So, Sam Smith won an Oscar for Writing’s on the Wall, theme song for the 2015 Bond Film “SPECTRE”. I read the news telling me this and I think to myself “Really? The song that instantly made me think that the film was going to be rubbish before I even saw it? The song that had me yearning for a remote so I could skip past it during the opening credits even though I was in a VERY EXPENSIVE Ultra AVX theater seat, pre-booked MONTHS IN ADVANCE?”
Yes, I think it’s crap. Well, crap as a Bond film theme. As a pop song its drivel but passable drivel. I’d never purchase it let alone voluntarily listen to it more than a few seconds. It’s better than Adele’s Elmer Fudd mocking Skyfall but then again so is my kid singing Mary had A Little Lamb.
I know, enough, enough. Not all Bond themes were spectacular, some being downright horrid. I prefer the thumping exciting ones that get you in the mood for the film as half naked women in silhouette dodge bullets and writhe on the barrels of automatic pistols, but who am I? JUST THIS GUY who was born on the same day as Ian Fleming and who was named after Sean Connery that’s who!!
I present you with my following quickie reviews of all Bond film themes. No apologies offered.
James Bond Theme
Nothing short of excellent. Instrumental, driving and mood enhancing, any mood, any time. Seriously, play it at a funeral and people will smile.
*****/***** (the standard thus set)
From Russia With Love
A little slow for my tastes but it suits the overall theme of the film and the book as well.
Slamming. A spectacular thrash of excitement layered with oozing sexiness thanks to Shirley Bassey’s sultry voice.
Lyrically kind of silly but Tom Jones god damn it all in his god damn heyday. Who doesn’t love this song? SPECTRE that’s who. It strikes fear into their hearts.
You Only Live Twice
The mood is somber, because you JUST SAW BOND SHOT DEAD (or did you?). A well written, decent song quoting the novel nicely. And Nancy Sinatra! In HER heyday.
****/***** (Though I am being generous)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (theme)
Hrmm. The suckage begins. Not great. Not good really. Just, well, meh.
We Have All The Time In The World
A beautiful song. Really. Tear inducing. Lots of tears. The title from the last line of the novel when Bond’s wife Tracy dies. Armstrong reportedly too ill to play trumpet at the time of recording was hired as only he could give the song life and a sense of mild irony to the lyrics. Who cannot love this song. SPECTRE that is who! Heartless bastards!
Diamonds are Forever
Well, I don’t dislike this song at all but it begins the “not quite a Bond Film” theme from this point further. It doesn’t help that the movie is the second worst Bond film. Mr Connery, my namesake (or am I his) should have bailed on this one as should have Ms Bassey.
Live and Let (F*cking) Die
(I added the F word). IGNORING THE MINDLESS LYRICS it is a spectacular song! Tosses you right from the opening intro into a great film even though it stars Roger Moore who was great as the Saint. That’s all I will say.
The Man With The Golden Gun
Lulu was HAWT. Hot. HOT! And her voice, it could melt the polyester disco suit off a man dancing away to this on a Saturday night! And it is a great song for a mediocre film that really tossed away a good deal of the novel’s plot.
****/***** (close to a 5)
Nobody Does It Better
… Shoot me in the head with a 0.25 Calibre Beretta Automatic. I have no use for this song. Wait, I do, if I ever open a toilet paper factory and have a few million dollars for advertising.
Worst Bond Film. Terrible song. Here, watch for yourself. It’s rubbish:
For Your Eyes Only
Okay, I have a thing for Sheena Easton (circa 1981-86). This taints my ability to properly review this song. It’s okay as a song, nothing as good as her Sugar Walls (snicker). The film itself is mediocre at best and if I were to think about it, the song matches the aging Moore’s slowness of gait and schmaltzy way of womanizing. Honestly, its not good. There, I said it and Sheena will never ever talk to me even though she’s only eight years older than me and it IS possible we could be together, widowed / widowered in a nursing home looking for some “What Comes Naturally” after the staff have put us all in our rooms. We’d Say “We’ve Got Tonight” then “Strut” in to “The Arms of Orion” for “Kisses”.
**/***** (It should be a 1 but I am still holding out hope)
All Time High
Don’t even start. It sucks donkey. And not in the good “We’re drunk in Tijuana! Lets go see an animal show!” way.
A View To A Kill
Here we go! Finally another great theme from one of my favorite bands! Nothing bad to say about this one.
The Living Daylights
Again, a great song, by another favorite band of the time, Aha (taaaaake onnnnn meeee). Movie, well, frig, don’t even start. I’ll listen to the song for 90 minutes and you tell me when Dalton is finished trying to ruin the franchise.
License To Kill
Again, where is that 0.25 Beretta. What a garbage song. Granted, it DID suit the GARBAGE movie. Gladys damn you have you never watched a Bond film? Okay, okay, she didn’t write it but still. Garbage film, garbage Bond theme. Jesus Christ.
I’m not a Tina Turner fan and I have no use for Bono but this was okay. Maybe it’s just because it suited the film or maybe because of License to Kill making everything seem better. Just okay. Not great. Okay in a TV Movie of the Week Theme way.
Tomorrow Never Dies
Crap crap crap crap crap. I’m getting tired. Maybe this is becoming binary. Crap, honey, crap, honey. This one is crap. I didn’t even remember it till I YouTubed it. I must have wiped my memory. Moving on…
The World is Not Enough
I love Shirley Manson and Garbage is a great band. This is a decent song. It suits the film and brings about a Bondian atmosphere. Nothing bad about this.
Die Another Day
Madonna. Meh. Its not a good song, its not a good Bond theme. It’s Madonna.
You Know My Name
I didn’t like it when I first heard it but it grew on me as I watched Casino Royale over and over and over again. Yes, a great song. First in a long while. Suits the film and does not insult the franchise LIKE MADONNA did.
Another Way to Die
An interesting combination, Jack White and Alicia Keys. A decent song as well with good brass instrument throw ins to hearken back to old themes. I like it. Might not suit the franchise as well as some but suits the film itself.
***/***** (3.5 really)
I do not like Adele. I find her Elmer Fuddyness makes her otherwise decent range un-listenable. I also do not like this song. Perhaps if it was sung be someone less apt to marry Bugs Bunny in an opera and perhaps if they cut back the use of the word Skyfall by oh say 75%.
Writing’s on the Wall
This is a pop ballad, not a Bond theme. Ugh. Maybe an end credits song in the last film of the series when Bond dies. Terrible shite.