Chart Watch Extra: The Word Is Hit. Bond Hits.
Adele's "Skyfall" enters this week's Hot 100 at #8. The elegant ballad is the seventh (let's say 007th) opening-titles song from a James Bond movie to reach the top 10. It's the first to crack the top 10 since Madonna's "Die Another Day" 10 years ago. It's also the first to debut in the top 10.
Even casual fans know that opening-titles sequences are often the best part of Bond movies. They're sexy and clever. The opening songs, too, have been generally good, and have covered a broad range of pop and rock styles.
Thirteen opening-titles songs from "official" Bond movies (those produced by Eon Productions, the company founded by Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli and Harry Saltzman) have reached the Hot 100. Another has "bubbled under" the chart. Yet another failed to register on the pop chart, but cracked the R&B and adult contemporary charts.
Here are those 15 songs, listed in order of chart impact. Adele's song may continue to move up this list. Stay tuned.
1. Duran Duran, "A View To A Kill." This is the only Bond song to date to reach #1 on the Hot 100. Duran Duran teamed with long-time Bond composer John Barry to co-write the song, which topped the chart for two weeks in July 1985. It was the group's second #1 hit, following 1984's "The Reflex." Chic alumnus Bernard Edwards produced the smash. Barry also scored the film. In 1989, Duran Duran charted with another movie song, "Do You Believe In Shame?," from Tequila Sunrise. This was Roger Moore's seventh and final Bond film.
2. Carly Simon, "Nobody Does It Better." This is the only Bond song to receive a Grammy nomination as Song of the Year. It was the third Bond song to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Song. (The sexy and stylish song lost both awards to the deadly dull "You Light Up My Life.") Marvin Hamlisch and Carole Bayer Sager co-wrote the song, which was #2 for three weeks in October and November 1977. Richard Perry produced the smash. (Lyricist Sager gets bonus points for the clever way she integrated the title of the movie, The Spy Who Loved Me. Hamlisch also composed the score, which remains the only Bond score to receive an Oscar nomination.) Simon was 32 when the song was a hit. This was her first hit movie song. She later charted with "Why" from Soup For One, "Coming Around Again" from Heartburn and the Oscar-winning "Let The River Run" from Working Girl. Little Known Fact: Aretha Franklin sang "Nobody Does It Better" on the Oscars in March 1978. This was Roger Moore's third Bond film.
3. Paul McCartney & Wings, "Live And Let Die." This was the first Bond song to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Song. (It lost to "The Way We Were.") It was also the first Bond song to crack the top five on the Hot 100 and the first to incorporate elements of rock. It's the only one that was released as the follow-up to a #1 single ("My Love"). It's also the only one that was a top 40 hit twice. A Guns N' Roses cover reached #33 in 1992. Paul and Linda McCartney co-wrote the song, which was #2 for three weeks in August 1973. George Martin, who scored the movie, produced the smash. Paul McCartney was 31 at the time. He later charted with three more movie songs: "No More Lonely Nights" from Give My Regards To Broad Street (in which he starred), "Spies Like Us" from the movie of the same name and "The World Tonight" from Father's Day. Little Known Fact: Connie Stevens performed "Live And Let Die" on the Oscars in April 1974 (!). This was Roger Moore's first Bond film.
4. Sheena Easton, "For Your Eyes Only." Easton was just 22 when this song was a hit, making her the youngest artist to have a Bond hit. She was also the only artist who sang on-camera in the opening titles sequence. Easton performed the song on the Oscars in March 1982, making her the first artist who popularized a Bond theme to sing it on the telecast. "For Your Eyes Only" was the third Bond song to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Song. (It lost to "Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do).") Bill Conti and Michael Leeson co-wrote the song, which spent four weeks at #4 in October and November 1981. Christopher Neil produced the smash. Conti also scored the film. Easton later charted with two more movie songs: "So Far So Good" from About Last Night and Prince's "The Arms Of Orion," a hit from Batman on which she was featured. This was Roger Moore's fifth Bond film.
5. Madonna, "Die Another Day." Madonna and Mirwais Ahmadzai co-wrote and co-produced this song, which spent two weeks at #8 in November 2002. Madonna was 44 at the time. This was Madonna's 11th Hot 100 hit that came from the movies (!). Among the others: "Beautiful Stranger" from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. The title was a parody of the 1977 Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me. This was Pierce Brosnan's fourth and final Bond film.