I saw Quantum of Solace over the weekend, and needless to say I've been thinking about Bond a lot. Here are my Top 5 Bond Songs:
- Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey
Perfection. Everything works together brilliantly. Shirley's sultry voice, the golden girl, and a thrilling song. Every other title sequence should aspire to match it.
- Diamonds Are Forever - Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey was made to sing Bond songs. Her style is ideally suited to the nature of the films. This song is classic. Seriously, who hasn't heard it forever? And what girl doesn't know that men are fickle, but a diamond is forever? Shirley lays it out gorgeously. Though it is perhaps the best song, it comes in at number 2 only because of the lameness of the titles.
- Live and Let Die - Paul McCartney
- You Know My Name - Chris Cornell
- The World Is Not Enough - Garbage
I'm not a fan of any of the Pierce Brosnan Bond songs except this one. It is definitely a throwback to the classic Bond songs while managing to be it's own song and not merely pastiche. You can almost imagine Shirley Bassey singing it (not to say Shirley Manson does anything less than beautiful job). The titles themselves are typical of Bond (the silhouettes, the colors), but they take a backseat to the song.
This Bond song probably is the best stand-alone song. There may even be those who either don't connect it with the film or who don't even know it's a Bond song. It works in context too though. It revamped the nature of the Bond song, and yet stayed so true to it. While the title sequence is less than stellar, it's got writhing ladies and fire. what else do you need?
As far as title sequences go, this is by far my favorite. The way the card suits and poker tables are combined with the gunfire and fist fighting is brilliant. Literally brilliant. Did this win any awards? It should have. And Cornell's song is totally in step with the new direction of the Bond films. Like the new Bond, it has a bit of an edge, it's less polished. And it perfectly suits the title sequence. Slightly forgettable? maybe, but as you're watching it, it is amazing.
Who doesn't love Tom Jones?
Notice that nowhere EVEN CLOSE to my list is the odd Jack White/Alicia Keys "Another Way to Die." It's not the greatest song to begin with, LET ALONE a good Bond song. In the context of the opening sequence, the first chords worked but then it just lost it. I remember thinking it wasn't working as I was watching it. Now, that's never good, is it? Chris Cornell's was a little forgettable (because it didn't share the title of the film perhaps?), but it was perfectly executed in context. Hopefully Cornell's return to form won't be a fluke (cause let's face it, most of the recent ones have been pretty forgettable).
This list was partially inspired by a top 5 Bond girls list by my good friend over at The Lish List. check it out.