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.
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?
He'll return to the franchise.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Well, there are plenty who want Arnold back and plenty who want him to not return. But, this is an appreciation thread after all. :)>-
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.
That said, Arnold did raise his game on CR and QoS
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.
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.
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.
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!
Arnold for Bond 25!
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?
Spot-on. Agree totally.
Come In 007, Your Time Is Up
are so utterly totally brilliant...amongst others that are great as well!
I can pick it out there, but nowhere else... hmm... :))
All great cues.