Well then. Hey guys. So…long story short, it’s been over a month since I posted the latter half of this list. I don’t really have any excuse, so I’ll just say that I’m sorry it took me this long to finish it and move on. Bond fever may have been replaced by Star Wars fever, kind of, but damn it, I’m finishing this thing before the end of 2015 if it kills me. Which, as I write this (Australian time), only gives me the rest of today. But I don’t have to go to work tonight so GO, GO, GO, GO, GO!
#6. The World Is Not Enough by Garbage
Ah, The World Is Not Enough. Arguably my favourite Brosnan Era Bond movie and (if you’ve been paying attention) my favourite Brosnan Era Bond theme! This really is as good as it got in my eyes for the Brosnan Era themes. The fact this was followed by Die Another Day is bloody tragic. That said, as another example of how hard this list was to rank, both this and GoldenEye moved up spots in this twelve (with Nobody Does It Better moving down). However, both technically moved down anyway. When I first picked a top five on Facebook, GoldenEye cracked the top five and this was the first honourable mention.
That aside, I really do love this theme. The fact this song was done by the band Garbage and yet still really feels like a Bond theme is amazing in my eyes. But, regardless, it JUST misses out on being in the top five. There is one other thing I’d like to bring up about this song, but it involves spoilers, so instead let’s just move on to the top five.
#5. Writing’s On The Wall by Sam Smith (SPECTRE)
Now this is something people are probably gonna call me out for. But remember. This is my personal list, not an “all-time best Bond themes” list where I pretend my opinion is gospel. I don’t do that shit. Anyway, with that out of my system I can safely say I very easily stand by my decision to have this song in the top five, let alone on the list at all. However, this song was actually something I changed as I started to write the entry for what WAS number five originally (For Your Eyes Only). As I started to write out THAT song’s entry I realised I could bump it up to four and justify it. Mainly because, as much as I do like Writing’s On The Wall, it took me at least two or three listens to really get into it after seeing the movie.
I was honestly pretty neutral on the song when I heard it for the first time. In a way I had a similar situation with For Your Eyes Only, but to a much lesser degree (Hence the switch). But regardless of how that turned out, I still love this song. Sam Smith did a damn fine job of it and it suits the movie perfectly. Some might say Sam singing in the first person is odd, but hell, it makes more sense than Die Another Day. Sam Smith in this song is basically summing up part of the plot of this movie from the perspective of Bond himself. And I think he pulls it off just fine.
All-in-all this is a damn great Bond theme, a good follow up to Adele’s Skyfall, and good enough for me to warrant being number five on this list.
#4. For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton
Now this might be a hard pill for some Bond fans to swallow. Some because I put this song this high, and others because I didn’t put it higher. Regardless of what you think, good God is this an amazing Bond theme. And by rights it shouldn’t be, should it? I mean listen to this thing. It’s a bloody pop ballad! How in the hell does a love song like this work so well as a Bond theme? Honest to God I have no idea why this works, but it just does. And in the grand scheme of things that’s all I care about. This is a damn fine song that speaks for itself. And it also happens to be the theme to what might be my favourite Roger Moore Era Bond film. If you’ve never seen it, you’re honestly missing out.
Sheena Easton does a fantastic job, but we’re getting into the final stretch now, so the competition is getting a lot fiercer. Thus, For Your Eyes Only maxes out at number four.
#3. Skyfall by Adele
Skyfall. Fucking, Skyfall. Where do I even begin? This song is damn near perfect. The 50th Anniversary theme, and a theme to a movie that honestly could’ve ended the Bond franchise on a high note. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy SPECTRE, but I still think had the franchise ended with Skyfall I would’ve been content with that. Anyway, that aside, Adele is amazing in this song. It’s as if she was born to perform a Bond theme. I’m fairly sure I was even expecting something good when I finally heard it just because her voice seemed so suited to a Bond theme.
But, as much gushing as I’m doing about this song, you’d think it would’ve either been number two or just topped the list outright. In other people’s cases it might and it this was very hard to decide after listening to them again, but, at least for now, Skyfall stays where it is.
#2. You Know My Name by Chris Cornell (Casino Royale)
As previously stated, I found myself with a dilemma. I almost came very close to dropping You Know My Name down to the number three spot and elevating Skyfall. However, in the end I found myself too conflicted to make a proper decision, and instead left them as they were, which allowed You Know My Name to retain its spot. I fucking love this song. Though the interesting thing is, there are two main versions of it. And I don’t even mean that in the sense that this is a short version and there’s a longer one (though their probably is). You Know My Name has a version like the one I’ve linked that is a lot more orchestral, and another version Chris Cornell made that is much more Hard Rock orientated. I enjoy both versions if you were wondering.
One of my favourite parts of this song is the sense this is comes off as someone telling Bond he better get his act together because he’s replaceable/expendable; which is a theme that doesn’t pop up in the movies much. Also I like how instead of trying to base the song around the movie title (which he didn’t want to do), Chris Cornell simply wrote a song with gambling references thrown in here and there. The song is much better for it. However; as good as this song is, and is easily a number one for a lot of people (including people I know), I just can’t bring myself to put it in the top spot. So just what the hell DID make the spot? Well, if you’ve read the Honourable Mentions and the bottom half of this list, you know that it has to be the only song I haven’t mentioned yet in any of these articles.
#1. You Only Live Twice by Nancy Sinatra
Ah yes. Through all the changes I made to this list over the past month or so, the one constant that I never felt to need to change was this. Out of all the themes I have to choose from, You Only Live Twice is my absolute favourite. The weird thing is, it’s kind of hard to explain why. Going by how much I gushed over the last two, you’d think this song would’ve come in third behind them. But for whatever reason I still stand behind this as my pick for number one. I guess if I had to try and explain it, it’s just that I consider it to be the most beautiful Bond theme ever composed.
And hell, there’s a LOT of competition in that department. I may have said that Skyfall was damn near perfect, but to me, You Only Live Twice is about as perfect as you can get. It’s also one of the best examples of how to write a song based around and including the title of the movie. In fact, this song is so damn good, it honestly makes me sad to realise Nancy Sinatra only ever did one of these, whilst Shirley Bassey got to do three. Though I guess there’s the potential that any she could’ve done afterwards may not have been as good as this one. So there’s that.
And I think that’ll do it. So, what are your favourite Bond themes? Or if you can’t pick out a few, what is your absolute favourite? If people actually comment I’ll be intrigued to see the results, as it seems this is a hotly contested topic among Bond fans. Even though some themes are more popular than others, it seems just about every theme has fans that think the one they’re talking about is the best ever (personally or generally). If it works I’ll put a poll in, but otherwise comment with your thoughts if you want to. And with this finally done, I can finally move on to other things I’ve been meaning to write. I’m Thomas Fyrehart, and I’ll see you guys in 2016. Have a happy and safe New Year everyone.