Mention James Bond and movies packed with action, steamy romance, and a debonair spy pulling off international espionage comes to mind. Oh, and one more thing: a dramatic song over the dazzling and psychedelic opening credit sequence.
The James Bond theme song is the big screen equivalent of the series’ book covers – they help set the mood and tone of what’s to come, promising a compelling new adventure for one of the most unkillable pop culture icon.
But just like every Bond film – or any film in general – is not equal, neither are the songs. Some of these are award winners and earworms, while others fall a little short. We see you, Die Another Day.
In conjunction with the release of the new No Time To Die theme song, here are some of the UNRESERVED team’s top James Bond theme songs:
Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey
The third film in the Bond series features Shirley Bassey’s booming vocals, paired with the brassy orchestrations. The result is an incredibly catchy song with ridiculous lyrics and a ludicrous title – but it just works.
Diamonds Are Forever by Shirley Bassey
Another one by Shirley, this classic just oozes pizzazz. The singer shines in this funky up-tempo ballad, and honestly now, who but Bassey could sell lyrics like “I don’t need love” and well, “Diamonds are forever”?
For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton
Sheena Easton’s romantic delivery paired well with Bill Conti and Mike Leeson’s lyrics. Plus, the Scottish singer was the first person ever filmed to perform the song during its opening titles.
A View To A Kill by Duran Duran
This song is the epitome of 80s rock. Co-composer John Barry and Duran Duran play splendidly together, beautifully building to the climactic lyric, “Dance into the fire. That fatal kiss is all we need.”
The World Is Not Enough by Garbage
Lyricist Don Black collaborated with composer David Arnold for this Brosnan-starring title track, bringing the Bond franchise into the late ’90s alt-rock era. It’s one of the hidden gems of the Bond theme oeuvre.
Skyfall by Adele
Fun fact: Adele’s 2012 track was the first James Bond theme to win an Oscar for Best Original Song. Not only that, we’re pretty sure Adele’s booming vocals and theatrical symphonies played no small role in helping make this film the first Bond movie to gross more than a billion dollars.
No Time To Die by Billie Eilish
At 18 years old, Eilish is the youngest singer in history of the Bond franchise to write and record a theme song for one of the iconic films. The song was produced by her brother, Finneas, alongside Stephen Lipson, with orchestral arrangements by none other than Hans Zimmer and Matt Dunkley, not to mention guitar from Johnny Marr. Basically, get ready for a trip to Drama Town.