Of the great film franchises known for iconic soundtracks maybe the greatest is the James Bond film franchise. Every film has a different theme composed especially for it and the honour of being on a James Bond soundtrack is among one of the highest in honours in popular music. The theme song of the upcoming James Bond theme was sung by Sam Smith and has become the first bond song to reach number one in the charts. This fact shocked me as there are many iconic tunes that have came before it and none reached the top spot. Here are my top five bond songs:
5. Tomorrow Never Dies – Sheryl Crow
Perhaps my favourite Cheryl Crow song, this tune takes you back to the epic days of Shirley Bassey’s epic ballads. This song’s lyrics give an interesting take on the song’s title as it’s written from the perspective of someone concerned for the spy because his work may never end, as ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’. The accompanying music video is also beautiful and really suits the drama of the song.
4. Nobody Does It Better – Carlie Simon
Perhaps this song syncs up with it’s accompanying opening titles better than any other bond song. Carlie Simon’s passionate vocals create the perfect harmony with this song’s orchestrated melody. The song states nobody does it better than 007 a character trait makes him someone we’d all like to be like.
3. Live & Let Die – Paul McCartney and Wings
This 1985 classic provides a bit of a departure from the power ballad that has typically been used in bond songs. This rock legend starts the song with a nice piano melody then seamlessly transitions into pounding violins that set the tone for the rest of the anthem. This would perhaps be the song McCartney was best known for outside of the Beatles and for good reason as this is perhaps a better melodic description of the film franchise than any other bond song.
2. Another Way To Die – Jack White and Alicia Keys
This song is a more modern action film soundtrack, as this song wouldn’t look out of place in other contemporary action films such The Borne Supremacy and Mission Impossible. Jack White and Alicia Keys are masters of two completely different genres however they blend together so perfectly to create this thrilling thunderous tune. Jack White has said he has always wanted to write a bond song and thought that’s what he use the seven nation army riff for. However the man is such a genus he crafted a completely new song. Furthermore this song’s main riff is an ode to the classic bond theme creating a nice balance of old and new.
1. You Only Live Twice – Nancy Sinatra
While maybe not the greatest bond film ever, the song’s soundtrack is so smooth and blissful it’s takes you too a fantasy world that encapsulates James Bond better than no other piece of music. The riff orchestrated so brilliantly at the start then played with an electric guitar throughout the rest of the song is so hard not to sing along too. This song would go on to be sampled by Robbie Williams in his hit song Millennium and what better piece of music to use to pay tribute to the millennium that spawned the classic franchise.
The question is now perhaps who should sing the next bond theme I would love to hear Justin Timberlake or Prince take on the role. However perhaps maybe a hip hop James Bond theme song would be the way to go as the characteristics of danger, women and money are conventions of both the franchise and the music genre.
Do you agree with us here at Pluto? Let us know in either a comment or tweet at @UCLanPluto with the hashtag #BestBondSong