Elvis Presley – Surrender

First Hit #1: March 20, 1961

Dr. No was released in 1962, but but I’d probably argue that the James Bond series’ musical identity wasn’t completely established until 1964’s Goldfinger, and Shirley Bassey’s rendition of the theme song. Still, even in 1962, some elements of the series’ musical signature were well on their way to being established.

This is all a roundabout way of saying Surrender could easily be a Bond theme, except it was released a year before the movie happened. It might be the slight Caribbean edge to the song which was a clear influence on Dr. No’s soundtrack, or possibly just the way the instrumental part of the song drums along in a way reminiscent of the James Bond Theme. It might even be the way Tom Jones sung in a very similar manner for Thunderball, or the slightly dark atmosphere of the single – which Surrender plays into while also being a kind of spy-influenced title. All of these elements conspire to make a Bond theme before there was a Bond to theme. I made mention of Elvis having a time machine before as a weird joke, but you know, it’s starting to seem a bit more realistic.

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