Billboard #1s for the Week Ending May 18, 1985

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 Don’t You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds 1
R & B Fresh Kool and the Gang 1
Country Step That Step Sawyer Brown 1
Adult Contemporary Smooth Operator Sade 2
Rock Trapped Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band 2
Album No Jacket Required Phil Collins 5

DuranViewKillBondThis week sees the most successful song from a long-running movie franchise enter the Hot 100. Ian Fleming’s James Bond is one of the most famous fictional characters of all time. He featured in 12 novels and two story collections which inspired a massively successful string of movies from Eon Productions.

The James Bond Theme was introduced in 1962 in the first film, Dr. No, starring Sean Connery. It was composed by Monty Norman and performed by the John Barry Orchestra, the band that provided much of the early soundtrack music. From Russia With Love continued that style, also without a theme single, although Matt Monro sang some lyrics over the closing title theme. Starting with 1964’s Goldfinger, most of the films have included a theme song that has been fairly successful in its own right, often recorded by superstar artists.

Despite an impressive array of songs, for over 20 years none had ever topped the charts in either the US or the UK. The biggest hits were Live and Let Die by Wings and Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon. Both went to #2 in the US and #7 in the UK.

This week a very successful band blasts into the Hot 100 with the theme from the 14th Bond film as A View to A Kill by Duran Duran makes an impressive #43 debut. Two months later it spent two weeks at #1; it made it to #2 in the UK, making it the most chart successful theme in both countries.

Curiously, it also introduced a 17-year, five film dry spell for Bond on the U.S. Charts. While the next few themes broke into the UK Top 20, none of them made a dent in the Hot 100.

Here’s a look at all the films that charted a theme song on at least one side of the Atlantic.

Film Year Song Artist US Peak UK Peak
Goldfinger 1964 Goldfinger Shirley Bassey 8 21
Thunderball 1965 Thunderball Tom Jones 25 35
You Only Live Twice 1967 You Only Live Twice Nancy Sinatra 44 11
Diamonds Are Forever 1971 Diamonds Are Forever Shirley Bassey 47 38
Live and Let Die 1973 Live and Let Die Wings 2 7
The Spy Who Loved Me 1977 Nobody Does It Better Carly Simon 2 7
For Your Eyes Only 1981 For Your Eyes Only Sheena Easton 4 8
Octopussy 1983 All Time High Rita Coolidge 36 75
A View to A Kill 1985 A View to A Kill Duran Duran 1 2
The Living Daylights 1987 The Living Daylights A-Ha n/c 5
License to Kill 1989 License to Kill Gladys Knight n/c 6
Golden Eye 1995 Golden Eye Tina Turner n/c 10
Tomorrow Never Dies 1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Sheryl Crow n/c 12
The World Is Not Enough 1999 The World Is Not Enough Garbage n/c 11
Die Another Day 2002 Die Another Day Madonna 8 3
Casino Royale 2006 You Know My Name Chris Cornell 79 7
Quantum of Solace 2008 Another Way to Die Jack White & Alicia Keys 81 9
Skyfall 2012 Skyfall Adele 8 2

It’s impressive to note that every one of these songs went Top 40 in at least one country.

In addition to the first two films, 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service had a John Barry score but no title song. It did feature the Louis Armstrong classic We Have All the Time In the World which was not a charting single.

The Man With the Golden Gun (1974) and Moonraker (1979) had title songs by Lulu and Shriley Bassey respectively that were not singles.

Also of note, Nobody Does It Better was the first theme that did not match the movie title, although it does include the title in the lyrics. All Time High, You Know My Name, and Another Way to Die don’t even include the movie title in the lyrics.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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