Worst To First: Ranking The James Bond Theme Songs
One of the quintessential elements of the James Bond series is music. Of course, you have John Barry’s classic theme song:
Additionally, each entry in the series has its own theme song. Many of those songs have found life outside of the movies they accompanied. But like the 007 features themselves, these songs vary in quality. Some of them have held up quite well over the years while some have faded as fast as Paris Hilton after getting a dip in Blofeld’s shark tank.
So which Bond themes stand as good to great and which reside in the category of mindless caterwauling. Read on to find out!
22: The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
Peak Chart Position: Did not chart.
I can’t comment too much on Lulu herself as the only other song of hers I’m that familiar with is another movie theme: “To Sir With Love”. But this one is not on the level of that far better theme to a far better movie. The Man With The Golden Gun is one of the all-time worst Bond movies and the theme song ranks at the bottom of the themes list. The song sounds like an attempt to recapture the success of the Goldfinger theme. But the lyrics are simply ridiculous (“He has a powerful weapon/He charges a million a shot”) and Lulu tends to shout more than actually sing. Hence, its placement at the bottom of the barrel of Bond themes.
21: Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Artist: Sheryl Crow
Peak Chart Position: 12 In United Kingdom. Did not chart in America.
No, not a cover of the classic Beatles song “Tomorrow Never Knows”. This theme from the second Brosnan entry features then-at-the-peak-of-her-popularity Sheryl Crow. While I actually like quite a bit of Ms. Crow’s music (her self-titled album from 1996 is very good), her singing style does not mesh that well with Bond. Plus, the lyrics are not very memorable. So it’s not the absolute worst Bond song. But it’s pretty bad.
20: Die Another Day (2002)
Peak Chart Position: 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. 3 in United Kingdom
Ick! Not to slam Madonna who has done many an enjoyable song over the years. But this is most definitely not one of them. The production gives it a techno feel which normally would not be bad. But it doesn’t mesh well with Madonna. In addition, there’s that ridiculous voice distortion and the lyrics are not very memorable. The interesting thing is that 3 years earlier Madonna had recorded “Beautiful Stranger”, a far better song for “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”. The song for the Bond spoof was far better than the actual Bond theme she sang. Here’s the proof.
Next: Songs 19-16
Posted on October 30, 2015, in James Bond, Movies, Music, Worst to First and tagged AHA, Carly Simon, Chris Cornell, Duran Duran, Garbage, James Bond, James Bond Theme Songs, Nancy Sinatra, Paul McCartney, Sheena Easton, Sheryl Crow, Shirley Bassey, Tina Turner, Tom Jones. Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.