Welcome to a special edition of the EYG Top 10. Normally, I base these lists off the Top 10 Show podcast (or perhaps the Top 10 Re-List) from John Rocha and Matt Knost. However, this list has not been created on either of those podcasts. I have been doing a James Bond re-watch for the last several weeks and I just finished it yesterday. I thought that this would be a neat list to do.
There is no debate that the Bond title song is an important piece of music for the film. The best songs are able to set the tone and give us an idea of the film. That does not mean that a great song will translate into a great film. In fact, one of the best Bond title songs is attached to one of the worst movies. Yet, a song can absolutely start it off on a good foot.
I am not including No Time to Kill by Billie Eilish on my list, since the official 25th Bond film got pushed back to November. I have heard Eilish’s song on YouTube and I have to say I found it fairly haunting. This list is for released movies… sorry.
Of course, the only thing that may be more subjective than movies is music. These are my own personal favorites. If you are yelling at me about Madonna or Writing on the Wall not being here, well… it is my list of songs I like. Feel free to make your own.
#10. Tina Turner, GoldenEye (GoldenEye). This song was in a battle for the tenth spot with about three others (who I will mention in the Honorable mentions). I was disappointed by the film GoldenEye, but the style of Tina Turner really fit the film and set a nice tone.
#9. A-Ha, The Living Daylights (The Living Daylights). I had not known this song and was extremely pleased with it during the re-watch. A-Ha brought that late 80’s feel to Bond, setting the film up for a new run for a new age. This was the first film since the departure of Roger Moore and A-Ha provided a new energy for Timothy Dalton’s uncommon 007.
#8. Carly Simon, Nobody Does it Better (The Spy Who Loved Me). A song that has gone past its life as a Bond song. In fact, I had forgotten that it was a Bond theme. Another song that helps create the mood of the movie that it was going to be in front of. The power ballad displayed the sexiness required for the film.
#7. Chris Cornell, You Know My Name (Casino Royale). Another one that caught me by surprise. Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave provided a rocking smash at the beginning of the awesome Casino Royale. It kicked off the Daniel Craig generation of Bond film beautifully.
#6. Louis Armstrong, We Have All the Time in the World (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service). This is the only song on my list that ended up as a end credits song and, while it may not actually count, I do not think there is a better song to match the film. The sadness of the end of this movie just transitions perfectly into this. And Louis Armstrong is the perfect voice for this.
#5. Sheena Easton, For Your Eyes Only (For Your Eyes Only). I have always been a fan of Sheena Easton and this was one of my personal favorites. The haunting melody and the wonderful voice of the Scottish lass is masterful. Sheena was also the only singer to also appear in the opening credits of the movie itself.
#4. Shirley Bassey, Goldfinger (Goldfinger). This was one of the best Bond songs and does the best job of telling you the story of the film. Goldfinger is an iconic song and Shirley Bassey has such a distinct voice.
#3. Adele, Skyfall (Skyfall). I love Adele’s song. Everything about this works so well and her vocals are just astonishing. It provided a powerful feel and perfectly set the tone for one of the best Bond movies of all time. This is also the only Bond song to have won an Academy Award after several others had been nomnated.
#2. Duran Duran, A View to a Kill (A View to a Kill). What an amazing, rocking song, perfectly suited as a Bond song. The opening of the song absolutely puts you into the idea that you are going to see James Bond. Too bad the movie had to play after. The movie is one of the worst films in the franchise, but this title song is easily the best part of the film.
#1. Paul McCartney and Wings, Lie and Let Die, (Live and Let Die). I debated the number one spot as every one of the top four on this list could have made it, but, in the end, it is Paul freaking McCartney. It is one of the most recognizable songs in the Bond franchise and it is a huge hit in the world of music. The song does an amazing job of telling you this is James Bond. The middle instrumental part is all spy film. And did I mention that it is Paul freaking McCartney?
Honorable mentions: Nancy Sinatra’s You Only Live Twice, Shirley Bassey’s Diamonds are Forever and Rita Coolidge’s All Time High from Octopussy were all considered for that number ten spot. I also enjoy the Thunderball song from Tom Jones.