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In a few weeks, James Bond is back, and this time the dashing MI-6 agent is armed with a new theme song.
Released on Oct. 5, ADELE’s title track for the upcoming Skyfall has hovered on the top-10 list. I’m not ashamed to say it has an ungodly number of listens on my iPod — I think I’m up to 92 or something like that? I mean, that’s 9.2 plays per day. I absolutely love the the vocals, the beat, the words. It has renewed my faith in a singer I had written off as lost to the Top 40 overplayed wasteland.
Listening to the new theme has made me think of some of the past tunes that accompanied Sean Connery, Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Some were good, some were bad, but all were Bond.
“Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey
No one swings it like Shirley. This 007 theme mixed exotic beats with the traditional James Bond theme.
“Another Way to Die” by Jack White and Alicia Keys
Quantum of Solace, 2008
Two greats like Jack White and Alicia Keys put together should equal something amazing. This song, however, is only half of what I wanted it to be. The beat is great, the verses are tight and the lyrics are Bond-quality, but the refrain sounds like two people duking it out over karaoke at Eastside. No offense to Eastside.
“A View to a Kill” by Duran Duran
A View to a Kill, 1985
Duran Duran struck gold with this one, literally. This was the only Bond theme to hit No. 1 on the charts. Please pardon the synthesizers and black lights. It was the ’80s.
“Diamonds are Forever” by Shirley Bassey
Diamonds are Forever, 1971
Bassey got to be a Bond girl not once but twice with her second theme for the series. Although this one isn’t as good as “Goldfinger,” it definitely has legs; Kanye West sampled it on his album Late Registration in 2005.
“Die Another Day” by Madonna
Die Another Day, 2002
Madonna’s theme for Bond could easily be transported to a club now; add a little dubstep and you’ve got a hit ten years later.
“You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell
Casino Royale, 2006
I almost forgot about this one. It sounds like it could be a U2 song, but it was written by Chris Cornell and Bond composer David Arnold. Since releasing “You Know My Name,” the Soundgarden frontman got the band back together and helped contribute to The Avengers with the theme “Live to Rise.”
“Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney
Live and Let Die, 1973
I’d be remiss to leave out the absolute best Bond theme ever recorded (in my humble opinion). Post-Beatles, baby-faced Paul proved he could still write a tune and created a song that has, literally, explosive qualities. If a mullet-headed McCartney isn’t your thing, check out Guns ‘N’ Roses’ harder-core version.
Did we miss any? What’s your favorite Bond theme? Let us know in the comments!
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