Idolator Presents: The Worst James Bond Themes Of All Time!

Brian Raftery | November 3, 2006 12:02 pm

When Chris Cornell released his sink-like-a-stone theme song for the new James Bond movie this week, it proved what we’ve been saying for years: Duran Duran, we never know how good we had it with you. Ever since the early ’80s, the 007 franchise has been trotting out one unmemorable opening-credits number after another, prompting us to compile this YouTube-assisted list of the most egregious offenders. It will leave you shaken, stirred, and pining for the glory days of Shirley Bassey.

5. Chris Cornell, “You Know My Name” (Casino Royale, 2006) The Audioslave frontman with the ever-disappearing beard is the 4,235th singer to incorporate the Bond theme into a pop song, a method that never ever, works. The only memorable part of this song is the opening riffs, and that’s because they sound suspiciously like Yes’ “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.”
4. a-ha, “The Living Daylights” (The Living Daylights, 1987) Not a terrible song, mind you, but one that was clearly around for years until a-ha realized that they could simply slap on the irrelevant title and sell it to Albert Broccoli (a realization that was no doubt accompanied by an actual exclamation of “A ha!”). Also noteworthy for its emasculatingly dinky stand-up keyboard, which was later sold to Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers.
3. Garbage, “The World Is Not Enough” (The World Is Not Enough, 1999) Fun fact: No one has ever listened to this song. Except when it was called “The Way We Were.”
2. Rita Coolidge, “All Time High” (Octopussy, 1983) Clearly, the producers were so desperate to re-create the success of “Nobody Does It Better”; how else to explain why they hired someone who looked like Carly Simon? Alas, it didn’t work: From the AM-lite horn intro to the turgid “(we’re) doing so much more/that falling in love” lyric, “All Time High” is the very definition of “passable.” It may as well have been used in a Country Crock ad.
1. Tina Turner, “Goldeneye” (Goldeneye, 1995) Granted, there are worse entries in the Bond-movie canon, but how many of them were written by Bono and the Edge? How many of them were backed by a tinny, Legend Of Zelda-like horn section? And how many of them forced Turner to deliver lines like “It’s a gold and honey trap/that I’ve got for you tonight”?