James Bond: 10 Best Title Sequences

In anticipation of SPECTRE, FilmDungeon.com editor Jeppe Kleyngeld lists his favourite things about the James Bond series in 12 unique features. Enjoy!

10. The Man with the Golden Gun
Song: ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’
Artist: Lulu (performer) and John Barry (composer)The Man with the Golden Gun 1
Golden guns and bullets and beautiful (naked) dames make for a very cool opening sequence, even though the opening song by Scottish singer Lulu is somewhat forgettable. The theme tune is considered by critics to be among the weakest of Barry’s contributions to the series. He agrees himself. ‘It’s the one I hate most… it just never happened for me.’

9. Tomorrow Never Dies
Song: ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’
Artist: Sheryl Crow (writer and performer) and Mitchell Froom (writer and producer)
Tomorrow Never Dies 1
Bond really enters the digital age with TOMORROW NEVER DIES. The title scene represents that transition perfectly with the usual images of guns and girls morphed into digital transformations. It has a relaxed pace, features a melodic song by Sheryl Crow and perfectly fits the media theme of the instalment.

8. Moonraker
Song: ‘Moonraker’
Artist: Shirley Bassey (performer) and John Barry (composer)Moonraker 1
High velocity, blue moons, the earth seen from space, lunar experience, dames flying… The Moonraker title sequence features the third and final Bond-song performed by Shirley Bassey (following GOLDFINGER and DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER). Very pleasant title sequence that feels a bit like floating in outer space…

7. Licence to Kill
Song: ‘Licence to Kill’
Artist: Gladys Knight (performer) and Michael Kamen (composer)Licence to Kill 1
John Barry was not available at the time of production for LICENCE TO KILL, so Michael Kamen (LETHAL WEAPON, DIE HARD) got the composing job. The song, performed by Gladys Knight, became one of the finest and most popular title songs of the series. It remains a classic song to this day, really beautiful. The title design is the last one by Maurice Binder. He died in 1991.

6. Dr. No
Song: ‘The James Bond Theme’
Artist: Monty Norman (writer) and John Barry (composer)Dr. No 1
The first ever title sequence is a pretty basic, but colourful and atmospheric animation sequence. What really makes it work is the exciting and cool surf rock style guitar riff. This ‘James Bond theme’ would return in every Bond flick. Since this is the first time the theme music is used, a position in this list is obligatory.

5. Casino Royale
Song: ‘You Know My Name’
Artist: Chris Cornell (writer and performer) and David Arnold (writer and composer)Casino Royale 1
‘You know my name.’
Yes, we do. The CASINO ROYALE animation is a stunning piece of art work. In designing the credit sequence, designer Daniel Kleinman was inspired by the cover of the 1953 British first edition of CASINO ROYALE, which featured Ian Fleming’s original design of a playing card bordered by eight red hearts dripping with blood. The scene ends with Bond’s double 0 status being confirmed. New Bond Daniel Craig walks up to the camera, slowly revealing his face. Yes, this is Bond allright.

4. GoldenEye
Song: ‘GoldenEye’
Artist: Tina Turner (performer), Bono & The Edge (writers) and Nellee Hooper (composer)GoldenEye 1
Tina Turner’s GoldenEye is one of the coolest opening songs ever. It rightly became one of the highest-charting hit singles of Turner’s career in the UK and Europe. The images of the credit sequence mostly revolve around the destruction of the old USSR, one of the main themes of GOLDENEYE. It also has a gun popping out of a girl’s mouth; a combination of the two most frequently used elements in Bond title sequences. Fantastic first design job by Daniel Kleinman, who succeeded Maurice Binder who had died in 1991.

3. You Only Live Twice
Song: ‘You Only Live Twice’
Artist: Nancy Sinatra (performer) and John Barry (composer)You Only Live Twice 1
Bitter sweet Asian style credit sequence featuring one of the most beautiful James Bond title songs. Nancy Sinatra sings a song that could easily be her fathers; romantic and spellbinding. Maurice Binder created another visually impressive intro featuring volcanos, Japanese hand fans and off course pretty Asian girls. We like.

2. Goldfinger
Song: ‘Goldfinger’
Artist: Shirley Bassey (performer) and John Barry (composer)Goldfinger 2
Beautiful golden images combines with the greatest James Bond title song hands down. Shirley Bassey’s vocals give us goose bumps every time. Interestingly, the theme was almost taken out of the film because of its producer’s (Harry Saltzman) opinion. He hated it, saying ‘That’s the worst fucking song I’ve ever heard in my fucking life’. Luckily, there was no time to record another song, so the theme song stayed. During the opening, we get to see many clips of the movie we are about to see moulded in golden shapes. It has the same effect gold does; it makes us greedy for more. Great job!

1. Skyfall
Song: ‘Skyfall’
Artist: Adele (writer and performer) and Paul Epworth (writer and producer)Skyfall 1
‘This is the end…’
A fascinating play of shadows and dark underwater worlds, and tokens of death… Designer Daniel Kleinman’s best so far. And Adele’s title song really has the classic sound to it. An unparalleled beauty of a credit sequence.

Read also:

Top 10 Vehicles
James Bond: Top 10 Vehicles

10 Greatest Licensed Kills
James Bond: 10 Greatest Licensed Kills

The James Bond Films Rated From Worst To Best (Top 10)
The James Bond Films Rated From Worst To Best (Top 10)

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5 Reacties op “James Bond: 10 Best Title Sequences

  1. Pingback: James Bond: 10 Most Memorable Deaths (Caused by Bond’s Adversaries) | @JKleyngeld

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  3. Pingback: James Bond: 10 Greatest Licensed Kills | @JKleyngeld

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