Ranking The James Bond Songs # 12 – 10

We’re at the point now in the list where I love all of the songs, and can’t find much to pick between any of their rankings.

12. Tomorrow Never Dies (from Tomorrow Never Dies) – Sheryl Crow

This has a terrific screechy, string-led intro, followed up by a melancholy verse with unusually strong lyrics. This one works extremely well as both a Bond song and a standalone. Crow is great during the verses, but her voice isn’t quite strong enough for what she tries to do in the chorus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BxTwJtpGYA

11. Diamonds Are Forever (from Diamonds Are Forever) – Shirley Bassey

I love the eerie, mysterious intro to this song, before the vocals kick in. It’s quite creepy and yet alluring. Bassey feels like she’s giving a lesson on diction in this one. It has a bit of Motown, a bit of jazz, a bit of disco, and all the requisite blasts of string and horn. All through the song, we get subtle changes yet the melodies ring true throughout along with Bassey’s great performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=098dHqw-87c

10. You Know My Name (from Casino Royale) – Chris Cornell

The first authentic rock track for a Bond film in quite some time, it also has a suitably bombastic opening. Cornell has long held one of the most unique voices in music and brings it to play here. It was a new start for Bond, and in many ways it doesn’t really sound like a Bond song. It has an up tempo chorus clashing well against a slower, more tempered verse. Aside from the occasional blast of horns this could really be a Cornell track entirely unrelated to 007. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnzgdBAKyJo

What does everyone think of these ones- any favourites? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 15 – 13

  15. All Time High (from Octopussy) – Rita Coolidge

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One of the cheesiest song openings of all time (and possibly one of the cheesiest songs in its entirety) with soft porn horns and dumping bass gives way to a genuinely good song, with touching melodies and a good verse and chorus combination. The vocals are a little grating in the chorus, so with a better singer and a stripping away of the 80s stuff, this could be a much more potent song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFurkDf6WXg

14. Moonraker (from Moonraker) – Shirley Bassey

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The least of the Bassey Bond songs, this is still a decent, full-bodied ballad. It lacks the memorable hooks or the powerful vocals of her other two tracks, but it does have a suitably otherworldly feel. Bassey, as expected reaches some sublime notes and though it’s a weightless, drifting melody it doesn’t have that wowza moment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt3oQN0cAv0

13. Goldeneye (from Goldeneye) – Tina Turner

Bringing Bond smashing into the 90s after an unfortunate hiatus was going to be a difficult job, but both the film and the theme do an admirable job. It sound(ed)s modern and refreshing while at the same time hitting all the Bond trademarks, and Turner gives a sexy performance, both seductive and explosive – some of those final notes are damn impressive. The chorus is a little unspectacular, but the backing strings are superb, and the verse blasts of horns are catchy, and good for making up your own lyrics – all together now – ‘Goldeneye, cuts through the hedges!’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hGQ97tCTOs

Any favourites in this bunch? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs #18 -16

18. The Living Daylights (from The Living Daylights) – A Ha
ahaWe’re getting into the better songs now. I tend to sway back and forth on this one a lot – it has plenty of unique and unusual moments that I enjoy, but I can’t truly rank it much higher than this. Terrific intro, amusing vocals which veer between terrible, brilliant, and silly. The verses aren’t great, but the pre-chorus and chorus are very good and catchy as hell. It has a ridiculous, sexy saxophone intrusion, and sounds both nothing like a Bond song, and exactly like a Bond song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXM4eIoPZUU

17. Under The Mango Tree (from Dr No) – Diana Copeland

Monty Norman’s missus provides this neat little ditty. It’s not much of a song, but it fits the Jamaican, Calypso feel of the original film. It will burn itself into your brain though, and if you ever find yourself sipping a cocktail on a beach, you’ll find yourself humming this one. It’s hard finding an actual copy of this on youtube, so here is a clip of Ursula emerging from the water in her bikini, singing the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViKzO5C7gwk

16. License To Kill (from License To Kill) – Gladys Knight

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This one begins brilliantly too, with a sultry swell followed up y some fine vocals. I’ve never understood the lack of appreciation this one gets – it’s not the slow burning ballad that the most famous themes are, but that’s a good thing – this is a massive step up in quality from Adele’s effort. It is overlong, but the main hook and chorus are quintessential Bond, and will get caught in your head for hours. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw8_LTu07Jo

What do you think of this trio? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 21 – 19

Hooray, onto the next group of Bond songs, and we’re still in the poor/worse than average category at the moment:

21. Another Way To Die (from Quantum Of Solace) – Jack White and Alicia Keys

This is another strange one which starts off strong and highlights the two performers’ strengths, but once the vocals start it falls apart, highlighting the two performers’ weaknesses. The verse and chorus sound so flat and weak after the bombastic intro – the more the song goes on, the more it’s clear that the singers and styles do not compliment each other and it turns into a complete mess which makes you wonder how either person has made a career. But there are good moments – very few, very sparse. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA6-B0GsqDU

20. Skyfall (from Skyfall) – Adele

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It seems to be a running theme – many artists have a strong intro, but then the song quickly descends into farce. I think this is because it’s in the intro that the original Bond theme and its descendants are recalled, then once the song properly begins, the mediocrity of the artist comes through. That’s certainly the case with Skyfall – a song so bland that, legend has it, it faded away into thin air after it was recorded and it took a team of warlocks and priests to come into the recording studio and cast incantations in order to bring it back to this reality. The song begins strongly, with sweeping orchestra interrupted by lonesome piano. Once Adele starts to warble we are reminded what a state the British music industry is in that she is deemed to be the shining light. She can sing, but so can any random drunk. The verses have a complete lack of melody, and the chorus a complete lack of emotion. The only other positive is the brief middle section ‘when the sky falls’ backing vocals section. Overlong, self-important, crap. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HKoqNJtMTQ

19. The World Is Not Enough (from The World Is Not Enough) – Garbage

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Probably the most bizarre pick of an artist for a Bond song – a band long past their sell by date, and one whose melodic grrrl power punk pop doesn’t seem to have anything to do with globe-trotting spies and metal toothed gigantor assassins. The song itself is fine, but just a little forgettable, abandoning everything that made Garbage interesting. The verses are crap, the chorus is fine, backed by lovely strings and brass which immediately evoke that Bond feeling. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8C5NLfYdZaE

Have I already covered one of your favourite Bond songs? Any guesses at which songs will make my top 3? Let us know in the comments section!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 23 -21

Lets get the rest of the junk out of the way.

23. From Russia With Love (from From Russia With Love) – Matt Monroe
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‘The best singer this country ever produced’ coming from one of the worst singers the same country ever produced, Frank Sinatra. This stinker has little or nothing to do with the film, the series, or music in general – it’s yet another deep-voiced crooner howling his way through meaningless words. Have you ever noticed how singers like this sound like really loud and obnoxious nose-blows? I imagine you haven’t. Before the vocals start this one is ok, and I do appreciate the little musical nods which recall the gypsy fight. Replace those vapid vocals with something good and this would be marginally better. Until then, here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scTDEj0yYUQ

22. Never Say Never Again (from Never Say Never Again) – Lani Hall

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A strange one, because it does have some genuinely good, or at least interesting moments. The ‘never, never’ refrain is catchy, and the verse vocals are suitably sultry but the more the vocals are stretched the more you realise what an awful singer Hall is. This is as over the place as the bastard film is, with strange shifts in tone and style, and none of it really comes together cohesively. Worth a laugh though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwm1H0dxAKY

21. Thunderball (from Thunderball) – Tom Jones

What is it with Welsh people and Bond songs? Come to think of it, where’s my Manic Street Preachers Bond song? This one isn’t a bad song, it’s the first of the okay songs. There isn’t really anything wrong with it, it just isn’t my bag. The final note Jones hits is both amazing and preposterous. It has a huge, epic opening and although the movie is poor, the song makes it feel like it’s going to be something much more exciting than slow motion underwater fisticuffs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAQ-nG0AlSg

Do you think any of these songs should be higher on the list? What are your favourite Bond songs? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking James Bond Songs # 25 -24

Greetings, Glancers, and welcome to the first post in my countdown of James Bond songs. While I feel that each Bond song (except for one) contains something worthwhile, and that there aren’t really (except for one) any bad songs, there are clearly ones which I feel are naff, others are simply meh, while a handful are excellent. As always, don’t forget to insult my choices in the comments and help me find the true path by enlightening me with what you feel the best (and worst) songs are.

25 – Die Another Day (from Die Another Day) – Madonna

 This thing. This monstrosity. Rarely has something so apocalyptically awful been wrought upon the ears of the honest movie going public as this not-song. Madonna had not been relevant since (the superb) Ray Of Light and felt that one of the longest lasting franchises in entertainment could be her way back. There aren’t enough swear words in human language to describe this turd – it’s the musical equivalent of eating yourself, ass-first. The only compliment I can give it is that it is a fitting noise for the worst film of the series, proving that faeces, like the T-1000, sucks in all other surrounding pieces of shit. I’m not even going to post a link to it, instead I’ll post a link to one of the worst things you’ll ever hear – it’s still infinitely better than Die Another Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW7xTz38eiA

24. We Have All The Time In The World (from On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) – Louis Armstrong

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A dirge by any other name is still a dirge, and this is one of the most overblown, overrated, viciously depressing scabs ever recorded. The opening 2 and a half seconds seem ok, but then it all goes wrong, like when you unwrap a gun for Christmas but blow your brains out trying to disengage the tag from the trigger. Held in high esteem by people I hold in low esteem, this is drivel source down to its lowest common denominator. You know what? I’m not going to link it either, instead here is another aural masterpiece by your’s truly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9Fpvcqy9AQ

Shocked by my picks of the two crappiest Bond songs? Let me know in the comments section below!

Ranking James Bond Songs

As the new James Bond movie Spectre is hitting our screens, most of you will have heard the accompanying song. Over the years, the James Bond song has become part of the 007 movie heritage, as much as the actor filling the role, as much as the villain and henchmen in each movie, as much as the ‘Bond Girl’. I’m a super-fan of the series, but I haven’t really posted much about my love for it on this blog. So, in this first series of posts I’m going to rank all of the songs from the series, from worst to best and later I may also rank the movies themselves, the Bond Girls, the villains etc etc. Fans will know that not every Bond film actually has a Bond song – I will be including Dr No, and I will be including both Never Say Never Again and Casino Royale 1967 even though those are outside of the main Bond movies. I’m keeping it to one song per movie too, the main title song (where applicable). Also, these are purely based on personal preference, not which is the most culturally influential or relatable to the series. For reference – here are the songs I’ll be covering and their associated movies:

Under The Mango Tree – Dr No

From Russia With Love – From Russia With Love

Goldfinger – Goldfinger

Thunderball – Thunderball

You Only Live Twice – You Only Live Twice

All The Time In The World – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Diamonds Are Forever – Diamonds Are Forever

Live And Let Die – Live And Let Die

Nobody Does It Better – The Spy Who Loved Me

Moonraker – Moonraker

For Your Eyes Only – For Your Eyes Only

All Time High – Octopussy

A View To A Kill – A View To A Kill

The Living Daylights – The Living Daylights

License To Kill – License To Kill

Goldeneye – Goldeneye

Tomorrow Never Dies – Tomorrow Never Dies

The World Is Not Enough – The World Is Not Enough

Die Another Day – Die Another Day

You Know My Name – Casino Royale

Another Way To Die – Quantum Of Solace

Skyfall – Skyfall

The Writing’s On The Wall – Spectre

The Look Of Love – Casino Royale 1967

Never Say Never Again – Never Say Never Again

The Man With The Golden Gun – The Man With The Golden Gun

Feel free to chime in now with what your favourite Bond song is – you can be sure that my ranking will have a few surprise choices both at the top and the bottom!

Desmond Wilkinson Llewelyn (12 September 1914 – 19 December 1999)

Desmond Llewelyn had an extraordinary life, deserving of any biopic or biography – born in a Welsh Mining family and eventually breaking into acting before joining the Army during WWII where he was captured and held as a POW for five years. Most will know him for his iconic performances as Q in the James Bond series, appearing in 17 films in the series from 1963 to 1999. Outside of his work as Q, Llewelyn appeared in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Lavender Hill Mob, and Follyfoot. All Bond fans love Llewelyn for his memorable performances and recognise him as an integral part of the series history and importance, and his passing has left a hole which may never be filled.

RIP

Feel free to share your thoughts and memories of Llewelyn in the comments section below.

You Only Live Twice: Bond does a dead, then a live, then gives some baddies a dead!

Jimmy Bond strikes back in the 10th Bombd film based around the notorious notion that Double No Seven is killed and returns as a SPECTRE. Rodegjer Waters takes time off from the stage to regain his perception of the British Super Agent Jamie Bond. This action sees our heroine take to the skies of Europe, namely China, as he tried to hunt down the celebrity mastermind known as Blojob. Baldy Job has being causing various mischieves and Miss Chiefs, and even the odd Misschievy around the land, namely Earth, for nigh-on 8 cycles, and The FBI have had enough and can’t stands no more. They send Bond to incubate Bobsleigh’s gang THE SPOOKS, who are majorly Asian. ME SO HORNY!. Of course, Sean Rogery is a Kiltsman and doesn’t have the Eastern face. He needs a Green Card to enter and so he takes a wife. His wife is promptly dead. He then does an angry and kicks some ninja children. He then does a despair and inserts a bullet into his skull mush via his PPP gun weapon. Q does a despair. Threepenny does a despair. It is despair. In an enlightening twist though, God (who owns the FBI as per Janis Ian) decides that James De Bond should get a rear entry and squirts him back to earth dressed in the skins of a China. Bon is now suitably disguised and can join the bad guys and take them down from the inside. He disc covers that Bloff has been conducting his terrors from the inside of a giant hurricane. He has a bridge in his hurricane which opens and whoever was standing on it falls into a pool of lava where sharks are swimming, and the sharks shoot acid covered piranha snakes at them. That was a good bit, and quite excitement! Anyhoo, Bond (with the help of his Little Willy) evacuates into the hurricane with a bunch of Samuria, cuts up the place, stops a rocket from crashing into the sea and making a thing happen, and he finally gets his hands on Bowlfull. I won’t ruin the ending, but basically everything happens and the film ends. This is likely to be my most favourite Blonde film out of all of off them, and it is in my top ten too! 11 points!

Best Scene. When Bond is applying himself onto his wife who doesn’t want none of it, so he turns her round and puts his poison all over her mouth and/or lips. She dies and he quips ‘Sorry love’. Ha!

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Yesh

From Russia With Love

From Russia With Love

Another dark outing for Connery, FRWL sees Bond lured by SPECTRE into their territory as revenge for his interference with Dr. No. Along for the ride is Donald Grant (The cooly ruthless Shaw) who is not what he seems. Naturally Bond realises what is happening just in time and, in a brilliant fight sequence (one of the best in the series) he takes one Grant, who may be his match in every way. However, SPECTRE will not give up so easily and will stop at nothing to make the Secret Agent pay.

This has probably one of the best scripts for a Bond film, full of twists and surprises, not pandering to any audience, and before the time when every Bond film had to have very certain themes planted into it. It seems like a thriller with strong action elements, rather than an action with strong comic elements as the series would progress to, but unfortunately the film is not as good as it should have been. The Bond girls are instantly forgettable, the theme song is awful, and there are few good set pieces. What lifts it though is Rosa Klebb (another strong performance, by Lotte Lenya), helped by a couple of shoe gadgets, and the pre-title sequence which, although not one of the best, would continue in all following Bond movies. The introduction of Q, rather than Boothroyd sparks the beginning of Bond’s use of gadgets and another good relationship in the films. Not memorable enough, difficult when Goldfinger was next, but scores points for being gritty and realistic.

This DVD has a wonderful restoration job in terms of sound and picture quality, making the film seem like a modern action flick. The extras include interviews and commentaries, and are equally as interesting as each other in the series.

As always, leave your comments on the movie and the review- is this one of the more underrated Bond films? Where does in place in your Bond list? Don’t forget to check out my other Bond reviews in the DVD section.