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Jedward and the best off-the-wall James Bond theme covers

Listen to the Grimes twins attempt their own unique take on Adele's Skyfall - and then enjoy some other left-field 007 covers from the archives

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Published: Wednesday, 24th October 2012 at 3:51 pm

Well, that didn’t take long. The first (relatively) high-profile cover of Adele’s Skyfall theme has appeared online and, would you believe it, it’s by none other than double Eurovision-tastic Irish former X Factor stars, Jedward.


And to give the lads with the gravity-defying hair some credit, it’s a passable rendition of the song. They’ve managed to furnish their video with a suitable amount of pathos and John’s not bad at finger-picking on the guitar (at least I assume it’s John; I like to imagine they’re like Ant & Dec and always appear on camera in name order).

However, I doubt the track will have Adele quaking in her boots any time soon:

But it deserves celebrating as the latest in a long line of left-field Bond covers by unexpected artists. Indeed, what with the Bond movies having been stormingly popular for the past 50 years, the films’ themes have been coved almost as regularly as Happy Birthday. And, as a result, there are all manner of rather surprising and eccentric renditions of 007 classics out there.

For instance, who’d ever have expected the artist formerly known as Ginger Spice to tackle Paul McCartney & Wings’ theme to Live and Let Die? Certainly not I. But sure enough, Geri Halliwell did just that on the B-side to her 1999 single Lift Me Up, when she attempted to mirror Guns ‘n’ Roses’ bombastic rendition of the track with the aid of Auto-Tuned vocals and a particularly synthetic-sounding drum machine:

And who saw nu metal arena-fillers Lostprophets' cover of A View to a Kill coming when it was released in 2002? Perhaps, considering the band's pop-star status these days, they were giving a hint of things to come with this crunchy-but-pleasant version of the tune, which is only slightly marred by the presence of a lot of turntable wobbling and itch-inducing scratching:

But if that one sounded a bit too faithful to the original for your liking, you'll be pleased to learn (or be reminded) that Manchester post-punk act Magazine recorded a suitably avant garde version of Goldfinger in 1978, which sounded a million miles away from Shirley Bassey’s soaring version of the song. It's not a patch on Alan Partridge's roadside rendition of the same tune, but then again, what is?

Another band whose Bond cover you might’ve expected to be a bit weird and wacky is Mr. Bungle, the oddball rock group started in the early ‘80s by Faith No More front-man and crooner extraordinaire Mike Patton. They demoed a surprisingly straight cover of Tom Jones’s theme to Thunderball for their debut major label album, which ultimately didn’t make the record. But that didn’t stop the group from performing the song during their inimitable live sets back in the day:

And finally, for something a bit more chilled-out, here’s the James Bond theme itself as rendered by Jamaican reggae pioneers The Skatalites, who covered the tune in the early days of of Bond’s popularity back in the early 1960s:


So it seems that, if anything, Jedward have played things a bit too safely with their stripped-down acoustic Skyfall run-through. C’mon lads, between you and your producers, I’m sure you could've knocked up a riotous dubstep version of the song for us all to enjoy. It wouldn’t be any more out-there than some of the other Bond covers which came before yours…


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