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Top 10 James Bond theme songs ever

Jessica Letkemann
Billboard

James Bond celebrates his 50th anniversary on the silver screen Friday with the release of Adele's theme tune for the next Bond film, "Skyfall." The British singer's new torch song, of course, joins a pantheon of famous 007 tracks. In honor of Bond's birthday and Adele's "Skyfall," we're offering a toast -- shaken, not stirred -- in the form of a look at the top-charting James Bond film theme songs ever.

This top 10 ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart through the tally dated Oct. 13, 2012. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.

Bing: Bond's 50th anniversary

10. "Diamonds Are Forever," Shirley Bassey. Hot 100 Peak: 57. Peak Year: 1972. From the Bond film "Diamonds Are Forever."

9. "You Only Live Twice," Nancy Sinatra. Hot 100 Peak: 44. Peak Year: 1967. From the Bond film "You Only Live Twice."

8. "All Time High," Rita Coolidge. Hot 100 Peak: 36. Peak Year: 1983. From the Bond film "Octopussy."

7. "Thunderball," Tom Jones. Hot 100 Peak: 25. Peak Year: 1966. From the Bond film "Thunderball."

6. "Die Another Day," Madonna. Hot 100 Peak: 8. Peak Year: 2003. From the Bond film "Die Another Day."

5. "Goldfinger," Shirley Bassey. Hot 100 Peak: 8. Peak Year: 1965. From the Bond film "Goldfinger."

4. "For Your Eyes Only," Sheena Easton. Hot 100 Peak: 4. Peak Year: 1981. From the Bond film "For Your Eyes Only."

3. "Live and Let Die," Paul McCartney & Wings. Hot 100 Peak: 2. Peak Year: 1973. From the Bond film "Live and Let Die."

2. "Nobody Does It Better," Carly Simon. Hot 100 Peak: 2. Peak Year: 1977. From the Bond film "The Spy Who Loved Me." Carly Simon

1. "A View to a Kill," Duran Duran. Hot 100 Peak: 1. Peak Year: 1985. From the Bond film "A View to a Kill."

15Comments
Dec 12, 2012 10:55AM
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These are all great songs.  Music is always subjective and a polarizing topic.  Everyone has their favorites.  I like that MSN tapped Billboard to get the most commercially successful Bond songs.  It gives the whole experience a sense of history.  'Goldfinger' is definitely a tone-setter.  I've always loved 'Thunderball,' and 'The Man with the Golden Gun.'  There's lots of love for 'License to Kill,' and rightfully so.  It's magnificent.  It's hard to put a number on every Bond song.  They almost form a completely different genre all their own.  I think I love them all.  I really enjoy Adele's 'Skyfall.'  However, I keep wondering why Def Leppard hasn't been asked to do a James Bond theme.  That would rock the house.
Oct 6, 2012 11:57AM
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What part of "...This top 10 ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart..." do people not understand? They are listing the songs by how far they got on the charts. "A View To A Kill" is the only Bond theme to hit #1 in the USA. That's why it's at ...#1!!! "Nobody Does It Better"  and "Live And Let Die" both went to #2. "For Your Eyes Only" went to #4. ...And so on!  This wasn't decided by votes, it's just a list of the top performing themes.
Oct 5, 2012 3:25PM
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A View to a Kill over Live and Let Die?? You've got to be kidding!!!
Oct 5, 2012 2:18PM
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"Goldfinger" will always be the quintessential Bong song.
Oct 5, 2012 2:15PM
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Aha's "Living Daylights" shoulda been there, as should be Shirley Manson's Garbage's "The World Is Not Enough".

Shirley Bassey's Diamonds are forever or Goldfinger, should arguably be a number 1) these set the precedent for Bond themes. 

 In fact, come to think of it,  Adele's new one, is an ode to both the Shirley's..Bassey and Manson.
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