More than any other film franchise, the long-running James Bond series has a rich musical history. Sure, the Star Wars score is peerless, but each Bond film brings with it the excitement of a major pop star recording a new song suited for the 007 series.
It wasn’t always that way, of course. Bond’s first big-screen foray, Dr. No, boasted the first appearance of the iconic, oft-imitated surf guitar Bond theme music — but no major pop hit. The next one, From Russia With Love, found English pop singer Matt Monro crooning the title track, but again, it wasn’t all that memorable.
It wasn’t until the third Bond film that the gauntlet was truly thrown. Oozing drama, danger and kitschy sensuality, Welsh singer Shirley Bassey sang the Goldfinger title track and set the tone for the next 50-plus years of Bond themes.
While plenty of lists have been devoted to the best Bond theme songs, we’re taking a more historical perspective and looking at which Bond themes actually made a mark on the charts.
From the lowest to the highest charting Bond themes in America, here’s the history of 007 on the Hot 100.
Honorable mentions: Tina Turner‘s wonderful “GoldenEye” (written by Bono and the Edge) just nearly missed the Hot 100. The 1967 film Casino Royale — a Bond spoof featuring Peter Sellers and Woody Allen — boasted a title track by Burt Bacharach and Hal David that peaked at No. 27 on the Hot 100, as recorded by easy-listening legends Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.