James Bond films have developed a tradition of commissioning top contemporary singers and songwriters to produce theme songs for each film. Some of these have become major pop hit songs, and others are better left forgotten. This is a list of 10 of the best.
Paul McCartney had already proven himself as a master of the pop music suite with the #1 hit single "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" when the James Bond movie franchise came calling. He throws everything including the kitchen sink into this grand production then lightens it with pop-reggae breaks. This is Paul McCartney at his best, and it sounds just as good today as 30 years ago.
Nobody spelled out the sexiness of the James Bond films better than Carly Simon. The song was written by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager and holds the distinction of being the first Bond theme that did not carry the same name as the accompanying film. In this case, the film was The Spy Who Loved Me. Radiohead's Thom Yorke has declared onstage that "Nobody Does It Better" is "the sexiest song that was ever written."
Adele digs in to the classic sound of such James Bond themes as "Goldfinger" and "Diamonds Are Forever" while also echoing the ominous atmosphere of "Live and Let Die." The result is the best James Bond theme in decades. With the name of Adele attached, the song instantly flooded pop radio and stormed the digital sales charts.
Many prognosticators predicted disaster when the new wave pop band Duran Duran were enlisted to record a Bond theme song. Despite predictions, this is one of the best, and it is the only Bond theme to hit #1 on the pop singles chart in the US. Simon Le Bon's sexy and dramatic vocal performance carries the day.