Monday, October 29, 2012

Bond Themes; James Bond Themes

I'm a big fan of the James Bond films and you can't have a Bond film without those incredible opening credits. More often than not they feature either scantily clad or complete nude women flying around visuals related to the film. You'd think that would be why I like them and while I do enjoy the ladies it's more about the music for me.

There are 23 Bond films not counting a few one offs but I'm going to focus on the aforementioned Broccoli films. Stylistically, they're all pretty much the same but each artist made sure their track represented them as well as the film since the title track's carry the films as well. Here are my top ten.

10. Diamonds Are Forever - Shirley Bassey

Yeah, this one sounds a lot like the Adele track but I think that's just because all of these songs are so familiar. Shirley Bassey? More like Shirley Classy.

9. Thunderball - Tom Jones

Contrary to my last pick I'm not a very big Tom Jones fan. I never even considered this one until I was trying to choose what I thought were the best. The little bits from the Monty Jordan theme are nicely integrated and go well with Connery's Bond. I may have to start listening to Tom Jones.

8. The World Is Not Enough - Garbage

I'm already a Garbage fan but until Shirley begins making sweet love to your ears it's anything but Garbage. Maybe that's why I like it so much. All of the ingredients are there but as the song progresses you get those little electronic bits that let you know it's Garbage. Garbage. I'm actually surprised that I picked the theme from a Brosnan film.

7. A View To A Kill - Duran Duran

I may have been a little biased when I picked this one since I pretty much never think of James Bond when I hear this song. The Bond hints are a little less obvious here but the departure from the norm almost fits in with  Roger Moore's departure. When I think of Christopher Walken and Grace Jones it's suddenly perfect. Bon. Simon Le Bon.

6. You Only Live Twice - Nancy Sinatra

I think I like this one for what it leaves out. It's has a certain ease about it that you really don't get with the other bond themes. The electric guitar is so subtle you'd miss it if you weren't listening for it. No Monty Jordan hints here but that's okay with me.

5. License to Kill - Gladys Night

A lot of people didn't think Timothy Dalton was a very good Bond but I think he was great. The song is a little dated but most pop music from the 80's sounded like this so it's to be expected. Gladys rocks it. It sounds a whole lot like the Goldfinger theme but I prefer this one.

4. You Know My Name - Chris Cornell

I like this song. I won't lie to you. Like the others it has all of the ingredients but when it's paired with the opening titles it sets a much more exciting pace for the film. There aren't any scantily clad ladies but I don't care.

3. Another Way to Die - Jack White/Alicia Keys

The internet didn't like this one very much but I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that the movie was abysmal. I still don't know what it was about. What I do know is that this is a great Bond theme. I even considered making it my number one. The best way to watch this movie is to start it from the beginning then turn it off after the opening titles.

2. Skyfall - Adele

This is the title track for the latest film. It also has the distinction of being the second Adele song I've ever heard. That broad can sing I tell you what. Once again it's instantly recognizable as a Bond theme. It actually made me think of You Only Live Twice. Adele takes her time singing Monty Jordan's timeless tune.

1. Dr. No - Monty Jordan

Of course this is going to be my favorite. You hear this big band number in pretty much every Bond theme. Like the character it's got swagger and strength while being unpretentious. I think we believe James Bond is capable of doing what he does because of this song.

There are shitty bond themes as well. Madonna, Sheryl Crow, and A-Ha had no idea what they were doing when they did their respective themes. Thankfully they were able to lock it all down and are making sure that the scores of the new films are as important as the films themselves.