The David Arnold Appreciation Thread.

MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
in Music Posts: 15,594
I don't think David Arnold gets enough appreciation around here so I decided to create this thread in his honor. Having scored five Bond movies, Arnold is the second longest serving composer to score Bond films. And let's not forget that he was vouched for by the master himself John Barry.

Tomorrow Never Dies:
Arnold's first and best score. (In my opinion.) Brings all the perfect ingredients for a great Bond score. A perfect use of the Bond theme, use wonderfully through the film. He also brings some techno elements for the scenes in Hamburg and Eastern elements for the scenes in China. A perfect mix of Classic Bond music with his own touch. A perfect Bond soundtrack.

The World is Not Enough:
Another fine score from Arnold with up'd techno and electronic elements, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, but he did go a bit overboard I must admit. He brings another great use of the Bond theme with Caviar Factory and Come in 007 your time is Up. His melodies for Elektra dominate the score in very positive ways. A great continuation of his Bond career.

Die Another Day:
Arnold's third score and probably my favorite of his. The techno elements have been toned down and we have a more Asian oriented sound and given a great motif with the films villain Moon/Graves. The action music in this film is also very exciting and gets the suspense going with style with excellent tracks such as Hovercraft Chase and Ice Palace Car Chase. I really love how the Bond theme is woven into both of those tracks. A good listen for driving to places.

Casino Royale:
A new sound for a new Bond. Casino Royale is Arnold reinventing himself here. The techno elements are gone except in the Miami Airport chase scene and were given a good mix of ambiance and atmosphere. Licence2Kills gives us a chilling piece of music that starts off almost hauntingly with his most tense and suspenseful music to date. Really shook me up when I first saw this movie at age 15. The Bond theme is used very sparingly. Since this is a reboot and Bond's first adventure, we get to see Bond mature and earn it. A great score as good as Tomorrow Never Dies.

Quantum of Solace:
Arnold's last score to date and one of his most subtle scores. The Bond theme is almost non existent here except for the end credits and the introduction of Fields. He brings in a new style here of eastern instruments with electric guitars thrown in making for a new and fresh sound. This score features some wonderful tracks as Night at the Opera and What's keeping you awake.

I do hope Arnold returns to the Bond family one of these days as his music is missed. By me anyway. Any other Arnold fans out there?
«134567

Comments

  • Posts: 10,503
    Love Arnold's Bond scores, in fact I thought his QOS was his best so far and hope
    He'll return to the franchise.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited December 2014 Posts: 23,468
    Night at the Opera is a superb track and very evocative of Barry with the continuing repeat and build in volume (always reminds me of "Gumbold's Safe" from OHMSS for some reason). One of Arnold's best work in my view, but it's evocative & derivative of Barry rather than original.

    African Rundown from CR is outstanding but again, derivative of Barry.

    His rendition of the James Bond theme at the end of CR is a masterclass. Even Barry would be proud of his work here. Simple, classic, and very effective in the scene.

    Although I don't know the names of the tracks, the work during the Hamburg scenes in TND was very good too. Especially when Bond is leaving on the roof after killing Kaufman and is noticed by Stamper, and the BMW chase.

    Having said all that, I'm happy he's not doing SP. I look forward to someone new in the role of composer after Mendes leaves, if only to shake things up a little. I don't see Newman staying on unless Mendes is back for B25.
  • TripAcesTripAces Universal Exports
    edited December 2014 Posts: 2,614
    bondjames wrote: »
    Night at the Opera is a superb track and very evocative of Barry with the continuing repeat and build in volume (always reminds me of "Gumbold's Safe" from OHMSS for some reason). One of Arnold's best work in my view, but it's evocative & derivative of Barry rather than original.

    Oh, I am with you on that.

    I think SF overall is a better OST than any of Arnold's Bond scores. But this does not mean Arnold's work is junk. Both men are terrific and well-suited for scoring Bond. I have all three DC Bond OSTs on one disc and play them on shuffle. It all works well together.

  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 1,953
    Murdock wrote:
    Arnold's last score to date and one of his most subtle scores. The Bond theme is almost non existent here except for the end credits and the introduction of Fields.
    Bond theme appears in "Time to get out", "Pursuit at Port Au Prince" and "Oil Fields" as well ;)
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,594
    Hence why I said almost non existent. :P
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 10,741
    I enjoy David Arnold's work very much. I do hope he returns for Bond 25. He knows Bond, he has grown as a composer, and he still retains the Bondian touch that Barry started (and Barry championed him). I want to say that I am very glad he is now the composer of a hit musical, Made in Dagenham. :) Happy for him. Hope he has had a lovely Christmas.
  • zerozerozerozero The far far east
    Posts: 42
    I've very mixed feelings about this issue, as Arnold was really starting to get into his stride in QoS. But then Thomas Newman came along and, like it or not, it stuck in my head to the extent that I pretty much had it on the car stereo for 12 months (!!)

    I'm of the old school, so I like a nice, clean sound where the themes are apparent and the ideas kind of "followed through". Hence I find Newman's work much easier on the ear. He's also very accomplished as a string arranger. It was immediately apparent that he was doing things that Arnold didn't (or couldn't).

    Where I think Arnold scored a hit with the fans was likely because he has a background in the "modernity" (and sampling) of the 90s and he's produced for various big artistes and bands. However, he layered on so much percussion that the theme became cluttered and showed a tendency to change ideas too suddenly for my taste.

    I'll be very interested to see how history treats Arnold, perhaps when we've a few more Newman scores (or even some by Alexandre Desplat). My suspicion is that Arnold's music will sound dated in another 10-20 years.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,594
    David Arnold's music to me feels like a modern continuation of the Barry sound. Big bombastic and full of life and energy. Newman's music is a mix between his own style and Hans Zimmer which is dull, simplistic and not very memorable. Barry was so good at creating complex scores that were not only easy on the ears but so memorable that you can point out which song came from what film. Arnold not so much but he tried following in Barry's footsteps and respected the man. He was inspired to be a composer because of John Barry. Newman treated Skyfall like another job. He didn't respect it. He was forced to incorporate the Bond theme into his score. Newman is totally wrong for Bond. Arnold respects the music and that's enough for me.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 10,741
    Yes, Arnold does seem to be to be a very good continuation of the Barry sound.
    I'm glad we have an appreciation thread for him. I do not feel his music will feel dated years from now, unlike Bill Conti's.
  • Posts: 6,825
    Yes, Arnold does seem to be to be a very good continuation of the Barry sound.
    I'm glad we have an appreciation thread for him. I do not feel his music will feel dated years from now, unlike Bill Conti's.

    That said the music for his Bondmovie is very recognisable unlike Arnolds which could be from any one as he often failed to give his movies an identity like Barry excelled at.
    Arnold did some great drum 'n bass soundtracks which were bombastic without too much of nuance.
    Then he did two more in which he did some nice moments but the overall soundtracks did not feel like part of one cohesive piece of music aimed at giving the movie an identity. Unlike his work in the Sherlock series he just did not bring his A-game for me in QoB & CR.

    I agree that Newman could have done a better job and sounded more enthusiastic about the job, he is a better composer generally but did not really prove that with SF where Adele kicked his behind with her song and was rightfully awarded the Oscar. I do hope that Newman will bring his A-game for Spectre which would be a bloody treat for all of us fans.

    As for Arnold I would rather have him go his way unless he really has something to say with a OST for the franchise as both CR & QoB were more hit and miss than him bringing creative something new to the franchise. He had his chance and left it a bit sloppy imho.

    But he can do better and has shown that, unless he wants to be better for the franchise please let him step away from the vehicle and stay away.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 10,741
    I like a good deal of the soundtrack to TND, QOS and CR.
    Well, there are plenty who want Arnold back and plenty who want him to not return. But, this is an appreciation thread after all. :)>-
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,594
    It's really sad that David isn't returning for SPECTRE. I feel he could have made something epic and Bondian. I present to you all a very rare verson of his OHMSS remix which is heard in his collab with the Propellerheads but this is just the orchestra part. No electronics here. This gets me excited for anything Bond. Enjoy. :)

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,468
    I agree with you @SaintMark and you @zerozero but in deference to this being an appreciation thread, I have chosen to stay positive.

    PS: I saw The Imitation Game today and loved it. Alex Desplat did the score, and he continues to impress me. I don't know if he's right for Bond, but I like what I've heard from him in various movies.
  • Posts: 9,958
    Saw DAD the other day and was thinking how awful the score was. Makes me a little less opposed to Newman. Although I also rewatched SF and was still totally underwhelmed. It's just whenever you hear a Barry score you are reminded how weak his successors are.

    That said, Arnold did raise his game on CR and QoS
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 10,741
    Murdock wrote: »
    It's really sad that David isn't returning for SPECTRE. I feel he could have made something epic and Bondian. I present to you all a very rare verson of his OHMSS remix which is heard in his collab with the Propellerheads but this is just the orchestra part. No electronics here. This gets me excited for anything Bond. Enjoy. :)


    Thanks for this, @Murdock! I really enjoyed it. One thing we can say about if Arnold had done Skyfall, is that it would have been more Bondian and definitely would have had that excellent theme song woven into the score more.

    I do hope he returns for Bond 25. Just my opinion, of course. I do think Newman will up his game for SPECTRE because the pressure is firmly on him to do so and he has talent. But I do like Arnold and do not hesitate to say so.

  • Getafix wrote: »
    Saw DAD the other day and was thinking how awful the score was. Makes me a little less opposed to Newman. Although I also rewatched SF and was still totally underwhelmed. It's just whenever you hear a Barry score you are reminded how weak his successors are.

    That said, Arnold did raise his game on CR and QoS

    Parts of DAD were great, though. I especially love the fencing sequence. Best scene in the film not just for the choreography but for the music, too.

    Although DAD will stick out like a sore thumb compared to his other scores for the techno reliance. I think the others will still sound good in 20-30 years because they have a nice balance between elements.
  • David Arnold did a good job for the most, in my opinion.
    The romantic themes in CR were fantastic, and certainly carried the ghost of John Barry.
    TND was very strong too. He was good at developing themes that reoccurred throughout the films, which is important.
    Newmans score is entirely forgettable and bland. Bad move.
  • Posts: 9,958
    Atlantis wrote: »
    David Arnold did a good job for the most, in my opinion.
    The romantic themes in CR were fantastic, and certainly carried the ghost of John Barry.
    TND was very strong too. He was good at developing themes that reoccurred throughout the films, which is important.
    Newmans score is entirely forgettable and bland. Bad move.

    I agree in general, but think Arnold's DAD score is possibly worse than Newman's SF score.

    Watched GF yesterday and I thought I noticed some things that Newman had copied.
  • GF was a strong score with a very dynamic tonality, not to mention exotica and cool guitar sounds. Very ahead of the game.
    Newman is margarine. Not the real thing, and you can clearly taste it, in my opinion.
    Haven't listened to DAD for a long time!
  • Posts: 9,958
    I agree. I find Newman's scores incredibly bland.
  • SirHilaryBraySirHilaryBray Scotland
    Posts: 2,138
    I think Arnold is a genius, he just understood Barry and was the perfect replacement. I kind of feel for him, that he has been shelved. I think the films miss the Jazzy brass elements. I don't listen to soundtacks outside of the films, but had to post as this being David Arnold Appreciation and only 20 post so far he deserves more credit. Come on members [-X
  • ggl007ggl007 www.archivo007.com Spain, España
    Posts: 1,972
    I'm here too. I miss the brass (and so did Newman in SF).

    Arnold for Bond 25!
  • Posts: 9,958
    I hope Newman collaborates properly on the title song this time and can be bothered to weave it into the score.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 2,994
    Thought I'd post a question to all music nuts here, instead of creating another David Arnold thread:

    Where can his "Suspense Motif" be heard in these songs?

    According to Wikipedia

    Like John Barry, David Arnold has left his own mark in the music of James Bond. In this case, he has established what can be called the "suspense motif", which is a descending, repetitive four-note motif that can be heard in most of the Bond films he has scored, starting with Tomorrow Never Dies. It is usually an underlying motif playing under the main melody, and is usually orchestrated with piano trills, high strings, horns, blaring trumpets, and an underlying snare drum. This motif can be heard in:

    Tomorrow Never Dies — "Station Break", "*-3-Send", "Underwater Discovery"
    The World Is Not Enough — "Pipeline", "Submarine"
    Die Another Day — "Death of Moon", "Antonov"
    Casino Royale — "Miami International", "Dirty Martini", and very briefly in "African Rundown"

    Would someone like to point out where it is in each of these?





















  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,029
    @Murdock

    Spot-on. Agree totally.

    Come In 007, Your Time Is Up
    Ice Bandits
    Hovercraft Chase

    are so utterly totally brilliant...amongst others that are great as well!

  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,594
    @PropertyOfALady listen closely to the opening of recall 3 * that slow 1....2....3....4....1....2....3....4. I believe that's the "Suspense motif." You can hear it in a lot of Arnold tracks. Mainly used with a much faster tempo.
  • PropertyOfALadyPropertyOfALady Colders Federation CEO
    Posts: 2,994
    Murdock wrote: »
    @PropertyOfALady listen closely to the opening of recall 3 * that slow 1....2....3....4....1....2....3....4. I believe that's the "Suspense motif." You can hear it in a lot of Arnold tracks. Mainly used with a much faster tempo.

    I can pick it out there, but nowhere else... hmm... :))
  • Posts: 6,825
    I appriciate DA being away from the franchise and not adding anymore to it.
  • Thought I'd post a question to all music nuts here, instead of creating another David Arnold thread:

    Where can his "Suspense Motif" be heard in these songs?

    According to Wikipedia

    Like John Barry, David Arnold has left his own mark in the music of James Bond. In this case, he has established what can be called the "suspense motif", which is a descending, repetitive four-note motif that can be heard in most of the Bond films he has scored, starting with Tomorrow Never Dies. It is usually an underlying motif playing under the main melody, and is usually orchestrated with piano trills, high strings, horns, blaring trumpets, and an underlying snare drum. This motif can be heard in:

    Tomorrow Never Dies — "Station Break", "*-3-Send", "Underwater Discovery"
    The World Is Not Enough — "Pipeline", "Submarine"
    Die Another Day — "Death of Moon", "Antonov"
    Casino Royale — "Miami International", "Dirty Martini", and very briefly in "African Rundown"

    Would someone like to point out where it is in each of these?






















    All great cues.
  • Posts: 10,503
    I'm no musician but I know what I like and I like David Arnold's music. :D
Sign In or Register to comment.