To paraphrase a stand-out track from Nelly Furtado’s 2006 album ‘Loose’, along with a popular piece of wisdom, all things must come to an end. James Bond – the never-ending story of a spy with violent tendencies and a troubling inability to listen to instructions – has somehow rolled on for an almighty twenty-four films. In 2019, the 25th instalment is set for release, and rumours are flying about who will do the official theme tune. At this point in time, the Bond themes are probably the best thing about the entire franchise.
Let’s be completely honest, James Bond is an insufferable prick. Throwing himself across the rooftops brandishing five firearms and bursting out of his £10,000 suit like a swollen ham soaked in protein shake, he’s also a raving misogynist. In seven to ten years, when he’s finally eligible for his pension packet, James Bond will most likely quit MI6 and move onto his next career as Jeremy Clarkson’s henchman. Because if ever there was another man ideally suited for burning endless fossil fuels, revving expensive cars unnecessarily and instigating unprovoked assaults on innocent bystanders, it is James Bond.
Anyway, until that fateful day arrives , we must endure James Bond in all its glitzy, over the top, super-violent glory for another 30 film instalments. In return, please, please please let one of these people do the theme tune…
During an interview on BBC 5 Live, Years & Years – in a move which definitely rules out any future spy training – accidentally let slip that Dua Lipa might be doing the next James Bond theme. “I think Dua Lipa is doing it,” the band’s Mikey Goldworthy said before immediately backtracking into guilt mode. “I feel bad now. I’ve ruined everything”.
It’s not the first time that Dua’s batted off rumours that she’s the artist lined up for Bond 25. Previously the pop star opted for the coy approach, saying “I would love to do it, but I’m not recording it… so far. I don’t want to jinx it.” In total opposition to Mikey’s lack of talent for keeping a secret, Dua Lipa’s demonstrating exactly the kind of cunning which lends itself to the Secret Service. It’s almost as if she’s been spending a lot of time immersed in that world doing something like…. for instance, recording a James Bond theme tune!
If Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino isn’t a first-rate potential title for a James Bond film, we’ll be damned. As well as calling the martini police on their most recent album (which is exactly what James Bond would do if his martini was stirred, not shaken) and performing ‘The World’s First Monster Truck Front Flip’ (again, definitely the sort of ill-advised stunt Bond would attempt) Arctic Monkeys are the perfect band to take on the challenge.
Borrowing its inspiration from recent Arctic Monkeys album track ‘Golden Trunks’, Alex Turner and co. could consider titling their Bond effort The Man With The Golden Trunks. “What ‘dya mean you’ve never seen Casino Royale” the opening lyrics will boom, backed by prowling lounge jazz and accompanied by a visual Alex Turner dancing across an animated gun barrel while dressed like Hunter S. Thompson.
The frontman certainly thinks it’s a good idea, too. Back in 2011, Alex Turner said these exact words: “I’d love to do a tune for Bond. Definitely.”
Madonna and Charli XCX
Look, there’s no clause in the James Bond rulebook that bans artists from coming back and having a second crack, is there? Madge, let’s be fair, absolutely smashed it with her theme for ‘Die Another Day’, managing to make a well-trodden template 1) actually mildly sexy 2) very educational. Who else but Madonna could casually shoehorn in a spoken ad-lib with the lyrics “Sigmund Freud, analyse this, analyse this” without a second thought? Who else but Madonna could pull off making a futuristic space-pop jam work in this setting? We’ll tell you who else. Charli XCX.
If these two pop icons joined forces for the next Bond theme it would be nothing short of sensational. Obviously Bond’s supercar of choice this time around would absolutely need to be a Lavender Lamborghini, and it would also help if the entire film was set in the year 3078.
If Charli XCX could also consider playing the lead role of James Bond – with Madonna as M – that would also be a magnificent development for the franchise.
Specialising in mammoth-proportion crooners (often incorporating a healthy sense of impending doom, see: ‘As The World Caves In’) Matt Maltese could definitely create the sort of truly rousing Bond theme that EON talent scouts hoped for when they approached Sam Smith.
Radiohead already have a healthy interest in the Bond film oeuvre, this much is true. Calling Carly Simon’s ‘Nobody Does It Better’ the “sexiest song that was ever written,” (accurate analysis, Thom Yorke) as they covered it at a concert in 1995, the band are clearly big fans because they covered it a further fifteen times at other shows going forward.
With nothing but respect for one of the best Bond themes to date, Radiohead clearly have background knowledge, and in 2015, they even had a proper crack at writing one. Their unused song for ‘Spectre’ was turned down for being “too dark”, which was a shame. Admittedly it was quite ominous, but what do you expect when the opening credits of the finished film appear to show a silhouetted MI6 agent snogging an octopus?
In other words, they were robbed. Give the lads another go. G’wan.
As anybody who witnessed Rihanna’s performance of ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’ at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards – yep, the one where she struts casually out of a helicopter while clad in a villainous green coat – can attest to, RiRi would not only make the perfect Bond theme, she would make the perfect Bond baddy. If there’s anybody that can put an arrogant and privileged toe-rag like James Bond back in his rightful place, it’s her. To be honest Rihanna would probably take the jumped-up little spy down in one well-timed swipe, and the never-ending film series would finally stop forever. Forget about the theme tune, she can have the lead evil role.
Beyoncé was reportedly ‘in talks’ to record a James Bond theme tune last year, and according to ‘a source’, the pop legend also was considering recruiting Jay-Z for a 2019 film theme. Taking away from its own authority somewhat, this same mysterious source also claimed that “Adele told [Beyoncé] how co-writing and performing a Bond theme gave her an amazing career hike.” As we all know, plucky newcomer Bey could really do with the exposure.
While that minor detail lowers the probability of this being a believable prospect, there’s no denying that a Beyoncé Bond theme would be an absolute hulker. With the sort of belting vocal pipes that can equal Dame Shirley Bassey’s ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (no easy feat), she’s also got proven experience in the niche field of working closely with a British spy. In 2002, she starred in the spoof film Austin Powers: Goldmember. A career move which can be definitively described as “regrettable”, doing a Bond theme proper might just make everyone forget about her role as Foxy Cleopatra.