Ranking The James Bond Songs # 3 -1

3. A View To A Kill (from A View To A Kill) – Duran Duran

Glorious stuff, 80s transcended, and probably the band’s best song. This one has the Bond blasts, a fast, rock oriented sound, and most importantly it has the melodies. The video is good fun too. I see that I’m picking a lot of Roger Moore film songs in the top end of the list, but then I grew up in the Moore era and many of his films my favourites. This one is super catchy and evokes plenty of moments from the film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV4UqmbzIq4

2. Live And Let Die (from Live And Let Die) – Paul McCartney and Wings

Moore again, and McCartney partners with George Martin once more for another hit. I do feel the Guns N Roses version of this is vastly superior, but credit to the writers for creating this in the first place of course. The film always creeped me out when I was young, what with all the skulls and voodoo stuff, and the song was also able to send shivers up and down my spine. Those Bond blasts serve a duel purpose then – they are clearly supposed to call back the Bond themes of old, but are also clearly designed to scare – many moments of the song are just off enough to disturb the listener. The main riff is excellent, the song is filled with beautiful slow moments, there is a hell of a lot of chaotic moments too as instruments race and collide with one another. It’s a fantastic song all round, worthy of much more than simply being remembered as a Bond song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=784k3EEuZYA

Number 1. You Only Live Twice (from You Only Live Twice) – Nancy Sinatra

nancy-sinatra-you-only-live-twice

It has been slightly sullied by Dickhead of the Century – Robbie Williams, but even his worthless mitts couldn’t truly taint this slice of perfection. My favourite Connery Bond movie has a flawless theme which opens with some of the most gorgeous strings ever recorded. The song has an ever so slight oriental feel, Sinatra gives it the full frontal performance, the guitar copies the string melody, the lyrics are possibly the best in any bond song, and it’s one of a handful whose melodies are sublime throughout. It’s elegant, epic, and just the right length. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcIl_6amBvU

There you have it, my top 3 Bond songs. I’ll write a summary post showing my picks in a single post, but for now feel free to leave your thoughts on my picks in the comments below!

Best Original Song – 1973

Official Nominations: The Way We Were (The Way We Were). Nice To Be Around (Cinderella Liberty). Live And Let Die (Live And Let Die). Love (Robin Hood). All That Love Went To Waste (A Touch Of Class).

The Way We Were was the winner this year, of course they would pick that, and it has gone down in history as one of the most popular movie ballads. It’s saccharine muck, and I’ve never been a fan of Streisand’s wailing. You can’t deny its tearjerking power – with a different singer and a less 70s production I’d like it more. Cinderella Liberty deserves a better song – the lyrics are strong but the lazy jazz and drawling melodies do little for me. Things pick up in the chorus, but barely. Love is such a lazy title and it’s a song which harks back to the Disney ballads of the past, the dreary string sections are there but updated, there’s an experimental feel to some of the backing guitar and flute stuff, and while it’s all designed to be dreamy, the melodies fall flat. Maddie Bell does her best with Love Went To Waste, but alas it’s too sleepy and melodically dry to affect me. Live And Let Die is the clear winner here, packed with impact, force, speed, and the melodies scream out of the speakers – I still prefer the Guns ‘n’ Roses version though.

My Winner: Live And Let Die

My Nominations: Live And Let Die. The Love Doctor (Cleopatra Jones). Whistle Stop (Robin Hood). Willow’s Song (The Wicker Man). The Way We Were.

Only the official winner and my winner survive to my list of nominations, although Robin Hood returns with a different song selection. Whistle Stop is by far the most memorable song from Robin Hood and while it’s barely even a song it is the one I have the most fondness for and frequently find myself whistling. In fact, any time the movie is mentioned it’s the first thing to enter my head. As the theme for the songs this year seems to be ‘love’, I add The Love Doctor from Cleopatra Jones. Millie Jackson records another Motown Hit – it’s pretty generic as far as the genre goes, but that doesn’t stop it being catchy and apparently the inspiration for the Manics’ It’s Not War Just The End Of Love. Finally, one of the most haunting and memorable moments from a movie known for several, is Willow’s Song – coming as Britt Ekland’s character cavorts naked in her room to the repressed distress of Edward Woodward. It’s one of horror’s finest songs, and much stronger than most of the official nominees.

My Winner: Live And Let Die

Let us know in the comments which song you pick as winner!