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Bond Theme Song Success: Top Songs

We take a look at five of the best themes from the franchise.

James Bond - Spectre
Credit: Sony

The Bond movie franchise is one of the most successful and longest-lasting movie franchises in existence.

On their own, measuring the success of Bond films can be difficult, as there are many contributing factors, but one of the big indicators is the staying power of the film’s music. Specifically, part of the success of the movies can be attributed to the theme songs.

Below are some of the top Bond theme songs;

1. Paul McCartney and Wings – Live and Let Die

Perhaps this is the most successful Bond theme song of all time. Paul McCartney proved his prowess in the pop music industry with this bond theme song for the 1973 movie. Paul would only allow the film to use the song as a theme song of the Wings recorded it. The song starts as a soothing ballad then turns to a rock opera before completely transitioning into a funk jam. For a four-minute song, it has so much to offer. The multiple faces of the song make it feel and sound big and unlike anything, you have ever heard. Of all 24 bond theme songs, this is by far the most unique and memorable song. It is also unlike any other song on the radio. The song debuted at #9 and maintained the top position for 14 weeks.

2. Carly Simon – Nobody Does it Better

This was the theme song for the 1975 bond movie called The Spy Who Loved Me. Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager wrote the song. It is the first bond theme song not to feature the same title as the movie it accompanied. The song was praised by numerous critics. One of the Radiohead members ranked it one of the sexiest songs in existence. The song was so good that it earned a nomination for the year’s song at the Grammy Awards. It also hit #2 on BB Hot 100. Nobody does it better, made it to the top of the adult contemporary chart, and earned Carly Simon an impeccable reputation.

3. Shirley Bassey- Goldfinger

Goldfinger was the theme song for the third Bond movie released in 1965. The song was written by John Barry, Leslie Bricusse, and Anthony Newley, then Shirley Bassey recorded. Perhaps one of the reasons why the song was as good as it was in the numerous stars behind it. It was the first original Bond song ever to be released at the same time as the movie. The song debuted at #29 and climbed to #2, where it stayed for nine weeks.

4. Nancy Sinatra – You Only Live Twice

This was the theme song for the 1967 Bond movie with the same name. The song begins with the sound of moody strings accompanied by the brooding voice of Nancy Sinatra. It is an incredible song with a dark romantic side. Joe Barry and Leslie Bricusse co-wrote it. You Only Live Twice is one of the best-known hits by Nancy Sinatra, accompanied by her # hit song These Boots Are Made for Walking. The song debuted at #11 on the BB pop chart and peaked at #1, where it stayed for 19 weeks straight.

5. Adele – Skyfall

This list wouldn’t be complete without Adele’s Skyfall for the 2012 bond movie with the same name. Like the pop star we all know her to be, Adele took inspiration from the classic bond theme songs like diamonds are forever. The song instantly succeeded as it flooded the pop radio stations and almost all the top digital sales charts. The song was released on the 50th anniversary of the Bond movies that helped with its performance. It peaked at #2 in the UK and #8 in the US. It is the first Bond theme song to win the Best Original Song category at the Academy Awards.

Other incredible Bond theme songs include Writings on the Wall by Sam Smith, which reached #1 on the charts, and Another Way To Die by Jack White and Alicia Keys. Although the latest Bond movie, No Time To Die, is yet to be released, its theme song by Billie Eilish is already a success. The song peaked the digital sales charts at #1 shortly after its release. Watch the new trailer debut for the upcoming James Bond film, No Time To Die.

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