I had the opportunity to see the new Bond flick, Skyfall, this week, and while the movie itself is wonderful, it was the title music that struck a chord with me early on. The folks behind the Bond flicks have always done elaborate opening title sequences featuring music from some of the biggest names around. I remember a quote from Paul McCartney saying something like, “Being asked to do the music for a Bond film means you’ve arrived.” This from a former Beatle.
The music in those opening sequences haven’t always resonated with me. In fact, there’s been quite a few that have fallen flat. I believe Shirley Bassey set the tone for Bond when she recorded Goldfinger, and every band or singer since, has been held, at least in my mind, up to that for comparison. Adele’s soulful rendition of Skyfall harkens back to Bassey’s Goldfinger in a way few others have been able to manage, and has prompted me to do a top ten list of my favorites.
Here’s the song, Skyfall, and I suggest you give it a listen before we move on:
10. You Only Live Twice (Nancy Sinatra)
9. From Russia with Love (Matt Monro)
8. The Living Daylights (A-ha)
7. A View to a Kill (Duran Duran)
6. Goldeneye (Tina Turner)
5. Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney & Wings)
4. Diamonds are Forever (Shirley Bassey)
3. The World is Not Enough (Garbage)
2. Skyfall (Adele)
1. Goldfinger (Shirley Bassey)
Honorable mention for the James Bond Theme, which has been used sparingly in the Craig era of Bond, mostly because Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, are all about him becoming Bond. Notice that many of the songs above, sneak in a little riff from the official theme.
Another honorable mention for Louis Armstrong’s We Have All the Time in the World from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
What are your favorite Bond songs?