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Serra took Bond to the techno scene, with funky Kraftwerk-esque pieces... But the romantic pieces sound sappy (I don't know if they were by Serra or the other composer) and his singing is awful, but overall,it's not too bad. I mean, if you compare Serr to Michel Legrand, Serra did a masterpiece.
As I've said many times, I much prefer Serra's efforts to Arnold's generic (to my ears) sound during the Brosnan ears.
I've always been a strong fan of the Gunbarrel music for GE as well.
To me it still keeps true to tradition, but played with different instruments.
I like that one, too. I prefer it and GE over the ones for TND and TWINE.
So do I, and especially Conti. His soundtrack is a blast to hear: as funny as Bacharach's one for CR'67 or heating Barry unchained on DAF.
Too bad that in "Gonzales Takes A Dive" he put Mexican mariachi music instead of imitating actual Spanish folk. To add insult to injury, Conti had worked in Spanish films on his humble beginnings in European B-movies. I always skip that part. But the rest of the piece, with that gurgling guitar (by Vic Flick, I read in the liner notes) on a funky groove, plus a "last note joke" is the musical definition of Moore's Bond: Fun, fun and more fun.
I find several parallelisms between Conti and Serra's works here: both are merry, unhibited and groovadelic scores interspersed with lush orchestral pieces, the main difference being that Conti worked alone and Serra (el que arrossega els collons pel terra. Catalan humour), had John Altman taking care of the orchestral pieces. As far as I know, GE's score has some kind of a cult status between casual Bond movie followers.
GoldenEye was the first Bond score I bought and I have always been a defender of it. The post industrial music beats go very well with the Russian motive of the film. Hell, I even like the end title song.
GE is in my top 5 favourite Bond scores and the my number 1 non-Barry Bond score.
Even today, even if it sounds a bit dated here and there, it remains fantastic.
Serra really created the most unique of all Bond scores.
I even wouldn't want Ladies First to be different, although that is the "strangest" of all the score tracks. Still, it fits the humorous car chase scene perfectly.
And then there is The GoldenEye Overture.
The bloody second best instrumental score bit of the whole series. Which is the best one you ask? Well, of course that's OHMSS.
The rest is good. Great gunbarrel. Run Shoot Jump is good too, and works even better when they loop it on to the 007/006 satellite clash.
Is that "Run, Shoot, Jump" by any chance? I'm a Barry/Arnold fan myself, but alongside Kamen's Licence to Kill, GoldenEye is my favorite of the standalone efforts (I dig a lot of tracks from Martin's Live & Let Die, but taken as a whole the aggressive funk wears a bit).
GoldenEye indeed has an enormously unique sound (for Bond, that is). Serra's clanging industrial electronica was an odd choice for the film, but somehow it worked perfectly and has really imbued GoldenEye with its own musical identity. "The GoldenEye Overture" is definitely the highlight, but I also especially love "Whispering Statues" and "We Share the Same Passions." The filmmakers made a wise choice, however, in replacing Serra's original tank score with John Altman's contribution, which is a fantastic James Bond theme-powered action track and which surprisingly fits in very well with the rest of the sound of GoldenEye.
Oh by far. Those wailing vocals in whatever language that is...Russian? Because they're in Russia? The sequence with Serra's music in plays like some kind of bizarre, cringe-inducing music video. I can only imagine the sheer panic that must have set in with Campbell and the producers when they saw that. Worst scoring in the series hands-down. A gigantic bullet dodged there.
I actually don't mind "Ladies First" too badly. It's not my favorite perhaps, but there's a kind of quirky playfulness there that suits the scene—Bond's childishness, etc. I've never reacted to it the way some seem to.
I remember hearing this alternate tank theme for the first time and laugh my ass off: it's a somewhat quirky and funny piece, especially if we forget its context.