Music ID: 007 themes

Photo above: Adele  photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Vogue US (March 2012)

Fashionable musicians, who fascinate us with their music and style.This week, the artists who give tunes to the agent who has a licance to thrill.

Text: Giota Dendrinou

This week is not like any other week. It’s a week dedicated to the British secret agent James Bond, due to the release of his new movie “Skyfall” here in Greece. So, everybody knows that an important part of a 007 movie is the theme song. The song is always anticipated with joy and curiosity about who is going to be the next artist to sing the soundtrack of the movie. During all these years, there have been 22 theme songs with a total of 80 million plays only in the UK.

Adele’s single Skyfall for the brand new movie comes to join the list of other beloved songs. The British songwriter, typically dressed in black, is a fan of the 50’s look with full skirts and classic black pumps.

Ιt all started with the well-known James Bond theme song by John Barry Orchestra, from the movie “Dr. No”, which was the first Bond movie back in 1962. However, a new research showed that this theme song is the least popular!

On the other hand, the most popular “Bond” theme was Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney & Wings from the same titled film of 1973, starring Roger Moore. What can we say about Paul McCartney? According to the Guinness World Records “the most successful composer and recording artist of all time”, gained a lot of fame with The Beatles and when the group split he formed Wings with his wife Linda and singer-songwriter Denny Laine. From the mod style he launched with the Beatles in the early 60’s until now, McCartney evolves his style always according to his age.

A few years earlier in 1967, Nancy Sinatra sang You only live twice for the movie with Sean Connery and it is considered one of the top James Bond theme songs. Nancy, daughter of Frank Sinatra, is best known for her song These Boots are made for walkin’ and her cover Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down), which was also featured in Tarantino’s “Kill Bill”. Nancy with her classic 60’s look, mod makeup and signature footwear is still an inspiration for contemporary artists, such as Lana Del Rey.

Another woman that is known for a several 007 theme songs is Shirley Bassey. “Goldfinger” (1964), “Diamonds are Forever” (1971) and “Moonraker” (1979) are the films for which she is responsible for the soundtrack. Kanye West’s Grammy-winning song Diamonds from Sierra Leone is based on Bassey’s song Diamonds are Forever, using an original sample with her voice.

In 1985, it was Duran Duran’s time to be tapped in collaboration for a 007 theme song. The movie, “A View to a Kill”, was the fourteenth film and Duran Duran with their classic 80’s style delivered an amazing song that is widely heard until today.

Madonna’s song for the movie “Die another day” ten years ago, received controversial criticism because, although it was considered one of the top James Bond tracks, the public didn’t like it that much. However, it’s one of the most popular 007 theme songs.

My personal favorite is Another Way to Die by Alicia Keys and Jack White for the movie “Quantum of Solace” in 2008. An unexpected collaboration that led to a great song, which is one of the most played. Jack White, known from his group White Stripes, is a talented American rock musician with a unique style, while Alicia Keys is an R&B singer with a lot of awards. Together, they made a powerful duo.

Unfortunately, we can’t refer to all James Bond classic theme songs because they are too many. This post is not enough. This was a list of the most popular, new or favorite songs, since the first one was released exactly 50 years ago. The only thing to hope is for another 50 years of James Bond movies and excellent music.