James Bond music

The James Bond film series from Eon Productions features numerous musical compositions since its inception in 1962, many of which are now considered classic pieces of British film music. The best known of these pieces is the ubiquitous "James Bond Theme". Other instrumentals, such as the "007 Theme" or "On Her Majesty's Secret Service", and various songs, such as Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger", Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die", Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better", Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only", Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill" and Tina Turner's "Goldeneye" also become identified with the series. Two Bond songs have won the Academy Award for Best Original Song: "Skyfall" by Adele and "Writing's on the Wall" by Sam Smith, with the latter also becoming the first Bond theme to reach number one on the U.K. music charts.

"James Bond Theme"

The "James Bond Theme" is the main signature theme of the James Bond films and has featured in every Eon Productions Bond film since Dr. No, released in 1962. The piece has been used as an accompanying fanfare to the gun barrel sequence in every Eon Bond film.

"James Bond Is Back"

The briefest of "James Bond themes", this composition started off the "Opening Titles" music of From Russia with Love. It was heard in the On Her Majesty's Secret Service film trailer. WLS used the theme in the mid-1960s for their secret agent radio serial "The Wild Adventures of Peter Fugitive" that appeared on "The Art Roberts Show".

"007 Theme"

"007 Theme", not to be confused with the "James Bond Theme", is an adventure theme composed by John Barry in 1963 for the Bond film, From Russia with Love.
"The John Barry Seven" had pop chart hit with a cover version of Elmer Bernstein's theme to The Magnificent Seven that included seven beats repeated throughout the theme. Barry used seven beats throughout the "007 Theme".
It became a secondary theme for the Bond films, being used throughout the series, primarily during action scenes. Its most notable appearances are:
The theme has not been used in its entirety in a Bond film since its use in Moonraker.
This piece of music was also used by Al Primo, the news director at KYW-TV in Philadelphia for its long-time theme to Eyewitness News, and was adopted by other Group W stations in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Boston and San Francisco as well as other non-Group W stations, including WLS-TV in Chicago. The theme was also sampled by Big Audio Dynamite for the 1986 song "Sightsee M.C!"

"Suspense" motif

Like John Barry, David Arnold has left his own mark in the music of James Bond. In this case, he has established what can be called the "suspense motif", which is a descending, often repetitive four-note motif that can be heard in all of the Bond films he has scored. This motif can be heard in:
The largest contributions to the Bond films, save for the "James Bond Theme", are works from John Barry. In addition to his uncredited contribution to Dr. No, Barry composed eleven Bond soundtracks and is credited with the creation of "007" and the popular orchestral theme from On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Next to Barry, David Arnold is the series' most regular composer. He composed the scores for five Bond films: Tomorrow Never Dies through Quantum of Solace. His Barry-esque orchestrations combined with electronic rhythm elements gave the Pierce Brosnan era its musical identity. Arnold was essentially Barry's anointed successor, Barry having recommended Arnold to Barbara Broccoli when she took over the Bond films from her father Albert R. Broccoli.
Other major composers and record-producers include George Martin, Bill Conti, Michael Kamen, Marvin Hamlisch, Éric Serra, Thomas Newman and Hans Zimmer. Each of these composed for only one Bond film, with the exception of Newman. The departures from John Barry had various causes; sometimes Barry declined in order to avoid paying double income tax—US and UK. Barry died in 2011. Sometimes the director of a Bond film had worked with the composer of his choice on other films — the latter happened to David Arnold with Skyfall and Spectre.
FilmYearScore composer
Dr. No1962Monty Norman
From Russia with Love1963John Barry
Goldfinger1964John Barry
Thunderball1965John Barry
You Only Live Twice1967John Barry
On Her Majesty's Secret Service1969John Barry
Diamonds Are Forever1971John Barry
Live and Let Die1973George Martin
The Man with the Golden Gun1974John Barry
The Spy Who Loved Me1977Marvin Hamlisch
Moonraker1979John Barry
For Your Eyes Only1981Bill Conti
Octopussy1983John Barry
A View to a Kill1985John Barry
The Living Daylights1987John Barry
Licence to Kill1989Michael Kamen
GoldenEye1995Éric Serra
Tomorrow Never Dies1997David Arnold
The World Is Not Enough1999David Arnold
Die Another Day2002David Arnold
Casino Royale2006David Arnold
Quantum of Solace2008David Arnold
Skyfall2012Thomas Newman
Spectre2015Thomas Newman
No Time to Die2020Hans Zimmer

Music from Eon Productions

Title themes

The "James Bond Theme" is the main theme for Dr. No, and has featured in all the Eon Productions Bond films in different versions. The theme has also featured on the gun barrel sequences at the beginning of the films. The original theme was written by Monty Norman, and was performed by John Barry and his orchestra in 1962. In the opening credits of Dr. No, two other pieces were played: an untitled bongo interlude and a Calypso-flavored rendition of "Three Blind Mice", titled "Kingston Calypso". Due to this, Dr. No is the only film to have more than one opening theme. The "James Bond Theme" reached 13 in the UK Singles Chart, and remained in the charts for 13 weeks.
The opening credits of From Russia with Love were accompanied by an instrumental version of the main theme, arranged by John Barry and written by Lionel Bart. A single by The John Barry Orchestra reached 39 in the U.K. At the film's end, a vocal version by English singer Matt Monro is heard. This song spent 13 weeks in the U.K. charts, peaking at 20.
Goldfinger was the third soundtrack composed by John Barry, and this time the theme song had lyrics written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse. The soundtrack reached 1 on the Billboard 200 and spent 70 weeks on the charts. It also peaked at 14 on the UK Albums Chart, and received the Bond series first Grammy Award nomination, Best Original Score from a Motion Picture or Television Show.
Welsh singer Shirley Bassey is the only singer to perform more than one Bond theme – she recorded the themes to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker. Bassey also recorded her own versions of "Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang" for Thunderball and it was rumoured that "No Good About Goodbye" was intended for Quantum of Solace, however David Arnold said 'No Good About Goodbye' was never intended as a Bond song.
Paul McCartney's performance of "Live and Let Die" was the first Bond theme song to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song; it reached 2 as a U.S. single, and 9 on the U.K. charts. George Martin's work in the song won the Grammy for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists. Marvin Hamlisch's and Carole Bayer Sager's "Nobody Does It Better" received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as did Bill Conti's "For Your Eyes Only", which was performed by Sheena Easton. It was not until the 2013 Oscars that a Bond theme song finally won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the theme song from Skyfall by Adele. Thomas Newman's score also got the first nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Score in the series since Hamlisch's own for The Spy Who Loved Me, while winning the Grammy for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Adele's song also won the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Sam Smith's "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre would also win the Oscar for Best Original Song.
Duran Duran and John Barry's "A View To A Kill" topped the singles charts in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, the only Bond theme to hit 1 in the United States. No James Bond theme had topped the charts in the UK until Sam Smith's "Writing's on the Wall" entered the charts at number one on 2 October 2015.
Several of the later films have alternative theme songs, often during the closing credits. The Living Daylights featured The Pretenders performing "If There Was a Man," composed by John Barry with Chrissie Hynde. Licence to Kill has "If You Asked Me To" sung by Patti Labelle. GoldenEye featured Éric Serra's "The Experience of Love". Tomorrow Never Dies included k.d. lang's "Surrender" during the closing credits, a song which was originally proposed by composer David Arnold to be the title sequence theme instead of the Sheryl Crow title song. The "Surrender" theme is heard throughout the score while the melody of Sheryl Crow's song is not used again during the film. This hearkens back to the Thunderball soundtrack, where Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang was originally proposed as the opening credits music, only to be replaced by the eponymous title track as sung by Tom Jones.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service featured an instrumental theme tune, something which remains unique amongst the post-From Russia with Love films, and included a vocal theme in the form of Louis Armstrong's performance of "We Have All the Time in the World", written by John Barry and Hal David.
FilmYearScore composerTitle songComposed byPerformed byU.K. peak
U.S. peak
Dr. No
1962Monty Norman"James Bond Theme"Monty NormanJohn Barry & Orchestra; Monty Norman13
Dr. No
1962Monty Norman"Kingston Calypso1"
1. The 'Kingston Calypso' is a.k.a. 'Three Blind Mice'
Monty NormanByron Lee and the Dragonaires
From Russia with Love
1963John Barry"Opening Titles: James Bond Is Back/From Russia with Love/James Bond Theme"John Barry
Lionel Bart
Monty Norman
John Barry
Matt Monro
1964John Barry"Goldfinger"Leslie Bricusse
Anthony Newley
John Barry
Shirley Bassey218
1965John Barry"Thunderball"John Barry
Don Black
Tom Jones3525
You Only Live Twice
1967John Barry"You Only Live Twice"John Barry
Leslie Bricusse
Nancy Sinatra 1144
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
1969John Barry"On Her Majesty's Secret Service"John Barry
Hal David
The John Barry Orchestra
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
1969John Barry"We Have All the Time in the World"
John Barry
Hal David
Louis Armstrong3
Diamonds Are Forever
1971John Barry"Diamonds Are Forever"John Barry
Don Black
Shirley Bassey3857
Live and Let Die
1973George Martin"Live and Let Die"Paul McCartney
Linda McCartney
Paul McCartney & Wings92
The Man with the Golden Gun
1974John Barry"The Man with the Golden Gun"John Barry
Don Black
The Spy Who Loved Me
1977Marvin Hamlisch"Nobody Does It Better"Marvin Hamlisch
Carole Bayer Sager
Carly Simon72
1979John Barry"Moonraker"John Barry
Hal David
Shirley Bassey
For Your Eyes Only
1981Bill Conti"For Your Eyes Only"Bill Conti
Mick Leeson
Sheena Easton84
1983John Barry"All Time High"John Barry
Tim Rice
Stephen Short
Rita Coolidge7536
A View to a Kill
1985John Barry"A View to a Kill"John Barry
Duran Duran
Duran Duran21
The Living Daylights
1987John Barry"The Living Daylights"John Barry
Pål Waaktaar
Licence to Kill
1989Michael Kamen"Licence to Kill"Narada Michael Walden
Jeffrey Cohen
Walter Afanasieff
Gladys Knight6
1995Éric Serra"GoldenEye"Bono
The Edge
Tina Turner10102
Tomorrow Never Dies
1997David Arnold"Tomorrow Never Dies"Sheryl Crow
Mitchell Froom
Sheryl Crow12
The World Is Not Enough
1999David Arnold"The World Is Not Enough"David Arnold
Don Black
Die Another Day
2002David Arnold"Die Another Day"Madonna
Mirwais Ahmadzaï
Casino Royale
2006David Arnold"You Know My Name"David Arnold
Chris Cornell
Chris Cornell779
Quantum of Solace
2008David Arnold"Another Way to Die"Jack WhiteJack White
Alicia Keys
2012Thomas Newman"Skyfall"Adele
Paul Epworth
2015Thomas Newman"Writing's on the Wall"
Sam Smith
Jimmy Napes
Sam Smith171
No Time to Die2020Hans Zimmer"No Time to Die"Billie Eilish
Finneas O'Connell
Billie Eilish116

A number of Bond films include one additional songs in the soundtrack. Some of these pieces of music, such as "We Have All the Time in the World" by Louis Armstrong, have gone on to become as well known as the main themes, while other songs remain exclusively linked to the film in which they appear.
FilmTitleYearPerformed by
Dr. No"Jump Up!"
"Three Blind Mice1"
"Jamaican Rock"
"Under the Mango Tree"
1 'Three Blind Mice' is a.k.a. the 'Kingston Calypso'
1962Byron Lee and the Dragonaires
Monty Norman
Diana Coupland
From Russia with Love"From Russia with Love" 1963Matt Monro
Thunderball"Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang"1965Dionne Warwick
and another version by Shirley Bassey
On Her Majesty's Secret Service"We Have All the Time in the World"
"Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?"
1969Louis Armstrong
For Your Eyes Only"Make It Last All Night"1981Rage
A View to a Kill"California Girls" 1985Gidea Park
The Living Daylights"Where Has Everybody Gone?"
"If There Was a Man"
1987The Pretenders
Licence to Kill"If You Asked Me To"
"Wedding Party"
"Dirty Love"
1989Patti Labelle
Tim Feehan
GoldenEye"The Experience of Love"
"James Bond Theme"
1995Éric Serra
Starr Parodi and Jeff Fair
Tomorrow Never Dies"Surrender"
"James Bond Theme"
1997k.d. lang
The World Is Not Enough"Only Myself to Blame"
"James Bond Theme"
"Sweetest Coma Again"
1999Scott Walker
David Arnold
Luna Sea
Die Another Day"London Calling"
"James Bond Theme "
2002The Clash
Paul Oakenfold

Some songs have been dubbed for the foreign versions of the films.
FilmOriginal titleTranslated titlePerformerCountry
From Russia with Love"From Russia with Love""Bons baisers de Russie"
"Die Wolga ist weit"
Bob Asklof
Ruth Berlé
On Her Majesty's Secret Service"Do You Know How Christmas Trees Are Grown?""Savez-vous ce qu'il faut au sapin de Noël?"
"Wovon träumt ein Weihnachtsbaum im Mai?"
Isabelle Aubret
Katja Ebstein
Diamonds Are Forever"Diamonds Are Forever""Vivo di diamanti"Shirley BasseyItaly

Non-Eon Productions songs

Main title themes

A number of songs have been recorded for Bond films but not used.
Bond music has inspired a number of cover albums in a variety of genres, including the 2007 album Mister Bond – A Jazzy Cocktail of Ice Cold Themes, featuring David Arnold collaborating with several contemporary artists. The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra recorded several albums with Bond music and performs in premieres and special events of Bond films. Britain's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra released an album of several Bond songs performances called Best Of James Bond, some of which were used on the "Ultimate Edition" DVD releases menus. Billy Strange released "Secret Agent File" in 1965. Death metal cover band Ten Masked Men has included at least one Bond theme on each of their albums. In 2004, The Cavaliers play a show titled "007" using Bond music, such as "GoldenEye", "For Your Eyes Only", "Live and Let Die", "Hovercraft Chase", "Welcome to Cuba" and "Paris and Bond". Some of them are Italo disco-like rhythms and soundtrack albums promote hits that matches the film's theme. In 2000 'An Electronika Tribute to James Bond' album was released adding yet another genre to the Bond fandom.
"James Bond Theme"Billy Strange
Neil Norman
The Art of Noise
Naked City
The Skatalites
Count Basie
LTJ Bukem
City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
Soft Cell
The Ventures
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Leningrad Cowboys
Hank Marvin
"From Russia with Love"Natacha Atlas
Count Basie
Thomas Lang
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Hank Marvin
"Goldfinger"Count Basie
Billy Strange
Anthony Newley
Ten Masked Men
Blue Stingrays
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Leningrad Cowboys
Hank Marvin
Alan Partridge
Chaka Khan
"Thunderball"Martin Fry
Shirley Bassey
The Kingpins
Guy Lombardo
Billy Strange
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
"You Only Live Twice"Soft Cell
Mark Burgess
Natacha Atlas
Robbie Williams
Shirley Bassey
Trashcan Sinatras
Billy Strange
Eddie Peregrina
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Billy Mackenzie
Hank Marvin
Mark Lanegan
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service"Propellerheads
Vernian Process
Hank Marvin
"We Have All The Time in the World"Fun Lovin' Criminals
The Pale Fountains
Iggy Pop
My Bloody Valentine
The Puppini Sisters
"Diamonds Are Forever"David McAlmont
Arctic Monkeys
Kanye West
Ten Masked Men
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Chaka Khan
"Live and Let Die"Chrissie Hynde
Guns N' Roses
Geri Halliwell
Lizzy Borden
Butch Walker
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Hank Marvin
"The Man with the Golden Gun"Emilíana Torrini
Funkstar De Luxe
Thin White Rope
Ten Masked Men
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
"Nobody Does It Better"Radiohead
Aimee Mann
Alan Partridge
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
"Moonraker"Shara Nelson
Neil Norman
"For Your Eyes Only"Thomas Anders
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
"All Time High"Pulp
"A View to a Kill"Diablo
Leningrad Cowboys
Northern Kings
Shirley Bassey
Tape Five
Ten Masked Men
"The Living Daylights"Ten Masked Men
The Narrow
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
"Licence to Kill"Count Basic
"If You Asked Me To"Céline Dion
"GoldenEye"Wise Guys
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
"Tomorrow Never Dies"Uwe Kröger
"The World Is Not Enough"Jackie Moore
"You Know My Name"Poets of the Fall
"Skyfall"Within Temptation

Video games

With the increase in audio quality for video game consoles and personal computers, in addition to the continued popularity of computer and video games, publisher Electronic Arts as well as Activision has included opening themes and film-style credit sequences to some of its more recent Bond video game spin offs.
Video gameYearScore composerTitle songPerformed by
GoldenEye 0071997Graeme Norgate and Grant Kirkhope
Tomorrow Never Dies1999Tommy Tallarico"Tomorrow Never Dies"Sheryl Crow
The World Is Not Enough |Nintendo 64 and 2001Don Veca"The James Bond Theme"
'2002Steve Duckworth, Ed Lima, Jeff Tymoschuk"Nearly Civilized"Esthero
'2004Sean Callery, Jeff Tymoschuk"Everything or Nothing"Mýa
'2004Paul Oakenfold"If You're Gonna..."Natasha Bedingfield
'2005Christopher Lennertz"From Russia with Love" John Barry
'2008Christopher Lennertz"When Nobody Loves You"Kerli
GoldenEye 0072010David Arnold, Kevin Kiner"GoldenEye"Nicole Scherzinger
'2010Richard Jacques"I'll Take It All"Joss Stone
007 Legends''2012David Arnold, Kevin Kiner"Goldfinger" David Arnold


The 2008 continuation novel Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks was the first James Bond novel to receive its own theme song. Also called "Devil May Care", the song was written and recorded by Cardiff band SAL and was available on the UK audiobook release of the novel.