Lifestyle & Belief

Adele's Skyfall, and 6 more of the coolest James Bond songs ever


Adele attends The BRIT Awards 2012 at the O2 Arena on February 21, 2012 in London, England.


Gareth Cattermole

Adele's "Skyfall" is just what a James Bond theme song should be: sexy, mysterious, dripping with equal parts death and wealth. But the soulful British crooner's foray into the world of Bond is only the most recent example of how the sultry spy inspires some great music.

Here, we cull our top six James Bond theme songs of all time.

...Obviously, they all get major sexiness points.

1. "You Only Live Twice," Nancy Sinatra (1967)

This ballad from Frank Sinatra's daughter Nancy channels the easy confidence of seasoned Bond star Sean Connery (this was his fifth turn as the infamous 007.) It also has a definite dose of Ole' Blue Eyes' charm. 

2. "Diamonds are Forever," Shirley Bassey (1971) 

Shirley Bassey's second Bond theme song — she also sang "Goldfinger" in 1964 — has that glitz and glamor that the Bond franchise is now known for, and is the perfect opener for this Las Vegas, diamond-smuggling plot. It also managed to make its way into one of rapper Kanye West's biggest hits, "Diamonds from Sierra Leone," so you know it's got cultural staying power. 

3. "Live and Let Die," Paul McCartney and the Wings (1973) 

The Beatles' Paul McCartney and his band the Wings lent a distinctive rock n' roll edge to this blaxsploitation-Bond film, so much so that the song caught the attention of the Academy, becoming the first Bond theme song to be nominated for an Oscar. It remains one of the most well-known and mainstreamed 007-inspired number to date. 

4. "A View to Kill," Duran Duran (1985)

We may be biased because of this wonderfully eighties' music video featuring the Eiffel Tower and some pretty ambitious explosions, but it also has that distinctive New Wave sound that's just so obnoxiously catchy and a perfect threat to the film's Silicon Valley fixation. And did we mention the observation-telescope-turned gun? 

5. "The World is not Enough," Garbage (1999)

Some say this dark ditty by alt-rockers Garbage is better than the movie itself, which got mixed reviews from critics. It also taps into the unique seduction of the Bond character in the opening lines: "I know how to hurt/I know how to heal/I know what to show/And what to conceal/I know when to talk/And I know when to touch." Now that's insight. 

6. "You Know My Name," Chris Cornell (2006) 

This Casino Royale theme song ushered in Daniel Craig's debut as the new Bond, and has that edgy, modern feel of the newer 007 films. It was also the first theme song to be sung by an American male vocalist: Chris Cornell, better known as the lead singer for Soundgarden and Audioslave.