The 8 Best James Bond Themes

Adele’s new jam is up there, but she’s got a lot of competition. She pretty much stomped all over Madonna and Chris Cornell’s themes, though. posted on

8. Garbage, “The World Is Not Enough” [1999]

Bond themes are a useful way of getting a sense of how pop music conveys glamour and gravitas in any given cultural moment. So, in the late Nineties you get a quasi-trip-hop number from Garbage…

7. Duran Duran, “A View To Kill” [1985]

..and in the mid-Eighties, this ultra-slick new wave tune from Duran Duran.

6. Jack White and Alicia Keys, “Another Way To Die” [2008]

Jack White and Alicia Keys’ contribution to the Bond canon is strong and plays to their respective strengths, but it kinda screams “I AM A JAMES BOND THEME” at you in a way a lot of the others don’t. Despite that, what a great riff!

5. Adele, “Skyfall” [2012]

Where the White/Keys tune is very eager to live up to high expectations, this new one by Adele is so effortlessly elegant and awesome that it’s just obvious from the first listen that it’s one of the all-time greats.

4. Nancy Sinatra, “You Only Live Twice” [1967]

This one is a classic; if you hear those opening bars you are just immediately transported to Bond’s world.

3. Shirley Bassey, “Diamonds Are Forever” [1971]

Here’s another that just immediately puts you in the mood for 007. Younger folks will know this one better as the basis for Kanye West’s “Diamonds of Sierra Leone,” but the original is just a flawless piece of music.

2. Carly Simon, “Nobody Does It Better” [1977]

This is arguably the best song to be a Bond theme, but unlike Bassey and Sinantra’s themes, it doesn’t immediately signal the Bond vibe. But that’s only a minor complaint.

1. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Live And Let Die” [1973]

McCartney’s theme is pretty much unbeatable. It’s an excellent piece of songwriting, and it perfectly captures the campy thrill of the franchise.

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