Carly Simon sang Nobody Does it Better, and maybe she had a point. In the annals of music history, to be afforded a Bond theme is the ultimate affirmation that, as a musician, you have made it to the hallowed lands of musical immortality and having been afforded that opportunity, the only thing left to do is deliver.

The latest artist is Billie Eilish. As a hitherto unknown quantity to these middle aged ears, I must admit I found the tune quite a pleasant thing, as I listened to it in its entirety before nodding my head in affirmation and returning to the Proclaimers' greatest hits CD of which I am fond.

Bond is a curious concept that has, along with the music, changed with the times to remain popular despite its sexism, misogyny and borderline psychopathy in the past. As for the main part incumbents, despite shining in Mamma Mia!, Pierce Brosnan just about scrapes into the top nine of the nine Bonds we have welcomed onto the silver screen. In the 22 films there have been 1,299 deaths, 352 of which are attributable to James, which make him the most prolific UK serial killer ever. You could claim the death count has hit the 1,300 mark if you take Madonna’s career into account after her ill-advised Die Another Day, which coincided, thankfully, with Brosnan’s last turn as the shaken not stirred besuited hero.

Shirley Bassey’s Moonraker was commendable, unlike Sam Smith’s borefest Writing's on the Wall, as it no doubt was for the music executive who booked this dullaton to record the theme to the most recent outing, Spectre. Jack White and Alicia Keys broke the mould as the only duo thus far to record a theme whereas The World is not Enough was Garbage, literally.

With legends aplenty including Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey and, err, Sheena Easton, who all rose to the occasion and performed admirably, in their own way. A View to a Kill proved Duran Duran were a little more than one trick pop ponies and Adele, at the peak of her powers, produced arguably the most memorable ditty of recent times with the wonderful Skyfall.

Musicians openly tout for the gig and refusals have thus far been hitting the doormats of household names including Blondie, Pulp, Clapton, Radiohead and, thankfully, the Pet Shop Boys. The songs generally use minor keys and melodic themes used in previous films in order to ensure continuity of the franchise. The vocalists, bar arguably the tomboyish Eilish, are often women, whereas Bond is seen as a boy, albeit less promiscuous now than he was in previous incarnations. He displays a recently discovered vulnerability, which is a country mile away from his reputation during arguably the greatest theme of all, Wings' Live and Let Die.

Broccoli, the James Bond kingpin, not the Bonzai-like vegetable, insisted that the theme tune was named after the film which, on the rare occasion where this has not been the case (Smith again being an example), has been the kiss of death.

The franchise will of course continue after this, Daniel Craig’s final outing, when he will no doubt go down as one of the greats, up there with Connery and to a lesser extent Moore as the Bond of Bonds. The bookies change the odds week by week and who knows who the next incumbent will be, but I hope we see the first black Bond, Idris Elba, not due to his colour, but because he would be the best man for the job, as fellow fans of Luther will no doubt attest.

As for Eilish, she brings a bit of cool to the role and no doubt opens up the franchise to a new, younger audience to add to the £22 billion the franchise has grossed thus far at the box office. She is of Scottish descent, much like Bond, and fits in with the moodiness of the genre. I wish her well and hope that, despite the tender years, long term Bond aficionados buy into her vision and the latest offering, as we wait to clap eyes on the latest villain and watch the body count go up quicker than the Chinese build a hospital. I just hope she, at the tender age of 19, manages to take it all in, enjoy the ride and occasionally smile. Musical careers are generally short and her success has thus far, with numerous Grammy awards, been supersonic proving that at present, for Eilish’s career, this is no time to die.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher