I want to apologize to Adele. You aren't making this list. Skyfall is probably the best song of our generation, and it is incredibly admirable you changed your vocal range because of your pregnancy to make that song work. You are one of the best singers ever.
This topic had to be written because Sam Smith managed to win an Oscar for one of the weakest James Bond theme songs of all time. It is a generic pop song that does not stand out in a crowd, and after he won the Golden Globe he pretended to not know how who the lead singer of Radiohead was. Thom Yorke, for those who are playing at home, had leaked a version of Spectre on Christmas Day 2015 (I am Jewish, this was my present), which was incredibly good.
Anyway, I'm bringing this up because Sam Smith was the second performer to win an Oscar for doing the James Bond theme song, and he didn't deserve it. Adele was the first by the way, and she would be number 6 on this list. I feel I need to set the record straight and remind the world the top 5 James Bond theme songs of all time.
5. Tina Turner - Goldeneye
Sam Smith is maybe 1/8 the performer Tina Turner is? This song gets the top 5 nod because of how great a movie Goldeneye is and how amazing Tina Turner is in general. The best Bond songs are when they take risks or include Shirley Bassey, and this is the former. Tina Turner found my weakness with this song, a strong horn section and an amazing vocalist who captures you. Take a look below:
4. Duran Duran - A View to a Kill
There is a famous story that the bassist from Duran Duran walked up to producer Cubbi Broccoli and said "when are you going get someone decent to do one of your theme songs?"
They killed it. I may have been listening to this song on repeat while writing this entire thing. This is the only song fitting for a plot where Christopher Walken is trying to destroy Silicon Valley so he has a monopoly on microchip processors. If the top 3 songs weren't such instant classics this would be higher. Watch below:
3. Shirley Bassey - Diamonds are Forever
The opening instrumental grabs you. You are intrigued. Diamonds? Well they are a girl's best friend, and they are enchanting. Like diamonds this song will stimulate you and tease you. BUM BUM BUM DUN DUN.
This song is such a classic that it feels criminal to place it third overall on this list. The orchestra lead by John Barry is so strong. The lyrics are amazing. Shirley Bassey has such an iconic voice in American history. Plus the movie is classic Bond, as an added bonus. Let Shirley Bassey and Sean Connery lead you on an adventure. To annoy our readers I must remind them this served as the beat for an amazing Kanye West song. Watch below:
2. Paul McCartney & Wings - Live and Let Die
Roger Moore's tenure as James Bond is pretty controversial. Ignoring George Lazenby, he followed up the most iconic James Bond of all time in Sean Connery. I hold his run of movies in high, high regard. The Man with the Golden Gun and Live and Let Die are two of my favorite bond movies of all time. The latter of the two provided such an iconic theme song it was the only one who could theoretically break up Shirley Bassey at the top of our list.
Paul McCartney is such a musical legend it makes sense his contribution to Bond lore is so great. Live and Let Die was such a versatile song that combines piano, vocals and guitar that it was not out of place that Guns 'N Roses covered it. The movie takes James Bond to one of my favorite cities in the United States, New Orleans, in a high stakes plot that even holds up today. There may have been some appropriation of Afro-Caribbean culture, which needs to be acknowledged. In the end "when you have a job to do, you have to do it well," and Bond did just that. Watch below:
1. Shirley Bassey - Goldfinger
There is one movie you think of when you think James Bond. It is Goldfinger. If you do not think that you are wrong and need to reassess your life choices. I am sorry but this is fact.
I don't even know how to talk about how great this song is because if you are not entranced by the opening horn sequence you may not have a soul. Goldfinger was the most heinous Bond villain, and Shirley Bassey gave him such an ode that....it gives you chills in 2016. There was no other choice for number one because gosh darnet HE LOVES GOLD. Watch below: