60-Minute Music Mondays: James Bond Themes

Welcome to 60-Minute Music Mondays! Every Monday, Rich and Mike will compile an interesting 60-minute playlist on Spotify, each week based on a different theme. You never know what you may find on each week’s playlist!

This week’s theme: Rich Presents James Bond Themes.

Rich’s birthday continues into this edition of the 60-Minute Music Monday weekly playlist series. Rich is a huge fan of the 007 movies, so why not a playlist with all of the Bond themes throughout the years? (Yes, we took liberties with 60-minutes but it’s for Rich’s birthday!)

Rich’s Top Five Bond themes:

  1. “Goldfinger” — Shirley Bassey hit a grand slam on this one. This classic Bond theme is the most recognizable, the most sung to at karaoke parties, and the most parodied. (Max Power, anyone?) There’s a reason why. It’s that damn good. Its iconic, and sets the lure perfectly for audiences to be wary of one of the best villains in the series, Auric Goldfinger.
  2. “Nobody Does It Better” — Not only does it perfectly relate to the love angle of “The Spy Who Loved Me”, it’s separately a great and genuine love song on its own. It’s rare that a Bond theme can handle both responsibilities well, but Carly Simon pulled it off.
  3. “You Only Live Twice” — Nancy Sinatra combines the opening storyline of this 007 outing with a seductive voice to make one of the most pleasant Bond theme songs, also used brilliantly in Season 5 of Mad Men.
  4. “Skyfall” — A story where Bond must go through existential questions and where personal loss is inevitable for Bond required a powerful and haunting theme song. Adele’s performance is nothing short of amazing, and sets the stage for a struggle for Bond’s outing in Skyfall.
  5. “You Know My Name” — Many people forget, but the early 2000s was a time of crisis for the Bond franchise. Was 007 even going to remain relevant after films like The Bourne Identity demanded more grittiness, realism, and modern themes? Chris Cornell aided in the reboot of James Bond with this rock theme. It’s bold and it reminds us what kind of man Bond is (“the coldest blood runs through my veins / you know my name…”). I love this theme.

Three Themes That Needed More Shaking:

  • “Another Way to Die” — It’s a shame, because I like the idea of Jack White and Alicia Keys working together on a theme song. However, this song misfires completely. I don’t enjoy the odd pacing of the song. Also, the fact the song does not help explain what “Quantum of Solace” is doesn’t help. A lot of wasted potential on this one.
  • “Tomorrow Never Dies” — Meh. It’s just not memorable to me. Maybe it’s because I’m not a big fan of Sheryl Crow’s music, but this theme song left me empty and emotionless.
  • “The Man With The Golden Gun” — I have to admit, this theme is so bad, I actually like it now. But objectively, yes, this is a bad theme. Simplistic rhyming and a poor Shirley Bassey imitation does not make a good Bond theme. There’s even a point in the song where Lulu just gives up: “His eye may be on you or me; Who will he bang? / ….we shall see!!!” Really?

Four Hidden Gems That You Need To Hear Again:

  • “A View To A Kill” — Duran Duran is a great band, and they put together a great 80s Bond theme song here. However, it’s for one of the lesser-rated outings in the franchise, so I think people tend to forget about this one. Typical case of “Good Song, Bad Movie” unfortunately.
  • “The Living Daylights” — a-ha cashed in at the height of their New Wave popularity to do a Bond theme and it’s actually a good song. There’s some New Wave vibes in the song, but the classic orchestra is still prominent. A good blending of the two styles with decent lyrics… I don’t know why people forget about this solid Bond theme.
  • “Licence to Kill” — It’s Gladys Knight and I love her voice in this song. She lets the dramatic vibe exceed peak multitudes in this Bond theme, but makes it work. The lyrics relate to the movie, and there’s a classic orchestra-led riff that serves as a cue to start and end the song. I personally enjoy this Bond theme.
  • “The World Is Not Enough” — The band name Garbage is so full of 90s punk, but they put together a very good Bond theme for TWINE. The lyrics are actually relevant to the movie (“There’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive” is a key line in the film, Garbage worked it into the song as well) and the theme is appropriately dramatic for a Bond movie. This theme definitely doesn’t get enough recognition.

Thanks for listening to our 60-Minute Music Mondays!

Rich Liebig (489 Posts)

Rich first became addicted to radio when he became a DJ on WEXP, La Salle University Radio, co-hosting the afternoon talk program "The Rich & Dubie Show." During his last year at college, he became Intern Pitchuation for the "Preston & Steve" morning show on 93.3 WMMR. Today, he continues to work at WMMR as part of their Promotions Team. With "The Crispy Noodle Podcast," Rich wants to provide the most entertainment and obscure movie quotes that he can jam-pack into a 2-hour podcast. He enjoys researching odd news, following Philadelphia sports teams, eating well-made coleslaw, and trying to hit a tiny golf ball as straight as possible.

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