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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.)
From 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!!"
- Goldfinger features a 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!!!!" [faint]
- The unsused theme by Johnny Cash. It doesn't quite sound right for a Bond theme, but it's still awesome.
- "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" is both awesome title music and even better chase music. Also its great use in "Over and Out" and in "Battle at Piz Gloria".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Marvin Hamlisch's "Bond '77" from the same film. Yes, it's disco, but it still manages to be awesome.
- The heartbreakingly beautiful theme for Moonraker 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", while unusually mellow for Bond, became a top 40 hit and Oscar nominee after the film came out.
- Bill Conti's music for the ski chase. So Eighties, so cheesy, so good.
- Most of the For Your Eyes Only 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.
- A View to a Kill 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.
- There's a magnificent Villain Song written for The Living Daylights — "Where has Everybody Gone?" by Pretenders. Bad. Ass.
- The Living Daylights 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.
- The breathtaking theme by Gladys Knight, an 80s Spiritual Successor to Shirley Bassey's iconic theme to Goldfinger.
- "License Revoked", which includes a 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:
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- Death of Vesper is probably the saddest track in Bond film history.
- "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 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. 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 chartsin 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.
- 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", which 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.
James Bond Jr.
- A fairly obscure (but nonetheless excellent) one—James Bond Jr. for the NES. Not necessarily the best platformer, but dear GOD.
- The Latin flavoured Aztec.
- The pulse-pounding Cradle.
- The creepy Statue Park.
- The epic Depot and Train themes.
- The fast paced action level Silo, which was pretty 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.
- "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.
- Burt Bacharach's bouncy theme to Casino Royale (1967) is a marvelous piece of '60s kitsch, and is probably better known than the film itself.
- They Might Be Giants' "Evil", a Villain Song done in the style of Shirley Bassey from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.