In case you don’t know, there’s a new James Bond movie coming out. Skyfall, Bond’s 23rd movie within the official series, comes to theaters on October 26. Recently, the theme song for this new movie hit Youtube. Voiced by Adele, the track carries the movie’s title, as is common in the series. To celebrate the new movie, here’s my list of the seven best theme songs from Bond movies. Heads up, I didn’t consider things like having a “Bond feel” or matching the equivalent movie. It’s just the songs in the order I like them better.
007. Tomorrow Never Dies – Sheryl Crow
With a strong opening and cool arrangements, Sheryl Crow’s theme is easily the best thing about this sad, sad movie.
006. Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon
Carly carries this tune with a lot of dexterity, making it one of the most notable, in terms of vocal performance.
005. The World Is Not Enough – Garbage
Bond movies have embraced the music of their time (what with “dancy” tunes in the 1980’s, for example), and in the 1990’s they went for some soft alternative rock (before descending into pop music hell with Madonna’s disastrous Die Another Day). Sheryl Crow’s previously mentioned song was one example, and Garbage’s The World Is Not Enough is the other. And it’s even better. There’s more power, both in the arrangements and in Shirley Manson’s vocals.
004. Skyfall – Adele
The string of Craig movies is a new paradigm for the good ol’ 007. And this new era deserves a diva performance in a remarkable track – as Goldfinger was to the classic Bond flicks. Adele pulled it off. Skyfall is magnetic, enticing, a true knock-out.
003. You Know My Name – Chris Cornell
Talking about a new beginning for the series of movies, how do you translate that into the music? You send the conventions away and come up with something nearly unparalleled in the Bond universe. You Know My Name is an angry, crude song that transpires energy. Musically and lyrics-wise, it is a statement.
002. Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey
I don’t think anyone would imagine a list like this without Shirley Bassey. Goldfinger is possibly the theme most closely identified with Bond, not counting the Bond Theme that started in Dr. No and has been a trademark ever since. Bassey set a standard (and the bar pretty high) for many movies and performers to come – just check the list of Bond themes and you’ll see how many tried to trail the same path (and fell short, even in the case of Bassey herself, with Moonraker and Diamonds Are Forever).
001. Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney and the Wings
Well, anyone who knows this blogger should have seen this one coming. I love Paul McCartney and I love this song. It has it all, lots of energy, great lyrics, an amazing chorus. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Macca sing this one live, and it was brilliant – it holds its own even in a set list majorly composed of Beatles songs. Do you need any other reason?