Top 10 James Bond Theme Songs

When you think of the James Bond movie franchise, you think 007, action, sexy women, fast cars, guns and gadgets. But you also associate them with killer music. For this list, we’re excluding the main “James Bond Theme” since it’s the ultimate 007 tune and concentrating on the theme songs that came after its introduction in “Dr. No.” Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 James Bond Theme Songs. Special thanks to our users Noiel Spearman, Sam Ricketts, Ryan Breen, Ryan Jones, da Bunnyman, Tommy Carr, barllt and WolfC7 for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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These musical pieces are inextricably linked with 007. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 James Bond Theme Songs.

For this list, we’re excluding the main “James Bond Theme” since it’s the ultimate 007 tune and concentrating on the theme songs that came after its introduction in “Dr. No.”

#10: “You Only Live Twice”
Nancy Sinatra (1967)


Opening with a lush string arrangement, the theme to “You Only Live Twice” has Nancy Sinatra crooning along to contemplative lyrics and John Barry’s moody music. Though it’s essentially a pop song, it stands out thanks to its Asian flavors and haunting atmosphere. All these features and more have attracted multiple artists to cover it as well.

#9: “For Your Eyes Only”
Sheena Easton (1981)


Though it wouldn’t be the Scottish singer’s first or last taste of American success, this Bond song still earned her a top 10 hit in the U.S. and UK. Its ‘80s pop ballad sound so captured the Academy’s attention that it nabbed an Oscar nod for its efforts. Easton is also the first and only artist to date to appear in a Bond movie’s opening titles while singing the theme.

#8: “Die Another Day” (2002)
Madonna (2002)


This offering from the Queen of Pop may not have been well-received by all critics, but it still received Golden Globe and Grammy nominations for its fusion of pop, dance, new wave and electronic music with strings. By veering away from the sound conventionally associated with the Bond canon, “Die Another Day” helped give the film series a modern spin with its pounding beat and Madonna’s unique vocals – not to mention it was a worldwide hit.

#7: “Diamonds Are Forever”
Shirley Bassey (1971)


With its sexually suggestive lyrics, strings and horns, Shirley Bassey’s second venture into the world of Bond themes couldn’t be more fitting to the movie’s plot. The Welsh singer’s powerful vocals helped turn the song into a fan favorite and helped cement Bassey’s status as a significant figure in the movie franchise.

#6: “Nobody Does It Better”
Carly Simon (1977), The Spy Who Loved Me


While there have been numerous covers of the theme for “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “nobody does it better” than Carly Simon. The American singer-songwriter’s recording of the power ballad simply oozes sexiness and pleased the Academy so much it was given an Oscar nod. It reached the Billboard Hot 100’s second spot and later became one of Simon’s most well known tracks.

#5: “Skyfall”
Adele (2012)


By recalling the dark and dramatic musical ambiance refined by Shirley Bassey for earlier 007 films, this orchestral pop ballad is beautiful, haunting and oh-so-Bond. Thanks to Adele’s emotional and soulful vocals, the contributions of a 77-piece orchestra and production from Paul Epworth, “Skyfall” maintained a perfect balance between classic and contemporary. The top 10 hit was also the first Bond theme to win the Oscar for Best Original Song.

#4: “A View to a Kill”
Duran Duran (1985)


Mixing rock and new wave to evoke feelings of tension and excitement that are normally associated with spy films, Duran Duran crafted this 3-and-a-half minute number for the Bond film of the same name in 1985. Despite critics’ reservations about the band’s abilities to compose a tune appropriate for the franchise, “A View to a Kill” became the only Bond theme song to top the Billboard Hot 100.

#3: “Thunderball”
Tom Jones (1965)


Story goes that the Welsh crooner strained his vocal chords so much to hold this song’s final note that he lost consciousness. It was obviously worth it, because his version of the track won out over the renditions of several other artists. Backed by the John Barry orchestra, Tom Jones uses his hearty vocals to full melodramatic effect and nailed a Top 40 U.S. hit in the process.

#2: “Live and Let Die”
Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)


Starting off slowly with piano and Paul McCartney’s lead vocals, “Live and Let Die” quickly becomes a sonic blast of symphonic rock with the addition of keyboards, bass, guitar and drums. Featuring the writing talents of Macca and his late wife Linda, as well as production by Beatles’ producer George Martin, the exciting and unpredictable number became a top 10 hit and remains a McCartney live staple.

Honorable Mentions


“The Living Daylights” by A-ha, The Living Daylights (1987)
“You Know My Name” by Chris Cornell, Casino Royale (2006)
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” by John Barry, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
“GoldenEye” by Tina Turner, GoldenEye (1995)

#1: “Goldfinger”
Shirley Bassey (1964)


Is there any other song that so flawlessly captures the action, drama, mystique and intrigue of James Bond films than this? We think not. In less than three minutes, Dame Shirley Bassey and John Barry fashioned a big, brassy number that showed off her vocal chops while giving audiences a musical representation of the movie’s gold theme. “Goldfinger” also became Bassey’s only top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and was later honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame award.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite James Bond theme song? With new top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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