Music in SPECTRE

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  • Posts: 11,119
    Walecs wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    You know I've been pretty open about Bond composers. I've actually liked them all (including all the one-offs) to a degree, including Thomas Newman - I enjoyed a lot of what he did in specific parts of SF. I liked the Shanghai stuff, the Istanbul stuff, & New Digs personally. as well as The Chimera and Severine's theme.

    The only composer who I've been continually disappointed with out of all them (including Serra) and who I don't personally rate highly, is David Arnold. This is because his orchestral work for the most part (there are exceptions) was 3rd rate compared to Barry and yet seemed very derivative of the genius, like a hack . Also I don't like what he brought of his own - namely the techno stuff and the busy, frenzied and chaotic (to my ears anyway) action scoring.
    I agree with this in regards the 3 Brosnan movies Arnold did, as the majority of it is too techno, but in CR and QoS he really delivered. Both soundtracks are superb - modern sound, with a foot still in the Barry camp, and with the odd track which is just as good as Barry, and sounds exactly like Barry - Vesper's theme, Night at the Opera.

    I rate CR and QoS as excellent soundtracks, up there with the best that Barry did.

    Sorry, I can't agree. Yes, Arnold's earlier Bond scores incorporated a lot of electro/techno music. But he'll, those scores were also way more memorable, because of the use of better compositions and melodies. Melodies that stick better to your mind.

    Therefore I still rate TND and TWINE Arnold's finest Bond scoring. Tracks like "Backseat Driver" and "007 Your Time Is Up" really used these wunderful secondary melodies. Not to mention some utterly romantic cues like "Snow Business". It also helped that both Bond films had secondary theme song: "Surrender" for TND and "Only Myself To Blame" for TWINE. They really helped giving the score more musical depth and soul.

    With CR and QOS I can't help but feeling Arnold forced himself too much to strip down the scores into something "rougher, more purer, less melódical". Result was that it sounded too forced. Also, when you decide not to use the James Bond theme, then for goodness sake compose a new action theme music, like "Surrender"! He didn't.
    Don't get me wrong, I don't mind any of Arnold's scores, and I really like Surrender, and Backseat Driver.

    I just felt with CR he really starting nailing a pure Barry sound. Vesper's theme in Venice just sounds like Somewhere in Time and Hanover Street, and moments in CR really had some of the best sounds we've heard in years - Bond driving his Ford Mondeo in Nassau, Bond trying on his tux for the first time, etc.

    In QoS Arnold really did evoke early 1970's John Barry, particularly Night at the Opera.

    As for scoring the films with songs, he did YKMN, and also No Good About Goodbyes with Shirley Bassey for QoS (which criminally didn't get used, and instead we had to suffer the worst Bond song of all time instead).....


    Much as I really don't like Arnold, I agree with you on your last post @jetsetwilly. CR & QoS were his best, and African Rundown & Night at the Opera were excellent. YKMN is outstanding - damn shame it's not on the soundtrack cd.

    Cheers.... :!!
    I'm not sure what planet Gustav Graves is on by not liking CR and QoS, yet liking all the Brozza tracks, but there you go. Each to their own. Maybe he is a Brozza fan and doesn't like Craig..... ;))

    For what I know, Gustav Graves prefers Craig to Brosnan. I guess the music for a certain Bond doesn't affect our preference for his performance, considering I prefer Brosnan to Craig but I think Arnold's scores for CR and QoS are better than those he did for TND, TWINE and DAD.

    Exactly. I'm a big big fan of the Craig films, but after QOS I couldn't help thinking "When will they replace Arnold?". There were even topics about that, quite popular ones, on this forum around that time :-).

    In all honesty, with Arnold everything started off so great, it was still good in TWINE. But on the whole Arnold's career for me on Bond feels like a downward spirale.

    I think you are in the minority with that opinion on here, because it looks like most fans think Arnold improved during his tenure, with CR and particularly QoS being his best work on Bond.

    That frequently happens ;-). I don't mind.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,043
    What's The Story has nothing on Revolver, if you are debating that one then maybe Arnold is more than sufficient.

    I don't deny that Arnold track is good but up with Barry's best romantic Bond themes not a chance.
  • Posts: 2,870
    Shardlake wrote: »
    What's The Story has nothing on Revolver, if you are debating that one then maybe Arnold is more than sufficient.

    I don't deny that Arnold track is good but up with Barry's best romantic Bond themes not a chance.

    Nothing will ever be as good as Barry, but I'd rather have Arnold on a good day than anyone else at the moment, to be honest.

    As for Beatles/Oasis - Both are great albums, both are my favourite bands, but Be Here Now is my all time favourite album (yes, better than Definitely Maybe, WTS and Revolver).

    Now I know I am in the minority with that one....
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited March 2015 Posts: 23,883
    Shardlake wrote: »
    What's The Story has nothing on Revolver, if you are debating that one then maybe Arnold is more than sufficient.

    I don't deny that Arnold track is good but up with Barry's best romantic Bond themes not a chance.

    Nothing will ever be as good as Barry, but I'd rather have Arnold on a good day than anyone else at the moment, to be honest.

    As for Beatles/Oasis - Both are great albums, both are my favourite bands, but Be Here Now is my all time favourite album (yes, better than Definitely Maybe, WTS and Revolver).

    Now I know I am in the minority with that one....

    I can understand why, but there could actually be several composers who could do a better job. We won't know until we hear it though which is why I'm all for variety in this post-Barry era until Bond finds a comparable musical voice again.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    Re. TND - To me this soundtrack feels like a piece thirty years in the making. Written by a man who loves James Bond as a fan and was asked to fulfil his dream. I can only assume DA treated this as his one and only shot, not knowing if he'd get another, and did what any fan would do in such a situation, deliver everything he'd ever wanted to in a Bond film in one balls to the wall package. I like CR and QoS, they are more measured, potentially objectively better, but for sheer energy and passion I think TND is perfect. It feels like a love letter to Bond, rather than a composer doing a job.
  • Posts: 11,425
    Shardlake wrote: »
    What's The Story has nothing on Revolver, if you are debating that one then maybe Arnold is more than sufficient.

    I don't deny that Arnold track is good but up with Barry's best romantic Bond themes not a chance.

    Nothing will ever be as good as Barry, but I'd rather have Arnold on a good day than anyone else at the moment, to be honest.

    As for Beatles/Oasis - Both are great albums, both are my favourite bands, but Be Here Now is my all time favourite album (yes, better than Definitely Maybe, WTS and Revolver).

    Now I know I am in the minority with that one....

    I think Arnold on a good day is pretty decent and I don't have too many complaints about his best work, which I think is probably CR and QoS.

    However, I find the idea that all Bond music from henceforth should sound like Barry rip-offs pretty depressing. It's that approach that gave us the greatest hits Brosnan era of Bond movies - nothing new, just endless poor imitations of the Moor era .

    As someone else said Barry himself was not above experimentation and new influences. Many of his scores, while distinctively Barry, also have a contmporary sound that makes them very much of their decade. TLD is a good example - timeless in some respects, but also a lot of 80s inflections, which makes it all the more fun to listen to IMO.

    What I'd love to see is someone new and immensely tallented come along and do something completely different, but as brilliant as Barry. Perhaps George Martin came closest, as one of the comments above suggested.

    Newman just doesn't cut it for me he is the worst of both worlds. He's ditched the Barry sound but doesn't seem to have the ability to actually do something staggeringly wonderful in its place, so we end up with very bland wallpaper music. In this context, I'd much prefer Arnold's Barry rip-off style to Newman's personality-less tedium.
  • Posts: 2,870
    Getafix wrote: »
    Newman just doesn't cut it for me he is the worst of both worlds. He's ditched the Barry sound but doesn't seem to have the ability to actually do something staggeringly wonderful in its place, so we end up with very bland wallpaper music. In this context, I'd much prefer Arnold's Barry rip-off style to Newman's personality-less tedium.
    Could not agree more. That is the post of the day!!
    :!!
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,145
    I like Arnold's Brosnan film scores more than his Craig film scores as well. TND is my favorite David Arnold score.
    Getafix wrote: »
    Newman just doesn't cut it for me he is the worst of both worlds. He's ditched the Barry sound but doesn't seem to have the ability to actually do something staggeringly wonderful in its place, so we end up with very bland wallpaper music. In this context, I'd much prefer Arnold's Barry rip-off style to Newman's personality-less tedium.
    Could not agree more. That is the post of the day!!
    :!!

    Seconded on this one.
  • Posts: 11,119
    Getafix wrote: »
    Newman just doesn't cut it for me he is the worst of both worlds. He's ditched the Barry sound but doesn't seem to have the ability to actually do something staggeringly wonderful in its place, so we end up with very bland wallpaper music. In this context, I'd much prefer Arnold's Barry rip-off style to Newman's personality-less tedium.
    Could not agree more. That is the post of the day!!
    :!!

    This is another post this day :-). Sorry, I couldn't agree more. The thing I love about Thomas Newman's score is actually that it's not so "straight into your face". Some tracks you need to listen more often to appreciate them. But for me that's also the charm about it.

    Moreover, if one really listens carefully, he actually uses quite a lot of cues from Monty Norman's James Bond theme. But then again, since David Arnold didn't want to fully include it anymore since CR, it has become a trend to use it sparingly. If you don't like it...perhaps write David Arnold for his "trendsetting capabilities" ;-).

    And saying that Newman "completely ditched the Barry sound" goes too far for me. If there's one element Newman can handle, then it are strings.

    "Severine" (very TMWTGG-esque, Andrea Anders theme):


    "Someone Usually Dies" (strong, mysterious sounding):


    "Old Dog, New Tricks" (wunderful DAF-esque playfulness, the kind of "source" music Barry always did so wel, like casino sequences. sadly not included in the final cut of the film):


    "Komodo Dragon" (regardless how this track was realized, the end result is wunderful):


    "The Bloody Shot" (very John Powell-esque, slightly more structured, good rhytmn with that "heartbeat"):


    "Enquiry" (repeat of percussion can be so effective, especially when you only take the "heartbeat" as a rhytmn):


    "Deep Water" (48 sec's and onwards, wunderful! epic! great mix):
  • Posts: 1,314
    I just don't get the hate for Newman. Take Komodo dragon. The parts of the theme woven in and then when the brass takes over at 0.57 are so atmospheric.

    It's not a love letter to Monty norman and Barry, but it comes very close to recreating aspects if the classic scores while venturing into new territory.

  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited March 2015 Posts: 23,883
    I watched SF recently. It's all there in the score but it's too timid & subtle. Newman needs to dial it up for SP with more orchestra that's all. The finesse is there but not the flash.
  • Posts: 11,425
    Matt007 wrote: »
    I just don't get the hate for Newman. Take Komodo dragon. The parts of the theme woven in and then when the brass takes over at 0.57 are so atmospheric.

    It's not a love letter to Monty norman and Barry, but it comes very close to recreating aspects if the classic scores while venturing into new territory.

    It's not hate - more disappointment. The SF score it not actively awful, just bland.
  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,512
    bondjames wrote: »
    I watched SF recently. It's all there in the score but it's too timid & subtle. Newman needs to dial it up for SP with more orchestra that's all. The finesse is there but not the flash.

    People are entitled to opinions and can gesticulate about what does and doesn't comprise a good score, but given we're discussing Bond films I regard this statement as fact.
  • Posts: 11,119
    bondjames wrote: »
    I watched SF recently. It's all there in the score but it's too timid & subtle. Newman needs to dial it up for SP with more orchestra that's all. The finesse is there but not the flash.

    That....subtleness is what I truly appreciate about it :-).
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,145
    Bond was never subtle. ;)
  • edited March 2015 Posts: 2,870
    bondjames wrote: »
    I watched SF recently. It's all there in the score but it's too timid & subtle. Newman needs to dial it up for SP with more orchestra that's all. The finesse is there but not the flash.

    That....subtleness is what I truly appreciate about it :-).
    and yet you like the OTT tracks in TND.....?

    You also like the romantic Snow Job in TWINE, yet don't like Vesper's theme in CR...?

    Something is not adding up here...

  • edited March 2015 Posts: 11,425
    I think Gustav Graves is as all over the place as his namesake's character in Die Another Day! #-o
  • Posts: 11,119
    bondjames wrote: »
    I watched SF recently. It's all there in the score but it's too timid & subtle. Newman needs to dial it up for SP with more orchestra that's all. The finesse is there but not the flash.

    That....subtleness is what I truly appreciate about it :-).
    and yet you like the OTT tracks in TND.....?

    You also like the romantic Snow Job in TWINE, yet don't like Vesper's theme in CR...?

    Something is not adding up here...

    No.

    For the very simple reason. Every Bond film, needs his own kind of score. For the sheer fun and 90's happiness, the trach "Backseat Driver is perfect. And I love that piece of music.

    But it's not interchangeable with, let's say, "Skyfall". Well, that's my opinion. "Skyfall" is a film with a lot of thematical layers, subtleties and narratives, that deserves an equally complex score. Hence Thomas Newman.

    So: I appreciate the subtleness of the score within the mainframe of the film "Skyfall". And I love the straight-into-your-face fun-scoring from Arnold's score in "Tomorrow Never Dies".

    What's wrong with that. I can appreciate and like many elements of Bond films. Taste is so damn subjective. There's no need to use a compass for it and measure it on a scale of "black" and "white". It'll never hold up :-).
  • Posts: 2,870
    bondjames wrote: »
    I watched SF recently. It's all there in the score but it's too timid & subtle. Newman needs to dial it up for SP with more orchestra that's all. The finesse is there but not the flash.

    That....subtleness is what I truly appreciate about it :-).
    and yet you like the OTT tracks in TND.....?

    You also like the romantic Snow Job in TWINE, yet don't like Vesper's theme in CR...?

    Something is not adding up here...

    No.

    For the very simple reason. Every Bond film, needs his own kind of score. For the sheer fun and 90's happiness, the trach "Backseat Driver is perfect. And I love that piece of music.

    But it's not interchangeable with, let's say, "Skyfall". Well, that's my opinion. "Skyfall" is a film with a lot of thematical layers, subtleties and narratives, that deserves an equally complex score. Hence Thomas Newman.

    So: I appreciate the subtleness of the score within the mainframe of the film "Skyfall". And I love the straight-into-your-face fun-scoring from Arnold's score in "Tomorrow Never Dies".

    What's wrong with that. I can appreciate and like many elements of Bond films. Taste is so damn subjective. There's no need to use a compass for it and measure it on a scale of "black" and "white". It'll never hold up :-).

    Ok, and Vesper's theme vs Snow Job?
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Totally agree jetsetwilly. Cr and Qos are Arnold's best scores.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,043
    Newman can't deliver a score like SF this time round, lots of atmospheric noodlings are not going to cut it.

    If Newman could reinvent the sound like we've been waiting for instead of just delivering something that sounds like umpteen other films he's scored before, though I don't believe he's the kind of composer capable of that.

    Michael Giacchino did such a wonderful job with The Incredibles but then he delivered a hugely memorable score for both JJ ST films. Considering you've had the likes of Goldsmith and Horner, MG scores still sounds comparable to those greats but it's not a sound alike exercise it sounds like someone who wanted to stamp themselves on the series.

    Bond needs this kind of composer, Arnold was granted getting there with QOS and sorry I'll take that over the likes of Back seat driver, the Propellerheads are OK for some tribute project but to fill in your inadequacies for the score of a Bond film? Arnold's collaboration with Four Tet was much more inventive.

    I watched Octopussy last night for the first time since I'd got the Blu ray box set and while it's far from Barry's best score it still has more than a few memorable cues, yes there is recycling going on but Barry did this better than any composer I know and it still sounded inventive.

    Newman's problem is he wants variety, composer these days seem scared of repetition, maybe Barry's score didn't show a wide variety in each film and yes he did rearrange the same tune allot. Over and Out and Ski Chase are basically the same tune as OHMSS but they are arranged differently and given in the case SC are more subtle work over whereas OAO is actually slowed right down with an emphasis on atmosphere than excitement.

    Less is more and unless someone can do Giacchino and deliver something new and inventive, we are destined to get Barry sound a likes or unmemorable mood music.
    I'm willing to see what Arnold can do after a break and I kind of hope Mendes doesn't come back so Arnold gets utilised again.



  • Posts: 11,425
    I want someone new and better after SP. Going back to Arnold is never going to give us a truly classic score. He did decent work on CR and QoS, but EON should still aim higher IMO.

    But given a choice between Newman and Arnold, I'd take Arnold at the present time.
  • Posts: 4,619
    Even if I disliked Newman's Skyfall score, I would still be happy about his return. Why? Because Newman and Mendes are a team. They have worked together since 1999 and this is their 6th collaboration. I am all for directors brining their long time collaborators into the Bond franchise.
  • edited March 2015 Posts: 11,425
    Even if I disliked Newman's Skyfall score, I would still be happy about his return. Why? Because Newman and Mendes are a team. They have worked together since 1999 and this is their 6th collaboration. I am all for directors brining their long time collaborators into the Bond franchise.

    Hmmm... I thought they collaborated well on American Beauty. Newman's score for that film was, even I admit, very good. But their other work that I've watched I haven't been all that impressed with. I find Newman's scores give the films a very detached quality - at their best, they have a dreamy, floaty quality. In American Beauty that worked well. But in Road to Perdition it just contributed to a general 'flatness' to the film. His music acts like a sonic levelling compound - everything gets evened out, with no scene particularly differentiated from another. I thought the same about SF. Bland and undifferentiated mood music.

    Mendes doesn't always work with Newman though. The soundtrack for Away We Go includes specially commissioned songs from Alexi Murdoch, and is actually very good.
  • ShardlakeShardlake Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,043
    Ideally I'd just rather like you see a new voice, maybe the director that follows Mendes will bring his own choice aboard.

    Andre Desplat is a composer I'd give a shot although he seems to be filling in for John Williams on our first Star Wars spin off Rogue One.

    I'm sure there must be someone out there can give the score a whole new spin but it remains to be seen whether EON want that or not or maybe BB & MGW think Arnold is their Barry and he'll return once Mendes has moved on.
  • Posts: 11,425
    Babs is pretty loyal (apart from when it comes to Brosnan) so I can see her bringing Arnold back.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    I completely trust Bab's. She was the brains behind casting Craig when Micheal G disagreed. I can see Arnold back once Mendes is out of the picture.
  • Posts: 11,425
    suavejmf wrote: »
    I completely trust Bab's. She was the brains behind casting Craig when Micheal G disagreed. I can see Arnold back once Mendes is out of the picture.

    Casting Craig is the single most brilliant thing I think Babs has done. It was genius on her part to see his potential and pursue him with such determination. I have a lot of respect for her. The Craig era is very far from being my favourite, but in my view her decision to cast Craig saved the series from irrelevance.
  • Posts: 11,425
    suavejmf wrote: »
    I completely trust Bab's. She was the brains behind casting Craig when Micheal G disagreed. I can see Arnold back once Mendes is out of the picture.

    Casting Craig is the single most brilliant thing I think Babs has done. It was genius on her part to see his potential and pursue him with such determination. I have a lot of respect for her. The Craig era is very far from being my favourite, but in my view her decision to cast Craig saved the series from irrelevance.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    True. But the Craig era is my favourite since Connery. But no one can come close to Connery for me. Cubby wasn't perfect mind....he actually signed John Gavin!!!
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