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James Bond theme
- The Ur-Example: The opening to Dr. No, with the iconic theme composed by Monty Norman and rearranged by John Barry.
- After a long, long time on hiatus, what better way to announce that Bond is back than this pure, unadulterated, rock-the-fuck-out Parodi/Fair remix from the GoldenEye trailer?
- The first thing they had to tackle when modernizing Bond between Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan? Hand the theme over to Moby, who came up with this techno-remix.
- "Company Car" from Tomorrow Never Dies is three glorious minutes of pure 007 swagger, mixed with the dirty trumpet fanfare from "Surrender".
- The last few seconds of Casino Royale (with a score that noticeably left out the James Bond theme for most of it) stand out. The Big Bad gets a phone call.Mr. White: Who is this?
(He gets shot in the knee and crawls to a flight of stairs. Standing above him is none other than...)
Bond: The name's Bond. James Bond.
(The Bond theme kicks up. Cue end credits.)
Sean Connery and George LazenbyFrom Russia with Love
- "James Bond Is Back". Yes he is. Now with more sexy dancing girls!
- John Barry's "007", featured in several other films in the series, and it's easy to see why!
- The prototype for all spy music to come — GOOOOOLLD-FING-GAHH!! (Wah-Waaaahhh-ah-WAAH!!) No wonder Shirley Bassey would return twice. The long held vibrato note at the end is incredible as well. "HE LOVES GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLD!!"
- The spectacular instrumental version of the main theme, called "Oddjob's Pressing Engagement"
- "Dawn Raid on Fort Knox". Goldfinger's very own Theme Music Power-Up.
- "Into Miami", complete with sizzling sax solo. It oozes with the swanky cool, a perfect mood-setting piece conveying luxury, allure, and just a hint of danger.
- And nothing quite "strikes like THUNDERRRRRRRR.....BAALLLL!!!!" Tom Jones reportedly fainted while recording this song.
- The unused theme by Johnny Cash. It doesn't quite sound right for a Bond theme, but it's still awesome.
- The title theme by Nancy Sinatra, which goes the opposite way of the previous two and yet is still a knockout with its pretty and calm approach. The violins were even Sampled Up by Robbie Williams' "Millennium"!
- "Fight at Kobe Docks": an incredible instrumental version of its title theme blaring triumphantly as James Bond fights against thugs several dozen times his number...and wins. Well, almost.
- "Capsule in Space". Best eeeevil music since Voodoo Child. Auralnauts did an awesome remix to end their Bond Kill Count.
- "A Drop in the Ocean" starts out with some solid action music, but when the Gunship Rescue with the Big Damn Electromagnet happens, the music changes abruptly to this absolutely gorgeous, swoop-y, waltz-y theme.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
- "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is both awesome title music and even better chase music. It is sufficiently awesome that perhaps a third of the James Bond discs use this theme as the menu music. Also its great use in "Over and Out" and in "Battle at Piz Gloria".
- "Dusk at Piz Gloria" is just wonderful, and it's a shame that more of it isn't heard in the film. It sounds like a song that would play at night in the overworld of a video game, and listening to it can make you vividly imagine sleeping in a cabin in the Swiss Alps, with the smell of fresh wood and the heat of the fire crackling opposite you.
- Louis Armstrong's "We Have All the Time in the World". John Barry's favourite song, both for the song itself and the privilege of working with Satchmo. The strings in this one are downright iconic.
- "Gumbold's Safe", which plays during the safe-cracking sequence, is a masterclass in ratcheting up the tension in an already nerve-shredding scene.
- Shirley Bassey's opening title has so much Double Entendre, it's awesome. Famously, the songwriter was told, "Write about diamonds like she's talking about a penis."
- 007 and Counting, the jazzy Leitmotif for Blofeld's Kill Sat.
- Wint and Kidd's theme is a dark, low-key piece that fits perfectly as a Leitmotif for a pair of assassins.
- "Airport Source." Never before has landing in an airport felt so fancy and jazzy.
- "The Whyte House" is pure high-roller swagger.
- At 24:30 in this video, you can hear the Wagnerian music Wint and Kidd chose for their "glowing tribute" to James Bond, and it's every bit as Creepy Awesome as its placement in the film deserves.
Roger MooreLive and Let Die
- The Oscar-nominated Paul McCartney and Wings "Live and Let Die" a fine piece of Orchestral Bombing (courtesy of Sir George Martin) that was the highest-charting Bond theme of the time, a strong introduction to the Roger Moore era and in contention for one of the series' most beloved theme songs.
- Lulu's theme is fun and energetic. (Even if John Barry himself regarded it as his biggest Old Shame among Bond themes.)
- Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better" is world famous, even to those who haven't seen the film. It even earned a Best Song Oscar nomination. It's easy to see why, and ever since, the song's title has been used to describe Bond.
- Marvin Hamlisch's "Bond '77" and "Underwater Lotus". Yes, it's disco, but it still manages to be awesome.
- The heartbreakingly beautiful theme is the musical equivalent of Took the Bad Film Seriously.
- "Flight into Space" is just magnificent.
- "Corinne Put Down" is the perfect musical accompaniment to one of the most genuinely unsettling deaths in the whole series.
- "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton, while unusually mellow for Bond, became a top 40 hit and Oscar nominee after the film came out.
- This instrumental version of the above is pretty nice, too. Notably, the two scenes it's used - Bond and Melina scuba diving, and Bond and Melina meeting up in Corfu - are both examples of Scenery Porn.
- Blondie's version would have been awesome.
- Bill Conti's music for the ski chase. So Eighties, so cheesy, so good.
- Most of the soundtrack is pure Eighties Narm Charm, but "Submarine" is a genuinely cool and atmospheric remix of the ever-awesome Bond theme.
- Rita Coolidge's "All Time High", penned by Tim Rice, is considered one of the best Bond songs, and a popular love song on its own, partly because it was the first song in the Bond series not to include a Title Drop within its lyrics.
- "A View to a Kill" by Duran Duran, to date, the only Bond theme to make it to #1 on the Billboard charts. This cover of "A View to a Kill" by the Northern Kings has to be heard to be believed.
- It might not be the best Bond movie, but it has some of John Barry's best cues, like "He's Dangerous", which mixes his trademark Bond bombast with an electric guitar.
- "Wine with Stacey" is one of the most beautiful tracks in the franchise. It plays on the scenes where Bond makes love with May Day and Stacey Sutton; in the latter case, it also plays in the couple's romantic scenes, showing a sensitivity rarely seen in the Roger Moore Era.
Timothy Dalton and Pierce BrosnanThe Living Daylights
- "The Living Daylights" by a-ha marries the pop sensibilities Duran Duran explored in the previous Bond theme with a darker undercurrent that works incredibly well for the first Timothy Dalton film.
- There's a magnificent Villain Song written for Necros that is heard playing in his headphones during his first appearance (the ones he then proceeds to strangle a milkman with) — "Where has Everybody Gone?" by The Pretenders. Bad. Ass.
- The film has some incredible music for its major action sequences.
- The action scene with the freakin' Bond theme in smooth, cool synths. So cool, in fact, that the track name, "Ice Chase", was very appropriate.
- "If There Was a Man" by The Pretenders, which not only is the song on the ending credits, but is heard as a beautiful instrumental love theme.
- The breathtaking theme by Gladys Knight, an 80s Spiritual Successor to Shirley Bassey's iconic theme to Goldfinger.
- Michael Kamen's "Licence Revoked" includes a rousing Triumphant Reprise of the Bond theme as Bond "fishes" Sanchez's plane.
- "If You Asked Me To" by Patti LaBelle graces the end credits, one of the rare times the title tune isn't reprised for the ending. Later covered by Céline Dion.
- Tina Turner's theme, one of many throwbacks to Shirley Bassey's themes, is fantastic, helped in no small part by having Bono and The Edge write it for her. To this day, it remains a concert staple of hers. Bonus points for being the only Bond theme that's actually about spying.
- The Overture with ominous Soviet choirs.
- Eric Serra's score is severely underrated, and disliked mainly because it wasn't John Barry-esque Orchestral Bombing. It's also pure 90s Bond in music form. Other highlights include:
- Run, Shoot, Jump.
- Whispering Statues.
- Fatal Weakness, the incredibly tense theme leading up to Bond's final confrontation with Xenia.
- The Severnaya Suite.
- Sheryl Crow's theme may not be very "Bond like", but it is nevertheless an enjoyable song.
- k.d. lang's closing song "Surrender" is just over-the-top spectacular. In fact, it was supposed to be the title song.
- "Backseat Driver" is a slice of high-octane win.
- "The World is Not Enough" by Garbage is not as fast-paced as your average Bond theme, but is still a hypnotic and mellow ballad and a fitting theme for the film's villain.
- "Come in 007, Your Time is Up", aka the amazing boat chase music. Around the 1:00 mark, it's like a glorious, joyful shot of adrenaline.
- The outrageously fun "Welcome To Cuba".
- For techno lovers, "Iced, Inc." (aka Duel Of The Cool Cars) is an absolute treat.
- Broken Base nonwithstanding, there's no denying that Madonna's title song is catchy as hell!
- Final Confrontation / Icarus Disconnected plays during the climactic dual showdowns between Bond and Graves, as well as Jinx and Frost. It's got plenty of great moments of tension and fast beats, but the best part is the last minute or so, where the Bond theme comes blasting out in booming, wailing brass as Gustav Graves is sent careening towards his gruesome death.
- The Helicopter Fall. A chaotic, frantic piece of action music as Jinx and Bond are sent tumbling through the sky in a crashing helicopter, desperately trying to get it working before they hit the ground. Just as the copter's engines kick in, the Bond theme once again takes over the score, blasting triumphantly. It's enough to take your breath away.
Daniel CraigCasino Royale
- The pure WIN that is Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name". Yep, Bond is badass again.
- The Bond theme mixed with "You Know My Name" in Trip Aces (around 1:26) and at the end of Bond wins it all, as both tracks accompany Bond's cards matches.
- "African Rundown" is the perfect music to have a parkour chase to, especially at 2:25, the cue for the part where Bond and Mollaka are on the crane.
- "Fall of a House in Venice" is a tense and perfect fit for the climactic fight inside the sinking Venice building, especially with its brass reprise of the Bond theme.
- Death of Vesper is probably the saddest track in Bond film history.
- The last track in the film, appropriately titled The Name's Bond... James Bond, is a perfect conclusion to a thrilling film, merging elements of the classic spy theme in its orchestral style with the more modern stylings of the film's score, creating a fusion of old and new that can only be described as 'Bond, James Bond' at its purest.
- "Night at the Opera", a low-key, but utterly brilliant bit of spy music and quite possibly better than the actual theme song.
- "Time to Get Out", the music for the opening car chase, starts off slowly and build into an insanely badass version of the Bond theme. But it really kicks into high gear at 2:15, where, according to the music, Bond has joined forces with The Terminator in the cause of awesome.
- The absolutely beautiful "Talamone".
- Bond + Tosca = Awesome Sauce.
- The unused title song by Shirley Bassey and David Arnold, "No Good About Goodbye", perfectly underscoring Bond as a Heartbroken Badass.
- Adele's glorious theme is on its way to becoming a modern classic. It even became the first Bond credits song to win an Academy Award. "Let the sky fall..." Adele and James Bond just seemed like a match made in Heaven anyway, and she got the most comparisons to the legendary Shirley Bassey for a reason. Even more impressive as she'd just recovered from a vocal chord strain that left her barely able to talk for months.
- This will make you cry. Rest in Peace, dear M.
- "We are not now that strength which in old days Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
- "Boom Boom" by The Animals. Silva, being a Bunny-Ears Lawyer extraordinaire, naturally had to customize his gunship with a wall of huge loudspeakers to play the song as he attacked Skyfall manor.
- "Writing's on the Wall", by Sam Smith, is both epic and melancholic. Also won an Academy Award, and also the first Bond theme to hit #1 on the UK charts—in fact, debuting at #1.
- Radiohead's rejected first draft song, "Spectre." Despite not being used, it's a pretty great, haunting song on it's own.
- The awesome car chase music (Backfire) and the last third of Detonation both feature awesome, powerful quotations of the Bond theme, until they start reusing Skyfall music.
- The title song by Billie Eilish really does come into its own, with her style complementing Hans Zimmer's solemn instrumentals. It's now the third consecutive Bond theme to win the Oscar for Best Song.
- "Matera", which actually reprises "We Have All the Time in the World" from On Her Majesty's Secret Service after Bond drops the song's name. It also plays a semitone higher than the original, making it feel like a Truck Driver's Gear Change between versions!
- "Cuba Chase" features two variations on the Bond theme, including a very neat salsa-flavored one to accompany Paloma's kickassery.
- You can definitely hear the extra power of the horns in "Square Escape", which makes the typical Bond theme feel epic!
- While on reappropriation of OHMSS, "Good to Have You Back" is an amazing slower-paced rendition of that movie's title theme.
- The car chase between Bond's group and Safin's group in Norway is set to the pounding "Norway Chase". Every drum, trumpet and ominous chant successfully blend well, culminating in one of the most intense renditions of the Bond theme at 4:02.
- "I'll Be Right Back" feels fitting for James Bond's Final Battle due to the steadily rising strings.
- "Final Ascent". Aside from being an incredibly beautiful and haunting piece of music, it's paired with Tearjerker, since it plays over the last moments of Daniel Craig's James Bond.
- Any of the opening gunbarrels note has its own interpretation of the classic Bond theme (apart from Casino Royale (2006), which has the opening bars to "You Know My Name" instead), and they are all kickass. Especially the For Your Eyes Only version. It's even got cowbell, fer Chrissakes!
- Before David Arnold was hired as John Barry's replacement, he produced an album called Shaken and Stirred, a collection of Bond theme covers. Quality-wise, they range from "meh" to "holy crap, no wonder they hired him". Highlights include:
- A fabulously Camp, Gender Bender version of "Diamonds are Forever".
- A ferocious "Thunderball".
- And the Propellerheads' epic cover of "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" has been described as "nine minutes of majestic". That's about the size of it.
- Chrissie Hynde's cover of Live and Let Die is pretty good.
Casino Royale (1967)
- Burt Bacharach's bouncy theme is a marvelous piece of '60s kitsch, and is probably better known than the film itself. Played by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, everyone!
- Ironically, this is the only Bond movie to date (canon or no) to have spawned two hit singles, as both the instrumental theme music and Dusty Springfield's Breakaway Pop Hit "The Look of Love" charted.
- Never Say Never Again by Lani Hall proves that a non-EON theme song can still be awesome.
- The Latin flavoured Aztec.
- The pulse-pounding Cradle.
- The creepy Statue Park.
- The epic Depot and Train themes.
- The fast paced action level Silo was catchy at first, but add a bit of remix to it, and it goes up to 12!
- The one in the Byelomorye Dam. Seriously, don't say that doesn't tense up your nerves!
- Runway sets the tone for a thrilling escape nicely, as well as getting you for the next level... Severnaya Surface. Actually one of the most famous tracks. It's very beautiful.
- And now the guy who put Metal Gear Solid in orchestral form did the same thing with Goldeneye. It's called Goldeneye N64 Orchestrated, and it is awesome.
- 'Nightfire'' had the amazing "Nearly Civilised", set to a great title sequence.
- The incredible music that plays during the escape from the Phoenix Building. It's made of bongos, saxophone, wailing trumpets, and WIN.
- Everything or Nothing had a soundtrack composed by Sean Callery, which should tell you all you need to know. But if that isn't enough, it also features a truly sexy jazz version of the main theme by Mya. Hot.
- "If You're Gonna Jump". Natasha Bedingfield + Paul Oakenfield = win. An energetic and dramatic techno song that pretty much encourages you to get off your butt and do something.
- Joss Stone's "I'll Take It All", a fist-pumping theme that could easily be used in some of the movies.
- Athens Harbor Chase. And played live? Mother of GOD.
- Nicole Scherzinger's cover of "GoldenEye" updates the original Tina Turner song for a modern era and could easily be Tina singing it herself.
James Bond Jr.
- A fairly obscure (but nonetheless excellent) one—James Bond Jr. for the NES and SNES. Not necessarily the best platformer, but dear GOD the music makes up for it.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's theme for the (sort of) Bond spoof Spy Hard is hard to top, by virtue of being both epic and frigging hilarious."It's the theme from Spy HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDD!!!!" (splat)
- They Might Be Giants' "Evil", a Villain Song done in the style of Shirley Bassey from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.