Halftime Leisure

The Weekly List: Shaken, Not Stirred

November 2, 2015


Any good James Bond fan knows that each installment in this espionage franchise is incomplete without its signature song. In its own way, each track strives to capture the essence of the film and the suave power of our beloved 007. These tailored tracks are the first impression the viewer receives of the film, as the track plays over intro credits and an artful montage of spies, guns, and “Bond girls” fills the screen. As we anxiously await the November 6th release of the latest Bond film, Spectre, Halftime has compiled a list of a few of our favorite James Bond film title themes. Without further delay, Halftime presents, The Weekly List: Shaken, Not Stirred.

“Live and Let Die”- Paul McCartney & Wings (Live and Let Die)

The mellow-starting track with the clack of piano keys seems almost uncharacteristic of the Bond genre. This suddenly crashes into a rush of horns and drums with an almost orchestral quality. However, Sir McCartney could not let this song go without a bit of a Beatles spin. The rushing inundation of sound is broken up with sections reminiscent to “Let it Be” and even  the McCartney-led Beatles project Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“Skyfall” – Adele (Skyfall)

Adele dragged Bond into the new decade with her track that shares the film’s name. Her powerful voice over brooding cello and drums reminds listeners and viewers of the high-stakes action and mystery of the 007 franchise.

“Goldfinger” – Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger)

This song, created for the second ever film in the franchise, is  the archetypal model for all future Bond title songs. Although I do not particularly care for how direct the lyrics are, the espionage-style backing music of an orchestra creates an incredible beginning for the film itself.

“A View to Kill” – Duran Duran (A View To Kill)

Few would ever guess that an 80’s New Wave band would be given the responsibility of creating such an important song for the film franchise, especially considering it was the final film of the great Roger Moore. Nonetheless, the band definitely succeeds in creating a somewhat more funky, but nonetheless successful addition to the Bond score.

“You Only Live Twice” – Nancy Sinatra (You Only Live Twice)

The daughter of Old Blue Eyes himself was given the reins on this 1967 Bond title track. High-pitched violins slowly slip into guitar coupled with Sinatra’s mellow, 60’s-style vocals. The laid back style of this song allows this song to ambiguously double as a song of romance. But as we know, James Bond is no stranger to romance.

“GoldenEye”- Tina Turner (GoldenEye)

Tina Turner performed this piece to welcome Pierce Brosnan into the role of Bond. Brosnan was the Bond that brought Ian Fleming’s series into the 21st century, opening up the eyes of a whole new generation of viewers. Her eerie, haunting tone gives a dark quality to the suspicion of a brand new international man of mystery.

“Another Way To Die”- Jack White and Alicia Keys (Quantum of Solace)

Put a king of modern rock and a queen of R&B together and something great is bound to happen. White’s classically dark and distorted guitar is combined with original bond song riffs to pay homage to the 60’s era title songs. Ignoring the connection to the film franchise for a moment, I think all listeners can appreciate such a powerful collaboration.

“Writing’s On The Wall”- Sam Smith (Spectre)

The final track on our playlist comes to you from the latest bond film, Spectre. Smith’s beautiful voice is supported by tragic, yet exciting backing music. His immaculate high notes are only rivaled by the intensity of the morose violin behind him.
That’s it for this edition of the Weekly List, Halftime hopes you enjoy your week, and go see Spectre this weekend!

Michael Bergin
Mike Bergin is the former executive culture Editor for the Georgetown Voice. You can follow him on Twitter @mbergin95

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