As obvious as the soundtrack and title song may seem to any film's success, these are key elements that establish the mood of any great Bond film. Since I first watched Bond films as a child, I can vividly remember the excitement that a great title song created and the ways that a stellar soundtrack sustained the excitement. Adele's "Skyfall," the title song (co-written with Paul Epworth), won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, which was a first for a Bond movie song. Many compared "Skyfall" with previous Bond classics like "Goldfinger" (Shirley Bassey), "Live and Let Die" (Paul McCartney & Wings), and "Nobody Does It Better" (Carly Simon) and liked how it allowed them to forget less-successful offerings like "Die Another Day" (Madonna), "You Know My Name" (Chris Cornell), and "Another Way to Die" (Jack White & Alicia Keys). Again, like a lot of elements in Bond films, there's a great degree of subjectivity involved in any rating, but "Skyfall" stands out for Adele's talent as a vocalist and for the sense of drama that the song conveysno doubt due to the skillful orchestration of J. A. C. Redford. Reportedly, Daniel Craig was so moved by a demo recording of it that he shed a tear. For more on the best and worst Bond songs, see Mike Reyes in WhatCulture! James Bond: Ranking The Theme Songs From Worst To Best and Michael Dunaway's "The Graded, Ranked, and Non-Negotiable Guide to Every Bond Song" in The Atlantic. In addition to the award-winning title song, we have the score from Thomas Newman who has been nominated for eleven Academy Awards and who scored Skyfall director Sam Mendes' film American Beauty and his outstanding Revolutionary Road. So, as we await Bond 24, we can only hope that we will get another winner in the title song and the score as we did with Adele and Thomas Newman's work on Skyfall. Update: There is a rumour that Daniel Craig asked Adele to return and perform the title song for Bond 24, so we will have to wait and see what happens.
Scott A. Lukas has taught anthropology and sociology Lake Tahoe Community College for sixteen years and in 2013 was Visiting Professor of American Studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany. He has been recognized with the McGraw-Hill Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology by the American Anthropological Association (2005), the California Hayward Award for Excellence in Education (2003), and a Sierra Arts Foundation Artist Grant Program Award in Literary–Professional (2009). In 2006, he was a nominee to the California Community College Board of Governors. He is the author/editor of The Immersive Worlds Handbook (2012), Theme Park (2008), The Themed Space: Locating Culture, Nature, and Self (2007), Fear, Cultural Anxiety, and Transformation: Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Films Remade, (co-edited with John Marmysz, 2009), Recent Developments in Criminological Theory (co-edited with Stuart Henry, 2009), and Strategies in Teaching Anthropology (2010). His book Theme Park was recently translated into Arabic. He appeared in the documentary The Nature of Existence and has provided interviews for To the Best of Our Knowledge, The Huffington Post UK, The Daily Beast, The Washington Post, and Caravan (India).