Monday, August 18, 2014

James Bond Theme Songs

Besides giving us plenty of action, and handsome stars who were among the first movie characters to always escape from even the most dire of circumstances, the James Bond movies have contributed great songs to the Rock Era.  Here is a look at the James Bond themes over the years:

1962:  Dr. No
     Written by Monty Norman, this is the song most associated with James Bond movies, appropriately titled "James Bond Theme".  It was performed by John Barry & Orchestra, as well as Monty Norman, and Byron Lee & the Dragonaires.
1963:  From Russia with Love  heme song was written by John Barry, Lionel Bart, and Monty Norman.  The vocal version was recorded by Matt Monro and heard in the film and played over the closing credits.
1964:  Goldfinger
     Arguably the best James Bond theme of all-time, "Goldfinger" was written by Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley, and John Barry, and sang magnificently by Shirley Bassey.  The song peaked at #8.
1965:  Thunderball
     Tom Jones sang "Thunderball", written by John Barry and Don Black.  It stalled at #25.
1967:  You Only Live Twice
     The theme song was sung by Nancy Sinatra, and it peaked at #44 (#11 in the U.K.).  "You Only Live Twice" was written by Leslie Bricusse and John Barry.
1969:  On Her Majesty's Secret Service
     John Barry and Hal David teamed up to write this song, performed by The John Barry Orchestra and Louis Armstrong.
1971:  Diamonds Are Forever
     Shirley Bassey was called on to record another James Bond theme--this one didn't do quite as well as "Goldfinger", reaching #57.  John Barry and Don Black wrote the song.
1973:  Live and Let Die
     Film producers requested Paul McCartney to write this theme, and it turned out to be another of the best James Bond theme songs.  McCartney wrote the song along with wife Linda, and Wings recorded it, with George Martin writing the score.  "Live And Let Die" went all the way to #2 in the U.S. and #7 in the U.K.
1974:  The Man with the Golden Gun
     John Barry and Don Black wrote "The Man With The Golden Gun", and Lulu sang it.
1977:  The Spy Who Loved Me
     Another great Bond theme, Carly Simon took "Nobody Does It Better" to #2 in the United States and #7 in the U.K.  It was written by Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager.  Hamlish also wrote the score.

1979:  Moonraker
  Shirley Bassey sang "Moonraker", her third and final Bond theme.  It was written by John Barry and Hal David.
1981:  For Your Eyes Only
     Another of the top James Bond songs, "For Your Eyes Only" by Sheena Easton reached #4 in the U.S. and #8 in the U.K.  Bill Conti wrote and scored the song, with songwriting help from Michael Leeson.

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