Wednesday, November 07, 2007

TTT: James Bond Songs

Today was a crazy DVD day with new releases: Ratatouille, Sicko, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry; complete series like Seinfeld, Gilligans Island and Full House (yes someone somewhere will buy 8... 8! seasons of that); special edition of Chinatown; and collections of Bob Hope and the Coen Bros (not together --what a mindf*** that'd be)... but for reasons I can't quite explain even to myself the only one I've been thinking about is the James Bond Collection. All of them, the official ones at least.

Like most living breathing sentient beings I enjoyed last year's great franchise defribulator Casino Royale. There was so much to enjoy: Daniel Craig in a speedo, Eva Green all bewitching, Daniel Craig in closeup, high energy gritty stuntwork, Daniel Craig naked. But one thing I did not enjoy was the theme song. I'm of the opinion that the perfect opening credit balance to the patented two following hours of Bond's unique machismo is tough chicks doing the theme songs. So since I have Bond on the brain...

Top Ten Bond Songs

10 Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill" Not technically girl singers but Nick Rhodes and John Taylor sure were pretty weren't they? Does anyone out there remember Taylor's 9 1/2 Weeks song "I Do What I Do (To Have You)"? num-num
09 Rita Coolidge "All Time High" I loved Octopussy as a kid. Forgive me



08 (to the right above) Tina Turner's "Goldeneye" -I wasn't a huge fan at the time but it stuck. And Tina was an ideal choice for a Bond singer. I always wish that she'd made more movies --loved her in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome
07 (to the left above) Madonna's "Die Another Day" She's not kidding. Like an energizer bunny that one.
06 Sheena Easton "For Your Eyes Only" (below, left) cheesy dated power ballads have a treasured place in the Bond world
05 Garbage "The World is Not Enough" (below, right)


04 Paul Mccartney "Live and Let Die" The highest ranking Bond guy song
03 & 02 (to the left below) Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger" and "Diamonds are Forever" the Bond girl singer
01 (to the right below) Carly Simon's "Nobody Does it Better" To paraphrase Sandra Bernhard --and I don't think she'd mind since given her Carly referencing in other monologues -- 'no one speaks of Carly Simon anymore and that truly saddens me'

25 comments:

adam k. said...

Hmm.

I liked the Casino Royale song.

c.p. iñor said...

Garbage's is my favorite.

I just love Shirley Manson's voice... and she looks reaaaaally sexy in Androgyny.

c.p. iñor said...

and well, in that video too...

Joel said...

I hated Die Another Day (both the film and the theme song) but more importantly...

Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair?? Are you teasing me or did it actually come out?

Agustin said...

casino royales song is among the top in my ranking

pawlik said...

What about Sheryl?
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_K-sE8gy4c)

I'd put Garbage on the top plus I also liked the Casino Royale song

Rural Juror said...

Agreed on all but...Madonna. Not a good song.

Neither was Sheryl Crow. They should have used the kd lang song instead for TND

NATHANIEL R said...

joel --sorry about the kill bill gaffe. I blame COMING SOON that listed it.

speaking of which. does anyone know what the best reliable site is for DVD release information. seems these things are highly volatile in terms of release dates and lots of sites seem to have misleading info

zelig said...

come on!!! You only live twice! The man with the golden gun!
We have all the time in the World, by Louis Armstrong - by far the best bond song ever!!!
And I believe that The Look of Love (from the other Casino Royale) should be included.

Deborah said...

So, in my book, I do a lot of surveys. And obviously, fans disagree about everything; one person's favorite film is another's most hated. But you can, with a large enough sampling, get a good understanding of fan consensus about films, actors, villains, etc.

Not so with songs. Opinions about songs are almost entirely random. I mean, most people put The Man with the Golden Gun at or near the bottom, but a commenter here just gave it some love!

I thought "You Know My Name" was weak and mediocre. It was an okay, so-what sort of song.

My top Bond songs:

1. GoldenEye
2. Goldfinger
3. A View to a Kill
4. Live and Let Die
5. Nobody Does it Better

To my mind, these are all undisputably great.

goatdog said...

I really love Tom Jones singing "Thunderball," even though I'm not going to defend the song itself--his interpretation was great. (And Wikipedia says that Johnny Cash recorded a version that they decided not to use. Now that would be a different feel for the Bond franchise.)

SusanP said...

I absolutely agree with your number one pick. I used to listen to that song over and over (and over...)

Andy Scott said...

Yay. "Nobody Does it Better" is my favorite Bond song, too.

And have you tried dvdactive.com? It's a pretty reliable source for DVD info.

ModFab said...

Love you madly, as you know. But I can't go with you on this list. You've left out some brilliant tunes: Nancy Sinatra's immortal "You Only Live Twice", Shirley Bassey's over-the-top "Moonraker", Lulu's "The Man With The Golden Gun", Sheryl Crow's "Tomorrow Never Dies" (and k.d. lang's closing credits!), and Matt Munro's stellar "From Russia With Love".

I think the Rita Coolidge and Carly Simon tracks are totally FM-lite, lacking serious energy and verve necessary for a Bond theme. Madonna (yeah I said it) phoned hers in. But at least we do agree on one thing: the theme to CASINO ROYALE was the weakest thing about that otherwise splendid movie.

mikadzuki said...

"A View to a Kill" reigns supreme for me.

Or maybe I just like it that much because I subconsciously associate that title with the awesome Christopher Walken.

Stephen G said...

Nobody Does it Better is my absolute fave too. Good to see Ms Bassey right up there. I would've moved Tina Turner a bit higher. The best thing about that movie (not saying much), but she was born to belt out a Bond theme.

Piper said...

What? No love for The Living Daylights by A-Ha? Come on.

Arkaan said...

I love the Casino Royale theme song. It worked beautifully with the credits and set the tone for a really good movie.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Tomorrow Never Dies is my favourite Bond song by far (and I am by no means a Sheryl Crow fan). The Shirley Basseys are of course classics, and I do like Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough.

On the other hand, while I think Casino Royale was better than most of those films, that theme song was an abortion.

thombeau said...

Shirley Bassey is the ULTIMATE Bond singer!

I wish they would have Goldfrapp do a theme song, they're MADE for such things. Ah, well...

Kenneth Walsh said...

You're so right about "Nobody Does It Better."

Have you ever heard the original "For Your Eyes Only" theme song by Blondie? Chris Stein and Debbie Harry wrote the song only to find out the producers wanted Deb to sing the one they already had. While I like Sheena Easton's song just fine, Blondie's does not seem dated at all 25 years later, which is something you cannot say about most of these ...

Catherine Cantieri said...

The first couple of times I saw Casino Royale, I didn't like "You Know My Name." But now that I've watched the DVD another half-dozen times, it's really grown on me. It's got all the trademarks of a Bond classic: the bombastic horn section, the flagrant use of half-steps, and a soaring alto voice. Plus, it's got some good *lyrics*:
I've seen angels fall from blinding heights
But you yourself are nothing so divine
Just next in line

I'm on Team Cornell for this one!

steve said...

I'm totally on board with "Die Another Day" until that disastrous chorus kicks in. The rest is fierce, though.

NATHANIEL R said...

kenneth i have never heard that version no. must hunt for it now...

catherine that is a cool lyric. maybe i just hate his voice... and thus the song?

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