger.
Beautiful girl, beware of your heart of gold,
This heart is cold.

Just as Bond films usually succeed or fail on the strength of their villains, the theme for “Goldfinger” indicates that a song about a bad guy is a lot more intriguing than a song about a good man. It is possible. There is just too much to dig into – a charismatic character who evokes fear and awe – which gives the singer such a guttural, seductive, post-fiery shout. Bravo, Shirley! Now get yourself a cup of tea with honey.

honorable mention

The following are worthy of mention, even if they do not fall under the title song opening category.

“from Russia with Love”

Music by John Barry, lyrics by Lionel Bart; Performed by Matt Monroe.

Technically, it cannot be counted as a theme song because it was not played under the opening titles of the film with its vocals, but within the film (as a radio source music), and finally Under credit. But raga is more memorable than words anyway:

I have seen places, faces and smiles for a moment
But oh, you made me do it.
Still proud of my tongue
Won’t show my love for you
In case you say no.

I flew to Russia, but there and then
I suddenly find that you will take care again.
Running around me
I fly to you, loving Russia.

Through “Running Around Me”? This is James Bond, we’re talking!

At least it can be heard without the song (and under lots of female flesh) under the initial title.

honorable mention

“Surrender (Tomorrow Never Dies)”

Music by David Arnold and David McAlmont, lyrics by Don Black; K.D. carried out by. Lang.

Original opening title track of “Tomorrow Never Days” sung by KD. Lang was rejected in favor of another song sung by Sheryl Crow. Lang’s song was therefore reintroduced as “Surrender” and resumed for the film’s final credits. There was no curvy, silhouetted model dripping in oil, but in writing and in Lang’s powerful vocals, “Surrender” defeated Crow’s “Tomorrow Never Dice”.

honorable mention

“We have all the time in the world”

From “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. Music by John Barry, lyrics by Hal David; Performed by Louis Armstrong.

Bond-ish, the lowest of the Bond songs, this slow ballad sung by the great Sachmo was not heard under the opening titles (which instead featured a great instrumental number by John Barry), but during the film, Under a romantic romantic Montana featuring James Bond (George Lezenby) and Tracy (Diana Rigg), who will drive together at sunset (but no, we’ll learn, one The Ukd end).

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