“The World Is Not Enough,” Garbage (1999). In 1962, Monty Norman created one of the most indelible movie theme tunes of the 20th century. 24. “You Only Live Twice,” Nancy Sinatra (1967). “Diamonds Are Forever” is a materialist anthem, because who needs people when you have a gem that can never hurt or desert you? Very strong. 23. By Ben Finane. Delicious, winding string melodies are the counterpoint to Nancy Sinatra’s rather un-showy vocal display, marking her out in particular as a unique figure in the series. For a noisy composition, it sounds strangely relaxed, oddly calm throughout. Skyfall is… a mansion in the film? … James Bond theme songs ranked from worst to best, based on musical merit. Please note that this isn’t a ranking on the film overall, but just the song itself. “Nobody Does It Better,” Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977), There’s an effortless confidence to Carly Simon’s power ballad. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Rarely have two notes and one phrase become more emblematic, more iconic than her delivery of the title, but there’s so much more than that: the restraint she shows in the song’s early section, gradually allowing it to open up when she gets to “I don’t need love…”, it’s a masterclass in sensitivity, proving beyond a doubt that the key to a great Bond theme is knowing when to go big and when to stay quiet. Buy the album for £11.99. Sweeping and glorious, it’s an ode to feeling comforted and secure, which is not necessarily an emotion one might associate with James Bond and his predilection for collateral damage. “Thunderball” might be the platonic ideal of a James Bond theme: It’s got hints of the iconic 007 motif, blaring horns, extremely literal lyrics that give you a weirdly conceptual impression of the movie’s plot, and somebody crooning the titular MacGuffin phrase without a shred of irony. Rather than aiming for the powerhouse deliveries of Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey before her, Sinatra uses an unaffected tone to her advantage, a cool and detached new vocal colour in the Bond arsenal which was rarely bettered. This isn’t what Bond sounds like—these shredding guitars sound dangerous in the way that most other themes just sound clean and produced. >. We demand a stripped-back strings-and-vocals-only version. So when former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell was chosen to lend his gravelly but precise vibrato to the theme song for Casino Royale (co-written with David Arnold) it was a chance to inject Bond with a bit of grunt. The song won the Academy Award and was the first Bond song to hit number one on the UK charts. Any great Bond movie needs to grab its audience’s attention immediately with a stunning opening action scene, like GoldenEye’s Contra Dam jump and Skyfall’s fight on the roof of a moving train.. Perhaps the greatest opening action scene in Bond history can be found at the beginning of The Spy Who Loved Me, in which a ski chase at the top of a mountain culminates … There is a flaw, though, and it’s a very simple one: the song is too slow and too rigid. We rank all the James Bond themes on their musical merit. And the subject – what is it about? Lulu is a fine and capable singer, we are absolutely clear on this (check her vibrato around the 90-second mark here), but she suffers from the same malaise as the Bond franchise itself in the mid-70s, namely that it was starting to feel passé, maybe even a bit silly. For all his glamour, women, and martinis, James Bond is a deeply sad character. Also notable for being the only Bond song with a Tim Rice lyric sheet. Please note that this isn’t a ranking on the film overall, but just the song itself. Fully instrumental, they opened with an intense, fast paced and sharp brass and drum arrangement, that was aptly titled "James Bond is Back". But behind the wiggly string arrangements and blaring horns, which Bond song is the best from a purely musical point of view? There is, somewhere in this song, a mushroom cloud of emotion dying to escape, but the composition simply doesn’t allow it to emerge. Jones is an eloquent and effective deliverer of songs which ooze languid sentiment, but John Barry and Don Black’s effort is the first Bond song to sound formulaic. Sheena Easton’s voice is plain but striking, and the song’s introduction is an almost direct inversion of Bassey’s two-note ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ motif, a cheeky but necessary acknowledgment of what had come before. 007 Classics (The Songs From James Bond) by London Symphony Orchestra | Mar 5, 2011. It became the first James Bond theme song to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Of course this collection wouldn't be complete without John Barry's original "James Bond Theme" which is one of the most recognized songs in movie history. There’s a swirling chord progression which barely moves for the entirety of the song (which is a colossal four minutes and forty-six seconds long), the dynamic level barely goes further than mezzo-forte to forte and back again. Throughout 24 (going on 25) onscreen appearances, he’s always introduced himself by name, he’s always wearing a wildly expensive suit, and he’s always been a white guy (so far, at least). In honor of Eilish’s new contribution, here are all the James Bond themes, ranked. It feels both off-kilter and pandering all at once, making it both an unsatisfying lead-in to a movie and also too scattershot to really get a grasp of as a standalone song. That arrangement is decidedly more ‘pop’ than previous efforts and perhaps demonstrates Barry’s desire to expand the definition of what a Bond theme song could be, it benefits from its distance from the plot and title of the film. It’s as heated a debate as the question of who the best Bond was (our money’s on Daniel Craig, who rounds out his run in the series this April). Ad Choices. A Ranking of Every James Bond Theme Song, From Billie Eilish to Paul McCartney 1. In the history of Bond themes, “From Russia with Love” is somehow both groundbreaking and pretty unexciting at the same time. The music was composed by David Arnold and is Arnold's fourth soundtrack for the popular James Bond movie series. All 23 James Bond movie theme songs, ranked. And it doesn’t always matter if they aren’t. Read more: A detailed musical analysis of Billie Eilish’s new Bond theme, ‘No Time to Die’ >. A View To Kill opens with a woman revealing her cleavage, only to have a lasered 007 on her chest, which even for Bond is pretty unsubtle. All-in-all it’s lonely rather than lavish, and for us sits pretty much right in the middle of a ranking of all the Bond title themes in history. “Live and Let Die,” Paul McCartney and Wings (1973). It only took 52 years but it would be a big surprise if Billie Eilish’s song … 5 October 2020, 15:02. 12. Matt Monro was one of the big singing stars of the 60s – with hits such as ‘My Kind Of Girl’ – and his Bond song, written by Lionel Bart (of Oliver! The sixth Bond movie opens with an all-instrumental song, rather than a traditional Bond theme with lyrics. The Living Daylights is one of the spookier-sounding Bond titles, and A-ha’s ghostly way of singing, combined with unnatural sounding synth effects, inspires a sense of gradual dread. As a Bond movie, Moonraker itself occupies a strange place in the canon: indebted to the late-70s vogue for science fiction and space movies, but still very definitely a Roger Moore vehicle for ridiculous double entendres and bonkers stunts. Although John Barry remained deeply involved in the song, it is very much a Duran Duran composition through and through: Barry’s contributions, the signature stabs of brass, are used like ornaments rather than essential functions of the song (the band were in charge of the major songwriting elements, chord progressions etc), which is brazenly effective. So, let’s attempt to rationalise the song with its constituent parts. “Diamonds Are Forever,” Shirley Bassey (1971). There’s nothing more sneakily comforting than Paul McCartney luring you into a false sense of security with the opening of this song, a gentle, nostalgic reminder of times when you used to optimistically let bygones be bygones. ‘A View To A Kill’ marks a change not only in the fortunes of Bond theme songs but also the manner in which they were executed. “The Man with the Golden Gun,” Lulu (1974). 17. Adele – 'Skyfall' 3. … It’s surprising to note that the songwriters were in fact Bono and The Edge from U2, more traditionally known for their stadium rock bombast, but with this perfect reconstruction of the Bond song template (check out the rising/falling semitone strings in the second verse) they managed to create a foundation for one of the best Bond vocals on record. That immediate wash of strings is pure Bond atmosphere, a perfect encapsulation of the aesthetic, soundworld and grippingly cool style with which the spy was synonymous. ... but this is the greatest Bond opening ever. Clockwise from top left: Courtesy of EMI; United Artists; EMI; United Artists; Decca Records and Universal Music Classics; Everett Collection; EMI and Capitol. ... but this is the greatest Bond opening ever. “Licence to Kill,” Gladys Knight (1989). “No Time to Die,” Billie Eilish (2020). 14. Meet Rowan Pierce, Hear a colossal 80-inch symphonic gong that sounds, Sir Elton John to ‘go into battle’ in fight for, Watch guitarist Craig Ogden’s exclusive Valentine’s Day, Download 'Melodie Opus 42 No.3' on iTunes. The best of Bond- and it sure is. are the only recognisably ‘Bond’-sounding remnants of what should probably have been an A-ha B-side. "James Bond … The rest of the song, charmingly sung by the great Nancy Sinatra, is almost (politely) irrelevant. Her somewhat leisurely pace—despite her supposedly being too busy to have “time to die”—only adds to the disconcerting sense that there’s more to the story. It’s blunt, which is luckily more feature than bug. Diamonds are shiny and pure, but Shirley Bassey sure casts a shadow on them in her second Bond theme. Smooth Classics with Margherita Taylor “Moonraker,” however, is entirely too restrained—shocking, considering this is the movie where Bond goes to space. James Bond Themes, Ranked. Nancy Sinatra – 'You Only Live Twice' 5. Cornell was a devastating vocalist with the right material, and there are moments here which allow him to open up and hint at the potential of a rock-led Bond theme. The song is one of the Bond themes that is the most "of its time" with its new wave stylings and synth lines placing it firmly in the 1980s. 4. Moonraker is arguably the worst James Bond film of them all, and its theme song isn't really helping its case. On Thursday she dropped her theme song, "No Time to Die," for the 25th Bond film.

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