Hello all, and welcome to another edition of What I'm Listening To. To those that know me, I'm a HUGE James Bond fan. I've seen every Bond film that has ever come out, most multiple times. My dad got me onto them when I was growing up. There used to be a James Bond week where TBS would just show every film 24/7. It was great to come home from school and sit down on the couch with my dad and watch our favorite spy in action. You might say, it was a BONDing experience! Ha!
With that said, here are 5 of my all time favorite Bond songs..(although I'll admit this was hard to pare it down to just 5!)
"You Only Live Twice" - Nancy Sinatra (You Only Live Twice)
Sean Connery was and still is my favorite Bond of all time. No one, except maybe Daniel Craig and Roger Moore, hold a candle to him. The early Bond movies showed a Bond that was for the most part, invincible. "You Only Live Twice" put a spin on this, with Bond "dying" early on in the movie, resulting in him being under a new identity. I love, love, love this song. Nancy Sinatra (yes, THAT Sinatra) sings longingly about how you live two lives, one in reality, and one in your dreams. If you don't act on your dreams, the reality is that you will miss out on life, and potentially, love. It's a beautiful song that to this day pulls on my heartstrings, and I can't recommend it enough. Kudos to John Barry, the best composer of Bond music.
"Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger)
Goldfinger is my favorite Sean Connery movie of all time. The main villain, Goldfinger, is a fantastic villain, which spun the old villain trope on its head. The most famous interaction of this movie is when Bond is strapped to a chair with a laser moving to cut him in half. Bond asks him "Do you except me to talk?" Goldfinger laughs, saying "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die". Love it. Shirley Bassey is also the greatest Bond singer of all time, having sung multiple songs including "Thunderball" and "Diamonds are Forever". Her voice is so iconic, as is this song.
"You Know My Name" - Chris Cornell (Chris Cornell)
I'll be honest, I wasn't sold on Daniel Craig when he was first announced as the next Bond succeeding Pierce Brosnan. A blond Bond, I mean COME ON! Well, the movie Casino Royale came out, and it's seriously one of my top 2 Bond films of all time. The black and white opener itself is amazing, and really gives you insight to how the new Bond is going to be: gritty, darker, and sloppy. This Bond is a newly minted 00 who gets his first big case. The song in the opener, sung by the late Chris Cornell is so, so good.
"Live and Let Die" - Wings (Wings Greatest)
My dad loves James Bond. Loves him. Except when he goes to America. "Bond is about exotic places" and Louisiana was not in his mind when this movie came out. Not a great Bond movie, BUT this did give us the iconic song by Paul McCartney and his band Wings. The electric guitar here is so amazing. The horns, the horns, the horns! I can't stress how good this song is. Paul belts out some great lyrics as the song is in your face and out of it in a stanza. Consequently, this is the only Wings song I probably know of offhand until I'd been told they sung it. I blame my dad for that...he wasn't a fan of 70's rock once The Beatles split.
"Nobody Does it Better" - Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me)
I really think The Spy Who Loved Me is an underrated James Bond film, and I think it's my favorite Roger Moore movie. Carly Simon absolutely belts out a great song with "Nobody Does it Better". A great Bond is one that people will remember, and this does exactly that. The intro piano music to Carly Simon's amazing vocals, the change of tone and introduction of the main band, and even the way she incorporated the song title into the lyrics are all things I love about this.
This was an incredibly hard list to narrow down to just 5! Honorable mentions go out to Sam Smith's "The Writing's on the Wall", Adele's "Skyfall", and "We Have All the Time in the World" by Louis Armstrong. All great songs in themselves, and I'm sure you all have your own personal favorites.