For 50 years James Bond has graced cinema screens across the globe, bringing his brand of charm, destruction, and wit to several generations of movie goers. Everyone has their favorite Bond, and as sure as they pick Sean Connery over Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton over Pierce Brosnan, or George Lazenby for the win; everyone has a favorite Bond theme song.
23 films, 23 memorable openings that set the tone for the films that came after them. Some were arguably better than the films they accompanied, and some were arguably forgettable or mediocre at best. (And some were “Die Another Day”, which will never be mentioned again in this list.) These are the 10 best Bond themes that left us humming our way out of the theater, and may have gotten us a weird look or two.
10. Nobody Does It Better (from “The Spy Who Loved Me”) – Carly Simon
At face value, Carly Simon is one of those singer/songwriters that doesn’t exactly scream “James Bond”. (Especially if one were to recall a certain song about an unnamed Hollywood celebrity that did her wrong.) Nevertheless, Simon’s acidic lyrics were not present and instead we were treated to a love ballad proclaiming that 007 was indeed the best of all lovers and protectors.
One of the more easy going openings to a Bond film, the song eschewed action and tension for a rather tender prelude to a film about a shipping magnate’s quest to spark a world war. Not to mention, it introduced a man with metal teeth who would menace James Bond in not only one, but two separate outings. Somehow though, it works; and it’s a song that has been used in multiple tributes to the Bond legacy. Listeners are advised to stick with the Carly Simon title sequence version and avoid the rather campy reprise at the end of the film. Unless, of course, the listener is seeking out a quick laugh. (Marvin Hamlisch, what hath thou wrought?!)
Fun fact: this is the second James Bond title song to be nominated for a Best Song Oscar. The first?
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