We know we’re getting close to the release of a new Bond film when its theme song releases to the masses. Adele isn’t on my radar musically, but I can’t deny she’s incredibly talented. That said, people are giving her new song, the appropriately titled Skyfall, some noise for not being as iconic as previous themes. So with that, I decided to take a look at the past decade’s worth of Bond themes and compare them.
Hearing Skyfall, combined with the extended trailer they released a few months ago, informs us that the new Sam Mendes film is going to be a kind of somber, introspective thing. While the track is downbeat and anything but poppy, her vocals evoke that passionate, sixties chambered sound known to earlier Bond films, rather than the skippy pop stuff of recent years. It’s a heartfelt, nostalgic sound that the Bond films haven’t heard in years. Let’s go back in time a little, even.
2008’s Quantum of Solace (has it been that long) had the poppy tune “Another Way to Die” by multi-talented rocker Jack White and R&B hot topic Alicia Keys that didn’t represent the film at all. QoS’s pulse was so dormant that it should’ve been the sound of a TV humming over the opening credits. Who even remembers this song now? That’s right.
I really enjoyed Chris Cornell’s “You Know My Name” from 2006’s Bond reboot Casino Royale. There’s something about his raspy delivery that sends off the then-new and tougher Daniel Craig in style. I remember this song getting a lot of airtime when it released and rightfully so. Afterward, Cornell decided to partner with Timbaland for a pop album. Yeah, that was weird. But if must really talk about Bond films, let’s not forget…
Oh yes. Yes, yes, yes. There’s just nothing like garbage to go with filth as Madonna’s stutter-edited, ultra-processed titular theme for 2002’s “Die Another Day” unfurls during a sequence in which Pierce Brosnan’s Bond is tortured over the course of several years in North Korea. Well, except in this video, it’s Madonna. I don’t know guys, she’s kinda sexy here, but the song is not. Say what you will about the themes of the Craig films, let’s all hope and pray we never revert to this. Ever.