With the 25th James Bond film, Spectre, set to be released next month, eager fans have been waiting in anticipation for the reveal of the latest 007 theme song. Last month, chart-topper Sam Smith was confirmed as the singer with ballad ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, a move that seems to have divided opinion among Bond fans…
— Sian (@sianxwalk) October 10, 2015
— Kim (@kivays) September 30, 2015
My god #WritingsOnTheWall is awful, it’s no surprise really considering he wrote it in 20 mins, that feat is nothing to brag about Sam.
— Ryan Boyd (@Ryan94Boyd) September 27, 2015
Writing on the Wall is a little rubbish, sorry Sam
— Kieran Sangha (@Kieran_Sangha) September 25, 2015
…but it has already outperformed its predecessors commercially, having reached No. 1 in the music chart this week.
There’s no other film franchise where the theme to the opening credits is as hotly anticipated as the movie itself, and with good reason. Here are Kettle’s pick of the best Bond themes ever:
Paul McCartney and Wings – ‘Live and Let Die’ (1973)[video:https://youtu.be/swVoXHVW-jI]
This anthem ripped up the rulebook by deviating from the norm and replacing the previous sultry ballads with an epic rock-and-roll anthem that became part of Sir Paul’s concert repertoire. With piano, brass, raging guitar riffs and dramatic key changes, the song is as fast-paced as the suave 007’s missions.
As the keys to the shiny Aston Martin were handed over to Roger Moore, this theme song is a reminder that James Bond is unforgiving, unflappable and unbeaten.
Carly Simon – ‘Nobody Does It Better’ (1977)[video:https://youtu.be/PNA7DcVppEs]
In the first Bond theme not to be named after the film, Simon’s heart-wrenching vocals capture the viewpoint of one of many of Bond’s femme fatales.
The song perfectly showcases 007’s style. He will breeze through explosions and near-death situations without so much as a hair out of place. And with a vodka martini in hand, of course.
Duran Duran – ‘A View To A Kill’ (1985)[video:https://youtu.be/k9qOXILOe38]
It’s difficult for a Bond theme to establish itself as a song in its own right (perhaps where the latest offering falls short), but Duran Duran managed this with ‘A View To A Kill’. The lyrics are so 007: “dance into the fire, that fatal kiss is all we need”.
Flames and deathly dalliances are exactly what James Bond thrives on.
Madonna – ‘Die Another Day’ (2002)[video:https://youtu.be/BfvD_brrrTc]
Madonna’s auto-tuned vocals and scratchy beats brought Bond into the 21st Century. The film franchise flirtation with upbeat themes began with Madge’s odd offering.
The song was definitely controversial but it’s so bizarre that it deserves some credit for being the strangest Bond theme ever.
Chris Cornell – ‘You Know My Name’ (2006)[video:https://youtu.be/YnzgdBAKyJo]
Ironically, you probably don’t know the name of the singer of this theme. Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell slipped into obscurity after lending his powerful vocals to the theme.
Daniel Craig, who was far from being a household name before Casino Royale, was introduced in true style with this rock-orchestral mash-up.
Jack White and Alicia Keys – ‘Another Way to Die’ (2008)[video:https://youtu.be/hM5UJvnbbuY]
Daniel Craig’s quite frankly forgettable second outing as 007, Quantam of Solace, is well and truly upstaged by its theme song. Jack White’s growling guitar and Alicia Keys’ smooth delivery are a perfect match, while the lyrics emphasise Bond’s one-man mission against evil villains.
By borrowing the sound from the James Bond theme, it’s instantly recognisable as being part of the spy franchise.
Adele – ‘Skyfall’ (2012)[video:https://youtu.be/DeumyOzKqgI]
For the 50th anniversary of James Bond, Adele was the perfect choice. ‘Skyfall’ and its powerhouse vocals were arguably the first modern theme song that reminded us that the song is as much a part of the film as the action.
‘Skyfall’ is a classic film theme and is a lesson in how soundtracks should be done.
Adele belting out the funereal number while Bond fell through water was a true cinematic masterpiece.
What do you think of our top 7? Let us know your favourite Bond theme in the comments below!