Today sees the latest and hotly anticipated James Bond adventure, Spectre, arrive on our cinema screens.
The theme tune, Writing's On The Wall, by Sam Smith has come in for some criticism in quarters as being a bit weak and ineffectual. I can see where these objections are coming from; the song builds very well but doesn't seem to go anywhere, delivering a rather maudlin chorus rather than the bombastic, rousing lift we're familiar with. But on the whole, the song is effective enough and is certainly scored in an atmospheric manner which is both haunting and catchy.
See what you think;
It's not really that bad is it?
Anyway, bearing in mind the flak Sam Smith has taken, I thought I'd share what I believe to be the three worst Bond themes in my opinion. Here they are, in no particular order;
The Man With The Golden Gun - Lulu.
I've never really been a fan of Lulu's music, though To Sir, With Love is the exception that proves the rule. Unlike that successful theme to a movie, her attempt at a James Bond theme was truly dismal. It also boasts John Barry's most risible, uninteresting score and proves that a shit Bond film always seems to equal a shit Bond theme.
Die Another Day - Madonna
"Sigmund Freud, analyse this" sings/speaks the diminutive '80s legend at one point. No prizes for guessing Freud's subsequent findings revealed that this was a terrible, embarrassment of a Bond theme. Speaking of embarrassing, a small, wizened chew toy of a man delivers an incredibly wooden performance as fencing mistress Verity. Rumour has it this was Madonna - how strange! Once again, a shit Bond theme for one of the franchises all time worst instalments.
Another Way To Die - Jack White & Alicia Keys
A deeply risible caterwauling duet between Jack White and Alicia Keys marked Daniel Craig's second outing as 007. We expected so much after the great Casino Royale and its theme from Chris Cornell, You Know My Name. What we got was a tedious adventure set to an abysmal track which plunders the Cornell riff and has a truly cringeworthy 'Woah-oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh' wail-off between White and Keys that sounds like they recorded the vocals on a ride at Alton Towers. Some neat tricksy rhyming lyrics (''Another dirty money heaven sent honey turning on a dime'') is all this theme has in its favour.
So you see, when you consider this terrible trio, Sam Smith's Writing's On The Wall really isn't that bad at all is it?
Narrowly avoiding the final three was Sheryl Crow's Tomorrow Never Dies
Many people consider this a bad song. Personally, I think it's just disappointing. There's some lovely touches to it and it's very retro '60s with its Barry-esque use of the cimbalom whilst at the same time retaining a contemporary '90s flavour but it's just an average song really, and poor Sheryl Crow - who I'm a fan of - was an admittedly strange choice for a Bond theme and seems lost in awe of the singing greats who came before her. They should have had the nerve to go with KD Lang's offering, hastily retitled Surrender and used to close the film instead.
And you may be interested to hear I have no issue with Rita Coolidge's theme for Octopussy, All Time High. I've regularly seen that met with some derision but personally I think it's a very sweet song, if a little misplaced for a Bond theme - though it's clearly following in the footsteps of Carly Simon's Nobody Does It Better (The Spy Who Loved Me) and Sheena Easton's For Your Eyes Only.
Oh and not all shit Bond films mean a shit theme - Moonraker by Shirley Bassey is sublime, whereas the film is anything but! I even love the disco version!
So, now I've set the (Thunder)ball rolling, what's your least favourite Bond film and why? I'd love to hear from you, so get commenting! And if you've seen Spectre before me, feel free to gush enthusiastically about it - but no spoilers please!