Excellent-Top Blog

“All Time High”

This was the title theme for the James Bond flick Octopussy. Because nothing rhymes with Octopussy. God, I hate this song.

BTW, gay marriage approval is at an all-time high. So there’s that.

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“Where Has Everybody Gone?”

Guess I might as well resume the Bond theme countdown since this is the 50th anniversary of the Bond series — and “A View to a Kill” has been a top rated post for weeks now.

The Pretenders’ “Where Has Everybody Gone?” was one of three original songs featured on The Living Daylights soundtrack. An instrumental version of this song was used as the main theme for hunky, blond Bond villain Necros.

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“Skyfall”

Oscar bump. This is my pic for the year’s Best Song.

Adele’s title track from the latest Bond film. This one has an overtly homoerotic scene between Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem — with the implication that at least one Bond boy got to sigh “Oh, James!” after going around the world. Ha! Ian Fleming must be spinning in his grave.

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“A View to A Kill”

“A View to a Kill” by AbFab running joke Duran Duran is, to date, the only Bond song to reach no. 1 on Billboard. I’d rank it as one of the best Bond themes, though the movie itself was kinda meh. In this tongue-in-cheek video we see that ’80s fashion was every bit as bad as ’70s fashion.

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“The Living Daylights”

Continuing the Bond song countdown. Already posted “Golden Eye,” but I’m skipping “Licence to Kill.” (Too bland.) Which brings us to “The Living Daylights” — the chart-topping product of a tempestuous collaboration between Bond composer John Barry and the Europop band A-ha. This ended up becoming one of the most popular Bond sons of all time. In Europe anyway.

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“Tomorrow Never Dies (Surrender)”

Here’s the original main theme for Tomorrow Never Dies dubbed over the opening credits. This k.d. lang track was swapped out at the last minute in favor of a screechy and generic Sheryl Crow number because Crow was a bigger star at the time. A pretty colossal fuck up since k.d. lang is a better vocalist, and her song is conceptually and stylistically superior. It’s written in the voice of the movie’s villain in the style of a John Barry/Shirley Bassey collaboration with a big, brassy finish that would make Tom Jones jealous.

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“The World Is Not Enough”

Garbage – The World is not Enough from Cherryl on Vimeo.

If “Die Another Day” was an example of how not to write a Bond song, “The World Is Not Enough” by Garbage is an example of how you should. It works both as a standalone song, and its melody was used beautifully throughout the movie.

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“Die Another Day”

This has to be the worst Bond song of all time. I’m only posting it because I decided to run backward through all the 007 themes. It’s so bad you don’t even hear a trace of it on the main score. Even the second worst Bond song of all time (“All Time High” from Octopussy) made a passable love theme. The whole movie was a misfire. No wonder they had to reboot the whole series after Die Another Day.

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“You Know My Name”

Chris Cornell (yum!), formerly of Soundgarden, performing the main theme from the 007 reboot Casino Royale.

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“Golden Eye”

Still recovering from retina surgery one week later. Ugh! The stress and anxiety! Having to stay face-down with a gas bubble in my eye. If you ever see any weird flashes in your peripheral vision see an ophthalmologist immediately. Don’t wait. This has been a public service announcement.

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“Moonraker Disco”

A little piece of ’70s kitsch from the 007 movie Moonraker. Dame Shirley Bassey belting out a disco version of the title song. It’s one of the lesser Bond movies. (The book, which has nothing to do with the movie, is much better.) But the score is one of John Barry’s best.

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Theme from Midnight Cowboy

RIP John Barry (November 3, 1933 – January 30, 2011)

John Barry, the Oscar winning movie composer, died earlier this month. Barry is probably most famous for his contributions to the 007 franchise. The swaggering, brassy sound of songs like “Goldfinger,” “Thunderball” and the trademark James Bond theme became a signature element of the series.

He also made an uncredited but valuable contribution to Midnight Cowboy, the first and only X-rated movie to ever win a Best Picture Oscar. A pretty but dumb hick (Jon Voight) thinks he can make a fortune servicing New York socialites, but ends up squatting in a condemned apartment building with a terminally ill con man (Dustin Hoffman).

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“Diamonds Are Forever”

True fact. When Bond composer John Barry first recorded this song with Shirley Bassey, he told her to imagine she was singing about a penis.

Just heard Daniel Craig will return in an as yet untitled Bond 23.

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