Music Break: Top 10 Favorite Bond Songs

10FaveBondSongs

This Music Break is so long overdue! I listen to basically two music genres regularly: classical and soundtrack. And growing up the James Bond soundtrack got a lot of play in my house as my two brothers love ’em too and my penchant for them continue to this day. Over the years I don’t know how many Bond CDs I’ve bought as they keep updating their collections [just like they do with their box-sets, heh]. From the classically-tinged ones to the more contemporary sounds, I love most of the Bond songs from the 23 films, with only a few exceptions (i.e. Die Another Day by Madonna, ugh). This list consist of the Bond songs, not themes by John Barry, David Arnold, etc. So far, my absolute favorite Bond theme is City of Lovers from Casino Royale that I featured a while back.

The other day I was thinking how it’s been ages since I made a Bond-related post. Well, inspired by last Monday’s birthday of the jazz great Louis Armstrong, as well as my pal Michael’s Songs on My iPod series, post #6 specifically, it’s time to reveal my top 10 favorites! I actually made a top 5 back in 2010, but I decided to expand my list to 10. So here goes (in order of release):

1. From Russia with Love (Matt Monro) – From Russia with Love 1963

….

2. We Have All the Time in the World (Louis Armstrong) – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 1969

….

3. Moonraker (Shirley Bassey) – Moonraker 1979

4. For Your Eyes Only (Sheena Easton) – For Your Eyes Only 1981

5. All Time High (Rita Coolidge) – Octopussy 1983

6. The Living Daylights (A-Ha) –The Living Daylights 1987

7. Tomorrow Never Dies (Sheryl Crowe) – Tomorrow Never Dies 1997

8. The World Is Not Enough (Garbage) – The World Is Not Enough 1999

9. You Know My Name (Chris Cornell) – Casino Royale (2006)

10. Skyfall (Adele) – Skyfall (2012)


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

  • Goldfinger (Shirley Bassey) – Goldfinger (1964)
  • Nobody Does It Better (Carly Simon) – The Spy Who Loved Me 1977
  • Goldeneye (Tina Turner) – Goldeneye 1995
  • License to Kill (Gladys Knight) – License to Kill 1989

So are you a fan of any of these Bond songs? Which one(s) are YOUR favorite?

Advertisements

53 thoughts on “Music Break: Top 10 Favorite Bond Songs

  1. Love your post! My favorite is an easy answer: Paul McCartney and Wings, “Live and Let Die”. I watched this awesome BBC documentary on Bond and Flemming, et al. James Bond has a great history, yes?

    1. Hi Cindy! I actually love the beginning part of the song and the slower part towards the end, but for some reason there’s a part of the song I’m not fond of. But yes, Bond has a great history! I’ve always been fascinated by Ian Flemming, MI6, etc. 😀

    1. Man now I’m gutted that I didn’t include it on my top 10 list, I really do like that song a lot! I actually like the slower, more romantic Bond songs!

  2. Great list! I pretty much like most of the Bond songs. I’d have Live and Let Die (Wings) near the top of my list. We Have All the Time in the World (Armstrong) is for me the most emotionally affecting in how it plays at the end of On Her M’s Secret Service.
    To me, there was a decline in the quality of songs after 1987, though I do love “You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell and “Skyfall” by Adele, both of which I see as a return to form.
    By the way, I actually prefer the (disco version) of Moonraker, from end credits: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4K5-WmMN-I

    1. Hi Chris! Yeah, We Have All the Time in the World is such an emotional song, I always tear up in that scene. I agree that the songs for Casino Royale & Skyfall are both a return to form indeed.

      Oh I love that disco version too, that’s a sign of a GREAT song that it could work in multiple genres 😀

  3. Nice list, Ruth! I definitely agree with you on several of your choices. But you know how we Bond fans all hold wildly divergent opinions…My list would be more skewed to the older Bond films theme songs (although Adele’s “Skyfall” is really terrific). Glad to see “From Russia With Love” on there, but no “‘Goldfinger”?!?!!? Other faves would be “Thunderball,” “Live and Let Die” and the cheesy, OTT but somehow wonderful “Man with a Golden Gun” by Lulu. Fun post!

    1. Hello Jeff! Yeah, everyone’s got their own faves, and I think it depends on which Bonds they grew up with. I grew up w/ Moore’s Bonds so naturally I have a few from his films here. Ha..ha.. I simply forgot to include Goldfinger in my Honorable Mentions but I’ve rectified that now. I love that one but I still prefer Moonraker from Dame Bassey 🙂

  4. Ruth, No Goldfinger? You may be banished from appreciating Bond music in the future. However, you are granted one indulgence for including Matt Monroe on your list. Let’s not slip up again in the future, OK?

    1. Ahah, well as I said above, I should’ve included that one on my Honorable Mention as I actually do love Goldfinger. Actually all three songs (including Diamonds Are Forever) from Dame Bassey are wonderful!

    1. Hi Michael! Yeah everyone would have a different list and that’s part of the fun. There’s something for everyone I think and really, most of them are awesome! 🙂

  5. Ted S.

    You know as much as I love most of the Bond films, I was never into the opening songs that much. But my number 1 choice would definitely be “We Have All the Time in the World”, such a great song and soundtrack. Did you see/hear this cover sang by some guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZZ6gr7_a_o, I thought he did a pretty good job of covering the song.

    I’m also fan of A-ha’s The Living Daylights. Heck I even liked Die Another Day sang by Madonna and I have no shame saying that, lol. That’s the only thing that came out from that movie.

    Adele’s Skyfall was good too.

    1. Hi Ted, I love the Bond songs and also the instrumental themes, esp by John Barry. Wow, that is a great rendition of “We Have All the Time in the World”!! Thanks for sending that. Louis’ version is still more emotional though.

      Ahah, well the only thing I like about Die Another Day is Toby Stephens, that’s it! Btw, weren’t you gonna lend me the Blu-ray? 😉

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah that singer did a good job but Amstrong’s original is still the best. I’ll remember to write up the post about why I love On Her Majesty’s Secret Service so much and maybe you can post it when the next Bond film opens next year.

        Oh yeah I forgot to bring the disc the last time we meet up. Remind me again when we meet up next time. I hope to find a new place soon so I can unpack all of my Bluray discs and watch movies at home again, I miss my home theater.

  6. Dan Heaton

    No Duran Duran? All kidding aside, I’m surprised not to see Goldfinger on here, but there are a lot of great picks. I like both the Chris Cornell and Adele songs from the recent Craig films, and you can’t go wrong with The Living Daylights or Licence to Kill either. I do like Thunderball with Tom Jones, which is in a similar style to the older Bond films. And Die Another Day is awful!

    1. Ahah, I don’t even remember which one Duran Duran’s song was when I made this list 🙂 I made a snafu for not including Goldfinger on my Honorable Mention, but it’s on there now. Oh I like Thunderball too, but it’s not one I tend to listen too over and over. Glad you agree w/ some of my picks Dan!

        1. Yep, I think the song is still better than the movie! Gosh it’s just so ridiculous! Granted most of Moore’s Bond movies are ridiculous but at least Moonraker & Octopussy are entertaining.

  7. I love most of the Bond songs, but I’ve always been partial to Goldfinger. It’s a good song but there’s also a campy overtone to how it’s structured that just makes me smile.

    1. Hello Will! Goldfinger is now on my Honorable Mention, pardon the oversight. I never thought of it as campy actually, it’s a great song and I love Dame Bassey’s powerful pipes!

  8. Stu

    I like Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better, and Louis Armstrong’s We Have All The Time… best of all. Goldfinger and Live And Let Die are good ones too. I also like the John Barry instrumentals. Fun post Ruth!

  9. Hey, Ruth. I think we’ve talked before I don’t really know Bond all that well. But this seems an excellent list.

    My favorite is We Have all The Time in The World, I think. Hard to beat Louis Armstrong …

        1. Mwahahaha! The World is Not Enough and Skyfall you mean? Too funny Josh! Oh I MUST lend you the two Bond films w/ Timothy Dalton then, he’s the original gritty Bond before Craig came along. He was way ahead of his time as people were not ready for a darker Bond then.

            1. I’d say it’s mandatory for everyone who’s getting their feet wet into the 007 world. I just LOVE Dalton so much yet he’s so under-appreciated. It always pains me to see Craig gets so much love/credit for his gritty portrayal which to me is a bit too thug-ish. Don’t get me wrong I think he is good in the role, I just think Dalton is much better and he is also much better looking and swoon-worthy 😉 I must admit that Craig’s Bond films have such a high production quality and they have such big name directors! I like both Casino Royale & Skyfall but don’t care for Quantum of Solace.

              In any case, if we’re talking of Bond himself, I always think Dalton’s portrayal is fantastic and to people who read Flemming’s books, he’s regarded as the closest to how Bond is portrayed in the book. Gritty, relentless, dark but still elegant 😀

              1. The audience in general seems to be fairly divided on Dalton, at least of the folks here in Blogville. Some like him. Some hate him. I can officially count you in the ‘like’ camp. 🙂

  10. I’m glad to see Goldfinger get honorable mention, but surprised it didn’t make your top 10! Regardless, I’m listening to all these now at work to keep me motivated…great choices!!!

    1. I made a snafu that I didn’t include Goldfinger initially but yeah it’s a great song! Glad you like my choices Courtney, Bond soundtrack is a staple in my house, ahah.

  11. Brilliant choices here, though where’s Duran Duran’s View to a Kill! Something about that song!

    Very happy to see You Know My Name up here. I remember the song getting a lot of flack when it was first released, saying it was so un-Bond, but I thought the obvious. Adore Chris Cornell’s voice. Also THAT opening title sequence. Epic. The little part of me that tries to be a graphic designer was blown away by it.

    Wasn’t that much of a fan of Adele’s Skyfall actually. Dunno, something was too on the nose about it! A bit bland and blah for me.

    Garbage’s song is brilliant. Shirley Manson’s vocals are so unique and just match the tone of Bond so well.

    1. Hello Jaina! I didn’t know that You Know My Name was panned initially. Heh I kind of like it because it’s so different from the typical Bond song but still has the Bond vibe to it. Yes the opening title sequence remains one of my all time faves!! “The little part of me that tries to be a graphic designer was blown away by it.” Yeah me too! 🙂

      Skyfall is bland? Oh no… well I suppose you can’t please everyone. I thought it was a beautiful song. But yeah, I LOVE The World is Not Enough and I had never heard of Garbage before that.

      1. I was a massive Garbage fan and was pretty excited when they announced they’d be doing the Bond song. A bit wary, because I didn’t think of them being necessarily Bond-like. But … man, Shirley’s vocals!

  12. “We Have All the Time in the World” is my favorite Bond song of all time and it gets so little love, great to see it high up on your list! Goldeneye would be the second place for me, it’s just so catchy.

    1. Hi Sati! Oh my list is in order of release but yeah, that song would be in my top 5 anyway. It’s so beautiful and Louis Armstrong’s rendition is absolutely marvelous! I do love Tina Turner’s cool rendition of Goldeneye, that’s my fave Brosnan Bond as I like Sean Bean in it 😉

  13. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    From Russia With Love

    Goldfinger

    You Only Live Twice

    We have All The Time In The World: OHMSS.

    Started losing interest after Connery left. Roger Moore should have stuck with “The Saint” television series. He was too smooth and cultured for my take on Bond. Though Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig have a nice balance between spy and action hero.

    Personally would like to see Idris Elba try Bond on for a test drive. Or have Kenneth Branagh as Bond. Close to retirement and in “M”‘s place.

    1. Great picks there Kevin! I personally would LOVE to see Idris play Bond as well. Colin Salmon would’ve been great as well as he actually played M’s assistant at one point but now he might be too old. Branagh as M would be BRILLIANT as well!

  14. Haha, I actually love Madonna’s “Die Another Day.” 🙂 Ooh, I’m so glad “You Know My Name” and “The World is Not Enough” made the list! Those are two of my favorites. I also love “Goldfinger,” “Live and Let Die,” and “For Your Eyes Only.”

    1. Ahah Josh, you might be the only one 😉 Glad you’re a fan of “The World is Not Enough”! I think that’s an underrated song but I thought it’s catchy and I love Shirley Manson’s voice.

  15. Pingback: 41 favorite cinematic things to celebrate my b’day

  16. Pingback: FlixChatter Review: Casino Royale (2006)

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s