An Important Ranking Of The James Bond Theme Songs: 16 to 9 - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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An Important Ranking Of The James Bond Theme Songs: 16 to 9

We continue the countdown with a shaken and stirred collection of theme tunes.

Welcome back to, what is surely, the definitive ranking of the 24 (to date) James Bond theme tunes. We've already covered the bottom 8 songs and now we're firmly in middle territory with a collection of tunes that are all a bit shaken and stirred...

16. Tomorrow Never Dies - Sheryl Crow
I actually quite like this one as it has all the mood and atmosphere of a great James Bond theme, unfortunately it also has a very screechy shrill delivery by Sheryl Crow. I like Sheryl Crow, she's recorded some excellent songs and is often on the money with her more lightweight tracks, but this just doesn't seem to suit her style. At all.

At this point on the list I'd like to pay kudos to one of the unsung Bond closing themes, Surrender by K.D. Lang.

Fun fact: Surrender was originally titled Tomorrow Never Dies. In hindsight I wonder if it would've been a better option for the title track?

15. The World Is Not Enough - Garbage
Sam Smith should've taken note of this one as it's also verging on parody of a 60s Bond theme, but Shirley Manson and co. instead serve up an atmospheric, dark and moody track with spot on vocals. I think this is a really solid track that would be higher up the list for me if it just built to a big sweeping finale, as every time I listen to it I think it's going somewhere great but it just doesn't quite get there.

14. Skyfall - Adele
There's no secret to a great Bond theme. Take a strong, distinctive singer and let them sing a great song. Skyfall does just that and is the perfect accompanying tune for the movie.

Personally, though, I like a Bond tune that just grabs you and never let's you go, and this one feel as if it's almost too dreamy. It wants to grab you but then it wants to tuck you up in bed and kiss you goodnight.

I know she's a national treasure but Adele sings this particular track with a sort of 'pub singer' vibe about her. So every time I hear it I can't help but have an image of Vic Reeves on Shooting Stars. "You let ya skyfalllllll, y'let it crumballll"

13. You Only Live Twice - Nancy Sinatra
So memorable, but again so so very dreamy. This tune has a haunting lullaby quality to it, which is perfect for Nancy Sinatra's sultry voice. Late night Bond, I like to call it.

12. You Know My Name - Chris Cornell
See, now this just commands your attention. It's a grittier Bond theme than any that had gone before it, and perfectly reflects the reinvention the character underwent as Daniel Craig took on the role.

It's also the highest rated Daniel Craig theme tune on the list. Unless, of course, the upcoming theme for No Time To Die can do better.

11. From Russia With Love - Matt Monroe
Ooh, I likes this one. Yes, it's instrumental but it's got a great start to it that just grabs you, then you've got the melodic dreamy bit, then it's all 60s spy vibe - just as it should be - and then, just to kick you in the chops, it segues into the James Bond theme before the adventure begins.

Fun Fact: This was the first Bond film to feature the dancing ladies in the titles. Perhaps that's why this jaunty little number works so well.

10. On Her Majesty's Secret Service - John Barry
It's back to back instrumentals, with this one coming from the James Bond film which has, arguably, the best overall soundtrack of the entire Bond series. John Barry, five Bond's in, delivers a brilliant yet quite aggressive theme tune, with cutting edge (for the day) synth elements.

Fun fact: English composer Leslie Bricusse was considered to write lyrics for the title song, but On Her Majesty's Secret Service director Peter R. Hunt vetoed it.

And now, kudos time part two: John Barry, together with Burt Bacharach's regular lyricist Hal David, also composed, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest love songs of all time, and had it not been the secondary theme for OHMSS it would've likely topped this list. It is, of course, Louis Armstrong's simply marvelous We Have All The Time In The World...

Like I said, OHMSS really does have an amazing soundtrack.

9. Diamonds Are Forever - Shirley Bassey
Miss Bassey appears in all three parts of our countdown. Moonraker topped the bottom 8 tunes, and her previous Bond contribution, Diamonds Are Forever, wraps up this middle 8.

Bringing Shirls back was a great way to announce that the 'old team' had returned to the James Bond franchise, even if that was just basically Sean Connery. Personally, I feel the song is better than the film but I wouldn't pass up the option to watch/listen to either.

Fun fact: In an interview for the television programme James Bond's Greatest Hits, composer John Barry revealed that, during the recording of this particular theme, he told Bassey to imagine she was singing about a penis!

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