Happy Birthday Adele! The multi-million selling songstress will be parpling streamers on her 26th birthday today, and to celebrate – while we tap our watches and wonder where her next album is – we’ve looked back at the biggest selling Bond themes, including hers for Skyfall, which became the only Bond theme to win a Golden Globe, Grammy AND Oscar.
Skyfall – Adele
Originally mooted to feature Shirley Bassey as the singer, this theme to Bond’s 23rd adventure, also referenced the classic Bond theme to coincide nicely with the franchise’s 50th anniversary. Daniel Craig apparently blubbed after he heard the demo. The softy.
A View To A Kill – Duran Duran
The Durans may not have hit it off with John Barry, but this tune became the first Bond theme to top the Billboard charts. Also of note, it was the last song to feature all five members before they cleared off to do side projects and cocaine.
We Have All The Time In The World – Louis Armstrong
WHATTITW was originally a secondary theme for 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and had to wait until 1994 and a leg-up from Guinness before becoming a hit, reaching No.3 that Christmas.
Die Another Day – Madonna
From the 2002 film of the same name, Madonna’s fanbase was enough to score a Top three hit, even if there’s not much of a tune to it. The Academy also cruelly overlooked Madonna’s turn as Verity, a fencing instructor.
The Living Daylights – A-ha
Another band to not get on with John Barry – he charmingly compared the Norwegian trio to Hitlerjugend in a newspaper interview – A-Ha’s theme reached No.5 in June 1987, and has since gone on to become one of their most popular songs to play live.
Licence To Kill – Gladys Knight
Soul legend Gladys put her Pips on the backburner and scored her biggest solo success in 1989, with the first Bond hit not to have a John Barry connection (he was undergoing throat surgery at the time).
Nobody Does It Better – Carly Simon
From the Roger Moore-helming The Spy Who Loved Me, Carly Simon’s ode to the prowess of Mr Bond has outgrown its 007 connotations – and indeed reached No.007 (ahem) – and regarded as one of the greatest love songs ever. Even Radiohead have had a crack at it.
You Know My Name – Chris Cornell
One of the more anonymous Bond themes, this time for 2006’s Casino Royale, featured Soundgarden’s lungsmith Chris Cornell. Know my name? Be hard pushed to recognise it if it graffitied “No honestly, I’m a Bond theme, not just a load of shouting” across the front of your house.
For Your Eyes Only – Sheena Easton
Scots lovely Sheena first barged into showbiz when she was discovered on The Big Time by Esther Rantzen in 1979. For Your Eyes Only was her last pop hit reaching No.8 in 1981, before she flounced off to America and make mucky pop with Prince.
Another Way To Die – Jack White & Alicia Keys
Jack White dispensed of all his White Stripes limitations to make an unholy racket with Alicia Keys for this theme to Quantum of Solace in 2008, reaching No.9 in the process.
If you fancy gemming up on other Bond-related facts, grab yourself The Bluffer’s Guide To Bond®