The Most Successful Theme Songs in Daniel Craig’s Bond Movies: Billie Eilish Tops Adele in Spotify Streams

When we hear the name Bond…James Bond, we immediately think of slick tuxedos, incredible charm and charisma, huge explosions, and of course, beautiful women. Agent 007 is by far the most thrilling spy anyone can think of, and James Bond movies have been a hit ever since the first movie came out back in 1962, starring the late Sean Connery. In fact, ‘Double O7’ was popular even before making it to the big screen, captivating readers since the first Bond novel was published in the 1950s.

Obviously, top-of-the-line acting done by some of the most talented people portraying James Bond made the movies a huge success. But apart from great actors, writers and directors, the movies were also brought to life by incredible soundtracks and music. Even as you are reading this, you can practically hear the classic Bond theme song playing in your head – or is it just us?

With a brand-new James Bond movie coming up in this year, what better time to talk about Agent 007 than now? Here at CuttingRoomMusic, music, and particularly soundtracks, are our bread and butter, and we wanted to find a fun way to pass the time while we wait for the new movie. 

We analyzed the theme songs of all the James Bond movies starring Daniel Craig, to see how they performed in charts, sales, and streams. Theme songs for the Daniel Craig 007 series were recorded by artists such as Adele, Chris Cornell, Billie Eilish, and other A-list contemporary musicians. 

To calculate the revenue for the number of streams on platforms such as Spotify and YouTube, we used Music Gateway’s streaming royalties calculator.

Let’s see which songs made the most noise.

1. Casino Royale – Chris Cornell: You Know My Name 

Casino Royale was the first Daniel Craig Bond movie, and what better recording artist to helm the iconic franchise reboot with a new theme song than late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell? “You Know My Name” was a bold choice for the movie soundtrack, especially because it had been a long time since a rock artist had attempted to have a go at a James Bond theme song. 

Fortunately, the late Chris Cornell nailed it, and the song was well received. It was bold and unique, and hearing the song, we all knew that James Bond was back. The song peaked at #7 in the UK charts, and 79 in the US Billboard Hot 100, where it spent 2 weeks.

“You Know My Name” sold 323,000 digital copies, according to Variety. On Spotify alone, the song racked up over 48 million streams since its release, which roughly equates to almost $200,000 in revenue. On YouTube, on the channel it got originally released on, the song racked up 21 million views, about $36,750.

2. Quantum of Solace – Jack White & Alicia Keys: Another Way to Die

With this new Bond series, it seemed like the creators wanted to explore new possibilities with music. The Quantum of Solace theme song featured two vocalists, namely Jack White and Alicia Keys. Their chemistry captured the essence of the movie, all the way from the electric guitar parts to the quieter piano moments.

It was a rather unique pairing, and it definitely brought up debates among fans related to whether two vocalists were a great choice or not for a Bond theme song. The song didn’t perform so well in the charts, peaking at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and spending only one week there. It sold around 260,000 units.

Jack White and Alicia Keys’ Another Way to Die racked up around 30 million streams on Spotify, earning about $120,000 to date. On YouTube, the music video has been viewed 21 million times, making around $36,750.

3. Skyfall – Adele: Skyfall

Quite frankly, this song exploded once it got released, and you could hear it everywhere. Adele brought her A-game—as usual—going into the song, and created a masterpiece. The iconic song, with the same name as the movie, even brought an Oscar for Adele for Best Original Song.

The song captures the dark and moody plot of the film, hitting sweet spots of both nostalgia and tragedy. The song breathed life into the movie, and it was also very catchy, of course. Adele’s Skyfall sold 2 million copies in the US alone, went double Platinum, and peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It became Adele’s first song to debut in the top 10, with 261,000 copies sold in the US during its first three days. The song spent 30 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

As for streaming numbers, on Spotify, the song is currently at almost 180 million plays, which roughly equates to $720,000 in revenue for the artist. On YouTube, the music video racked up over 423 million views, which is roughly $740,250 in revenue.

4. Spectre – Sam Smith: Writings On The Wall

Without a doubt, Sam Smith felt a little bit of pressure when writing the new Bond song: there was a lot to live up to after Adele’s Skyfall. But luckily, the artist came through just fine. Sam Smith also took home an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Writings On The Wall,” as well as a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

The lyrics narrate Bond’s character impressively, and the melody blends exquisitely with classic Bond theme songs. Even though the song won an Oscar and several other awards, some fans and music connoisseurs still argue whether the song is overrated or not.

Writings On The Wall peaked at #71 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 11 weeks in the top 100. The song went Platinum in the US, selling over 1 million units. As far as streaming numbers go, on Spotify, the song has been played over 186 million times, which equates to about $744,000. On YouTube, the song racked up 231 million views, which is roughly $924,000 in revenue for the artist.

5. No Time to Die – Billie Eilish: No Time To Die

No Time to Die by Billie Eilish is the latest Bond theme song. It also marks an important milestone: the 18-year-old artist is the youngest person to ever record a 007 theme song. The tune is full of mystery, it’s haunting, dark, and moody—in line with both Billie Eilish and James Bond. The song complements both the recording artist and Agent Double O7. 

“No Time To Die” can also be regarded as a swan song for Daniel Craig, as most likely this is the actor’s final outing as James Bond. The lyrics of the song are in perfect harmony with the chords and orchestration and seamlessly fit in the Bond universe. Billie Eilish performed the song alongside legendary composer Hans Zimmer at the 2020 Brit Awards, and we’re yet to find out how many awards this theme song will take home.

Currently, the song sold 500,000 units in the US, and its streaming numbers are rising at a fast pace. On Spotify, it has been streamed 264 million times ($1 million in revenue), already surpassing previous Bond theme songs in just a couple of months. On YouTube, the music video has been viewed 27 million times, earning $47,250.

Movie NameTheme SongUS Billboard Hot 100 Peak PositionTotal Spotify StreamsTotal Spotify RevenueTotal YouTube ViewsTotal YouTube RevenueUS RIAA Certification
Casino Royale (2006)Chris Cornell – You Know My Name7948,000,000$200,00021,000,000$36,750
Quantum of Solace (2008)Jack White & Alicia Keys – Another Way to Die8130,000,000$120,00021,000,000$36,750
Skyfall (2012)Adele – Skyfall8180,000,000$720,000423,000,000$740,2502x Platinum
Spectre (2015)Sam Smith – Writings On The Wall71186,000,000$744,000231,000,000$924,000Platinum
No Time To Die (2021)Billie Eilish – No Time To Die16264,000,000$1,000,00027,000,000$47,250Gold

Conclusion

There are countless elements that make a movie great, and one of them, of course, is the music. James Bond movies have always been known for incorporating incredible music in cinematography, all the way from singers to world-class composers like Hans Zimmer, David Arnold, and John Barry. James Bond theme songs are so iconic that the movies would be totally different without them, and the soundtrack of the films is also a crucial element in setting the mood and tone for the viewing experience.

Here at CuttingRoomMusic, we’re on the same mission: making movies come alive with incredible sound design and original compositions. If you’re looking for a partner to breathe life into your work with music, our dedicated team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills, experience, and connections is ready to jump aboard your project. We love what we do, we do it with passion and we look forward to working with you.

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