James Bond compilation albums

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  • mattjoesmattjoes Brosmas is coming
    Posts: 5,813
    Murdock wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    I'm curious as to what this video contained.
    @mattjoes, I will satisfy your curiosity. Unfortunately I couldn't find a new video reupload so I'll just send the file manually. https://ufile.io/71x0ncx5

    It's David Arnold's original version of the Bond theme. The opening of it was sampled for this remix.

    Ah, thanks for clarifying @Murdock. I hadn't realized that LTJ Bukem had sampled that version of the Bond theme (which I absolutely love, by the way).
  • mattjoesmattjoes Brosmas is coming
    Posts: 5,813
    IT HAS BEGUN

  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 11,629
    Listening to it at the moment: I've heard these arrangements before, who did them? They're not my favourite arrangements.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Brosmas is coming
    Posts: 5,813
    mtm wrote: »
    Listening to it at the moment: I've heard these arrangements before, who did them? They're not my favourite arrangements.

    I've listened to the album a number of times already. Can't wait to write some detailed thoughts on it. A bunch of arrangements (not all) are indeed taken from previous recordings. The arrangements for the early films were created by John Barry himself. I'll go into more detail later.
  • ProfJoeButcherProfJoeButcher Bless your heart
    Posts: 1,544
    All Time High is just spectacular here.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited September 23 Posts: 11,629
    I'm not really enjoying this.

    Weirdly Die Another Day seems to be one of the most energetic and better tracks, whereas You Know My Name is horrible. They've turned it into a weird sort of Western cowboy theme.
  • AgentJamesBond007AgentJamesBond007 Vesper’s grave
    Posts: 2,617
    I gotta say the James Bond theme is giving 80s John Barry vibes.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython Omaha, NE
    Posts: 6,692
    I gotta say the James Bond theme is giving 80s John Barry vibes.

    It very much is, as in there’s no guitar play.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 363
    mtm wrote: »
    I'm not really enjoying this.

    Weirdly Die Another Day seems to be one of the most energetic and better tracks, whereas You Know My Name is horrible. They've turned it into a weird sort of Western cowboy theme.

    Yeah, I'll have to give the whole album a listen though, but there's nothing innovative from the ones I've heard so far.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited September 23 Posts: 11,629
    I gotta say the James Bond theme is giving 80s John Barry vibes.

    It very much is, as in there’s no guitar play.

    Not enough triangle though.
  • BondAficionadoBondAficionado Former IMDBer
    Posts: 1,865
    The new FRWL, AVTAK, GE and DAD arrangements are really good imo. Overall I appreciate the 'smoothness' they gave to most tracks - they feel less rushed and more majestic than the original recordings sound. Love the risks they took with OP. It's very playful but not necessarily better. The only recording I didn't like was TSWLM, which simply doesn't work for me. Although ironically the crescendo around the 2 minute mark is amazing and perhaps the best part of the whole album.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Brosmas is coming
    edited September 24 Posts: 5,813
    Here's a review of sorts of the Bond 25 album. For each track, I mention, to the best of my knowledge and understanding, whether it's based on an existing arrangement, or is original (even if the results aren't that original). For some tracks of the album, I offer further comments.

    JAMES BOND THEME, based on The James Bond Theme (Symphonic Version) by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra:
    This is a fine rendition of the Bond theme, but it's not original. As far as I'm concerned, the wah-wah trumpets in the first part of the B-section, and the more ballsy and prominent trumpets in the second part of the B-section, make this version superior to the City of Prague one. I also like how you can hear the woodwinds in the Bond theme riff alongside the brass, whereas in the City of Prague version, the riff has no woodwinds or they are practically inaudible. All in all, subtle differences, but there you have it.

    FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE, based on the version recorded for Moviola II by John Barry, itself a variation of the version from The James Bond Suite from 1972, also by John Barry:
    Once again, a fine version of the theme, but not original at all.

    GOLDFINGER, based on the version from The James Bond Suite from 1972, by John Barry:
    The main change for this version are the wah-wah trumpets in the intro (a good choice). Apart from that, it's pretty much the same as the 1972 arrangement. I find the rhythm of the triangle at the end a little hard to follow, especially when it starts to play. In the original version, there is also a tambourine playing, which helps me understand how it all fits together a little better.

    THUNDERBALL, based on the version from The James Bond Suite from 1972, by John Barry:
    As with Goldfinger, the main change for this version are the trumpets. In part of the intro and the outro, they've been raised an octave. Also, throughout the song, they now play with a wah-wah effect. Once again, good decisions to vary things up a little, but this isn't truly a new arrangement.

    YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, based on the version by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, itself a variation of the version from The James Bond Suite from 1972, also by John Barry, only with the ending taken from the soundtrack track Mountains and Sunsets.

    ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, based on the version from The James Bond Suite from 1972, by John Barry.

    DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER, based on the version by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, itself a slight variation on the version from The James Bond Suite from 1972, by John Barry.

    LIVE AND LET DIE, mostly original arrangement; has similarities with the version from The Bond Suite by George Martin:
    This is a good version of the theme, but the only part that I think truly grabs my attention at a higher level is that brief section at 1:14. Love the trombones, the guitars and the percussion (with vibraslap!).

    THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN, original arrangement:
    Refreshingly, the arrangement of this track is inspired by the song itself, rather being a repeat of the the action/romance renditions of the theme heard in the film score and in subsequent City of Prague re-recordings. Even if it's not that original, it's a solid, energetic version.

    NOBODY DOES IT BETTER, original arrangement:
    A couple of small bits that caught my attention: I love the horns shadowing the melody in the part from 1:34 to 1:42, and I absolutely adore the ending.

    MOONRAKER, original arrangement:
    My favorite part of Moonraker has always been the outro, and I think they did something wonderful with it by adding those gorgeous horn phrases that begin at 2:40.

    FOR YOUR EYES ONLY, original arrangement:
    This one is gorgeous.

    ALL TIME HIGH, undoubtedly an original arrangement:
    For my money this is the most creative and distinctive arrangement in the entire album (not necessarily the best, mind you). It has some extreme shifts, going from small to big, from quiet to energetic, and back. On my first two listens, I felt it was a bit disjointed, even if the individual sections that make up the arrangement were good in and of themselves. On further listens, and from another point of view, the track sounds like it's underscoring a scene in an imaginary play or a film. In that sense, it is effective, though I think the ending is a bit abrupt. I have to think about this track some more, for sure. I'm on the fence about it, leaning towards dislike at the moment.

    A VIEW TO A KILL, based on part of the OHMSS/AVTAK suite by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

    THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, based on the first part of the Living Daylights suite by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra:
    The only substantial difference here is in the bit that begins at 1:13 in the City of Prague version, and 1:11 in the Bond 25 version. The former has a more muscular sound to it, with both the melody and the ornaments being played on brass, while the latter has a much quieter sound, with the melody being played on oboes and clarinets, and the ornaments being played on basoons, before bringing in the brass to match the City of Prague version. Another detail to consider is that the horns sound much better in the Bond 25 version. Complaints about originality aside, I've always appreciated this arrangement of The Living Daylights, because while clearly taking after the action renditions of the theme used in the film score, it omits the synth elements, which gives it a substantially different feel, one which in fact wouldn't be out of place in a Western score.

    LICENCE TO KILL, original arrangement.

    GOLDENEYE, original arrangement:
    The transition that begins roughly at 2:03 really grabs me, especially at 2:19, with the drum roll and the flamboyant brass/string notes. It's awesome; pure Bond. They did a great job with it.

    TOMORROW NEVER DIES, original arrangement.

    THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH, original arrangement.

    DIE ANOTHER DAY, mostly original arrangement; has slight similarities with the version by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra:
    I was looking forward to this track, as Die Another Day, despite being an unpopular song, has lent itself very well in the past to instrumental versions. This is yet another good arrangement of the song, and from what I can tell, it fills an unexplored niche. It aims for a brassier, more dramatic sound than, say, the version by the Las Vegas International Philharmonic, and it has a more orchestral sound than the version by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. It sticks fairly closely to the original theme, though. There is nothing as radical here as the fugue section in the Las Vegas version.

    YOU KNOW MY NAME, original arrangement:
    Between the quiet A section and the energetic chorus, this track feels a little disjointed. I enjoy each section by itself, but going back and forth between them doesn't quite work. As mentioned in a previous post, the chorus has a bit of a Western feel to it, which I like, but they should have committed fully to it, or committed fully to a quieter, more intimate arrangement. Or if they wanted to keep the track as it is, perhaps they shouldn't have chosen to go back and forth between those two different styles, and instead had it change from quiet to loud just once. In other words, to treat it less like a theme and more like a film score cue.

    ANOTHER WAY TO DIE, original arrangement:
    This track is terrific. It was a good decision to keep the guitar, since no orchestra instrument could match its grit. Between the guitar, the ballsy brass and the classy strings/woodwinds, it's a great listen. My favorite part of the track is at 1:49; paraxodically, my least favorite part of the original song, because of the vocals.

    SKYFALL, original arrangement:
    Generally speaking, this track is very faithful to the original arrangement, except without Adele's voice, of course. The melody is shared between a number of instruments. The cello in the intro is a good choice, and the horns later on are especially pleasant to listen to. I think the noirish trombones at 2:36 lack a little something; maybe they needed more reverb. One of my favorite parts of this arrangement is where the background chorus comes in in the original song. In the Bond 25 version of the theme, the melody in that part is played by horns, and the chorus is replaced by high woodwinds. Another highlight is that little bit at 1:23 where the percussion stops to let the brass have its moment to shine while playing the Bond theme. I also like the trumpet phrase at the very end.

    WRITING'S ON THE WALL, original arrangement:
    This theme is the gift that keeps on giving. Thanks, Sam Smith, despite the fact I'm not a big fan of your singing.

    NO TIME TO DIE, original arrangement:
    Well, even before the release of Bond 25, I'd already expressed my deep appreciation for this arrangement of the theme, which is very distinctive in its instrumentation. My favorite part begins at 3:00, with a buildup that leads to what I can best describe as an explosion of musical drama.

    GENERAL THOUGHTS:
    • There are two perspectives to evaluate this album from: the perspective of the casual Bond music fan (or even neophyte), and the perspective of the Bond music nut.
      • If one isn't already familiar with the multiple Bond re-recordings and covers that have been done over the years, this album should prove satisfying, as it brings together the terrific orchestral arrangements John Barry did in the seventies with some new, generally successful arrangements for the newer themes. It's like buying the latest "The Best of Bond...James Bond" album if you've never owned one before.
      • If one is deeply familiar with Bond music, the album isn't quite as satisfying, as a sizable chunk of it (at least 9 tracks out of 25) is a retread, and not "brand new arrangements" of themes "as you've never heard them before." And yet the new arrangements are generally worth listening to. Also, I can listen to the album for free on Spotify, so what am I going to complain about. I'm happy it exists!
    • This is not a merit exclusive to this album, but as I was listening to it, I couldn't help but appreciate how the woodwinds aren't given the short shrift in these arrangements. This isn't a stereotypical Hans Zimmer-style orchestra consisting mostly of strings, brass, synths and heavy drums. No, we get our flutes, clarinets, oboes and so on. Good.
    • At the moment, from the truly new arrangements in the album, I think some of the best tracks are GoldenEye, Another Way to Die and No Time to Die. I also appreciate some of the changes made to the brass in certain John Barry arrangements.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 363
    Yeah, I have listened to the whole album and your review is spot on @mattjoes while I think it's a subtle take on Bond, a lot of the tracks aren't original or inventive, but something we've heard before. I expected a fresh take on the very familiar tracks, though.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 11,629
    I'm still much of a fan of this, I tend to find it kind of kills a lot of the tracks. For me Skyfall is much like the original, just not played as well.

    LTK is kind of interesting as there are parts of it you can imagine being used in the film as lush 'location arrival' music as Bond & friend arrive in some beautiful landscape, and it actually lends itself to that pretty much. It's a pretty lacklustre representation of a powerful tune on here though.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Brosmas is coming
    edited September 25 Posts: 5,813
    Yeah, I have listened to the whole album and your review is spot on @mattjoes while I think it's a subtle take on Bond, a lot of the tracks aren't original or inventive, but something we've heard before. I expected a fresh take on the very familiar tracks, though.
    Yeah, @SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷, I wasn't expecting them to rely so much on those Barry arrangements for the themes of the first films. I can understand why they did, but I would have preferred they hadn't. And of course they are not "brand new arrangements" as advertised. At least they they did some subtle improvements on them.

    The rest of the tracks are, with a couple of exceptions, what I had anticipated: not radical reinventions, but subtle takes, as you say, on the original tracks. That I expected and I enjoy it.

    mtm wrote: »
    LTK is kind of interesting as there are parts of it you can imagine being used in the film as lush 'location arrival' music as Bond & friend arrive in some beautiful landscape, and it actually lends itself to that pretty much.
    I agree.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,688
    Compilation albums were never my thing, and certainly not when they don't even provide the original songs. Creative renditions can be interesting, but they can rarely motivate me to part with my money. So far, the best 'compilation album' I've listened to is Arnold's Shaken And Stirred, which I enjoy very much. The second best for me would be both of the Bond Back In Action albums, which are, of course, much more focused on the scores than on the theme songs. And then I've listened to some jazz remixes of the theme songs, which I can enjoy to some extent. But overall, I will always return to the original material, or the closest thing to it that we can get.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 16,173
    I enjoyed the new Bond 25 album. While a lot of the tracks were retreads of old arrangements the new arrangements were enjoyable. The new arrangements of You Know My Name and The Writing on the wall were excellent.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Brosmas is coming
    Posts: 5,813
    Murdock wrote: »
    The new arrangements of You Know My Name and The Writing on the wall were excellent.
    I like them. I enjoy the YKMN arrangement better and better with each listen, and the same goes for the whole album. I'm happy that I'm, uh, happy with it, as this sort of thing isn't likely to happen again in a long time.

    DarthDimi wrote: »
    Compilation albums were never my thing, and certainly not when they don't even provide the original songs. Creative renditions can be interesting, but they can rarely motivate me to part with my money. So far, the best 'compilation album' I've listened to is Arnold's Shaken And Stirred, which I enjoy very much. The second best for me would be both of the Bond Back In Action albums, which are, of course, much more focused on the scores than on the theme songs. And then I've listened to some jazz remixes of the theme songs, which I can enjoy to some extent. But overall, I will always return to the original material, or the closest thing to it that we can get.
    Have you given Bond 25 a listen by any chance? If so, it would be interesting to read your opinion.

    Speaking of preferring the original versions of songs/themes, I remember years ago, I would tend to immediately tune out when presented with a version of a theme that wasn't the original. In my mind, it seemed automatically inferior and not worth listening to. For whatever reason, that changed and now I'm much more open to enjoying different versions. Of course, your mileage may vary, as they say.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 363
    I think the album is growing on me though. On first listen, I was expecting to hear something extraordinary....maybe because of the album's title. But after multiple listens, I now like it.
  • Posts: 1,376
    Thanks for the reviews...................I was looking forward to some really refreshing original takes from this album. This one is definitely a pass for me.
  • Posts: 117
    The new arrangement of "All Time High" is stunningly gorgeous. I also love the new version of "Licence to Kill." OP and LTK are two of my favorite Bond films so this makes me really happy.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Brosmas is coming
    Posts: 5,813
    The arrangement of You Know My Name has really grown on me. The chorus is particularly wonderful to listen to; sweeping and beautiful. I now feel this is one of the best tracks of the album.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 363
    mattjoes wrote: »
    The arrangement of You Know My Name has really grown on me. The chorus is particularly wonderful to listen to; sweeping and beautiful. I now feel this is one of the best tracks of the album.

    Yeah, it's really good. It's now my new ringtone B-)
  • echoecho 007 in New York
    edited September 29 Posts: 5,148
    YKWM is the OHMSS of title songs, perennially underrated until one day when it won't be.

    Listening to this album, I miss Barry all over again.
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