James Bond has evolved greatly since Ian Fleming first wrote his character down in 1953—there have been seven different actors to play Bond, 26 different Bond films, and 100-odd Bond villains. The special effects have improved as the movies grew a bit darker and still, after 60 years, James Bond remains just as cool as he was in the beginning.
The most iconic part of any Bond film (obviously aside from the famous line "Bond, James Bond") is the opening title sequence, as each film opens with stunning graphics that have been described as "strong visual statements" that border "on excess".
And for each of the 26 unique title sequences there is—of course—a James Bond theme song to accompany it.
Below, in all their glory, are the best of the best James Bond themes:
7. We Have All the Time in the World
On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
The slow yet cheerful "We Have All the Time in the World" is the perfect balance between serious, and kind of cheesy. Just like James Bond can be.
6. Writing's On the Wall
Sam Mendes' Bond films are darker than their predecessors and Sam Smith perfectly captured the tone with "Writing's On the Wall". The swelling "If I risk it all / Could you break my fall?" is the perfect way to enter the world of Spectre.
The brassy Goldfinger theme is a classic in itself. The melody sounds mysterious but the lyrics give us a full story, before we even begin.
As mentioned, Sam Mendes' 21st century Bonds are darker and more brooding than the others. So when Adele opens her theme with the words "This is the end", we know exactly what kind of Bond film we're in for.
3. Live and Let Die
Live and Let Die (1973)
This is a song that's held up on it's own—outside of the context of being a theme song for a movie. If the thunderous "Live and Let Die" doesn't excite you, I don't know what will. Written by a Beatle, nonetheless!
2. You Only Live Twice
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Nancy Sinatra's theme is dreamy and perfectly suits Sean Connery's sexy and sophisticated Bond. But what does it mean to live twice? As Nancy puts it: "You only live twice, or so it seems / One life for yourself, and one for your dreams".
1. Nobody Does It Better
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Nobody does a Bond theme better than Carly Simon. If the piano intro followed by Simon's light floating voice doesn't give you goosebumps, then what does?
What's your favorite James Bond theme?Go ahead—argue with me in the comments.
Brittany K. King is a Chicago-based writer and founder of Film Daddy. She spends most of her time avoiding saying the word ‘gyro’ out loud.
Follow Brittany on Twitter @brittanykking.