The James Bond Theme Songs [Part 2] | Podcast #102

It’s time to conclude our coverage of the theme songs of Bond. This week we’ll be going from Octopussy’s All Time High all the way through to SPECTRE’s Writings on the Wall.

Also we talk Tom’s recent trip to Vegas, The Man With The Golden Typewriter, the latest Bond 25 rumours and a whole lot more!

NOTE: Due to Youtube’s strict music policy, there will be no video version of this week’s podcast [Song reviews begin at: 47:17].

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  • Baldwin Collins

    Hi Chris & Tom The Book About Fleming’s Letters Probably was the Genesis
    as Chris Mentions in this Podcast, especially Where Bond’s Car has Changed
    From a Bentley to a Aston Martin. However Great show on Bond Themes.

  • Baldwin Collins

    I Believe Susanne Beir could Probably Make a Great Bond film,
    due to Her Success with ”The Night Manager” Mini-series witch Probably
    Might be the Debut for Tom Hiddleston’s James Bond

  • Baldwin Collins

    ‘AHA’ made a Wonderful Bond theme Song, Which was The late John Barry’s
    Last Bond Film Score a Great Collaboration with a Pop Group ”The Living Daylights
    My personal Favorite.

  • GerardoValero

    I can understand and condone most every mistake the Bond producers have ever made, after all, when it comes to getting things right their batting average is still amazing. The giant tsunami wake? I suppose they had already spent so much money on that scene, it wasn’t easy for them to simply bite the bullet and edit it if from the movie. The whole of “Quantum of Solace”? For some reason they had to green-lite a movie that just wasn’ ready. Fine, nobody’s perfect.
    All of the above said, their one mistake I have a hard time letting go is Madonna’s song and cameo in “Die another Day” which I must dislike even more than Tom. To call it a song is a stretch.
    And yet the respective portion of the podcast was my favorite! Great work!

  • Stephen Wadsworth

    Great stuff, guys. I agreed with pretty much everything said in part 1 but had a few disagreements this time. Personally I do prefer Sheryl Crow’s Tomorrow Never Dies to the Arnold/Black/kd lang song. I think they’re both good but not great songs. Being David Arnold’s first stab at a theme song, it sounds a bit ‘Barry-by-numbers’ to me. Agree with Chris that the Die Another Day song does have something going for it until the vocal comes in. Where I disagree with most of the world it seems is on the the Skyfall theme. I just can’t stand Adele’s pub singer voice – “overdoo”, “skafoll”, “crumboll” – which for me ruins a great song and great arrangement.

    I think the last time we got a great theme song that work fantastically well within the score (because it was co-written by the score composer) was Casino Royale. Like pretty much everything about that film, an impossible standard set then for the Daniel era.

    Thanks for including the GoldenEye demo in this podcast, which I hadn’t heard before. On one point of pedantry (and with apologies), I think it was Cubby’s other daughter Tina, not Barbara, that recommended Rita Coolidge for All Time High.

    I do think Susanne Beir could bring a refreshing take to the next film if that rumour’s true, I thought her work on The Night Manager was excellent.

  • GerardoValero

    BTW…the Spanish “Guess the Quote” icomes rom the scene in “Quantum of Solace” where Bond decides to switch to the fancy hotel with Agent Fields even if it means putting his cover at risk. It took me a while to figure what Chris tried to say, even though Spanish is my first language!

  • No rankings? Well I put this together earlier this year and I thought I’d share it with you both. Hard to do but a great challenge. Great podcast – the music is such a massive ingredient in the Bond magic.

    James Bond Main Themes Top 10
    1. Dr. No Main Theme (James Bond Theme arranged by John Barry)
    2. Main Theme – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
    3. Goldfinger – Main Title – performed by Shirley Bassey
    4. Thunderball – Main Title (sung by Tom Jones)
    5. Nobody Does It Better – performed by Carly Simon
    6. You Know My Name – Chris Cornell
    7. Skyfall – Adele
    8. Live And Let Die – Paul McCartney & Wings
    9. Writing’s On The Wall – Sam Smith
    10. Diamonds Are Forever (original) – performed by Shirley Bassey

    Pictured below is one of my favourite LPs of all time. At a time of no Bond on TV or videos, this double album kept me in the Bond world.

  • Langford

    Thanks for another great episode, gents. I’ve downloaded the kd lang’s Surrender- love it! It has that Goldfinger feel to it.

    The Bono demo is another great find.

  • olufsphere

    Who is the cataclysmic dunce who thought up the “You know his name” branding for the new Jason Bourne movie??? Go sit in the corner, dumba$$ – that line is TAKEN!!!

  • Christian Muniz

    Great music review podcasts.

    I felt your pain as you attempted describe the difference between, as well as rank, both the OHMSS and JB themes. Like most Bond fans, I think it seems almost sacrilege to elevate any other orchestral work in the series, even OHMSS, above the original Bond theme, though I honestly believe in this case I often do exactly that. Well, in fact, I DO elevate OHMSS always and was disappointed when it wasn’t used in Spectre after having been teased with it during the trailer.

    During your discussion, however, I thought about the way I would distinguish the two and how I “feel” about each piece when I listen to them:

    – JB Theme: Essentially, this is ONLY the theme of Bond in action. It is his signature, if you will. They truly got it right and that’s why its lasted as long as the franchise. You can’t beat it in terms of longevity and international recognition. And when it kicks in at the right part, or when its incorporated into another song in the movie for a few seconds, it’s hair-raising excitement because you know Bond is back or is getting the upper hand in the scene. It will always be the one and only theme.

    – OHMSS Theme: I “feel” this song is not so much a theme, but the very personification of Bond himself, mixing brass punches along with soaring highs with deep and serious tones – all full of suspense, grit and fortitude – not unlike Lazenby’s skiing escape. Rather than just Bond’s signature, this IS Bond. And that’s why it does more for me as a song than the JB Theme or any other piece used in the series, and there have been some great ones.

    It’s a shame that OHMSS hasn’t been used again, other than the Spectre trailer. For me, and I’m sure many others, it would be tantalizing to have it return for the next movie.