10 Bond themes far more forgettable than Sam Smith’s.
As Brits, we’re constantly peppered with reminders from the institution of Bond. Every gent in the carriage on your commute reading a copy of GQ is constantly asked to subscribe to that gadget culture, to the point that the film seems this secondary thing… Well, tertiary thing actually, we forgot about the theme tune.
Ahh the Bond theme: that old thing. Poor Sam Smith. When he unveiled his effort last week it was so pastiche that ‘Shirley Bassey’ started trending on Twitter within half an hour of the release. I felt sorry for ole’ Sam – especially for tweets like this…
Sure! The song was forgettable, but I think we’re looking back with Brosnan-tinted glasses here, folks. The candle we’re holding Sam Smith’s effort next to burns far brighter in our minds than in reality. Off the top of your head, without Google, try to think now of five Bond themes. Not tracks that send you onto the dance floor or into tears, just that have serenaded 007’s escapades… I bet you’re struggling. The problem is that, like a lot of things in this country, it has now become great tradition. The problem is that the unprecedented critical and commercial performance of Adele’s ‘Skyfall' meant that it made our unrealistic expectations of Bond a reality! They could've got the ghost of Ian Fleming and John Lennon to have composed the thing and we'd still be saying 'they've taken a giant shit on tradition', 'too many egos' etc.
So, after congratulating Sam Smith on singing the first Bond theme to top the UK charts, our aim is to pull back the veils of nostalgia and show you just how questionable – and obviously forgettable – most Bond themes are.
Here we go.
Madonna - Die Another Day.
This may be the opus of Madonna's chronic anglophile, 'I'm going to talk as the Queen' phase. It's a wonder that the video wasn't shot on a Caravel travelling into Greenwich, however, Madge fighting her twin is the worse thing that's travelled down that channel since Nelson's casket. We don't know what makes a song a Bond song, but its definitely not auto tune: one of the most forgettable and poorly aged songs on the Bond list.
Rita Coolidge – All Time High
This seems more suitable to soundtracking an episode to Lovejoy or a Patrick Swayze rom-com than a precursor to a film about guns, gadgets and girls. Saying that, we actually like the track: it's macabre, weird and sentimental - we're pretty sure that, despite seeing Octopussy a number of times, we've never heard it. Utterly forgettable.
Chris Cornell - You Know My Name
Working in tandem with the relaunch of James Bond and Casino Royale, brought on by a late-night viewing of the Bourne Identity, they felt that brash acoustic guitars and grunge's sweetheart Chris Cornell would by the man to set it alight. What they ended up with was an Audioslave 'B' Side: it's not bad but, seldom some colourful chords, lacks any real identity.
A-Ha – The Living Daylights
It's no real surprise that A-ha's half-thought from the eighties' has been flushed from memory. Imagine if Sam Smith would've come out with this? Can you imagine a pouting Daniel Craig with folds of synthesisers serenading him? No.
Lani Hall – Never Say Never Again
We didn't know that Never Say Never Again was the first soft-core porn meets Bond film? That slapped bass is straight out of a drive along with the West Coast in a red cadillac. How did it ever soundtrack our boy, James Bond? If this came out today, the loyalists - who weren't born whilst the sixties' were still in swing - would be asking 'what happened to the big strings?', 'Why doesn't it have that *goldfinger* feel?'
Congratulations, Sam Smith.