Music in SPECTRE

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  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 6,587


    There has been alot of criticism for this soundtrack (from me included) but I have been relistening to it quite a bit so I can go into my third viewing with a bit more focus.

    So far most of the criticisms still stand but I actually think the above track is very good. One of the few occasions where Newman's style stands out but also uses part of the Bond riff to good effect. I really like the piano theme he used here for when Bond and Swann part ways. This is where Newman seems to excel in comparison with his lacklustre action cues.

    I wish he had developed the piano theme more and turned it into Swann's main theme - and used it to harken back to Arnold's Vesper theme. It would have drawn a deeper connection between Bond's love for Vesper and his new relationship with Swann.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    AceHole wrote: »
    Score was ok, nothing more. Excellent PTS cue - Newman wisely leaves part of the heli-fight unscored - and i liked 'Donna Lucia', then the soundtrack sort of faded into the background.

    You should come out of a bondmovie humming some of the music, needless to say that wasn't the case here.

    It does work better within the film but the action sequences were crying out for somthing more memorable.

    Seconded.
  • Just heard the new soundtrack online. At best, it's "meh." I lament the loss of the Bond theme (yeah, yeah, I know -- it's almost played in smattering here and there … and that's almost more annoying). I wouldn't want a Star Wars film without the Star Wars theme … or an Indiana Jones film without the Raiders theme. Certain film require a connection to their thematic roots. The Bond theme never fails to get the blood pumping. I didn't mind that David Arnold used it (perhaps overused it) so prevalently; the balance of his scores had plenty else to offer as well. I think of Burton's Batman and how Elfman's theme made your skin tingle in geekish delight, or how Williams' Superman theme made our souls soar -- you left the theater in both cases humming the themes. These days, even Elfman has fallen prey to the mood music thing that many composers are following. There's nothing to latch onto for the listener. It may play okay in the theater but falls apart as an aural experience otherwise. Both of Thomas Newton's Bond soundtracks fall into this category. Blah. Instead of elevating the film and making for a classic listen every now and then independent of the film, his scores fall flat. New composer, please. And yes, I agree that the composer should be more involved in the title theme. The best Bond soundtracks weave the theme song throughout the score. IMHO.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    Posts: 5,134
    AceHole wrote: »
    You should come out of a bondmovie humming some of the music, needless to say that wasn't the case here.

    It's usually the song or the Bond theme that leaves you humming, not action cues like "He's Dangerous". I'm not even sure the song being more integrated in the score would have left one humming that out.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    It's usually the song or the Bond theme that leaves you humming, not action cues........
    Unless it's Barry..... I continue to hum several of his action scores.

    I also admit to humming Arnold's Time to Get Out & African Rundown, because they do have a melody.

    I agree with you about Smith's song. Not much chance I'd be humming that one either. Barry gave the songs he composed/worked on his own 'score-like' touch/Bondian sound, including TLD & AVTAK. That's been missing from most of the title songs since, but I think GE could have been worked into the score if Serra had wanted to, and of course Arnold worked in Cornell's excellent YKMN.

    The rest of the title songs have been a little slow and dreary in a way to fully speed up and incorporate into an 'action score', or alternatively impossible to incorporate (DAD & AWTD).
  • Posts: 484
    I recall humming cues from AVTAK before even seeing the film as they leapt out at you from the clips on FILM 85 and such like.

    I suspect tastes and demands in soundtracks have changed just like we now have colour grading. It's off topic for this post but the colour grading for the Mexico scenes was disappointing. The crowd in chaos under the helicopter would have looked better with the genuine more vivid colouring.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,093
    It's usually the song or the Bond theme that leaves you humming, not action cues like "He's Dangerous".

    I strongly disagree on that one. He's dangerous is one of Barry's most memorable and hummable action cues. All versions present on my Bond driving tunes mixed CD. ;)

    After seeing the movie, And no I'm not exaggerating. Half the score was literally lifted from Skyfall and it was detracting at times. The new music featured in the film is good. But the recycled music was just not a good idea. Even Arnold's CR Bond theme was reused again for the end credits. It's destractablility was the only problem in an otherwise great film. I was sorely disappointed by the score and hope whoever takes up the Composer's chair next delivers something much more memorable and doesn't rely on copy and pasting music.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 35,184
    Heard WOTW for the very first time attached to the movie tonight and I loved it. As I've said elsewhere, I think the full score for SP was much better than SF, though I could've done without the duplicate SF track bits we heard.
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 3,315
    I'm going to do a total reverse gear on Newman. I actuallly really like his score for Spectre. Okay, I will admit that I avoided listening to too much of the soundtrack before seeing the movie, aside from Backfire, Los Muertos Vivos Estan and Donna Lucia. And only then did I listen to them just the once, not wanting to get too familiar with the tracks that the music would take me out of the movie and spoil my fun on first viewing.

    For me, Tom Newman delivered a much more polished score this time round and I really liked those little brassy Barryesque flourishes that cropped up at all the appropriate moments. If this is Newman's last score, and by all accounts I think it will be, then at least he's bowed out on a musical high. Sadly, those wanting Arnold to return for Bond 25 are going to be sorely disappointed - it's not going to happen I'm afraid.

    For the record, I really liked Arnold's score for CR and wasn't much of a fan of Newman's SF. But I'm willing to concede Newman delivered a far better score for Spectre and the music fits and accompanies the drama more fittingly this time - well, to my ears anyway.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    Posts: 5,134
    Finally saw the flick and I'll just comment on the cues that were reprises in the film. Most of them actually make sense why Newman would bring them back, particularly when associated with characters like Judi Dench's M, Moneypenny's flirtatious piece and the piece for when Q sets up Bond with his equipment before he's off (which smartly transitions to new music for Rome, rather than reusing the Shanghai skyline piece). It's interesting that Barry and Arnold never tried this approach before by having music associated with the regular characters. It's a thing most composers do, but they always seemed to have left MI6 scenes unscored, for the most part.

    Beyond that, I only recognized three other pieces that were reprises of action cues that were either melded with new music ("Backfire") or amped up ("Westminister Bridge"). Overall, instead of a wholly episodic approach like Barry and Arnold did, Newman seems to approach this more as a saga where recurring pieces play out through the films to give them a connective tissue.

    Because Newman personally asked to do the Bond gig, and was just offered by Mendes as many seem to believe, I hope EON approaches him for one last gig if the fifth film is to be Craig's last. After that, I'd love to hear a new composer for a new Bond.
  • AceHoleAceHole Belgium, via Britain
    Posts: 1,725
    AceHole wrote: »
    You should come out of a bondmovie humming some of the music, needless to say that wasn't the case here.

    It's usually the song or the Bond theme that leaves you humming, not action cues like "He's Dangerous". I'm not even sure the song being more integrated in the score would have left one humming that out.

    You must be joking. AVTAK probably had the coolest, most 'hummable' score of the lot. Even TND had me humming some of the soundtrack.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython "I want you looking FABULOUS."
    edited November 2015 Posts: 5,134
    To clarify, I'm really speaking of first impressions in that case, at least from my experience. Of course I can hum "He's Dangerous" now having listened to that soundtrack hundreds of times. I think John Williams is the biggest exception, where I only needed to hear an action cue just one time and I was able to hum it on the way out of the theater. I never had that experience for any other movie or composer. Funny thing is I had that with LOST IN SPACE because that film ended with a rock and roll remix of the John Williams theme, which I had never heard of until after seeing the film, yet the theme stuck in my head enough that it was the very first soundtrack I ever got at 11 years old. That's just the power of John Williams for ya.

  • Posts: 501
    Having watched the film, I must say, I loved it. I haven't listened to the score outside of the cinema context, but in it it just works. The times I noticed some of the Skyfall cues, they made sense.
    The time with Moneypenny, the Mother theme and so on.
    I understood that it was maybe not necessary, but they were developing some relationships created in that flick. The score was moody, it had a new slightly different arrangement of the Bond theme, which was present throughout the entire film every time it was needed and with the Writing's On the Wall's slightly different instrumental arrangement in a scene.

    I simply loved it. I want Newman to continue. Or better, I want Sam Mendes and Newman to continue.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 35,184
    @AceHole, happy to see another fan of the AVTAK score - though you could just be agreeing that it's the most hummable, not that it's good. Personally, I love it.

    I think my favorite re-usage of the SF score was when:
    Bond is attending Sciarra's funeral and Newman's 'Skyfall' track lightly plays in the background. Totally fit the mystery of the scene, much like it did in SF as Bond and M drive through Scotland.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    edited November 2015 Posts: 9,021
    I have bashed Newman quite a bit for his score for SF.

    The score for Spectre works very well when seeing the movie. The only thing that I ask myself is, how it will stand the test of time. I see a Serra situation here.
    In many scenes, the music in Spectre has a very "metallic" feel, almost no melody recognisable and you could say it's almost like throwing cans down an elevator shaft :)) (little inside joke here).

    My biggest criticism with Newman definitely is now, that he should be more melodic. There is almost nothing you can hum after you leave the movie, except the Bond theme of WOTW that appears in the middle of the movie and that wasn't even written by Newman.

    In any case, even if Mendes should return, Newman should go.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    I just saw it.

    The score is excellent imho. It fits the scenes as well as SF's does for that film, and for me, that's good enough.

    I only have one problem with it: that is it plays way too loud in certain parts and sort of drowns out the dialogue, particularly during the car chase and during the entire finale. It sort of reminds me of Zimmer's Interstellar, Inception or TDKR scores in the amped up volume. A bit annoying. It's almost like they decided to make it louder to give the action scoring more character.

    However, the rest of his score is just perfect for the film imho. I have no complaints. Job well done, I'd say.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 35,184
    Where was the Bond theme of WOTW located? Listening to WOTW last night was my first and only time hearing it, so I can't readily place what scene we heard it in.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    Posts: 9,021
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    Where was the Bond theme of WOTW located? Listening to WOTW last night was my first and only time hearing it, so I can't readily place what scene we heard it in.
    After the train fight, when Bond and Madeleine are so pumped with adrenaline that they go and kiss heavily and are going to shag.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    edited November 2015 Posts: 16,093
    I was disappointed with the score. (no surprises there.) Too much Skyfall music rehashing and reusing. It was terribly detracting. Lack of melodies for Oberhauser and Hinx were was a big missed opportunity. I was hoping Oberhauser would have a theme akin to Colonel Moon/Gustav Graves that made you know what you were dealing with.

    I want Newman gone from the franchise. His music is the only problem I had with SPECTRE.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 35,184
    @BondJasonBond006, many thanks! I'll focus on that when I see it again next weekend.
  • AceHoleAceHole Belgium, via Britain
    Posts: 1,725
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    @AceHole, happy to see another fan of the AVTAK score - though you could just be agreeing that it's the most hummable, not that it's good. Personally, I love it

    AVTAK is Barry at his best. Only OHMSS and TLD scores can compete.
  • Posts: 3,045
    AVTAK is Barry's worst, IMO. It doesn't even come close to the MR and YOLT-score.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Costa Mucho
    Posts: 41,978
    Zekidk wrote: »
    AVTAK is Barry's worst, IMO.

    I felt so lonely until you showed up.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,093
    A lot closer than say...this...
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 19,976
    I too am of the controversial opinion that the AVTAK score, while certainly good if not great, isn't among Barry's best for Bond. I would mark TB, YOLT, OHMSS, DAF, MR and TLD as excellent and FRWL, GF and OP as great, leaving TMWTGG and AVTAK as good or very good.
  • WalecsWalecs On Her Majesty's Secret Service
    Posts: 3,157
    Has anyone else noticed that 0:48-056 from Westminster's Bridge is identical to the ending of Barry's "Chateau Flight" from Thunderball?
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I too am of the controversial opinion that the AVTAK score, while certainly good if not great, isn't among Barry's best for Bond. I would mark TB, YOLT, OHMSS, DAF, MR and TLD as excellent and FRWL, GF and OP as great, leaving TMWTGG and AVTAK as good or very good.

    100% in agreement, although TMWTGG is a personal favourite of mine for its quirky flavour, it objectively is nowhere as good as the others.
  • Posts: 3,045
    Walecs wrote: »
    Has anyone else noticed that 0:48-056 from Westminster's Bridge is identical to the ending of Barry's "Chateau Flight" from Thunderball?
    Noticed on the 1st listen of the OST. Another great Bond-theme rendition.
  • zerozerozerozero The far far east
    Posts: 54
    My overall impression with modern film scores and Bond in particular, is an over-reliance on percussion to do the job that recognisable themes once did. How many years did we all wait so that we could buy the expanded Bond score CDs and listen to the burial at sea from YOLT, or the screen version of "Diamonds Are Forever", or the remainder of TB and OHMSS's scores? Now, although there are a few cues missing from the SP score as issued, there's nothing there that I really hanker to get my hands on.

    Good Bond music is all about thematic material, stuff that you come out of the theatre humming to yourself. Much as I've appreciated Thomas Newman's work, when was the last time we had that?

    Is melody dead?
  • dominicgreenedominicgreene The Eternal QOS Defender
    Posts: 1,756
    Anyone else love the downtempo Bond theme that plays near the end of "Detonation", followed by that long tracking shot
    into the corridor with the arrow.

    So badass.

    I loved how Newman uses the finale cues from Skyfall in Spectre, but in different ways.
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