Ranking The James Bond Songs – Summary

Here’s a quick summary of my ranking of the major songs from Bond movies, all in one handy place with links to the original articles!












26. Die Another Day – Madonna

25. We Have All The Time In The World – Louis Armstrong

24. From Russia With Love – Matt Monroe

23. Never Say Never Again – Lani Hall


22. Thunderball – Tom Jones

21. Another Way To Die – Alicia Keys and Jack White

20. Skyfall – Adele

19. The World Is Not Enough – Garbage

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18. A Ha – The Living Daylights

17. Under The Mango Tree – Diane Copeland

16. Licence To Kill – Gladys Knight

15. All Time High – Rita Coolidge


14. Moonraker – Shirley Bassey

13. Goldeneye – Tina Turner

12. Tomorrow Never Dies – Sheryl Crow

11. Diamonds Are Forever – Shirley Bassey


10. You Know My Name – Chris Cornell

9. Goldfinger – Shirley Bassey

8. The Look Of Love – Dusty Springfield

7. The Writing’s On The Wall – Sam Smith

6. The Man With The Golden Gun – Lulu


5. For Your Eyes Only – Sheena Easton

4. Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon

3. A View To A Kill – Duran Duran

2. Live And Let Die – Paul McCartney and Wings

1. You Only Live Twice – Nancy Sinatra


So there you have it, all the major Bond songs ranked and with a couple of bonus tracks thrown in. What are your favourites? Which ones are beyond mentioning? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The James Bond Songs # 9 – 7

9. Goldfinger (from Goldfinger) – Shirley Bassey

Everyone’s favourite Bond song makes my Top 10, but it has never been my favourite. Is it the definitive Bond song? Yes, probably, and it features one of the finest vocal performances and set many of the standards, but it isn’t my favourite. It has a superb introduction, wailing horns gradually getting softer and leading in to a seductive verse. Bassey towers over the music as if the music was played much louder in her ears when recording her vocals – completely belts them out with much more force than is remotely necessary. Massive swell and massive final note. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSnbaPW1Cfw

8. The Look Of Love (from Casino Royale 1967) – Dusty Springfield

Blasphemy! A spoof Bond song finishing higher than the definitive song!? I feel this is (at this point in time) the stronger song, with Dusty giving a timeless performance, her voice sounding disturbingly similar to some of the instruments. It’s a smokey, sexy performance, a beautiful series of melodies throughout, brilliantly constructed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf1d65OHYXo

7. The Writing’s On The Wall (from Spectre) – Sam Smith


I assumed I wouldn’t like this given that the previous couple of films have had atrocious songs, and that I had not liked anything I had heard from Smith so far. This one is getting a lot of stick currently for sounding too…. feminine? I don’t know, sounds like a lot of Dude Bro types just felt their testicles get a little less hairy when they heard this, wanting instead a song suitable for blasting quads in the gym or whatever it is dickheads do with their time nowadays. This has grown on me quite a bit, and maybe it’s so high on my list because it’s fresh, but nevertheless Smith gives an emotional performance in a song that feels honest, and feels like another chapter of the Bond saga coming to an end. It has a desperate, dark tone, full of angst and melancholy. There is the big Bond opening, followed with a bleak piano line. I’m hoping dearly now that the film will be emotional in the vein of Casino Royale and that James gets some closure over Vesper. It is a gorgeous song.

Let us know below what your favourite Bond song is.

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


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


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


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


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

‘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


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


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!