“Bond 25” Is On! Rock On 007! The BEST James Bond Theme Songs! The WORST! Two That Were Censored!

Ready For “Bond 25?”

Yes, that’s the unofficial name for the new James Bond 007 film, the 25th entry in this iconic series…no other details yet, except of course for the fact that Daniel Craig will return for what is expected to be his 007 swan song…

Daniel Craig’s run as Britain’s greatest Secret Agent has had incredible highs and a few “Quantum” lows, but hopefully the studio will make the 25th James Bond film the best ever…after all, it’s one of the most iconic lines in movie history:

Sean Connery james-bond


“My Name’s Bond…James Bond.”

Whether you like hearing those words as uttered by the first James Bond, Sean Connery…or the latest, Daniel Craig, it signals the beginning of a great new adventure. Oh, and here are the 15 best utterances – all compiled for you!

james bond dvds

Thanks to home video, we can watch any and all of these classic action films…every Bond at any time!

Equally as exciting as the movies themselves is THIS THEME SONG:

James-bond-skyfall-bond-24

It’s a legendary opening theme – tight electric guitar, subtle horns that suddenly burst forth, and a just a touch of menace. From “Dr. No” on, this has been how the films have opened….well, except for the “Casino Royale” series reboot…shocking to fans – the theme was moved to the END of that movie!

James Bond Theme


Rock On, James!

You also have to love the James Bond theme songs…and I hope they choose wisely when picking the Artist who will tackle “Bond 25”.

A recent poll voted Paul McCartney’s “Live And Let Die” as the best Bond theme ever, and I won’t argue: incredibly catchy, bombastic, and pure Macca…

live_and_let_die_voted_best_james_bond_theme_by_bbc_radio_listeners

Is That The Best Bond Theme?

The answer is, obviously, YES! I love McCartney’s catchy, bombastic take on Bond, and here is a great clip of him performing it on his 1973 TV special!

Paul and Linda McCartney LIVE

McCartney captured the right amount of bravado AND subtlety in the song – Bond’s best – but there have been many others that were great as well, such as this classic:

Goldinger!

Sassy, confident, oozing with sensuality, let’s give this classic theme song a listen:


Shirley Bassey Scores Again!

Shirley Bassey’s voice was sexy, fun, menacing and provocative – just as the films themselves became pop culture sensations – “Goldfinger” was one of the first true blockbusters, and the 007 series never looked back – and Producers began to look for an iconic theme song for every film…

Tom Jones thunderball

The very next film, “Thunderball” had Tom Jones, who was hugely popular at the time – then “You Only Live Twice” had Nancy Sinatra, Frank’s daughter – and Shirley Bassey returned to record this classic theme, “Diamonds Are Forever”:

adele James Bond Theme

Most fans felt Connery was walking through “Diamonds” a bit, but it is fair to hold that against the song? Speaking of which, one of the WORST Bond movies ever, “A View To A Kill”, had a GREAT theme song!

James Bond logo

What makes this better is that you see lots of Duran Duran and you don’t see a lot of Bond! The series entered into a rut of trying to get the hottest pop act of the moment, which led immediately to the debacle of “a-ha”!

worst james bond themes ever


“Make It Stop”!

Ouch! What an awful theme! And there have been more as well…Sheena Easton, anyone? Chris Cornell? Sheryl Crow even delivered a bad theme…but, to me, there is one that stands above all others…

The Worst Bond Theme Ever!

Here it is, a song that has absolutely NO connection to the film, no understanding of what a 007 theme song should be at all:

worst james bond theme ever

Love her or hate her, Madonna delivers a theme song that IN NO WAY captures James Bond 007 – this song exists as an Artist’s effort to usurp what it means to be a Bond theme!

But as much as I hate “Die Another Day, at least Madonna got to have her song heard:


Censored Bond Music!

Did you know why this guy, Alice Cooper, is so sad – he he also wrote a Bond theme! But as you can see, he’s not to happy about how it turned out!

Alice Cooper was one of the biggest bands of the mid-70’s, and the group was asked to record a Bond theme song, and it was rejected! Read all about Alice Cooper’s “Man With The Golden Gun” debacle by clicking on my story here:

https://johnrieber.com/2012/10/05/adele-skyfall-new-james-bond-theme-best-bond-themes-censored-bond-music/

You see, it might be an honor to record a Bond theme song, but that doesn’t mean it gets used!

007-Legends-logo

Radiohead Does 007! And Gets Whacked!

As always, it began on social media – after the release of the latest film, “SPECTRE” came this announcement from Radiohead’s lead singer:

Thom Yorke ✔@thomyorke
“Last year we were asked to write a tune for Bond movie Spectre. Yes we were”

And with that tweet, another chapter in the “censored” James Bond theme songs is written!

radiohead 007

Radiohead fans got the greatest Christmas present ever – the band released their “Spectre” theme song on SoundCloud – yes, Radiohead recorded a James Bond theme!

radiohead rejected james bond 007 song

Lead singer Thom Yorke announced on Twitter that Radiohead did “write a tune” for the latest film in the James Bond series, but it didn’t end up “working out”, according to him.

Fans flooded the internet with their versions of the film’s opening titles – with the Radiohead song – take a look!

Radiohead – SPECTRE Title Sequence [HD 720p] from Sketchy People on Vimeo.

Sam Smith was ultimately chosen to record the movie’s theme song, “Writing on the Wall,” which in my opinion is an AWFUL Bond song – it’s a ballad, not a theme song!

Sam Smith Spectre theme song

No disrespect to Sam, he did what he was told probably, but even “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” relegated their ballad to the middle of the film, NOT the theme song!

Yes, the love song from “OHMSS” by Louis Armstrong, “We’ve Got All The Time In The World” wasn’t used as the theme!


But I Need To Hear Them All!

Of course you do, but don’t worry! To help you decide the best and the worst Bond themes, here is a twelve minute compilation that includes ALL of them!

Let me know your personal best and worst Bond themes!



Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Classic Rock, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Great Films, London, Movies, Music, Obscure Movies, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, The Beatles, Uncategorized

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30 replies

  1. I’ve always liked All Time High, even though it’s definitely one of those Bond theme songs that has nothing to do with the film it was written for. 🙂 Live and Let Die is definitely one of the best and a perfect fit for the movie.

  2. Great tribute to the Bond movies.

  3. Cool Post, and great tribute, especially to the music, from the coolest franchise ever to the Big Screens!!

  4. I like pretty much all the themes to one extent or another but I do think a personal Top 5 for me would be You Know My Name by Chris Cornell, Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey, GoldenEye with Tina Turner, Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon and of course Live and Let Die by Macca.

  5. I’m happy to indulge my sensibilities for Bond 25. I thought they were looking for a new Bond because I thought Daniel Craig said so long. I like Craig in the role (except his suits are highwaters) so don’t mind. I’m thinking the next Bond will be black. Which would be cool.

  6. I absolutely hated writing on the wall as well! Was not enough to be a theme song at all, had no presence at all in my opinion! I really liked ‘You Know My Name’, thought that was a fantastic opening to Casino Royale!

    • Thanks for your comment – even if the Same Smith song was nice, it wasn’t a theme song – the good old day of bombastic theme songs like “Goldfinger” have been missing – but “You Know My Name” was in that vein or sure, and “Skyfall” captured the Shirley Bassey vibe as well…

      • Exactly like it was fine but didn’t have wnough ‘oomph’ to be a James Bond theme song! Yesss, like they all had such a big character about them. ‘Skyfall’ was brilliant and really caught the essence of the film! Shirley Bassey just set the bar so high, her James Bond theme songs will always be the best I think!

      • Totally agree – Tom Jones had big vocals as well, and I think McCartney gave it a rock’n’roll edge that made it more modern – and while the movie was bad, the “View To A Kill” theme was pretty entertaining as well! Pity the A-ha effort…

      • Yes exactly! Being Welsh makes me love Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey just that bit more hehe.

  7. Oh John, my worst nightmare. Bond films, and those dire ‘theme songs’. 🙂
    I am definitely missing the ‘Bond Gene’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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