50 Years of James Bond – My pick of the best and worst theme songs

It’s kinda hard to believe that the James Bond franchise is 50 years old. Starting way back in 1962 with Dr. No starring Sean Connery, and Skyfall, the latest in the series starring Daniel Craig, which is about to hit cinemas across the globe.

While it’s great fun looking back over the years at all the different exotic cars, stunning girls, evil villains, high-tech gadgets and actors who played the Bond character, another fascinating aspect of the franchise are the memorable theme songs that characterise every film. From the original Dr. No by James Barry & Orchestra to Adele’s Skyfall, I’m sure everyone has their own personal favourite.

Here follows my personal selection of opening title sequence themes, in descending order of preference:

1. Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey, from Goldfinger, 1964

2. Live And Let Die by Paul McCartney & Wings, from Live And Let Die, 1973

3. For Your Eyes Only by Sheena Easton, from For Your Eyes Only, 1981

4. Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon, from The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977

5. Diamonds Are Forever by Shirley Bassey, from Diamonds Are Forever, 1971

And who can forget that scene from Dr. No with Ursula Andress’s character Honey Ryder emerging from the sea in a white bikini. A real classic piece of cinema history. And what better way to remember it, than to Under The Mango Tree by Diana Coupland:

A special shout out needs to go to the only duet from a James Bond film, Another Way to Die by Jack White & Alicia Keys. However it’s a real pity it came from one of the worst Bond films in my opinion, Quantum Of Solace, and starring my least favorite Bond, Daniel Craig.

To round off, the worst choice for a Bond film has to go to Madonna’s Die Another Day from the 2002 film starring Pierce Brosnan. Don’t get me wrong, the song is good, but it just does not sit well with the whole Bond theme somehow. So I’m not gonna bother with a video clip either…