Best Song – 1981

Official Nominations: Arthur’s Theme. Endless Love. The First Time It Happens. For Your Eyes Only. One More Hour.

Arthur’s Theme (from Arthur) was the official winner this year. It’s a film I randomly watched in my early teens or pre-teens for some reason, and I remember enjoying it. I can’t say I’ve ever had the desire to watch it again, but I do remember laughing quite a bit and must watch again to see why. You won’t know it by that name, but you probably know the song. Your mum definitely does. It’s the one with the line ‘when you get caught between the moon and New York City’. Know it now? It’s a song I’ve always liked, though listening again now the vocal performance is poor and it doesn’t have the best production – everything is too faint. Endless Love is one you and your mother will know – it’s another massive hit song from an 80s movie. Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross creating one of the most famous and enduring duets of all time. I don’t know what it is about ballads – every part of my psyche and self says I should hate them, being such a cynical jerk with a tendency towards the dark side, but there you go. This is pure cheese, but it feels real and honest, and so I love it. It’s not my winner though.

For Your Eyes Only gets my vote, one of my top five Bond songs, from one of my top five Bond films. I can still be critical of it – I wish it was performed by a better singer than Easton, but there’s no taking away from how much I love it. The First Time It Happens is from The Great Muppet Caper which would usually be enough for me to pick it as winner – but it’s not very good. It’s okay for a first time novelty listen, or it works within the movie, but listening to those voices by choice is a no-no. It’s also a terrible throwback to all those old movie songs I despise – choral voices – bet you didn’t think I’d talk about those again, did you? Ragtime’s One More Hour is actually quite nice too – I like the piano intro, I like the purity of the vocals, I like how it doesn’t go full ragtime style, though the strings (for a change) don’t really work for me.

My Winner: For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only (song) - Wikipedia

My Nominations: For Your Eyes Only. Arthur’s Team. Endless Love. Heavy Metal (Takin’ A Ride). Open Arms. Dream Away.

The three main ones make it to my list. I want to nominate a Disney song, but their offerings from The Fox And The Hound aren’t great. Still, I’ll add Best Of Friends for its message and charm, even if it is a dreadful vocal performance – there’s potential for a much better singer to make this great. Take your pick from the Heavy Metal soundtrack – a mixture of cheesy 80s metal songs that aren’t quite the sissy stuff that the genre would descend into later in the decade. I pick Takin A Ride over the title track and we have to add Open Arms in there too as one of the best Power Ballads ever. People forget that it started out as a (not quite) metal/rock song given its popularity with pop singers.

George Harrison gets a solo nomination for his song for Time Bandits – a strange, synthy, chanting song with Beatles-esque melodies and a catchy, nonsensical chorus.

My Winner: For Your Eyes Only

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 6 – 4

6. The Man With The Golden Gun (from The Man With The Golden Gun) – Lulu

Most people hate this one with a passion, but it’s easily one of the most catchy, fun, energetic Bond songs. It’s funky with a rock and disco manic edge, great guitars, a blistering performance by Lulu. We even get a bizarre, soft, slow brief break in the middle where Lulu does a Bassey for a few moments. I’ve never quite understood why people, or so many people despise this – it hits all the right notes in my ears. I love love love each ‘golden shot’ that she sings, great stuff.

5. For Your Eyes Only (from For Your Eyes Only) – Sheena Easton

sheena easton-4UReyesonly

I’ve always had a soft spot for this one, partly because it’s from one of my favourite films in the series, and partly because I’m a sucker for ballads. It may get awfully cheesy, but it still does the job for me. This one also gets deathly close to being dated due to the instrumentation. But it’s just so lovely and so tragic. The film begins with Bond visiting the grave of his dead wife, we see one of the series’ most brutal killers dispatch a number of other likeable characters, and a rare somber turn by Moore. I love the verse and bridge, but I feel the chorus vocals could have been reined in a little, or would be better with a different singer. I’d love to hear some covers of this – I’m sure I’d love it even more if sung by one of my favourite singers.

4. Nobody Does It Better (from The Spy Who Loved Me) – Carly Simon

Beginning like a forgotten ballad by Queen, Simon again may not have been the best choice to perform this, but aside from that it’s a superb song and close to stealing that definitive Bond song crown. Naturally Radiohead’s version is better, but the song itself it so good that you’d be hard pushed to find a bad version of it. Again it’s super sexy, I love the combination of piano and violin, and it’s one of the few Bond songs that doesn’t have the typical blasts of string and horn – and doesn’t miss them for a second. Radiohead bonus:

Let us know below what you think of these Bond songs as I rarely see two of these in other lists of favourites.

For Your Eyes Only

For Your Eyes Only

Roger Moore is always seen as the ‘funny’ or slapstick Bond, as his films featured even more preposterous situations than usual and the overall tone is not as serious as Connery or Dalton’s. However, Moore’s films are the one’s I remember most vividly from childhood as they had the best gadgets and bad guys like Jaws and Baron Samedi. So it is strange then that this film should be one of my favourites, as it is low on gadgets and memorable bad guys.

After the space capering of Moonraker, this was advertised as Bond’s return to earth, dealing with more serious subjects and is darker than usual. It takes us back to the early days and themes of Bond. Bond visits the grave of his dead wife during the start of the movie, setting the tone, but also showing us that the Secret Agent will always be haunted by the past, and will never be at peace. Aside from the main plot of Bond trying to race the Soviets to the possession of a powerful device capable of messing with submarines (i think), we have a joint revenge tale. Melina (played brilliantly by Carole Bouquet) is in search of those who killed her parents, the same people who want ‘the device’, while Bond is on a quest for the psychotic ‘Dove’ assassin who kills a fellow agent, and one of Bond’s women-Lisle (played by Pierce Brosnan’s wife at the time, Cassandra Harris). Harris would tragically die before Brosnan picked up the Walther. The scene in which Bond kills the Dove is dually one of the most ruthless and satisfying deaths in any Bond film, and Moore plays the scene with great skill.

Another reason for my enjoyment of the film, and ironically this is a central reason for why many dislike it, is the inclusion of Bibi Dahl. The character may be pointless, but Johnson plays it perfectly, making both Bond and the audience cringe. Plus she is one of the most attractive Bond girls…Topol is charismatic, the one-liners do not get in the way of the film or make us turn away in shame like those in Die another Day, and the stunts and car chases are simple but outstanding, refusing to resort to an over-abundance of gadgets. For Your Eyes Only then is the most Connery-like Moore film, is often bleak and full of anger, but because of the emotional content is one of the best Bond films for involving the audience.

The DVD as with the rest of the series has perfect sound and picture quality, contains all the extras from the special edition as well as new ones- deleted scenes, documentaries etc.

Feel free to comment on the movie and my review- do I give it too much credit or do you agree? Check out my other Bond reviews in the DVD section too!