Seven of the best rejected 'Bond' songs


UPDATED: Sam Smith's Writing's on the Walldropped online on Friday, and is so boring they should really have gone with their second choice. Only time will tell what that was.

Having dropped a very clear hint on his Twitter last night – though subtly has never been the strong suit of a film franchise with an edition named Octopussy – British singer and four-time Grammy-winner Sam Smith is set to join an elite group of singers to have belted out the tune while silhouettes of women knowingly play around with phallic-like handguns. Smith's Writing's on the Wall will be the theme to Spectre, the newest James Bond movie.

Smith is right to say his song will be joining an "incredible line up," with the last, Adele's Skyfall finally securing the series its first Academy Award for 'Best Song' after four nods, the last one being for Sheena Easton's For Your Eyes Only in 1982. 

But did you know that the honour of chrooning the theme to that Roger Moore movie almost fell to Blondie, or that Shirley Bassey's best Bond belter might well have been for 2008's Quantum of Solace? Here is our pick of the 10 best, and why Bond tunes, like diamonds, are forever...

  • Johnny Cash's Thunderball for Thunderball



Losing out to Welshman Tom Jones, the last British man to sing the theme to the series half a century ago, 1965's Thunderball could have sounded very like a spaghetti western had Johnny Cash been selected. 

Opening with brass horns and Mariachi-guitar strumming, the song outlines the vague details of the plot, and a truly catchy chorus. Out of sorts with the film's Bahamian setting, it's still a likeable song from the man in black. 

  • Dionne Warwick's Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang for Thunderball 



Another reject from 1965, this song would actually be twice turned down by the film's producers, also axing Shirley Bassey's version of the same song. Their excuse was that they, in an era before SEO even meant anything, wanted the movie title in the song, meaning the rather clunky Thunderball got the job instead. 

And what a loss, as Warwick's version is big, bold, brazen, and brassy, with playful lyrics and a sultry performance adding up to the best Bond song you've never heard. 

  • Alice Cooper's The Man with the Golden Gun for The Man with the Golden Gun 



Losing out to Lulu's more bubble-gum Bond song of the same name – routinely voted as one of the worst in the series – Cooper's version plays nicely with the iconic Bond riff with a healthy dose of rock, and plenty of brass thrown in for good measure. The instrumental goes a bit off the rails for a while, but it builds to a frantic and classic crescendo. 

  • Blondie's For Your Eyes Only for For Your Eyes Only 



While the Debbie Harry-fronted rock band have had longer-lasting success, Sheena Easton was something of a transatlantic superstar in the early 1980s. Having risen to fame on The Big Time, a BBC docusoap charting the attempts of various people to make it in showbiz, the Scottish singer would go on to win two Grammys, as well as an Oscar nomination for her song. She also holds the distinction of being the only Bond singer to appear on screen.

And it's all for naught, as it could have been Blondie! The band reportedly was offered Easton's song first and replied by recording a version of their own. Which was swiftly rejected. 

  • The Pet Shop Boy's This must be the Place I've Waited Years to Leave for The Living Daylights 



Perhaps the least likely song in the collection, it almost fits in to the angry restyled Bond that comprises Timothy Dalton's foray into the world of glamorised espionage. The legend goes that the Pet Shop Boys thought they had been commissioned to compose the entire score for the movie, but instead learned they'd only been offered the opening theme.

And so they pulled out, letting Scandipop band A-Ha take it on instead. 

  • Shirley Bassey's No Good About Goodbye for Quantum of Solace 



Written by 07 composer David Arnold with lyrics by Don Black, this song for Daniel Craig's ill-fated second outing as the MI6 spy is shrouded in some mystery. Performed by Shirley Bassey, the singer best known as the voice of the series, it was allegedly scrapped when the producers off Jack White and Alicia Keys the slot instead, and their lifeless Another Way to Die has faded into obscurity. 

This track appeared on Bassey's 2009 album The Performance, and would, if chosen, have been her best Bond song since the iconic, and untouchable, Goldfinger.

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