Ranking the James Bond Songs Purely on Vibes

Ethan is here to do a comedic ranking of all the songs featured in the James Bond films!

When it comes to the James Bond franchise, there is perhaps nothing more iconic to it than the title themes made for the opening credits of each film. From soulful, instant classics, to 80s pop-rock, to whatever the late 90s were, every Bond song is instantly recognizable. I’m here today to rank them, but not in a boring, how-good-are-they kind of way. I don’t know anything about music theory to do something like that. No, I’m ranking them based purely on how I vibe with them in spur-of-the-moment decisions.

A couple of points before I get started: First, these rankings are not indicative of the quality of the artist performing their respective tracks. And second, as Dr. No does not have its own song, there is no listing for it, but to have the rankings be a clean 25 entries I have included a song that was made for one of these films but was rejected. Which one? Well, you’ll have to read on… 

25. “Writing’s on the Wall” – Sam Smith

Film: Spectre

A song that wishes it could be “Skyfall” but fails at being memorable in any way other than how bad it is. The worst kind of vibes.

24. “The Man with the Golden Gun” – Lulu

Film: The Man with the Golden Gun

This song is not good. At all.

23. “The World Is Not Enough” – Garbage

Film: The World Is Not Enough

This was sung by a band called Garbage and that’s indicative of its quality. The world does not have enough vibes to make this enjoyable.

22. “Die Another Day” – Madonna

Film: Die Another Day

Instead of a Bond song by Madonna, we got a Madonna song being used for a Bond film. That’s a big difference and it leads to the vibes just not being there in this one.

21. “Live and Let Die” – Paul McCartney & Wings

Film: Live and Let Die

The second worst Beatle performs one of the worst Bond songs whose only memorable feature is its opening. Let the vibes die.

20. “Tomorrow Never Dies” – Sheryl Crow

Film: Tomorrow Never Dies

The late 90s, early 2000s were not kind to Bond songs, and unfortunately, Sheryl Crow is not the right kind of singer to make this one work for what it needs to be.

19. “All Time High” – Rita Coolidge

Film: Octopussy

They were cowards for not having this song be named after the film it’s featured on. Defeatist vibes.

18. “You Only Live Twice” – Nancy Sinatra

Film: You Only Live Twice

The most average of Bond songs. That’s all I’ve got. Perfectly average vibes.

17. “Another Way to Die” – Jack White and Alicia Keys

Film: Quantum of Solace

The opening guitar riff helps give this some pretty enjoyable vibes.

16. “Diamonds Are Forever” – Shirley Bassey

Film: Diamonds Are Forever

There’s a personal bias I have to all of Shirley Bassey’s Bond songs thanks to our shared Welsh heritage, but this is her weakest contribution to the series. The vibes were, unlike the diamonds, not forever.

15. “License to Kill” – Gladys Knight

Film: License to Kill

The legend that is Gladys Knight helps the song not come across as a Shirley Bassey clone, giving it a license to vibe all of its own.

14. “GoldenEye” – Tina Turner

Film: GoldenEye

It takes nearly a whole minute for Tina Turner to start singing, which means it barely makes its way into the top 15.

13. “Moonraker” – Shirley Bassey

Film: Moonraker

While the song itself is great, this is from a film that sees Bond go to space at the tail end of the 70s. It should have been a disco track, even if disco was in its last days then.

12. “The Living Daylights” – a-ha

Film: The Living Daylights

I unequivocally love a-ha, so of course, I massively vibe with this one.

11. “Spectre” – Radiohead

Film: Spectre (Unreleased)

Here we have the bonus song I mentioned up top. Radiohead submitted this for use in, you guessed it, Spectre, but for whatever reason, the producers went with Sam Smith’s terrible track instead. The most hauntingly beautiful Bond song that never was.

10. “A View to a Kill” – Duran Duran

Film: A View to a Kill

It’s Duran Duran, and at one point they sing the lyrics “dance into the fire”. Shit fucking rules y’all. They should have called it “A View to a Vibe” amirite?

9. “For Your Eyes Only” – Sheena Easton

Film: For Your Eyes Only

Perhaps the hottest a Bond song has ever been. There are some very spicy vibes contained within. Bonus points for Sheena Easton actually appearing in the title sequence.

8. “Thunderball” – Tom Jones

Film: Thunderball

Another Welsh artist means there’s a lot of bias towards this one, but once you learn that Tom Jones actually passed out while holding the astonishing final note, you can’t help but vibe with it.

7. “Goldfinger” – Shirley Bassey

Film: Goldfinger

For that brass section alone this gets the biggest possible chef’s kiss I can give. Some truly unbeatable vibes right here, which only reinforces how incredible the remainder of this list is.

6. “Skyfall” – Adele

Film: Skyfall

Despite how frequently this was played on the radio when it was released, to the point of over-saturation, it’s hard to deny just how iconic “Skyfall” is. The vibes, as the kids would say, are lit.

5. “From Russia with Love” – Matt Monro

Film: From Russia with Love

Matt Monro’s voice makes me want to hop in a 1960s convertible Ferrari and drive down the Italian coast. Impeccable vibes.

4. “No Time to Die” – Billie Eilish

Film: No Time to Die

I don’t believe in recency bias, but if there ever was such a thing, then this is the deserving benefactor of it. I vibe so much with “No Time to Die.” Billie Eilish nails every single thing you need to make a Bond song iconic. I can’t wait to see it used in the film itself.

3. “We Have All the Time in the World” – Louis Armstrong

Film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

One of the most romantic songs ever made. And I mean, how can you go wrong with Louis fuckin’ Armstrong? Great vibes, and based on a couple sneak peeks at Hans Zimmer’s No Time to Die score, seems to be featured quite heavily in the new release.

2. “Nobody Does it Better” – Carly Simon

Film: The Spy Who Loved Me

When they say nobody does it better, they mean it. Carly Simon understands the assignment like few others have. Not just excellent vibes, but one of the greatest Bond songs. The best kind of vibes.

1. “You Know My Name” – Chris Cornell

Film: Casino Royale

And here we come to the top entry, the title theme I vibe the most with. From the collaboration between Chris Cornell and composer David Arnold to its integration in the film itself as a proto-Bond theme, it’s hard to explain just how incredible “You Know My Name” is. 15 years on, this remains unsurpassed.

And lastly, I just want to end by giving a shout-out to Joe Cornish’s excellent parody song made for the release of Quantum of Solace. It never fails to make me laugh.

By Ethan Chamberlain

Ethan is a writer/editor for GateCrashers. A lover of all things sci-fi, comics, and film, he can be found on Twitter at @Ethan1097.

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