Music, Music Countdowns, Retro Rock

The 007 Best James Bond Theme Songs

 

Photo above created by Amy Woodson.

 

The first three months of 2020 have been extremely good for 18-year-old American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish.

During the last Sunday in January, Eilish won four Grammy Awards, sweeping all four major categories presented by the Recording Academy:

* Best New Artist

* Song of the Year

* Record of the Year

* Best Pop Vocal Album

 

Then in February, Eilish became the youngest person to write and record a theme song for a James Bond movie.   The song “No Time To Die” was written by Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell, and is the official James Bond theme song for the latest 007 movie, “No Time To Die.”

The new James Bond movie theme song landed at the number 1 position on the United Kingdom’s Official Singles Chart the first week it was released. Eilish is now credited as the youngest artist and first female ever to have a James Bond theme song reach the apex of the Official Singles Chart.

Here in America, “No Time To Die” debuted at number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is currently number 12 on that chart. The James Bond film, “No Time To Die” had originally been set to be released next month but has been postposed to November 2020 because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Since the Eilish release of “No Time To Die” last month, I have been thinking about the best James Bond movie theme songs of all time. With this in mind, I am going to share what I consider to be the greatest 007 James Bond songs ever made.

I have excluded ranking “No Time To Die” in my Top 007 greatest James Bond movie theme listing even though I feel it is a strong song. I am giving Eilish’s song a pass this time around on my music blog.

Here are my top 007 best James Bond theme song selections:

  • 007 song number seven: “James Bond Theme” John Berry Orchestra (From Dr. No 1962)

Signature song for the entire 25 James Bond movie series.   This instrumental was used in the very first 007 movie,“Dr. No” and has been used as a backdrop to the gun barrel sequence in almost every James Bond film. The music has also been used with the closing credits on nine 007 movies over the years.

  • 007 song number six: “Skyfall” Adele 2012

“Skyfall” is my only entry during the 21st Century and peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Adele won a Grammy Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award all for her James Bond theme song.  Musically, the song has the feel of early 007 movie theme songs.

  • 007 song number five: “For Your Eyes Only” Sheena Easton 1981

This lush ballad was nominated for Best Original Song with the Academy Awards and became one of Sheena Easton’s biggest hits. “For Your Eyes Only” was a number 1 song around the world and peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

  • 007 song number four: “Diamonds Are Forever” Shirley Bassey 1971

Although it only peaked at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100, Bassey’s song has become one of the most beloved of all 007 film songs of all time. Along with “Moonraker” from 1979 and “Goldfinger” from 1965, Bassey is the “Queen” of James Bond movie theme songs.

  • 007 song number three: “Nobody Does It Better” Carly Simon (From The Spy Who Loved Me) 1977

This power ballad composed by Marvin Hamlish and written by Carole Bayer Sager, is one of Carly Simon’s biggest hits. Peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, the song received both Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations for best original song. Simon soars with her vocals throughout the song.

  • 007 song number two: “Goldfinger” Shirley Bassey 1964

I consider “Goldfinger” to be the quintessential James Bond movie theme song.   It was Shirley Bassey’s only top 40 hit in America, peaking at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was extremely hard for me to place “Goldfinger” as the second greatest 007 song of all time.

  • 007 song number one: “Live and Let Die” Paul McCartney & Wings 1973

My number 1 greatest James Bond movie theme song is “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney and Wings. The song reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became the first rock song to be a James Bond film song. McCartney still performs this song in concert, using pyrotechnics during instrumental breaks. Without a doubt, I consider “Live and Let Die” to be the best 007 film song of all time.

Now that I have humbly submitted my thoughts on the best James Bond movie theme songs, I am curious to find out your opinion on this subject.

Obviously, I do not want to come across as authoritative with my critique of the best 007 film songs of all time. Your top songs in this category may be completely different from my selections.

Album cover of Pure McCartney. This compilation LP contains the track, “Live and Let Die.”

So I am asking for your opinion: What do you consider to be the Top 3 best James Bond movie theme songs ever made? There are no right or wrong answers. I welcome your thoughts.

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13 thoughts on “The 007 Best James Bond Theme Songs

  1. Trina Epperly says:

    The original theme song and Live and Let Die are absolutely two of the best. However, Skyfall is my favorite. Adele’s performance of this song during the 2013 Oscars was mesmerizing!

  2. bruce bias says:

    have to give Carly the nod over the others. however the original from dr no set the standard. can’t have a 007 without that music somewhere in there.

  3. David Randall Hardie says:

    Top 5
    5) Moonraker – strictly personal. Loved Lois Chiles.
    4) You Only Live Twice
    3) Live and Let Die
    2) Nobody Does It Better
    1) Goldfinger – probably influenced me because I consider the movie the best of all Bond films.

  4. I agree that Live and Let Die was a great tune… Nevertheless, I would rank Goldfinger as #1, Thunderball (Tom Jones singer) #2 and From Russia With Love (Matt Monroe in the closing credits) as 3… You Only Live Twice rounds it out as #4… I am obviously favoring the Sean Connery films… films I came of age watching…

  5. anthonyteevee74 says:

    I want to give an honourable mention to Louis Armstrong’s We Have All The Time In The World. From Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

  6. David M. says:

    Considering the music I most prefer, my vote goes with Carly Simon, with Sir Paul a close second. But, when I think of 007 theme songs and what they represent, I’d have to go with anything Shirley Bassey, THE authoritative vocalist for the James Bond franchise (especially on Goldfinger).

  7. Robin Jenkins says:

    My favorite is Carly Simon, I have always loved her voice. My second wound be the orginal 007 theme song and 3rd would be For your eyes only.

  8. Annette Simmons says:

    Bond James Bond movies are my fav movies to go see with my son. Always love the theme songs that goes with them.
    1-Skyfall
    2 Goldfinger
    3 Live and Let Live

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