My Personal Top 5 James Bond Theme Songs

James Bond films have been all over the place in terms of quality. One thing that remains relatively constant is that they have great music, particularly with their opening theme songs. Oddly enough, many of the songs that I really like are used in the films I liked less.

5. Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney

Live and Let Die (1973) was the movie that marked Roger Moore’s takeover as Agent 007. As I mentioned in my review of London Town, Paul McCartney is easily one of the biggest musicians of the latter half of the twentieth century, largely due to having been the bassist for the Beatles as well as half of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo. Live and Let Die was released by Wings, the band McCartney started with his wife Linda and Denny Laine after the breakup of the Beatles. Admittedly, it’s not really one of my favorite McCartney songs, but in general it’s hard to beat a former Beatle when it comes to creating great music.

4. GoldenEye by Tina Turner

GoldenEye was Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as James Bond. As I mentioned in my review, GoldenEye really sought to sort of abandon the classic Bond feel in favor of a more modern action film flavor. That shift in focus is quite evident in the music selection of the movie, particularly in Tina Turner’s performance of the title song. I’ll admit that because it was while I was growing up, I just tend to associate Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007, and consequently I have a soft spot for the Brosnan era, despite having only seen two of Brosnan’s movies. I feel GoldenEye to be the quintessential “modern” Bond film (despite it now being 17 years old!) and thus I feel the song is a quintessential “modern” Bond song.

3. The World is Not Enough by Garbage

Besides GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough is the only other Brosnan Bond film I have seen. Personally, I thought the vocals were decent, but it was the instrumentation that really sold me on this one. Normally I’m not a fan of synthesizer music, but somehow they just worked in The World is Not Enough, probably, once again, appealing to my nostalgia of James Bond from the 90s.

2. Another Way to Die by Alicia Keys and Jack White

I’ll admit, I wasn’t a fan of Quantum of Solace, and I wasn’t really a fan of the R&B genre either. However, I did enjoy Alicia Keys and Jack White’s Another Way to Die. I think it would be accurate to say I thought the best part of Quantum of Solace by and far was its theme song.

1. Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey

As it is, I think Goldfinger was the best film in the series. I think Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger was definitely a good choice as far as title song selection went.