List: Top 5 James Bond Theme Songs
By Justin Trudell
Oscar week begins with a dive into the Top 5 James Bond Theme Songs. We look back at the best from a long list of the who’s who at the time of release for each Bond movie. Not many slouches can claim credit for performing a theme to everyone’s favorite drinking, whoring, secret agent.
5. “Diamonds Are Forever” – Shirley Bassey
Good enough for Kanye, good enough for me. This classic starts off with such a cool, spacey chord progression. Shirley tells a tale that all men assume women really think anyways: diamonds are better than us. It’s hard to argue the airtight case presented by Ms. Bassey – they last forever, they won’t leave in the night, and have no fear they might dessert you. I mean, checkmate fellas. You get nothing, you lose. GOOD DAY SIR!
4. “Goldeneye” – Tina Turner
Tina Turner is on her A-game here, singing an amazing lyrical melody. Points taken away for the silly cartoon sound effects of bullets ricocheting in the middle of it. What is that? We may as well address the elephant in the room: this movie inspired THE best Nintendo 64 game of all time, and I’m a bit biased in remembering this movie. Goldeneye 64 is the godfather to all multi-player first person shooters. Nostalgia at it’s finest!
3. Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney
Sir Paul lulls us into thinking this is going to be a slow ballad like many of the others in the line of Bond theme songs, but surprises when he changes up the tempo to the frantic pace you’d expect from a movie titled, “Live and Let Die.” Then he changes the tempo again four more times throughout. Pretty damn impressive for a song that only lasts about three minutes. Please forgive the Guns N Roses cover. It was pretty great musically speaking, but Axl was at his “Axl-est”, changing vocal tones like Bobcat Goldthwait in Police Academy. *shutter*
2. A View to A Kill – Duran Duran
I learned two things when watching this video: it’s not called “A View to Kill” and Duran Duran made a song besides “Hungry Like The Wolf.” Shocking, I know. One of the few Bond theme songs that incorporates non-classical instruments (guitar, drums) and pulls it off successfully. “A View to A Kill” has one of the most satisfying drum beats. This would be number one if not for being completely ruined by the curse of the 1980s, when every song had to use weird synthesizer blasts that didn’t flow with the the rest of the music. Which brings us to…
1. “Skyfall” – Adele
The musical score is impeccable, so polished and clean. So good, in fact, that they basically used the exact same music (except a different intro) for the inferior Sam Smith theme song used for “Spectre”, “Writing’s On The Wall.” Add to the musical score Adele’s soulful voice singing lyrics that are both inspirational and romantic: “We will stand-tall and face it all together.” This is what Bond songs are all about. Classical music, emotional lyrics sung with a powerful voice; I don’t think we’re going to get a better Bond theme song for quite some time.