The only thing I love more than James Bond films are the James Bond theme songs. Part of the allure of the Bond films is that the movies are accompanied by a title track performed by some of the best artists in the business. Although there are several amazing James Bond theme songs, these 7 are arguably the best.
1 Live and Let Die – Paul McCartney
"Live and Let Die" was the theme song from the movie of the same name and is one of the best James Bond theme songs. The song was released in 1973 and remains the most successful James Bond theme song to this day. Paul and Linda McCartney wrote the song for Paul to perform with his band Wings. George Martin, the former producer of the Beatles, produced the track. "Live and Let Die" was nominated for a Grammy, charted at #2 on the Billboard Charts, and is one of Paul McCartney’s most well known tracks.
2 Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey
"Gold Finger" was the title song for the Bond movie of the same name. Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse wrote the lyrics of the song. Shirley Bassey performed the song and it remains her biggest hit to this day. "Goldfinger" is an iconic James Bond song and many female vocalists who get chosen to record a Bond theme song attempt to emulate this performance.
3 Skyfall – Adele
Adele is one of the singers that channeled Shirley Bassey for her recording – and it worked. Adele and the song’s producer, Paul Epworth, wrote the track "Skyfall" for the Bond movie of the same name. The song aims to capture the dark nature of the film’s plot. The song was released on Global James Bond Day and it didn’t take long for the song to reach the top of the tracks (it is an Adele song, after all). The song took home awards at the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, and the Brit Awards.
4 Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon
"Nobody Does It Better" is a unique Bond song because it is one of the few songs where the title is not the name of the Bond film. "Nobody Does It Better" was the title song for the 1977 movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. "Nobody Does It Better" spent four weeks at number one, making it Carly Simon’s biggest hit (yes, bigger than "You’re So Vain"). The song was nominated in the Best Song category at the Academy Awards and has been honored by the American Film Institute.
5 Diamonds Are Forever – Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey got to record another title track for the 1971 James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. John Barry wrote the music for the song while Don Black wrote the lyrics. "Diamonds Are Forever" was the last Bond flick that Sean Connery starred in during that era. The song was given new life when Kanye West used the song for his track, "Diamonds from Sierra Leone."
6 You Only Live Twice – Nancy Sinatra
Nancy Sinatra got asked to record the title track for the 1967 Bond Flick You Only Live Twice following the success of her smash hit "These Boots Are Made for Walking." John Barry and Leslie Bricusse wrote the music and lyrics respectively. The song is one of the most beloved and recognizable Bond themes. "You Only Live Twice" is one of Nancy Sinatra’s biggest hits and several artists have covered it, including Coldplay and Björk.
7 A View to a Kill – Duran Duran
"A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran was released as the title song for the Bond movie of the same name. In 1985, the track, written by Duran Duran and John Barry, reached #1 on the Billboard charts. Therefore, it is one of the most successful Bond themes of all time. This was the final song recorded by the original members of Duran Duran until they got together again in the early 2000s.
These 7 James Bond theme songs are some of the best. These songs are as iconic as the movies themselves. I love the tradition the Bond films have about getting the general public as excited about the new music for the movie as they are for the movie itself. What other James Bond theme songs would you have liked to see on this list? Give your input in the comments section.
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