Top 10 Best James Bond Title Songs

Spectre is already the 26th James Bond film. This time, Secret Agent 007 (played by Daniel Craig) is once again experiencing breathtaking adventures. Everyone gets something out of Bond films: if it is not the dazzling beauty of Bondgirls, then people will be amazed to the gadgets and cars. Musical 007 fans are now eagerly looking forward to the artist who can sing the new title song. What are the ten most unforgettable James Bond title songs?

10. Gladys Knight – License to Kill

After the makers had the two previous title songs sung by giants of the eighties pop, License to Kill (1989) opted for a return to the classic ballad. Motown singer Gladys Knight knows how to give just the right intensity and is one of the few highlights of a weak Bond film.

9. Garbage – The World is Not Enough

Every so often the producers of James Bond make a surprising choice when it comes to the title song. The World is Not Enough (1999), the third film starring Pierce Brosnan as Bond, was indie rock band Garbage. Yet there is no guitar to be heard because composers David Arnold and Don Black provided a real orchestrated Bond theme that Shirley Manson sings ominously beautiful.

8. Tina Turner – GoldenEye

With the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s, James Bond seemed to have had its day. Until a very successful reboot was undertaken in 1995 with Pierce Brosnan as 007. Bono and The Edge of U2 were responsible for the title song that was sung surprisingly modestly by Tina Turner.

7. Shirley Bassey – Moonraker

Moonraker (1979) is the James Bond film with the greatest science fiction influences. Many purists don’t like the film, but for a long time it was the most successful film in the series. For the third time, Shirley Bassey sings the title song (a record.) “Moonraker” is one of the most romantic Bond ballads performed by Bassey without her characteristic outbursts.

6. Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice

You Only Live Twice (1967), the fifth film starring Sean Connery, is in many ways an unusual Bond film. For example, the screenplay was written by Roald Dahl who gave the source material his own twist. For a long time You Only Live Twice, which takes place almost completely in Asia, has almost been forgotten. Yet the film begins with one of the finest classic James Bond title songs, with highly influential arrangements provided by John Barry. Nancy Sinatra, at the peak of her fame at the time, put a sensual twist on it.

5. Duran Duran – A View to a Kill

In the eighties, the title songs of James Bond films would move much more towards pop music. Big hits were often scored with this. One of the most famous pop groups of the decade would provide the title song for the last film with Roger Moore as 007. John Barry managed to come up with an exciting structure that Duran Duran could handle with their typical sound. The humorous video clip, in which scenes from the film were combined with roles of the band members, would make “A View To a Kill” a worldwide hit.

4. Carly Simon – Nobody Does It Better

Title songs from James Bond films are often associated with the composer John Barry who wrote most of the music for the series until his death. That’s one reason why “Nobody Does It Better,” the opening song to The Spy Who Love Me (1977), stands out. At the time, it was only the second title track that Barry had no control over. “Nobody Does It Better” is perfect for Carly Simon’s subdued voice, accompanied only by piano and orchestra. Without any hint of darkness, this is probably the most romantic Bond song.

3. Adele – Skyfall

Bond songs are usually sung by artists who are at the peak of their fame at the time. Yet Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ is only the second title song that managed to reach the top position of the top 40 in the Netherlands (Sheena Easton did it before in 1981 with ‘For Your Eyes Only’.) The dramatic song fits perfectly with the passionate voice of Adele. While listening, the viewer prepares for a great Bond. Without resorting to the traditional sound of John Barry, “Skyfall” still manages to sound like a real Bond theme.

2. Paul McCartney & Wings – Live and Let Die

In 1973 nam Roger Moore de license to kill over van Sean Connery. Om hem te introduceren zochten de makers meer aansluiting bij de tijdgeest. Live and Let Die kent daarom niet alleen veel elementen uit blaxpoitation-films maar begint ook met de vreemdste titelsong uit de serie. Paul McCartney en zijn nieuwe band Wings presenteren een zeer sterk liedje in drie delen. Het begin klinkt als een typische McCartney-ballad. Er lijkt weinig aan de hand en uit het niets schiet vervolgens het tempo omhoog met de inzet van een zenuwachtig orkest. Een vrolijk tussenstuk laat de kijker bijna dolgedraaid achter. Later werd het nummer gecoverd door Guns ’n Roses.

1. Shirley Bassey – Goldfinger

Goldfinger (1964), de derde Bondfilm, wordt vaak beschouwd als de beste uit de serie. Het spannende verhaal met een excentrieke slechterik, bijna onoverwinnelijke handlanger en vrouw die vermoord wordt door haar in goudverf te hullen, is onvergetelijk. Dit alles wordt afgemaakt met de eerste titelsong van Shirley Bassey. Mysterieuze blaasinstrumenten vormen de intro waarna Bassey met haar uitgesproken stem zingt over de verraderlijke streken van Goldfinger. John Barry zet een trippelend ritme in samen met het onmiskenbare Bondthema, om zo naar een extravagante climax toe te werken waarin Bassey op volume kan uithalen. De standaard waar alle Bondliedjes aan worden afgemeten.