As a kid, I spent a lot of time being the go-between with my feuding parents. When they weren’t telling me how much they didn’t like each other they were probably not talking to me at all. When I was with my mom we were often out running errands and maybe going on “I’m sorry” shopping excursions. When I was with my dad, we watched movies. Mostly horror and action films. The films I enjoyed watching most of all were James Bond movies.
I came to the James Bond franchise when Pierce Brosnan took over the role. All of the other heads of the franchise I had to search out on my own. I loved Bond’s style, the suits, the gadgets, the music, the women! It was a life I couldn’t get over, its sexiness and allure. I wanted that life. The life of a spy tantalized me. I didn’t want to be a Bond girl, I wanted to be Bond.
I knew I was gay young but I should have known the moment I would imagine myself in a suit kissing a beautiful woman in a dimly lit hotel room. The James Bond themes are iconic. There are people I want to see do a Bond theme, I think Moses Sumney would crush it. But we are not here to theorize about who would be the next best lead for the series. We are here to rank every existing theme from 1-25 based on the song’s lesbian energy, with 1 having the most lesbian energy of them all. Doing this required me to listen to every song multiple times so if you see me walking around with a sleeker walk it’s because I’m a spy in my head and you’re all wondering how I’m so mysterious and sexy.
25. “The Man With The Golden Gun” — Lulu (1974)
This song is probably my least favorite of all of the Bond themes. It’s frantic, buzzy, and the vocals are screeching instead of the smooth coolness I’ve come to associate with Bond. It’s honestly a little laughable. It listens more like an Austin Powers theme than a Bond theme.
As far as lesbian energy goes, it’s not giving an ounce. Almost all of the Bond themes contain lyrics about Bond himself or a villain he is facing (with notable exceptions). But listening to the lead singer warble about the man with the Golden Gun just dried me right up. The instrumentation is more chaotic bisexual than lesbian, in my opinion. It just doesn’t do a lot for me, moving on.
24. “Live and Let Die” — Wings (1973)
God this song. What a mess. I don’t have a lot to say about it. There are some great drum moments in it, but then it devolves into a manic mess. I normally will consider horns gay but there are not enough in this song to save it. Thankfully this song is as mercifully short as it is heterosexual.
23. “A View to Kill” — Duran Duran (1985)
I like this song, with lyrics like “dance into the fire” my quarantined body can’t help but want to move. Bond themes usually take this sort of dancey-pop route or the gravely serious ballad route. Duran Duran can do a ballad but I think they are far more known for songs like this. It’s not really giving much lesbian energy though, but it’s getting points for the 80’s fashion and hair Duran Duran used to give and that’s at least a little lesbian. Lots of mullets and shoulder pads.
22. “The Living Daylights” — a-ha (1987)
Here’s another song I would choreograph a dance to in my spare time. a-ha’s lead singer Morten Harket’s (yes I had to google this) voice is sort of warbly and has a tinge of longing in it that I can recognize as uniquely dykey. At least more dykey than the songs previous. Combine this with the sax that starts to come in during the final third of this song and we’re starting to ease our way into lesbian territory.
21. “No Time to Die” — Billie Eilish (2020)
The lyrics are beautiful and Eilish really delivers vocally. The orchestral nature of this song is what I love in Bond themes. I love a slow, creeping ballad that leads to a big, high, long-held note.
This is also a song about being fooled and as a lesbian myself I can tell you we don’t get fooled too often because we are great judges of character and emotionally educated. Lesbians get fooled but we know we are being fooled and decide that we’re so in love we’re just gonna let it happen anyway. This song doesn’t have that flavor to it which is why it’s so low on the list. Really beautiful job though.
20. “Die Another Day” — Madonna (2002)
This is one of my favorite Bond themes. It starts in this very dramatic way that leads into a synthy, poppy hit. It gets some lesbian points because randomly at the beginning of the song she says “Sigmund Freud, analyze this” and the lesbians I know are either arguing with Freud’s thought or engaging critically with it in a positive way. Let’s be honest. Madonna is a gay icon. But is she a lesbian icon? Not really! Also, “Die Another Day”? A good lesbian is gonna wanna get right down to work and die as soon as possible. Why put off tomorrow what you can do today?
19: “You Know My Name” — Chris Cornell (Casino Royale, 2006)
There’s something so confident about titling a song “You Know My Name.” Like bitch I don’t even have to say it, perfect, I love it.
This song gives me the energy of an older butch lesbian that has an office job but loves fast cars and her goddamn woman. On the weekends she lets loose with a few beers and her favorite classic rock. Something that was released in 2006 can hardly be called classic rock but it has that feel for me. I have met this lesbian and her name is Deb, she calls her partner Sher and they love sitting in their recliners to take the pressure off their feet after a long motorcycle ride along the coast.
18. “Thunderball” — Tom Jones, Don Black, John Barry (1965)
Why this song is so high is news to me but something about the horns in it gives me sapphic vibes. The horn is an instrument of yearning. This song is heavy with it, and as I have said, I love a ballad that reaches it’s climax with a big note. Lesbians known all there is to know about reaching a climax so there ya have it.
17: “Writing’s On The Wall” — Sam Smith (Spectre, 2015)
Sam Smith is incredibly talented and gorgeous. Their voice is memorable and vulnerable and open. I love listening to this song. With lyrics like:
“How do I live? How do I breathe?
When you’re not here I’m suffocating
I want to feel love, run through my blood
Tell me is this where I give it all up?
For you I have to risk it all
‘Cause the writing’s on the wall”
We are definitely in the realm of lesbian co-dependency. This song is a classic unrequited love song which I am frankly very familiar with. The yearning for someone to be there for you unequivocally feels kind of out of step with traditional Bond themes. It is slow and doesn’t really build in the way I like — but it is giving me some lezzy tinges.
16. Skyfall — Adele (2012)
Adele feels hopelessly heterosexual to me.
This song is hardly pulling through on the lesbian front. It is saved by the chorus “let the sky fall, let it crumble, we will stand tall face it all together.” Is there anything more lesbian than staying in a relationship when everything around you seems to be falling apart? I don’t think so.
15. “Another Way To Die” — Alicia Keys and Jack White (Quantum of Solace, 2008)
“SHOOT EM UP BANG BANG”
is a lyric that is yelled in this song. But wait! there are other lyrics, like the opening ones for example:
“I know the player
With the slick
For her majesty”
slick?? fingers??? come on! COME ON! We can look past the fact that this song is usually incredibly low on lists ranking Bond themes from worst to best. That’s not what we are doing here. This song is carried based on the pure lesbian energy of Ms. Alicia Keys. She might be married and a Mrs. but I’m not motivated enough to look. Ms. Keys gives big stemme energy and so does this song. Like a lean, kinda mean, brown-eyed stemme with a smokey gaze looking at you from the corner of a bar.
Did I mention the song ends with Ms. Keys whispering “bang bang bang bang” like lol we get it the man has guns. The voices of White and Ms. Keys always feel a little out of step with each other which isn’t very lesbian of them so this song doesn’t rank higher.
14. “We Have All The Time In The World” — Louis Armstrong (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969)
This song has more optimism than most Bond themes have but it is injected with a bit of melancholy if you know the movie, and also recognize the slit hint of it in Armstrong’s deep, resonant voice. Being the most famous horn player known to man, one might not think Louis Armstrong exudes big lesbian energy. But it’s less about him and more about the sentimentality of the song.
13. “For Your Eyes Only” — Sheena Easton (1981)
This is one of the slower ballads in the franchise. This song for me calls to mind one of those lesbians who’s newly in love and everything is glittering and sparkling. Everything is for her or about her. If you’re a friend of this lesbian she’s completely fallen off the map, starts saying things like “maybe I’m an open book because I know you’re mine.” Sounds like oversharing on a first date, you can’t tell me I’m wrong. Also, the cover art for this song is giving me a femme who smokes a lot of cigarettes and asks you for your number without hesitation. She’s confident and in love and nothing can get in her way.
12. “All Time High” — Rita Coolidge (Octopussy, 1983)
“All Time High” gives very similar vibes to For Your Eyes Only. It does sound kind of like the theme to a sitcom and is kinda boring but it was in Octopussy…so…
I mean don’t make me explain myself here. Rita Coolidge is super hot and that’s a very dykey name. “Yeah me and Rita are gonna go down to Redondo Beach and spend a few days together.” You see it, you see it!
11. “James Bond Theme” — John Barry Orchestra (Dr. No, 1962)
The icon herself. The original Bond theme. The strumming on that guitar lets me know there was some exceptional finger play at work and that is incredibly sexy. Forget what that mouf do, let’s talk about those fingers dude. This song makes me think about shadows and skulking around corners, it thrills me and excites me.
It also gets major lesbian points for being the only lyrics-less song on the list. Sometimes you gotta say it all by saying nothing at all, you know what I mean?
10. “Moon Raker” — Shirley Bassey (1979)
Did somebody say THE MOON, did somebody say SHIRLEY BASSEY. Shirley Bassey has done three Bond themes and all three of them broke the top ten. That’s commitment and we know a thing or two about commitment on this side of the Kinsey scale.
“Moon Raker” is wistful and dreamy, not my favorite bond theme but sounds like something out of Disney movie after the Princess has found her true destiny and decides she doesn’t need to fall in love to achieve it.
9. “You Only Live Twice” — Nancy Sinatra (1967)
Something about Nancy Sinatra just screams lesbian to me. This song is very psychedelic and calls to mind something that I would have heard in Daughters of Darkness. I like the subversion of the popular saying “you only live once.” This song is breaking rules like a gender fucked lesbian who uses they/them pronouns and works at a bike shop.
8. “From Russia, With Love” — Matt Monro (1963)
This one is laughably gay. From “Russia with Love”? Russia is where your long-distance lover that you met on Lex lives. You have to spend all your sky miles to fly to her only to spend a few days with your new true love. My ex once taught herself Russian so she could sing “All The Things She Said” in its original language, so I associate Russian things with big gay commitment energy. Also, Matt Monro has a voice that carries on as a lesbian would.
7. “Nobody Does it Better” — Carly Simon (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977)
This one is for the newly out lesbian that just had sex with a woman for the first time. She had eight orgasms and wasn’t sure that was possible beforehand. Nobody does it better indeed. Simon croons, “why’d you have to be so good” at one point which I think is something I’ve said during sex before. This song is imploring and exalting.
Being a lesbian makes me feel sad for the heterosexual women that seem to exist in circles outside of mine. This song really does give off the intensity of someone that’s just had really great sex and wants to tell you about it right this moment.
6. “Goldeneye” — Tina Turner (1995)
Now this song is sleek and sexy. It again makes me think of skulking around corners but this time I’m in a catsuit with a golden gun. I, of course, am too beautiful to know how to use a gun so it’s merely for effect here. It’s got a great beat and Tina Turner’s voice itself is cat-like and enticing.
This song gives me more villain than a hero and what’s queerer than a villain. The lyrics read like a woman who is ready to get revenge, and my Scorpio placements are all about that.
5. “Goldfinger” — Shirley Bassey (1964)
This song starts bold with horns screaming right in your ear. Then Shirley Bassey’s distinct, almost growling voice comes in, at points sounding operatic. It’s got “finger” in the title so we’re already off to the races with the lesbian aura. There’s also talk of a “web of sin” and golden words being poured into your ear. Sounds to me like I’m being lulled into a relationship by an emotionally unavailable stud with a cold heart who will definitely break mine given the chance.
Also, every kiss from a woman is the kiss of death. Have you ever kissed a woman? You’re done afterward. Absolutely spent. And the way Bassey holds the final note is about as close as a song can get to an orgasm so there’s that.
4. “License to Kill” — Gladys Knight (1989)
I love this song. I love this song. It’s so goddamn good.
I would love to see it in the lesbian reboot of a Bond film. For years I’ve been screaming about how I want a movie about a sexy woman spy whose beautiful wife gets kidnapped by one of her rivals and so the whole movie is her getting back to her beautiful wife, culminating with a tantalizing kiss. The lyrics “got a license to kill anyone who tries to tear us apart” gives me two overly-commital lesbians who will do anything for each other even though everyone around them knows they are destined for failure. I just love “gotta license to kill and you know I’m going straight for your heart.” Like HELL YES SHOOT EM UP BANG BANG!!
Gladys Knight is one of our most gifted vocalist, a living legend, the fact that she lent her voice to the Bond franchise should have them on their knees kissing her feet. Again, this song is just so good. It’s got the vehemence of two dykes in love and the whispery background vocals kill me every time.
3. “The World is Not Enough” — Garbage (1999)
The sweeping entrance of this song makes me think of running through a field or up a spiral staircase. The strings are grand and indulgent. The vocals are slithery and seductive. Like a woman in a slip of a dress, this song is super hot. I’m imagining a femme for femme fatale couple, every look they give is deadly and they are clearly so into each other that it makes everyone around them a little horny by association.
2. “Diamonds are Forever” — Shirley Bassey (1973)
I know “diamonds are a girl’s best friend” is a saying that straight women love to put on their Instagram captions or have on tacky home decor. But Diamonds are Forever? Completely different story. Diamonds are Forever is a high femme mistress who probably gets diamonds from her male clients but exclusively loves women.
This song also has one of my favorite lyrics ever: “unlike men, the diamonds linger. Men are mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for.” The way she says “men” with such disdain! A man-hating lesbians anthem!! Take the money and diamonds and run baby. Shirley Bassey’s voice is so powerful and commanding, the way she purs “stimulate and tease […]touch it, stroke it, and caress it” is just everything you could ever want in a song.
1. “Tomorrow Never Dies” — Sheryl Crow (1997)
This might be my most listened to Bond theme. Something about solo female guitarists gives me big BIG lesbian energy except for Taylor Swift. But 90s female solo guitarists really had it. Rocking vests as shirts! Lots of leather! Big hair and dark lips! Sheryl Crow just kind of sings like a lesbian would, too. You know what I mean, the way she kinda purs “it’s so deadly my dear, the power of having you near” and then launches into full-throated screaming in the chorus.
Why does this song have the number one spot? It’s hard to explain, it’s all in the fashion and the vocal performance. At points Crow is restrained and at an almost whisper, but then that chorus hits, and it’s like she really wants to show you what that mouth can do. She’s oscillating between extremes like a relationship between two mismatched women held together exclusively by great sex. We’ve all been there before.
The song itself sort of reads like an end of a relationship song, unlike many of the other themes that are about being at the start or in the throws of love. This song is great and a favorite of mine for a reason. It’s usually in the top ten for best Bond songs so I’m not the only one that thinks so. But this list, arguably the most hard-hitting and important, is the one that you should be most painfully aware of.
As I said, many of these songs are about being in love and lesbians love that more than anything, so just about all of them have a tinge of lesbian energy. Fight your mama on this one. It made me feel like a hard-hitting journalist as I drank my apple juice with my headphones on full blast listening to these songs. I am a little curious what your ranking would be though, so let me know!