Bond Songs: What Makes Them Tick

Adele’s newest song (“Skyfall”) adds to the extensive library of Bond theme songs and has been notably well-received, delivering eargasms worldwide.

The James Bond movie franchise has always offered up some trademark styles, such as pairing the intro credits with the film’s theme song to create a music video of sorts.  And then there’s the whole “shoot-’em-through-the eye” thing.

Disclaimer:  I’m a casual fan of James Bond movies.  My all-time favorite Bond/movie is Daniel Craig/Casino Royale.  Cultured Bond film critics abhor my blasphemy.

The theme song is something I always look forward to, and I’m ecstatic that Adele did not disappoint.  In order to nail down what makes for a successful Bond song, I took a closer look at some of my favorites and made a simple guide.

Be Sexy

Garbage | “The World is Not Enough”

I read somewhere that James Bond has slept with 44 women since the first movie in 1962.  It’s not a statistic that Hugh Hefner would be proud of, but you get the point – Bond is a sex symbol who can’t turn down the charm, even when there’s a laser threatening to eviscerate his crotch.  Seductive tunes normally jive well with the 007 fan base, and Garbage’s Shirley Manson had no problem hatching the perfect sexy number for this film.  Plus the music video is pretty hott.

Be Haunting

Shirley Bassey | “Diamonds are Forever”

Without a doubt, Bond movies are always full of action, drinking, womanizing, and witticisms.  But underneath the surface schmoozing and bravado lies a darker truth:  Bond has killed men and lost just as many friends and lovers.  Not only that, but in most movies he somehow finds himself in life-or-death situations.  Murder and deception are reoccurring themes in the films, so it’s fitting to have a spooky song for the sometimes haunted title character.

Be True to Bond

Sheryl Crow | “Tomorrow Never Dies”

I’m not a fan of Sheryl Crow outside of this song, but maybe that’s because all her other music doesn’t sound like this.  Her effort on this track proved that you don’t have to posses an opera singer’s voice range to put together a kick-ass Bond song.  It strikes the perfect balance with its sexy instrumental and cool lyrics; any Bond song with the line “Martinis, girls, and guns” is doing right by 007.

Be Epic

Paul McCartney | “Live and Let Die”

How do you be epic, you ask?  Convince a living member of the Beatles, who also happens to be one of the greatest songwriters to ever walk the Earth, to to do the song.  Show him the movie, come back in 3 hours.  Now, try and imagine if “All You Need is Love” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” had a baby.  That baby would be this song.  E.P.I.C.

…And if You’re Bold, Reinvent a Classic

So I noticed that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo employed a very James Bond-esque opening sequence featuring a cover of Led Zepellin’s “Immigrant Song.”  It was less of a cover and more like a total reimagining by the soundtrack mastermind Trent Reznor and Karen-O.  I know this doesn’t fall under the realm of James Bond theme songs, but I post it here because (a) I thought it was really well done and (b) I believe a similarly-minded effort for a future Bond film could prove successful.  MP.

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4 thoughts on “Bond Songs: What Makes Them Tick

  1. The opening credits of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo were amazing

  2. LizP says:

    You know its successful when you instantly think -“Hey that song is from a James Bond movie!” You hit the mark on all of the above songs…

  3. Love your blog, in fact arrived by checking yahoo and google for a comparable issue to this post. Which means this might be a late post nevertheless keep up the great work.

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