In Depth

Best Bond songs: how will Billie Eilish compare?

Bond producers hoping for hat-trick of Best Song Oscars

Billie Eilish has written and recorded the title track for the new James Bond film, No Time To Die.

The singer, who turned 18 last month, is the youngest artist ever to record a theme for the spy franchise.

Eilish composed the song with her brother Finneas O’Connell, who also worked on her Grammy-nominated debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? last year.

“It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way,” said the pop star, who added that the job was a “huge honour”.

“James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. I’m still in shock,” she said.

The last two Bond themes, Sam Smith’s Writing On The Wall and Adele’s Skyfall, both won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2015 and 2012 respectively.

Whether Eilish’s take on the theme will live up to that level of recognition is yet to be seen, but her involvement is “another potential plus” for a new Bond instalment that “has a lot going for it”, says The Guardian’s Stuart Heritage. “Billie Eilish is refreshing. She’s young. She’s authentic. She has a signature sound.”

Neil McCormick at The Telegraph agrees, saying Eilish is a “sensational” Bond theme choice. She is the “smartest young pop star out there right now, with on-the-button instincts and a counterculture allure that could put a rocket up the traditional Bond song format”, he says. 

Here are some of the Bond songs Eilish will be hoping to live up to:

Writing’s On The Wall, Sam Smith (2015)

Smith’s melancholic effort was the theme to Spectre, and became the first Bond theme to reach number one in the UK singles chart. Like Adele’s effort before him, Smith picked up the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song, making it just the second Bond theme to win an Oscar.

Skyfall, Adele (2012)

Adele’s Skyfall was the first Bond theme song to win a Golden Globe and Academy Award. It topped the iTunes chart within hours of its release in October 2012, although only reached number two in the UK’s official singles chart.

Goldfinger, Shirley Bassey (1964)

Shirley Bassey holds the record for singing the most James Bond themes, including Diamonds Are Forever in 1971 and Moonraker in 1979. But it was Goldfinger that became one of the star’s signature songs and stood the test of time like few others, says Wales Online.

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Live and Let Die, Paul McCartney (1973)

Rolling Stone named Live and Let Die the greatest James Bond theme song in 2012. Guns N’ Roses gave it a second lease of life in 1991 with their own “even more over-the-top cover”, notes the magazine.

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A View To A Kill, Duran Duran (1985)

It was the only Bond song to reach the top of the Billboard charts and was named best of the Bond themes by Digital Spy in 2017. “Duran Duran’s tune brilliantly straddles the line between being a great ‘Bond theme’ and a cracking song in its own right,” says the website.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"144971","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

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