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My List of the Best Classic James Bond Theme Songs

Updated on October 11, 2017
cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

Mrs. Fox, aka cmoneyspinner, former civil servant, now self-employed; engaged in multiple online endeavors, including freelance writing.

All Bond Theme Songs Are Movie and Music Gold

All Bond Theme Songs Are Movie and Music Gold. However, below are my personal picks for classic James Bond theme songs that are sure to delight Bond loyalists and movie soundtrack music lovers. Seven songs were chosen. Six songs made MY list, but only five artists performed them. The final seventh song has to be on anybody's Best of the Best List.

The TOP THEME SONG PICKS are not based on any official list generated by any polling authority that collects, compiles and distributes this kind of data and information. You will notice a pattern in the song selection. All the theme songs happen to be the same name as the movie. That was pure coincidence; not intentional. Instead of doing a countdown, from five to one, the list starts from my Number 1 pick. It's in chronological order. That's also a coincidence. Here are the songs along with a few interesting tidbits. Hope you enjoy!

Sean Connery shooting the James Bond movie "Diamonds are Forever" in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Sean Connery shooting the James Bond movie "Diamonds are Forever" in Amsterdam, the Netherlands | Source

# 1: "Goldfinger" and "Diamonds Are Forever"

Performed by Dame Shirley Bassey

These two theme songs - Goldfinger from the movie titled Goldfinger, 1964; and Diamonds Are Forever, from the movie titled Diamonds Are Forever, 1971 - are now classics, movie soundtracks woven into the tapestry of cinematic music history. If they aren't included on your list of best theme songs from James Bond movies, it's because you haven't been born.

Both songs were performed by the awesomely talented music legend Shirley Bassey; who still holds the distinction as being the only person to ever sing three James Bond theme songs.

For the movie "Goldfinger", the late John Barry (the composer who wrote the music for 12 James Bond movies) was given complete artistic license to compose the music score and song. His efforts resulted in a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Score for a Motion Picture. He was so happy with their collaboration, he was more than happy to work with Ms. Bassey allowing her to sing the theme songs "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker" (a song that singer Johnny Mathis had originally been chosen to sing).

Rapper Kanye West sampled "Diamonds Are Forever" as performed by Shirley Bassey in his Grammy Award-winning song "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" (Best Rap Song, 48th Grammy Awards). Ms. Bassey retired from public life in the 1980s and made an astonishing comeback in 1997 and introduced herself to a new generation of fans at the age of 60. "The Remix Album - Diamonds Are Forever" was released in 2000 and the Queen was reportedly so pleased she made her Dame Shirley Bassey. (A dame is the female equivalent of being knighted.)

# 2: "Live and Let Die"

Performed by Sir Paul McCartney.

The next theme song on my list is Sir Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die from the movie, Live and Let Die, 1973. To give full credit: Paul and Linda McCartney composed the main title and performed it together with Wings!

I am a lover of both Tom Jones and Sir Paul McCartney but if I had to choose between the two, it would be Paul. Tom Jones sang the theme song for the movie "Thunderball" (1965). But I liked the Oscar-nominated "Live and Let Die" song so much, it made me forget that there had been other male singers chosen to perform Bond theme songs. It's true!

Fortunately, accurate historical records are maintained about movie soundtracks and one can verify that Sir Paul McCartney was not the first man to sing a James Bond theme song.

Live and Let Die holds the honor of being the first James Bond theme song to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It may have been part of the reason he was knighted. According to History.com, on March 11, 1997, the official reason given for Paul McCartney's knighthood being: "... his 'services to music.' "

# 3: "A View To A Kill"

Performed by Duran Duran

Duran Duran's A View To A Kill was the theme song for the movie A View To A Kill, 1985.

Many fans around the world know this song for its famous phrase, "Dance Into The Fire." This group of artists made very clever usage of music videos which contributed to their swift rise to popularity. Their fall from favor was equally as swift. ["The mob is fickle, brother. He'll be forgotten in a month." Fitting quote by the character Lucilla; from the movie "The Gladiator" (2000, Russell Crowe, et al.), re-applied to Duran, Duran.]

After the band finished the title track for "A View to a Kill", they took a break but made a short-lived, comeback in the early '90s as a soft rock trio. "A View To A Kill" was the last track the original five members recorded together until they reunited in 2001. They sang it at their final 1985 performance at Live Aid in Philadelphia. The single was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the time. A View To A Kill remains the only James Bond theme song to have reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

# 4: "GoldenEye"

Performed by Tina Turner.

My next pick is GoldenEye from the movie GoldenEye, 1995, performed by the greatest soul sister on the planet, Tina Turner.

Golden Eye (1995) is the 17th film in the James Bond series, but the 1st Bond film to star Pierce Brosnan as the sophisticated MI-6 agent. Why was Tina Turner asked to sing "GoldenEye"? Well actually she was asked to sing "a" theme song for the movie "GoldenEye". But when Bono and The Edge of U2 heard that it was Ms. Tina Turner who had been asked to sing the theme song, they wrote the song especially for her. It was so "a perfect fit"!

Additionally ... Y'all know Nicole Scherzinger. Right?
- Lead singer for the Pussycat Dolls.
- She was on Dancing With The Stars, Season 11. She won!!
- One of the The X-Factor Judges for the talent competition show Simon Cowell created when he left American Idol.

Well! Also listed on her resume is the fact this theme song was recorded by Nicole Scherzinger for the 2010 GoldenEye 007 video game.

# 5: "Die Another Day"

Performed by Madonna.

Madonna's performance of Die Another Day for the movie Die Another Day, 2002, is classic Madonna.

No matter what anyone says, if you're over 40, you are no longer a "spring chicken". With the release of this title track to the James Bond flick by the same name, 40+ Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone aka "Madonna", proved that age ain't nothing but a number. To be honest, the movie wasn't really that good. (My humble opinion.) Let's face it. There are better Bond flicks than the one which starred the first black (African-American) James Bond girl, Halle Berry. I watch the beginning of this movie over and over just to listen to the theme song. The song was written and performed by Madonna, who also had a cameo in the film as a fencing instructor.

So Madonna wasn't chosen to be a Bond girl. So what! She was chosen to sing a Bond theme song. Just as good, if not better! Who knows? Somebody may "sample" her song like Kanye West sampled "Diamonds Are Forever".

The Ultimate James Bond Theme Song

Finally, a fellow freelance writer pointed out that no listing or compilation of James Bond songs is complete without including the one and only iconic James Bond theme song: Dr. No.

Historical Note:
May 8 1963 Sean Connery stars in his first Bond movie, Dr. No

Source

Adele performs Skyfall at Oscars 2013

Grammy award-winning singer Adele was chosen to croon the theme song for Skyfall, the 007 movie which hit theaters November 2012.

She is ... so worthy!

So glad someone in the entertainment industry had the smarts to choose her. This sister has awesome soulful vocals and deserves to make her mark in movie soundtrack history standing alongside the other Bond song goddesses, like Dame Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Madonna.

What Do You Think?

So are these not the Best James Bond Theme Songs Ever??

See results

© 2013 Treathyl FOX

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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 12 months ago from England

      I love all of them apart from sky fall, the reason being that after listening to a young guy in the shop a while back singing at the top of his voice tended to put me off! lol!

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      I recently put together a playlist of 1964 hits, and so have been listening again to "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey. What great music! I admit I'm not familiar with many on your top ten list, but that one, at least, certainly deserves a top spot.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      I like #4, and Skyfall is pretty good too.

    • David Kenneth profile image

      Dr. David Kenneth 3 years ago

      Thanks. I am, and will always be, partial to Nobody Does it Better.

    • joedolphin88 profile image

      Joe 3 years ago from north miami FL

      Great list here really you picked well but you left out carly simons nobody does it better.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image
      Author

      Treathyl FOX 3 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Hackslap, suzettenaples, boutiqueshops, Tolovaj, darkprinceofjazz, The Examiner-1, Monis Mas

      - Thank you all for leaving such fabulous comments.

      I must apologize for not responding sooner. For some reason I didn't get notifications that this HUB had comments. (O.o) (???)

      Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!

    • Hackslap profile image

      Harry 3 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Totally agree with this list.. However I'd like to point out 3 more songs which are definitely one of the best Bond songs made...

      1) Skyfall (Adele)

      2) For Your Eyes Only (Sheena Easton)

      3) Licence to Kill (Gladys Knight)

      4) If You Asked Me To (Patti LaBelle) .. this song was played during the end credits for 'Licence to Kill'

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love, love, love this hub! I love James Bond movies and the character James Bond. I agree with your list. I forgot that Tina Turner sang one, so I am glad to read this. I loved Paul McCartney singing "Live and Let Die" that's my favorite along with Adele singing "Skyfall". She was terrific singing that song. Great choices. I enjoyed reading and listening to this hub!

    • boutiqueshops profile image

      Sylvia 3 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      I'm astounded to find that I don't remember some of those Bond songs. Live And Let Die and Goldfinger I do remember, but not the rest. OMG..I have to go search for them in my Spotify account! GREAT write up ~ thanks for encouraging me to revisit some iconic tunes (and maybe watch some of the movies again!).

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 3 years ago

      I would make almost the same list, maybe Live and Let Die on the first and Diamonds are Forever on the second spot, but this depends on the mood... 007 is a legend in music too!

    • profile image

      darkprinceofjazz 4 years ago

      Tom Jones singing "Thunderball" and Sheena Easton "For Your Eyes Only" are worth mentioning. The latter happens to be favorite Bond film as well.

      "Live and Let Die" is also fantastic, the recent films I have not seen.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 4 years ago

      I agree with most of them but since I did not see all of the Bond movies, plus cannot recall all of the songs, I cannot be sure of all. Sorry.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Totally agree with the list :-) Those movies always come with at least one awesome song!