James Bond Movie Theme Songs, Ranked Worst to Best

From A-Ha to Adele, breaking down the franchise's legendary (and legendarily bad) opening numbers

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1. 'Goldfinger' (Shirley Bassey)

You were expecting someone else?

Where to begin with a song that almost every culturally literate person in the Western world has etched into their minds like the lines on their hands? The brassy call and response that triggers the track seems as natural a place to start as any, that two note phrase blasting the first real James Bond theme into our spinal cords even before Shirley Bassey can solder the wound shut. By the time her voice kicks in, instantly becoming as integral to the franchise as the Walther PPK or Sean Connery's hedge maze of chest hair, John Barry has already gilded the 007 movies with a frivolous sense of danger; silly in the extreme but worth taking seriously.

But it's Bassey who deserves the last word — and given her lung capacity, it's hard to take it from her. The singer couldn't have known the extent to which her performance would resonate in pop culture, but she holds that final note for so long that it may reverberate with us forever.

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