The 5 Best Bond Theme Songs of All Time

At the time of writing, the Bond fans at Base London HQ have been tantalised with this cruelly short teaser of Sam Smith's upcoming theme song Writing's On the Wall for the latest James Bond blockbuster SPECTRE (23rd October)... (You can listen to it here).

Do we have an all time great Bond theme on our hands? Or will Sam Smith's new 007 number fall flat? We know where our money is.

But until we can cash out, there's still plenty of aural Bond goodness from the super spy's 53 years on cinema screens for us to enjoy. Whether you loved Adele's Skyfall or thought it was a pale imitation of Shirley Bassey's glorious Goldfinger we've compiled our top five Bond songs to get you well and truly in the mood for the release of SPECTRE at the end of this month.

 

5. Skyfall – Adele, 2012

A true return to form for Bond themes. Adele's Skyfall oozes with the brass and seduction of forerunner of Shirley Bassey, with a delectably modern take on that essential Bond big band sound supporting that critical soaring chorus. Will Sam Smith be able to compete with this?

 

4. Live & Let Die – Paul McCartney & Wings, 1973

Melody, punch, pyrotechnics, discordance, sweet strings, sparkle, rock'n'roll, this two and a half minute epic goes through a dozen shifts and changes to create one of the most stirring Bond themes in 007 history. This is a whole Bond film, distilled into a few magnificent seconds of pure musical genius.

 

3. View to a Kill – Duran Duran, 1985

No Bond theme sums up 80s 007 quite like View to a Kill. This stomping, instrumentally lush Simon Le Bon led masterpiece is one of the biggest commercial hits of any Bond theme for good reason, it's a true 80s banger.

 

2. Diamonds Are Forever – Shirley Bassey, 1972

One of the reasons why Adele's Skyfall was a real return to form for Bond themes is because she naturally channels something of Dame Shirley's strength and brass vocally. This is what has earned Bassey the top two spots on our Bond theme favourites list and makes her the true voice behind Bond. Diamonds Are Forever is the perfect Bond theme, with a touch of suspense, a generous serving of materialism, big band impact and a ravishing, glittering chorus.

 

1. Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey, 1964

Short of the “dana-danaa-da-nanaa” classic Bond refrain, this has to be the single most iconic piece of 007 audio. With a particular place in the hearts and minds of the public, Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger is a brassy, sexy romp, rich in seedy brass orchestration and crowned with the glorious voice of Dame Shirley herself.

Alan Partridge also does a damn fine version... Have a listen to it here.

 

Which James Bond theme song is your ultimate 007 number? Did we miss out a gem? Have your say in the Base London Facebook group.