The new James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” hits theaters on November 9, 2012, and pop music star Adele has provided the movie with its theme song. According to the Los Angeles Times, many sources claim that the new song is a more traditional Bond song, which is a nice thought since the more recent Bond themes have been eclectic and don’t give the feeling of a James Bond movie. Some, such as Madonna’s version, simply detract from the movie itself from the start.
However, if Adele’s song returns to the more traditional feel of James Bond classics, it joins some great themes over the years. Here is a look at some of the best James Bond theme songs in the franchise’s history.
Wings, “Live and Let Die”
Many people know the theme song from “Live and Let Die” thanks to the Guns ‘N Roses remake in the ’90s. However, years before that remake, Paul McCartney and his band Wings recorded the song for the Roger Moore movie of the same name. The film, a strange mix of James Bond and New Orleans voodoo, started with this Grammy nominated song, which became the band’s greatest hit.
Carly Simon, “Nobody Does it Better”
When thinking of what kind of song that Adele might contribute, it is easy to look back to 1977 and the Carly Simon theme song, “Nobody Does it Better.” The movie was “The Spy Who Loved Me” and features Bond teaming up with a Soviet KGB agent to stop of madman from destroying the world. The movie also remains known for the parachuting with the Union Jack, the introduction of the classic villain Jaws and the theme song, which hit No. 2 on the U.S. charts and remains one of Simon’s best.
Duran Duran, “A View to Kill”
While they are not the cheesiest band to perform a James Bond theme song, Duran Duran were still a frightening choice in 1985 when they performed the theme for “A View to Kill.” They were Top 40 darlings and didn’t seem like a good fit, and as Madonna proved a decade later, Top 40 stars are not always the best choices for something as thematically unique as James Bond. Duran Duran defied the odds and their song hit No. 1 on the American pop charts.
Tom Jones, “Thunderball”
Yes, the song is cheesy but that has to be expected from Tom Jones. However, when the 2012 BAFTAs celebrated 50 Years of Bond, they opened the show with Tom Jones coming out and performing “Thunderball” to a montage of classic Bond scenes. Jones won a Grammy for Best New Artist the same year he released this song and the beats from the song remain synonymous to the James Bond franchise almost 50 years later.