This Sunday, tunes from Life of Pi, Ted, Chasing Ice and, yes, Les Misérables will battle Adele's "Skyfall" for the 2013 Best Original Song Oscar. "Skyfall" is, of course, from the James Bond film of the same name; it's worth noting that it's just the fourth Bond theme to even score a nomination, joining Wings' "Live and Let Die," Carly Simon's "Nobody Does It Better," and Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only," none of which won. Which is also to say that the super-iconic Shirley Bassey offerings "Goldfinger" and "Diamonds Are Forever," Tom Jones' "Thunderball," Duran Duran's popular "A View to a Kill," Tina Turner's "Goldeneye," and Madonna's "Die Another Day" (among others) weren't even nominated. (OK, we kind of get the Madonna snub.)
Last year marked the Bond franchise's 50th anniversary, so that has to count for something, right? But will it be enough to break the losing streak? Dame Shirley Bassey and Adele are scheduled to sing at this year's event -- and who knows how many more past theme-song singers may join them. Hopefully a ton, because James Bond theme songs are deliciously, theatrically over the top. From the first strains of that classic opening riff, you feel the excitement build. It's palpable. And the best ones have followed that lead. So here's our tip of the hat to the very best: Consider it an Oscar tribute to James Bond, the man, the myth, the franchise.