Sunday, 23 September 2012

Favourite And Least Favourite Bond Themes - Tez's Choices

One of the essential parts of any Bond film is the theme song. In the week that it was confirmed that Adele has recorded the theme song for Skyfall, it seems a good time to discuss my five favourite and five least favourite of the Bond themes so far (I haven't ranked them; they're done in chronological order)

  • 'Diamonds Are Forever' (Shirley Bassey)

As queen of the Bond theme (three to date), Dame Shirl would have to be here somewhere. It was a real toss-up between this and 'Moonraker' but my affection for the film Diamonds Are Forever snuck it. There's something so gloriously OTT and camp about the song which fits nicely with the film to follow.

  • 'Live And Let Die' (Paul McCartney & Wings)

Recently voted the nation's favourite Bond theme (according to listeners of Radio 2), so who am I to argue? The guitars are fantastic and the rock-y nature of the song is a marked contrast from the power ballads and love songs of 60s and early 70s Bond.

  • 'Nobody Does It Better' (Carly Simon)

This is a beautifully written song, beautifully sung and a song which has transcended the Bond theme origin to become a love song in its own right.

  • 'License To Kill' (Gladys Knight)

There is an undeniable strength and passion to Knight's voice which suits this most powerful of power ballads. Knight's voice is just truly sublime, making this a strong entry to the Bond theme collection.

  • 'GoldenEye' (Tina Turner)
Sinuous and slightly sensual, Turner's voice is a perfect match for the song written by Bono & The Edge from U2, providing not only a fantastic opening to the new chapter of the Bond franchise- but a fantastic opening to Tina's concerts too!


  • 'The Man With The Golden Gun' (Lulu)

Lulu blares it out and even the innuendo-laden lyrics are grating and lacking in any kind of charm. Plus this is the worst kind of earworm which just nests in your head and won't go, no matter how many times you sing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to try and dislodge it.

  • 'For Your Eyes Only' (Sheena Easton)

To think that this song was nominated for an Oscar is an affront to good music. Weak, whiny and bland- and that's as much to do with the lyrics as the way they're sung. A shame that such a good film is laden with such a bad theme.

  • 'All Time High' (Rita Coolidge)

Much like 'For Your Eyes Only', I find this an insipid, weak dirge. Bond themes should grab you by the throat, not timidly tap you on the shoulder like this one does. Even a surprise rendition of it in Ted (by Mark Wahlberg) does nothing to redeem it.

  • 'Die Another Day' (Madonna)

Utter tripe. Disposable pop nonsense. Haven't got much else to say about it. Awful, awful, awful.

  • 'Another Way To Die' (Jack White & Alicia Keys)

It's not a bad song per se and it kind of grows on you but it doesn't really fit with the film. There's something slightly discordant about it as well which doesn't quite sit right as a song in its own right either.


So those are my choices, my opinion on my favourite and least favourite Bond themes. Feel free to agree or disagree and let me know your favourites and least favourites in the comments below. 


(PS. Rhys will share his choices of his favourite and least favourite Bond themes on the week that the new Bond theme is released.)

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