As a movie buff, travel-holic, and music lover, the James Bond films hold a special place in my heart. They feature scenery-chewing villains, exotic locales, and memorable opening credit sequences (not to mention cool cars, hair-raising action scenes, and gorgeous female co-stars).
“Spectre,” the 24th Bond film not counting the one-hour TV movie “Casino Royale” from 1954 nor the 1983 “Sean Connery returns” vehicle “Never Say Never Again,” opened last week. I was fortunate to catch it during its Thursday, 11/5 sneak preview. While not the best in the franchise, it is a solid follow-up to 2012’s “Skyfall” and, if the rumors are true, a nice swan song for Daniel Craig’s James Bond. The song that plays over the opening credits, “The Writing’s on the Wall” by Britain’s Sam Smith, is worthy of inclusion among the pantheon of great Bond songs. I don’t know if Smith’s falsetto was the right touch for what is supposed to be a somber tune, but you can decide for yourself here.
Smith’s song, like so many others, opens with a full orchestra. Oscar-winning film composer John Barry scored most 1960’s – 80’s Bond films and wrote many of the title tracks as well. The strings and horns are commonplace in many (though not all) 007 songs, and Smith pays heed to the tradition. But there are better Bond songs out there. Below, with YouTube links to the opening title sequences from each film, are my picks for the Top Ten Bond Theme Songs: