Watch Adele perform “Skyfall” at the 2013 Oscars below.
Adele’s theme song for the twenty-third James Bond film ‘Skyfall’ seems a welcome addition to one ofthe fifty year old franchise’s best elements. A Bond theme is best when a seventy piece orchestra thunders in the background while a woman with a strong, urgent voice wails about sex and love while seamlessly incorporating the movie’s cheesy title. Notice, I said “woman.” Male-fronted Bond themes rarely work, and the last two by Chris Cornell and Jack White (featuring Alicia Keys) were bad fits with Daniel Craig’s reinvigorating entries in the series. James Bond’s gadgets and cars necessarily evolved throughout the years, but nostalgia is key for his theme music and Adele is the perfect choice to stand alongside some of the most incredible female vocalists in pop music history. With that in mind, here are the five best Bond themes.
5. “You Only Live Twice” – Nancy Sinatra
Frank’s daughter doesn’t quite belt it out on this deliciously sixties track, but she still keeps it sassy! The violin opening is killer.
4. “License to Kill” – Gladys Knight
3. “Nobody Does It Better” -Carly Simon
A love song so damn good, it’s been used in other movies, the theme to ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ is a grudging tribute to the ultimate lover. You can almost see Carly Simon smirking as she sings “Baby, you’re the best.”
2. “Diamonds Are Forever” – Shirley Bassey
Bassey sang three great Bond themes. This one is the most enduring and feminine of the trio; it hints at the danger of materialism which would later be explored when Kanye West sampled it for ‘Diamonds From Sierra Leone’.
1. “Goldeneye” – Tina Turner
Coming at a time when James Bond had been absent from the screen for six years, this track – penned by Bono and The Edge – signaled the arrival of a slicker and more sexualized James Bond film which would propel the series into modern blockbuster territory. Tina Turner as a solo artist was always equal parts vulnerable and electric and that is on full display here. When she sings “I’ve found his weakness,” she’s actually found ours.
Any glaring omissions? Do you think Adele’s up there with the greats?
And, now, Adele’s latest addition, “Skyfall”. Watch Adele Perform Live At The Oscars Below