Yep, you're five minutes into a James Bond movie and Bond just killed dozens of nameless henchmen in cold blood. Luckily, there's always a full-length theme song that keeps your blood pressure down during the opening credits. Adele's Skyfall came out a few weeks ago, and while it's a perfectly satisfying addition to the canon, it doesn't measure up to these classics (or, for that matter, "Rolling in the Deep"):
5. "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey is the queen of the James Bond theme, having also done the title songs for Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. Her theme for Goldfinger remains her most iconic, with her singing in her distinct vocal cadence about the actual character of Goldfinger, "the man with the Midas touch."
4. "A View To A Kill" by Duran Duran
The 57-year-old Roger Moore wasn't exactly hip when he starred in his last Bond film, A View To A Kill, but the film at least had a thumping 80's song from an appropriate 80's band, Duran Duran. It ended up being Duran Duran's second number one hit in the United States, as well as being the only reason why A View To A Kill was worth watching.
3. "Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon
"Nobody Does It Better" was the first Bond theme song to win an Academy Award, while also being the first to not have the same title of its movie, this one being The Spy Who Loved Me. It's a classic Marvin Hamlisch piano song (yeah, obscure reference) that's basically a worship ballad to the titular spy. Man, James Taylor must have been furious.
2. "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings
Wings lent their most rocking song to Roger Moore's first Bond film, Live and Let Die. The song is a masterwork of dynamics, alternating back and forth between quiet, slow, piano-driven melody and a frenetic orchestra explosion. One thing though: Does anyone else think the Guns n' Roses version is better?
1. "GoldenEye" by Tina Turner
Bond's biggest comeback also yielded the franchise's best song. Despite the fact that the official version is an unnecessary five-plus minutes long, it's an amazing performance in all aspects. Turner kills it, proving with her multiple-octave range that she was born to sing a James Bond theme, but the groovy, crescendoing orchestral music, written by Bono and The Edge, is also worthy of praise. When it all comes together, the song is a perfect lead-in to one of the best Bond films ever.
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