Friday, 12 October 2012

Friday Five: Bond Themes

The new James Bond theme is sung by Adele. Now, I've got nothing against Adele. I think she has a great voice, although I don't really like her songs. Teeange angst used to embarrass me even when I was a teenager suffering from it myself. Now it amuses and annoys me in equal measure.

I hate those earnest unrequited love songs (usually sung by women) about how you're yearning forever and he should be so sorry because he doesn't know what he's missing. Yes, he does. 'I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited'? Well, don't, then; he doesn't want you there. 'Without me, his world would go on turning.' Yes, it would. And it does. Stop making a fool of yourself. Get angry; do something about it; and for God's sake, stop whining!

I digress.

The James Bond Theme is not something to be taken lightly. It has a rich pedigree. This is average. It's not as bad as A-ha (shudder) but I don't think it rates among the greats. It has the necessary swooping orchestration and the stand-out powerful voice, but the tempo is constant (and dull), the lyrics are weak and the sex-appeal is entirely absent.

I'm not including the great James Bond Theme from Dr No (1962) in this list, as it is purely about the songs. Nor am I including Another Way to Die from Quantum of Solace (2008) because, although it's a fine song, I don't think it fits as a James Bond theme tune. There are several honourable mentions, and Duran Duran's A View to a Kill would have been sixth with their 80s twist on the classic form, but I set these rules, so I should stick to them.

The 5 Best James Bond Theme Tunes:
  1. Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). Indeed. Quintessential Bond. So good.
  2. Goldfinger by Dame Shirley Bassey from Goldfinger (1964) - Any of DSB's tracks could be in here (Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever) but this has to be the best. That voice!
  3. Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings from Live and Let Die (1973) - Fabulous tension and drama in this song not to mention groovy backing vocals.
  4. Thunderball by Tom Jones from Thunderball (1965) - yet another great composition by John Barry, who seems to be pretty good at this writing sterling theme tunes business.
  5. The World is Not Enough by Garbage from The World is Not Enough (1999) - just to prove that there has been a good title track since the seventies, although I'm still waiting for one in this century...

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