James Bond Essentials
It’s one of the longest-running film franchises of all time, and a lot about 007 has changed over the years. But whether it’s classic Sean Connery or gritty Daniel Craig, one thing has remained consistent: the music. John Barry’s immortal “James Bond Theme” has defined the sound of the series since 1962’s Dr. No, but the title songs from each film have also remained cultural touchstones. Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” and “Diamonds Are Forever” set the template with a bold, brassy sound that’s become a signature of the iconic opening-credit sequences. Paul McCartney & Wings’ “Live and Let Die” provided a muscular update for Roger Moore’s bow. And over the subsequent decades, some of the biggest names in music—from Madonna to Jack White—have left their imprint on the spy saga. For the 25th installment, 2020’s No Time to Die, Billie Eilish and FINNEAS represent the newest generation to take on one of pop’s long-standing rites of passage. Explore this playlist to hear the best (and the rest) of the music from 007’s long reign.