John Altman talks about what went wrong with the Goldeneye score...

Here's a very interesting article you might want to check out...

LA based, Matthew Chernov recently attended a luncheon hosted by the Academy of Scoring Arts. There, John Altman discussed his contribution to the Goldeneye score. Turns out all was not well behind the scenes...

http://jamesbondradio.com/composer-john-altman-explains-what-went-wrong-with-goldeneyes-score-exclusive-by-matthew-chernov/

Comments

  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy My Secret Lair
    Posts: 13,384
    Very Interesting article =D>
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    I love Serra's score and could have lived with his original tank arrangement (eccentric though it certainly was) with a little toning down, but am also satisfied with Altman's rescore. Thanks for posting - it's always interesting to read what goes on behind the scenes of these productions.
  • jake24jake24 Sitting at your desk, kissing your lover, eating supper with your familyModerator
    edited December 2016 Posts: 10,588
    Indeed! Thanks for posting that, @JamesBondRadio.

    I can't imagine GE without Serra's cold strings. To me, it neither brings the film up nor down, though I'm happy we got one stellar piece of music from Altman.
  • Mendes4LyfeMendes4Lyfe The long road ahead
    edited December 2016 Posts: 8,160
    I will defend the Serra's score to the death. To me, it's an essential component of what makes the film so great. People call GE a "greatest hits" film, but wouldn't such a film have a very traditional barry-esque score to accompany it? Goldeneye doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does take risks in key areas to shake things up, and this score is an excellent example. I like Serra's original score, but I think the mix of synth and orchestra really works well together during the tank chase. Kinda similar to what Barry did with TLD.
  • gt007gt007 Station G
    Posts: 1,182
    Fascinating article, @JamesBondRadio. Really interesting to get the details on what happened.

    I do like most of the GE soundtrack. The GoldenEye Overture is a great track and dare I say one of the best in the franchise. It suits the film perfectly.

    On the other hand, A Pleasant Drive in St. Petersburg doesn't. It's not too bad as a music piece, it just doesn't sound right for the film. Altman provided a great piece with a classic Bond vibe that suits the scene perfectly. It's actually one of my favourite tracks from the Brosnan era and it's a damn shame it hasn't been (officially) released.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,334
    Technically it has been released but only partially on a John Altman film and TV showreel. I uploaded it to my Lost Bond Music Thread but here's the link I provided.

    http://picosong.com/hMtj/
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,634
    Great article. Thank you.
  • gt007gt007 Station G
    Posts: 1,182
    Thanks for that link, @Murdock. Never knew the track has been even partially released.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,334
    You're welcome @ gt007. I discovered it earlier this year. :)
  • Posts: 1,631
    Interesting article.

    Can't say I agree with EON with regards to an entire rescoring of the film, as I quite like the majority of what Serra did with it, but an interesting read nonetheless.
  • Posts: 3,333
    Should've got Altman to score the whole bloody movie. Serra's GE score will always be an abomination to my ears, just like it was the first time I heard it back in 95.
  • timdalton007timdalton007 North Alabama
    Posts: 154
    This was quite an interesting read. Interesting to hear some of the background about the GE score and how it is the most iconic sequence from the film managed to be done by someone who went without credit. Thankfully we have the Nic Raine recording of that track which is a pretty good match for the film's version.

    timdalton007
  • Posts: 15,869
    bondsum wrote: »
    Should've got Altman to score the whole bloody movie. Serra's GE score will always be an abomination to my ears, just like it was the first time I heard it back in 95.

    I made the mistake of listening to the soundtrack album before seeing the film in '95. By "Ladies' First" I knew NSNA would no longer claim the title of having my least favorite Bond score. Very disappointing. However, there was some music in GE I liked and thought worked. But overall, a less than iconic Bond score.
  • mattjoesmattjoes matjoevakia
    Posts: 6,795
    Thanks for that, very interesting. I can see Altman would've handled the action music well, but I wonder how he would've fared in romantic scenes? I think I'll listen to some of his music.

    I still like the Serra score, though.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,808
    I loved the Serra score and would not want it any other way. GE has a unique atmosphere to it and that is largely due to its unique score.

    As far as I'm concerned nothing, absolutely nothing, went wrong with the GE score.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    This speaks volumes....."I remember two things the producers said: “We’d have given you the whole film to re-score if we’d known you were that quick,” and “You saved our movie.” Unfortunately, those are the kiss of death!" IMHO THE SCORE IS AWFUL BAR THE TANK CHASE AND THE GUNBARREL AND PRE-TITLES SEQUENCE.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    GoldenGun wrote: »
    I loved the Serra score and would not want it any other way. GE has a unique atmosphere to it and that is largely due to its unique score.

    As far as I'm concerned nothing, absolutely nothing, went wrong with the GE score.
    I have to agree. I've enjoyed all the one off scores. If Newman had stopped with SF (and stayed a one-off) he too would have left a more favourable impression on me as well.
  • RoadphillRoadphill United Kingdom
    Posts: 984
    The cold steel soundtrack of Goldeneye isnt to everyones taste, thats for sure.
    He did compose two beautiful tracks though, I forget the names, the score played over the whole Casino scene where Bond meets Onatopp, and the cue that features in the "It's what keeps me alive" scene.
  • edited February 2017 Posts: 11,189
    The tank chase score and The Experience of Love are the only two tracks I really dislike in the score.

    The tank chase track would have been perfect in the N64 game as it has that "electronic" sound, but not the film.

  • Apart from just frankly being awful, lacking in suspense, and lethargically paced, Serra's tank chase score is clearly written with a tongue firmly in cheek. It was far too comical and wacky for the sequence. James Bond commandeering a tank through St. Petersburg needs music that plays up the action and suspense, not that screams at the audience, "Hey, isn't this completely ridiculous? I mean, he's driving a tank!"

    If you watch The Fifth Element, which Serra scored for Besson two years later, you'll find this is precisely the type of music he wrote for the action scenes, and it has the exact same effect. The music is actively pointing out how ridiculous the action is. It kind of works, just because the film itself is so weird and over-the-top and comical and French, but it has no place in a largely serious James Bond film. Or any James Bond film! Just look at Barry who rarely, if ever, wrote to the comedy. Even with a film like Moonraker, Barry wrote as if he was scoring 2001.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 5,131
    Great post.
  • Thanks, that was a dodged bullet for sure.
  • Posts: 676
    Fascinating article, thanks for sharing. The last minute rescore of the tank chase is an often overlooked Bondian curiosity. Serra's track must be one of the weirdest versions of the Bond theme ever recorded.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,049
    Apart from just frankly being awful, lacking in suspense, and lethargically paced, Serra's tank chase score is clearly written with a tongue firmly in cheek. It was far too comical and wacky for the sequence. James Bond commandeering a tank through St. Petersburg needs music that plays up the action and suspense, not that screams at the audience, "Hey, isn't this completely ridiculous? I mean, he's driving a tank!"

    If you watch The Fifth Element, which Serra scored for Besson two years later, you'll find this is precisely the type of music he wrote for the action scenes, and it has the exact same effect. The music is actively pointing out how ridiculous the action is. It kind of works, just because the film itself is so weird and over-the-top and comical and French, but it has no place in a largely serious James Bond film. Or any James Bond film! Just look at Barry who rarely, if ever, wrote to the comedy. Even with a film like Moonraker, Barry wrote as if he was scoring 2001.

    Which is rather unfortunate as Serra's score for Leon The Professional still has his style but maintains a distinctly serious and at times sombre mood. Odd that he didn't really find Bond that serious.
  • SatoriousSatorious Brushing up on a little Danish
    Posts: 232
    Fantastic interview!

    I've always rather liked parts of Serra's score (playing the Bond theme with Timpani drums is inspired, his theme for Natalya was lovely), but it was all rather experimental and not all of it works (the Aston/Ferrari chase, the original tank-chase). Interestingly the action and suspense parts of the score (where Bond music usually zings) are largely "underscored" but smaller scenes like the Casino scene between Bond and Xenia are completely overblown (lovely as the music was during this part).
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