An odd little project
November 14, 2013
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So I recently got this 50th anniversary collection of James Bond songs and, being afflicted with mild OCD, I thought I would rank the songs from best to worst according to my own scientifically proven rating system of Things I Like. But then I was looking at the titles, and while they make generally not very good titles for songs–you might not know this, but very few songwriters choose to put words like “die” and “kill” into their song titles–they are quite good titles for movies, and, I thought, could also possibly serve as story prompts. So here is what I am going to do: I am going to post an entry for each song, from #22 (there are 23 movies, including “Skyfall” which is not in this collection, but “Dr. No” did not have a theme song per se; the John Barry “James Bond” theme is originally attributed to that movie, and if included on this list would be at #1 because it defined Bond) to #1, and for each song I will write a short bit detailing the scientific method that led me to that ranking, and also I will write a short-ish micro/flash fiction piece based around the song title (not the title of the movie it was in; they are sometimes different, as any Bond song expert will tell you). Feel free to use the titles as prompts for yourself if you want; you can link to your own fics in the comments.
Here’s my general song ranking philosophy:
I ranked them based on how good the song was on its own, and then on how well it fit the James Bond theme/movie it was attached to. I combined the rankings and they came out pretty reasonable, so here they are. One note: there are a lot of pretty good songs on this list. The whole collection is pretty enjoyable to listen to, with really none except maybe the last one that I would skip, and the top ten are legitimately terrific songs. I tried to judge them on their time period—for example, “From Russia With Love” would flop nowadays, but in the sixties when the movie came out, that kind of crooner song was still in vogue, and it’s a pretty good example of the genre.
Next post: #22.