Rejected Bond Theme Songs

Over the years, a number of major artists have recorded Bond themes that were rejected by the producers. You can find out about many of these “lost” songs in the excellent BBC documentary JAMES BOND’S GREATEST HITS.
Here are a few of the rejected Bond theme songs, starting below with Johnny Cash’s rejected THUNDERBALL theme played against the THUNDERBALL main title sequence:

Here is Alice Cooper’s rejected theme for THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN. He’s interviewed on the “James Bond’s Greatest Hits” documentary and is pretty pissed off that his theme was tossed in favor of Lulu’s awful theme:

Here is Dionne Warwick’s MR. KISS KISS BANG BANG, another rejected THUNDERBALL main title theme. Shirley Bassey also recorded a version of it. Both versions are available on the Best of James Bond CD collection:

Here is Julie Roger’s rejected theme for YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, which is also available on the Best of James Bond CD collection. She’s interviewed on the “James Bond’s Greatest Hits” documentary and talks about her disappointment at being passed over:

Here is Blondie’s rejected theme to FOR YOUR EYES ONLY:

Here is St. Etienne’s rejected theme for TOMORROW NEVER DIES. She’s also interviewed in the documentary and isn’t a fan of Sheryl Crow’s theme:

Here’s Pulp’s rejected theme for TOMORROW NEVER DIES (which they retitled “Tomorrow Never Lies” for their album). They’re also interviewed in the documentary.

Here is Phyllis Hyman’s rejected theme for NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN. Hyman isn’t interviewed but Lani Hall and Herb Alpert, who did the final theme, do appear and admit that their winning song wasn’t very good.

7 thoughts on “Rejected Bond Theme Songs”

  1. I really like the Alice cooper theme and the Blondie theme. While I love the Johnny Cash song it just isn’t right for Bond.
    Sheryl Crow blows and I can’t believe they let her do the theme fro tomorrow never dies.
    The best Bond theme hands down is by the psycho Brit Paul McCartney, Live and Let Die is an ass kicker.

  2. This entry was exactly what I needed. While I have seen all the Bonds films, except for the new one, I still don’t know all the backstory for films and now the music. Wow, this was really cool to learn this. Any news where I can see the BBC Doc on the Bond music? On a side note, I remembered Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls was to sing Die Another Day. As we know Madonna sung this song, is there something out with Sporty’s version or am I off the mark?

  3. I wouldn’t have minded Ace of Base’s “GoldenEye” theme over Tina Turner’s or Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang over Tom Jones’ “Thunderball” (even though “Thunderball” is one of my favorite themes.) But overall, I think the final songs chosen for each movie are the best fits. I love Lulu’s “Man with the Golden Gun” and I think the Keyes/White duet was perfect for “Quantum of Solace.”
    p.s.: I love the “Diagnosis Murder” books.


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