Hardly an original idea, but it’s taken me until doing this Bondathon to consider the canon of theme tunes as a whole, rather than the regular few favourites. This isn’t an intensely analytical series by any means – it’ll mostly be subjective, with a little dash of objectivity thrown in every now and then. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you won’t.
I’m splitting the run-down into five parts, in an attempt at building a little tension. So, without further ado, let’s get started…
25 – Die Another Day (Madonna)
I don’t think I’ll get many arguments here. At several points in Bond history, the theme songs have made concerted attempts at fitting in with the popular music of the time – by and large they’ve got it right, but this one really didn’t work. The opening strings lull you into a false sense of security, but it’s all downhill from there.
24 – All Time High from Octopussy (Rita Coolidge)
There’s nothing hugely wrong with it, but I just find it quite insipid and generic. I have a soft spot for theme songs which don’t share the film’s title, but this one doesn’t even feel like it’s been written for the film.
23 – For Your Eyes Only (Sheena Easton)
A similar thought with this one – I find it a bit dull in parts, and it’s not the style of music that I tend to listen to very much. Nudges ahead of the previous song by dint of feeling like it belongs.
22 – Moonraker (Shirley Bassey)
Bizarrely continuing back in film order again… I’m committing the cardinal sin of comparing this with Bassey’s other two theme songs, but for me it just doesn’t reach that legendary status. It’s a definite skipper on the compilation album.
21 – Licence to Kill (Gladys Knight)
Following Ella Eyre’s brilliant performance of this at the Sound of 007 concert (backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra) I have a new-found appreciation for it, however I don’t prefer it to any of the remaining 20 tracks.