For Your Ears Only − Ranking The 22 Bond Theme Songs From Worst − Sorry Jack and Alicia! − To Best

James Bond Theme Songs

16. Diamonds Are Forever

Shirly Bassey came back for the second of the three Bond movies she ended up
performing title tracks for, and as fate would have it, the quality of the songs
followed the exact same trajectory as the films: steadily downward. Diamonds
are Forever, both film and song, are passable, but the film has the dubious honor
of being a rather mediocre send-off for the most beloved Bond of all. Still, it’s no

15. You Only Live Twice

By this time, Bond was such a big deal that none other than the daughter of Ol’ Blue
Eyes was performing his opening songs. I wonder if Nancy and Sean Connery ever
knocked boots? A fistfight between 007 and the man with the golden throat would
be something to behold, wouldn’t it? Alas, all we’re left with is a workmanlike ballad
with some vaguely Asian undertones. Not a huge fan of the visuals for this sequence
either, but hey, it was a different era.

14. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

This may be one of the most forgettable Bond films out there (although George
Lazenby did turn in a stunning performance as the lead antagonist in 1975’s The
Man From Hong Kong
, which also has a great title song, and the title sequence follows suit. It should be noted, that while not technically a title song, this film did include a great Louie Armstrong number, “We Have All the Time in the World”, one of the more upbeat Bond pop songs to ever grace the series, that lays over one of the most depressing moments in 007’s long and storied career.

13. The Man With the Golden Gun

I hate to dog on poor Roger Moore too much in this article, but the Moore era really
did feature a market uptick in cartoonishness, leaving behind the cool-in-spite-
of-itself camp quality of the Connery films and going for straight out comic book
qualities, like Christopher Lee’s Scaramanga. The title track by Scottish singer Lulu
reflects the new Bond sensibility perfectly, with a soaring rafter-shaker backed by
many a distorted electric guitar. The flick is ho-hum, but Lulu sure has some pipes
(bonus factoid: Lulu appeared on Eurovision, currently well-known as a parade of
hilariously bad eastern European musicians that end up on Youtube for years, back
in 1969!)

12. Casino Royale

In true old-school fashion, it took the Bond franchise until 2006 to give us a proper
'90s theme song. Chris Cornell is uncharacteristically restrained (at least, until the
end) in the gleefully titled “You Know My Name”, and turns in a nicely produced number that dovetails perfectly with the beautiful and crisp gambling-themed visuals, which end in a close-up on the blond, blue-eyed Daniel Craig staring defiantly into the camera. THIS is the New Bond, ladies and gents.

11. A License to Kill

Look, there’s nothing wrong with Timothy Dalton, it’s just that he always strikes
me as a villain, a notion that is not helped by how perfectly he wears a pencil-thin
mustache and the icy cold way he plays Bond (he’s almost a precursor to Daniel
Craig’s style, but I digress). Point is, he’s not my favorite Bond, but damn that title
sequence: what else could one ask for but girls, guns, and a sexy, sassy woman to
bring the house down over the opening credits? Enter: Gladys Knight.

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  • Pember says:

    "It’s hard to tell when performers began hoping a James Bond film would get them exposure rather than the other way around, but it’s safe to bet that it was well before Garbage performed the title track to 1999’s The World is Not Enough, since I imagine the bulk of kids in the theater went “who?” when the phrase “title song performed by Garbage” flashed across the screen. Still, the song is serviceable, and the sequence impressively slick."

    What ignorance and stupidity. Composer David Arnold handpicked Garbage and the choice of Garbage got a ton of publicity, with critics calling it an inspired choice. The song was widely acclaimed. Furthermore, Garbage were not an obscure band by any means. They'd done two major world wide tours and sold 8 million albums in 4 years. You're a moron.

  • Eu Sei says:

    Sexism? Really? Perhaps you'd like James Bond to be Jamie Bond, a woman? Yeah, sure, women are physically strong as men, right? I'm SO tired of this PC BS, gimme a break! And vive la diference!

  • James says:

    You put Live And Let Die at #2?! Idiots!

  • Milly says:

    What a great reusroce this text is.