Eric Serra - 'The music of Goldeneye'

GumboldGumbold Atlantis
edited November 2016 in Music Posts: 118
I was listening to Eric Serra's score of Goldeneye earlier, and I was thinking if I had just seen Goldeneye for the first time today, how the score might have sounded bad or really weird to me, but since I've seen the movie well over 100 times since I were a kid, I really enjoy it, and it doesn't sound weird to me at all. What I find quite bizarre though is how they actually signed off on it, because it was a huge leap from any of the other scores. Also from watching this little "making of" video I found on youtube, Eric Serra was also surprised with how his score worked with the movie. What are your thoughts?

I wonder what the older fans thought of the score when they first heard it, and what the reactions were like, because it's nothing like John Barry.



Here is the video on youtube
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Comments

  • edited November 2016 Posts: 769
    Much like the other non-Barry composers until David Arnold found a new Bondian sound formula, Serra tried something different, not better nor worse than previous soundtracks: Martin went with a nice imitation of the blaxplotation soundtracks, Hamlisch tried a varied approach with an ample range of styles; Conti combined happy-go-lucky disco music with Barry-esque orchestral pieces (he was personally recommended by Barry, as far as I know) and Kamen went with pure film music that merged perfectly with the action.
    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.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    I enjoyed the score immensely and still do. It's certainly different, but I admire his creativity, and there is plenty of Bond theme woven into it in certain bits. Even today, I find it quite modern and distinctive. I've enjoyed all the 'one off' composers very much, including Conti (whose work I find the most polarizing due to his overemphasis on disco).

    As I've said many times, I much prefer Serra's efforts to Arnold's generic (to my ears) sound during the Brosnan ears.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,866
    It was the first Bond score I ever heard and was instantly hooked on it. The Gunbarrel music is just so satisfying.
  • Posts: 9,701
    Murdock wrote: »
    It was the first Bond score I ever heard and was instantly hooked on it. The Gunbarrel music is just so satisfying.

    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.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    GE, LALD, FYEO & LTK are my favourite gunbarrels (music wise), and they are all by one off composers!
  • GumboldGumbold Atlantis
    Posts: 118
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    Murdock wrote: »
    It was the first Bond score I ever heard and was instantly hooked on it. The Gunbarrel music is just so satisfying.

    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 just quickly watched all the gunbarrels, and I'm quite surprised myself to say that Die Another Day might be my favorite one. Theres something about the drums.. hmm

  • GumboldGumbold Atlantis
    Posts: 118
    Much like the other composers until David Arnold found a new Bondian sound formula, Serra tried something different, not better nor worse than previous soundtracks: Martin went with a nice imitation of the blaxplotation sountracks, Hamlisch tried a varied approach, with various genres; Conti combined happy-go-lucky disco music with Barry-esque orchestral pieces (he was personally recommended by Barry, as far as I know) and Kamen went with pure film music that merged perfectly with the action.
    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.
    This was exactly the type of comment I wanted to read. You put a lot into context for me

  • Posts: 9,701
    Gumbold wrote: »
    ToTheRight wrote: »
    Murdock wrote: »
    It was the first Bond score I ever heard and was instantly hooked on it. The Gunbarrel music is just so satisfying.

    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 just quickly watched all the gunbarrels, and I'm quite surprised myself to say that Die Another Day might be my favorite one. Theres something about the drums.. hmm

    I like that one, too. I prefer it and GE over the ones for TND and TWINE.
  • bondjames wrote: »
    I enjoyed the score immensely and still do. It's certainly different, but I admire his creativity, and there is plenty of Bond theme woven into it in certain bits. Even today, I find it quite modern and distinctive. I've enjoyed all the 'one off' composers very much, including Conti (whose work I find the most polarizing due to his overemphasis on disco).

    As I've said many times, I much prefer Serra's efforts to Arnold's generic (to my ears) sound during the Brosnan ears.

    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.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Station B, Belgium
    Posts: 3,738
    I have always been a huge Eric Serra fan, I enjoy his work for Luc Besson very much. In fact, Le Grand Bleu might be my favourite score ever.

    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.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,866
    Agreed. GoldenEye's score is very enjoyable. It's unique but doesn't sound generic. I can't get enough.
  • Posts: 11,168
    I quite like the score too, always have. Part's of it don't work as well but overall I think it helps give key scenes more atmosphere (the statue park scene).
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,866
    The only track I don't like is "Ladies First" but other than that I really dig the rest.
  • BondJasonBond006BondJasonBond006 on fb and ajb
    edited November 2016 Posts: 9,021
    GoldenEye is iconic for me, back in 1995 it sounded absolutely fantastic.
    Even today, even if it sounds a bit dated here and there, it remains fantastic.
    Literally.
    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.
  • I can't defend Ladies First, but the rest is decent, or at times quite excellent. I do prefer Arnold and Barry however.
  • Posts: 3,677
    Ladies First is pretty poor, and he made the same mistake with his tank chase. It didn't fit the scene, so they replaced it.

    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.
  • Posts: 11,168
    Serra's version of the tank chase score is atrocious. Too electronic and more suited to the N64 game.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    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.
    I can't get enough of both. The Goldeneye Overture is the sort of creative modernization of the Bond sound which the next composer must bring imho.
  • Posts: 3,234
    "Trevelyan gives the chase" is also a very good track.
  • edited November 2016 Posts: 4,969
    "Trevelyan gives the chase" is also a very good track.

    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.
  • w2bondw2bond is indeed a very rare breed
    Posts: 2,008
    John Altman's addition means that Derek Watkins is the longest serving Bond cast member having played trumpet from Dr No until Skyfall
  • Posts: 4,325
    Always really quite like Serra's GE score, somehow it just suits the film itself. Obviously they had the tank chase rescored by Altman which was the right decision, but I do also think the gunbarrel music should have been rescored too, it needs the JB Theme to be more obvious and a bit more traditional.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2016 Posts: 23,883
    tanaka123 wrote: »
    Always really quite like Serra's GE score, somehow it just suits the film itself. Obviously they had the tank chase rescored by Altman which was the right decision, but I do also think the gunbarrel music should have been rescored too, it needs the JB Theme to be more obvious and a bit more traditional.
    The GE gunbarrel is one of my all time faves, so defense minister, I must protest.

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  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,866
    GoldenEye's gunbarrel music is amazing. To change it would be criminal.
  • The original tank chase music is worse than Ladies First...
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2016 Posts: 23,883
    The original tank chase music is worse than Ladies First...
    I was truly shocked when I first heard it. I don't know what Serra was thinking. The Bond theme incorporated into it is cool though (for some reason it reminds me of Vijay playing the tune in OP). I must confess that I really like Ladies First (ducks head in shame).

  • The original tank chase music is worse than Ladies First...

    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.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,866
    I love a pleasant drive through St. Petersburg. While it was totally unsuited to the film, there is something nice about it while driving somewhere. Makes for fun listening.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Station B, Belgium
    Posts: 3,738
    I like Ladies First too. Have no problems with the original tank chase music though I also feel Altman's track suits the scene better.
  • I like that tiny guitar part. 8-}
    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.
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