For Your Ears Only − Ranking The 22 Bond Theme Songs From Worst − Sorry Jack and Alicia! − To Best
Don’t listen to anybody who says Bono never did anything decent after The Joshua
Tree. The shades-loving frontman, along with longtime bandmate The Edge wrote
the title song to the film that brought James Bond out of the relative dark age of the 1980s (Pierce Brosnan and Tina Turner didn’t do too shabby a job either). This is
the first opening sequence audiences saw in the digital age, and though it’s still a
beautiful piece of cinema now, I remember being blown away when I first laid eyes
on this beauty back in 1995.
One of the more recognizable Bond themes that isn’t “Live and Let Die," Rita
Coolidge’s “All Time High” lacks the thin edge of danger usually present in most
Bond openers. The visuals are pretty standard: naked girls lying in strategically
placed shadows, and naked girls being shot out of a pistol. Check and check.
8. The Spy Who Loved Me
Despite Anna Farris’ attempts to the contrary, “Nobody Does It Better” lives on
as one of the better romantic title songs of the Bond franchise. The film itself was
plagued with problems before and during production, and Carly Simon divorced
James Taylor in September of 1981, four years after The Spy Who Loved Me was first released. Cursed? Just think twice before you belt this one out in a semi-crowded
7. From Russia With Love
The second Bond film demonstrated a clear jump in production value after Dr. No,
featuring a bevy of belly dancers that might produce yawns today, but was sure to
excite and titillate audiences waiting for Bond’s second caper in 1963. What begins
as a fun and light-hearted affair grows dark and sinister by end of the sequence,
letting audiences know that this secret agent means business.
6. Tomorrow Never Dies
A surprising departure from her usual fare, Sheryl Crow delivers a pitch-perfect
impersonation of a smoky-throated chanteuse that would have done the Connery-
era crooners proud. Crow also wins the prize for being the first female artist in Bond
history who wrote her own title song. Who says 007 can’t be progressive?
Sean Connery AND Tom Jones? It’s a mystery to me how every woman who saw this
film in 1965 didn’t immediately fall pregnant once they had crossed the auditorium
threshold. The sequence itself is pretty uninspired, and had it been released in
this day and age, would have been decried as an excuse to sell toys (Aqua Bond
Playset!), but Jones’ trademark silky smooth yowl is the perfect complement to
the best Bond’s last great film as the smoothest secret agent to grace the screen.
Bonus: Johnny Cash submitted his own theme song for consideration, but it
was rejected, possibly because the lyrics describe the plot of the movie.