Top 10 Best-Selling James Bond Themes

With Adele’s “Skyfall” up for an Academy Award tonight, this is a good time to look at the most commercially successful James Bond themes of all time–measured by digital sales, anyway.

1.  “Skyfall”/Adele:  1.5 million in sales, which is almost more than the rest of the top ten Bond themes put together.

2.  “Another Way to Die”/Jack White and Alicia Keys:  The Quantum of Solace song moved 318,000 downloads after it was released in 2008.

3.  “You Know My Name”/Chris Cornell:  A decent outing from Casino Royale (2006).  Sales are around 290,000.

4.  “Live and Let Die”/ Paul McCartney and Wings:  Still the best-ever Bond theme.  Physical sales that began in 1973 would push this to #1, but since we’re only talking digital here, it finishes in fourth place with 269,000.

5.  “Die Another Day”/Madonna:  I seem to recall this one getting panned when it came out in 2002, but I didn’t mind it.  (232,000)

6.  “Nobody Does It Better”/Carly Simon:  Probably the happiest and most optimistic of all the Bond themes, the opener for The Spy Who Loved Me tied with “Live and Let Die” for the highest-charting Bond songs, reaching #2 in 1977.  (213,000).

7.  “A View to a Kill”/Duran Duran:  It sounds dated today, but it was very much of the moment when it came out in 1985.  (149,000)

8.  “Goldfinger”/Shirley Bassey:  The first of her two Bond themes (this one from 1964) has sold 81,000 digital downloads.

9.  “James Bond Theme”/John Barry:  The original theme has done well since its release with Dr. No in 1962 (52,000)

10.  “Diamonds Are Forever”/Shirley Bassey:  Funny, but I thought this 1971 theme would have sold more. (51,000)

More Bond theme facts at the LA Times.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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