Hello again everyone. Well, we got the honourable mentions out of the way (which, if you haven’t read yet, check them out). But before I continue on to the list proper, I want to discuss something.
Whilst trying to come up with an actual list, I noticed a trend that honestly surprised me. It seems that just about EVERY Bond theme ever made has fans who think each one is respectively the best one ever. Sure some have smaller followings than others, but it is something I noticed that intrigued me. It really goes to show, and prove, that there really is no definitive list of Bond themes. That said that’s not the purpose of this list anyway.
I know if I get any feedback/comments at all, a lot will probably just be “YOUR OPINIONS ARE BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD” for either ranking certain things lower than most people, or the fact some songs considered to be the best Bond songs ever (namely Live And Let Die & Goldfinger) aren’t even on this list. But as much as it pains me to bother with it, I will. This is solely my opinion. I am not expecting anyone to agree with it, and you’re entitled to your own opinions just as much as I am entitled to my own.
Another thing I wanted to mention, that I may have mentioned in the “Honourable Mentions” list, is this thing was fucking hard to do. However, I managed to figure it out, and even with some last minute tweaks I managed to get an order that I’m satisfied with…for now. Believe me when I say this list could change AS I’M WRITING IT. That’s how hard this is to do. So this list may change in the future. However, I’ll only do an updated list IF and only IF the list changes drastically. Otherwise this will be the only one I post.
So with that rambling out of the way, let’s get this thing started.
#12. Moonraker by Shirley Bassey
If you read the Honourable Mentions, you’d already know that I dropped the theme from Thunderball off the list. You’d also know that I called the Goldfinger theme overrated as hell. If not, now you know. So meet the song Thunderball lost out to; the theme from Moonraker. Whilst I consider Goldfinger to be overrated, I do think Moonraker is heavily underrated. I’d never heard any mention of this song ANYWHERE before in ANY list about Bond themes. And after hearing it I’m surprised. I honest to God think this song is far better than Goldfinger.
And yes, I know, it sounds like a sappy ballad. But honestly those kinds of themes worked for Roger Moore’s Bond anyway. I still don’t know why Shirley Bassey has to refer to Moonraker as if it’s a person though, since it’s like, the name of the space station in the movie or something; but whatever, the song is great. I was honestly considering having this song a tad bit higher on the list. But I do still like the next song more, and thus Moonraker had to start off the list.
#11. Another Way To Die by Jack White & Alicia Keys
(Quantum Of Solace)
Quantum Of Solace is an underrated movie. There. I said it. I’d go into more detail, but that’s a topic for another article. Its theme, Another Way To Die, falls into a trend I seem to have. Wherein I start off not really liking a particular Bond theme at all, or only bits of it; but the more I listen to it, the more it grows on me. I mean, you can’t really blame me. Jack White & Alicia Keys is a really weird vocal combination to get used to. That said; this theme also has the distinction of being the ONLY Bond theme so far to be a duet. I find that to be quite odd for some reason. It seems like that would’ve been done well before 2008. But I digress. This theme honestly has grown on me quite a lot since I first saw Quantum Of Solace; but it still ranks quite low, through no fault of its own really. As I’ll probably keep saying throughout this entire thing, this was really hard to rank. And when it came down to it, I just don’t like this song as much as other songs on this list. Hence, it only made the number eleven spot.
#10. Tomorrow Never Dies by Sheryl Crow & Surrender by KD Lang
Ah yes. The first, and only I might add, tie on this list. And it’s two songs from the same movie no less. I’ll tackle the actual intro theme first though.
(I meant to use the proper intro, but I couldn’t find a video of it that I was satisfied with, so this will have to do)
Tomorrow Never Dies is easy enough to explain really. I’ve heard all of the Brosnan era themes since I was like 12, and surprisingly most of them hold up for me (though I never liked Die Another Day’s anyway, so go figure). But, as I’ve put all three of the Brosnan era themes that I like in this list, Tomorrow Never Dies ended up only just scratching and clawing its way into the number ten spot. Coming from Sheryl Crow of all people, this is an interesting Bond theme; but the real reason this made number ten, and wasn’t number eleven, was the song I tied it with.
Fun fact; Surrender was actually the original choice for the main theme of Tomorrow Never Dies, and thus was originally called Tomorrow Never Dies. However, forces beyond the control of the composer led to it being replaced by the Sheryl Crow song; relegating the KD Lang version to be renamed Surrender and put over the end credits. This seems to anger a lot of people, but honestly it doesn’t bother me too much; mainly because I actually like the Sheryl Crow song. I do prefer Surrender though. If anything, I’m grateful we get to hear it during the movie AT ALL, even if it is only over the end credits. It’s better than a lot of rejected main Bond theme songs get.
To reiterate, I do like both songs, hence why they’re tied. But I will admit, as Surrender is an END credits song, and not an opening credits song, this is the only way I could justify having it on there. I mean sure, I don’t specify “main themes” in the name of this list, but it’s kind of implied. So this was my way of cheating. As far as I’m concerned, it deserves better than just an honourable mention.
#9. Diamonds Are Forever by Shirley Bassey
Honestly when I first hashed a list like this out, there wasn’t a SINGLE Shirley Bassey song in this list AT ALL. But after listening back to Moonraker and Diamonds Are Forever multiple times, I figured both deserved a nod on the list. I honestly went back and forth a lot on the position of both songs. In the end though, I realised I consider Diamonds Are Forever to be the best Bond theme sung by Shirley Bassey, and so here we are.
Notable things about this song include the fact Shirley Bassey was told to sing this as if she was singing about a penis. Yes. That’s apparently an actual thing. That said, it does explain certain not-so-subtle lyrics. “Hold it up and then caress it. Touch it, stroke it and undress it”. Another thing to note is that, considering Bond is usually portrayed as being varying levels of misogynistic (pending the actor/decade), this song is ironically a woman basically saying she prefers diamonds to men, as “unlike men the diamonds linger” and “Men are mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for”, among other such things.
I for one am neutral on such lyrics, and really I’m just going to leave it at that. But just for the sake of reiteration. Yes. I do consider Diamonds Are Forever to be the best Shirley Bassey Bond song, with Moonraker coming in second, and Goldfinger being a distant third. Sue me.
#8. Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me)
Remember how I said earlier that this list might change as I write it? Yeah. This song was previously number six. I told you listing these songs turned out to be harder than I thought. Nobody Does It Better was probably the only Bond theme I’d ever heard the entire way through before seeing the movie it was written for; just a fun fact for you there. Really the song speaks for itself, and I can’t think of much else to say. This WAS previously higher just due to the fact it’s one of my most listened to Bond themes. But after hearing them all again, I decided to move it down two spots in favour of what got bumped up.
It was a hard decision to make, and I think it may change in the future, but for now it stands.
#7. GoldenEye by Tina Turner
Oh how the mighty have fallen, and oh how time can change one’s opinion. Back before I’d seen all 24 Bond movies that have come out so far, GoldenEye’s theme was actually in the top five. Only just from what I recall; however it was definitely up there. In fact, it was probably my favourite theme for a while when I was much younger. As a kid I’d grown up hearing some of Tina Turner’s songs, and damn, thank God someone was smart enough to ask her to sing a Bond theme. Tina Turner really was a damn good choice to use for a Bond theme. Though, honestly, it surprises me that it took so long for them to get Tina Turner to do a Bond theme.
Then again, had they not waited until GoldenEye, who knows what we would’ve ended up with? Well, ok, there were other choices. But who would you rather have doing the theme for this movie? Ace Of Base, or Tina Turner? Yeah. I thought so.
And with that, we’re halfway done. As you may have noticed though, going by the title, this list has been split in half. The top six should be coming in the next few days, if not at least some time next week. And since I once again don’t really know how to end this properly, have the full version of the GoldenEye theme. Enjoy. Oh, and thank you for taking the time to read this. If you actually read the whole thing instead of just skimming over it, I sincerely thank you. Fuck everyone who just skims over it though. You can burn in a fiery pit forever for all I care……Ok not really, I just threw that in there for fun. Anyway, this has probably dragged on long enough. I’ll just go now.