After months of anticipation, Adele finally dropped the epic-sounding “Skyfall,” the theme song of the upcoming James Bond movie of the same name.
Since 1962, there have been 22 James Bond movies, with 22 theme songs that accompanied each film. There are some incredible names on that list, including Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Louis Armstrong, Paul McCartney, Madonna and Alicia Keys.
Adele and her powerful single “Skyfall” are a fine addition to the list of James Bond theme songs. But where does it rank among the greats?
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We went back, listened to all 23 songs again and ranked our 10 favorite James Bond themes. Check it out below.
10. Adele “Skyfall” from Skyfall (2012)
Adele’s “Skyfall” was just released, however it has already made a lasting expression on us. Everything about this song is large, from Adele’s vocals to the 77-piece orchestra in the background.
9. Tom Jones – “Thunderball” from Thunderball (1965)
Legend has it that a number of singers submitted songs for the soundtrack, including Shirley Bassey (who already did the song for Goldfinger), Johnny Cash and Dionne Warwick. However producers chose the relatively new Tom Jones for the lead song. Good move.
8. Jack White & Alicia Keys – “Another Way to Die” from Quantum of Solace (2008)
The combination of Jack White and Alicia Keys might seem strange — well, actually it is strange. Doesn’t matter. How the song clashes and the diversity of the track is what makes “Another Way to Die” work so well. It’s also notable because it’s the first duet in the James Bond series.
7. Carly Simon – “Nobody Does It Better” from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Interesting fact: Carly Simon’s sultry “Nobody Does It Better” was the first James Bond theme song to not have the same name as the movie it accompanied.
6. Madonna – “Die Another Day” from Die Another Day (2002)
After years of stinky James Bond theme songs, the series got back on track with the release of Madonna’s modern day classic, “Die Another Day.” The song is much more modern than previous James Bond theme tunes, with the track having a electronic pop sound to it.
5. Nancy Sinatra – “You Only Live Twice” from You Only Live Twice. (1967)
Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice” is a little anticlimactic when you compare it to the other fantastic theme songs over the years (it’s really more of a balled than anything) but that doesn’t mean it’s not memorable.
4. Duran Duran – “A View To Kill” from A View to a Kill (1985)
A View to Kill is largely remembered as being one of the worst James Bond movies. However, the movie’s theme song of the same name is one of the most popular. To this day, it’s the only Bond song to hit Number One on the charts.
3. Shirley Bassey – “Goldfinger” from Goldfinger (1964)
Shirley Bassey’s “Diamonds are Forever” might be better known (scroll down) but Ms. Bassey also beasted on her first shot at creating a Bond anthem, 1964’s “Goldfinger.”
2. Paul McCartney & Wings – “Live and Let Die” from Live and Let Die (1973)
Paul McCartney’s iconic anthem literally has everything in it, from pop and rock portions to reggae elements. It’s a song that has stood the test of time, even getting a remake by Guns N’ Roses.
1. Shirley Bassey – “Diamonds are Forever” from Diamonds are Forever (1972)
There’s really no other choice for number one. No song makes you think Bond more than this 1972 classic. The song is so classic that Kanye West had to flip it 30 years later for his Late Registration track, “Diamonds from Sierra Leone.”
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