Dish Out of Water: Eric Serra Appreciation

OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
in Music Posts: 1,063
Anyone else?

I love Eric Serra's Goldeneye soundtrack. I know it's takes a beating amongst many fans, but to me the tones of his score reflect the Cold War theme of the film.

The GB sequence in Goldeneye is up there with one of the best in the series because of the music. The soundtrack completely embodies the context of the film, IMO. I love how Serra weaved the classic Bond melody into this track with the drums.



The way in which Serra also adds sounds like the bells of snow dogs into the music is inspired, IMO.

Interested to hear what other peoples thoughts are!
«13

Comments

  • NicNacNicNac Moderator
    Posts: 7,194
    By chance I was watching this film yesterday and deliberately bent my ear to the soundtrack. It was certainly better than I remembered and I did also appreciate the way the music felt so tuned in to the cold war flavour of the film.

    I also felt the quieter melodies worked well also.

    Most of the criticism is aimed at the weirdly funky opening to the car chase. It was pretty awful, but apart from that I thought it was all pretty decent.
  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,063
    I'd certainly put it ahead of anything Arnold or Newman have produced in more recent years.
  • edited March 3 Posts: 11,425
    I think you are fairly alone in putting the GE soundtrack ahead of CR and QOS. It may be better than SF and SP overall, although I don't think anything Newman did was a quite as awful as the GE car chase.

    I remember coming out of the cinema in 1995 and one of the things that really hit me was how bad the score was. I also remember thinking Arnold's TND score was a big improvement.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 5,559
    Really like the romance cues and the twist on the Bond theme for the gunbarrel. Not crazy on some of the action material, though. Certainly undeserving of the vitriol spewed at it.
  • Posts: 3,875
    I like this one

  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,834
    Apart from the Gunbarrel and pre-title sequence the score is dire. Completely unsuitable for a Bond film, no brass and class.....just tinny eurotrash with the odd passable romantic cue. Thank god for David Arnold as the TND score was a triumph!
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,168
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Apart from the Gunbarrel and pre-title sequence the score is dire. Completely unsuitable for a Bond film, no brass and class.....just tinny eurotrash with the odd passable romantic cue. Thank god for David Arnold as the TND score was a triumph!

    Agreed. When the producers have to bring in another composer to redo a scene you know a score has problems....
  • GatecrasherGatecrasher Classified
    Posts: 219
    Favorite tracks from Eric Serra’s score:

    1. Gunbarrel/Dam
    2. The GoldenEye Overture
    3. A Little Surprise For You
    4. The Scale to Hell
    5. Boris & The Lethal Pen
    6. Run, Shoot, & Jump
    7. We Share the Same Passions
    8. Trapped in the Tiger (Unreleased)
    9. Dish Out of Water
    10. Whispering Statues

    I don’t care what anyone says, this is just an overall great soundtrack and, for me, is emblematic of Brosnan’s Bond.
  • RemingtonRemington I'll do anything for a woman with a knife.
    Posts: 1,499
    I've always loved it. It fits the film perfectly.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    edited March 4 Posts: 4,834
    Favorite tracks from Eric Serra’s score:

    1. Gunbarrel/Dam
    2. The GoldenEye Overture
    3. A Little Surprise For You
    4. The Scale to Hell
    5. Boris & The Lethal Pen
    6. Run, Shoot, & Jump
    7. We Share the Same Passions
    8. Trapped in the Tiger (Unreleased)
    9. Dish Out of Water
    10. Whispering Statues

    I don’t care what anyone says, this is just an overall great soundtrack and, for me, is emblematic of Brosnan’s Bond.

    Brosnan is the weakest Bond in the weakest films so a fitting tribute then.

    In terms of Serra’s score.....http://jamesbondradio.com/composer-john-altman-explains-what-went-wrong-with-goldeneyes-score-exclusive-by-matthew-chernov/. MGW disliked it too.
  • Posts: 3,129
    It’s easily THE best non-Barry score. Zimmer has a chance to dethrone Serra, but we shall see.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Defender of Timothy Dalton, George Lazenby, Éric Serra & the Bond double bill of '83!
    Posts: 4,777
    Well @Octopussy, thanks for having the courage to start this thread. As we all know I am a huge fan of Eric Serra. Not only as the composer of the best non-Barry 007 score ever, but as a film composer in general.

    The man is a genius. Yes, I said genius.

    But, I understand it is not everyone's cup of tea. We are Bond fans and we are used to a certain type of music that goes along with the film, namely John Barry's masterful orchestrations. And for GE, we got a largely electronic-themed score. Understandably that's a huge departure and one that doesn't suit everyone's taste.

    Nevertheless, Eric Serra is a masterful film composer. Not very traditional, I give you that. But masterful nonetheless. Mixing his trademark synthesiser sounds with classic instruments he gives all his scores a uniqueness matched by few others.

    Serra's soundtracks always compliment the film's atmosphere. Collaborating with famous French film director Luc Besson on practically all of them, his sound is distinctively European too. Similar to Claudio Simonetti's haunting music typical of the best Dario Argento films, or Jan Hammer's score to Miami Vice.

    Speaking of which, Hammer's synth score was a decisive addition to the mix that made Michael Mann's groundbreaking tv series a success, giving something so very American a subtle European touch.

    GoldenEye, in that respect, goes a bit on the same route. After six years away from the big screen it presents a mix of all those ingredients that had made James Bond an icon of British cinema (even though he is also a man of the world). Safe for the score, inspired by his work on the hugely successful Léon: The Professional, producers hire Eric Serra who gives Bond's glorious return a very European musical touch, perfectly complimenting the Cold War theme of the film with post-industrial soundscapes, haunting choirs and romantic cues submerged in melancholy.

    Eric Serra gives GE character, something that one of Arnold's meritorious attempts at bringing a modern John Barry to the table would not have been able to do. Unsurprisingly many Bond fans have always had a certain sense of pastiche during the later Brosnan years (although I can appreciate TWINE myself). Arnold found more challenge during the early Craig years and you can immediately hear the difference between QOS, what I consider his best effort, and the messy final act cues to TND-DAD.

    Concerning Bond, we can safely assume that John Barry has provided the definitive sound, but despite some admirable efforts none of the others has made a score quite as unique, daring and fitting as Eric Serra.

    At the end of this overly long appreciation post, I would like to invite you to listen to some of Eric Serra's other efforts. Efforts for which he has been recognised by the French film community on numerous occasions, receiving a César nomination (aka "the French Oscars") for Best Music Score for all of these. He won the award once, for Le grand bleu.

    Le grand bleu (aka The Big Blue)



    Subway



    Nikita (aka La Femme Nikita)



    Léon (aka The Professional)



    Le cinquième élément (aka The Fifth Element)



    Jeanne d'Arc (aka Joan of Arc)







  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,063
    suavejmf wrote: »
    Apart from the Gunbarrel and pre-title sequence the score is dire. Completely unsuitable for a Bond film, no brass and class.....just tinny eurotrash with the odd passable romantic cue. Thank god for David Arnold as the TND score was a triumph!

    Agreed. When the producers have to bring in another composer to redo a scene you know a score has problems....

    Serra's score had more originality then Arnold's Tomorrow Never Dies soundtrack. I don't have an affinity for Arnold and feel that with the exception of Casino Royale the remainder of his scores are poor, IMO. They continually overuse the Bond theme and lack any real imagination. If you place the score of Tomorrow Never Dies over any other Bond film, it wouldn't make a difference, whereas Serra's score for Goldeneye is all-encompassing of the films Cold-War tone.



    I absolutely love Serra's take on the Bond theme in the entirety of the score. The mix of synthesizers and drums is a perfect combination. That being said it's never overused throughout the score and Serra created his own melodies for the track.



  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    Serra's score is fantastic imo, each track fits the mood of the scene and is pleasent to listen to. I know people love poking fun at Ladies First for being super techno and late 90's but I actually enjoy that track although it's by far the weakest track on the Soundtrack. GE has some outstanding tracks though such as The GoldenEye Overture, Two-Faced, Run Shoot and Jump, The Tiger Helicopter explosion, Tank chase around St. Petersburg and a pretty awesome gunbarrel track. Also I love Tina Turner's theme, the trailer Bond theme and Experience Of Love. Overall I think the score is pretty underrated all things considered
  • GadgetManGadgetMan Nigeria
    edited March 4 Posts: 2,362
    I really like Serra's GE. Tracks like 'We Share The Same Passion, 'For Ever, James' are amongst some of the most romantic Bond tracks. His Gunbarrel music as well....and of course 'The Goldeneye Overture' & a lot of others. Maybe it might never be topped as the most successfully experimental Bond score that Worked. Although, Zimmer's score is just around the corner.So we'll soon find out.

    And in the case of Arnold, Arnold is a lifelong Bond fan like all of us here. I think a great deal of us saw a Bond movie before we reached age 10. Arnold saw YOLT when he was 6 or 7 years old. So whenever he approached a Bond score, he does it as a fan. We even heard FRWL's theme in TND too. I remember him saying he used a lot of the Bond theme in TND, coz fans missed it in GE & that he scored TND as if it was his last Bond film. That's why we heard a lot of the Bond theme in it. Maybe he wasn't sure Eon would call him back, even if Barry recommended him. I think from TWINE-QoS, Arnold didn't use the Bond theme that much. I think once Eon called him back for TWINE, he felt a bit relaxed & confident that Eon indeed wants him Long-term. I like all of Arnold's scores.....his TND score for me is amongst the very best Bond scores.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,834
    It’s easily THE best non-Barry score. Zimmer has a chance to dethrone Serra, but we shall see.

    Ha ha ha!

    Kamen, Martin, Arnold etc all far superior.

    G Wilson wanted to sack Serra.....he had to have the tank chase re-scored as it was so poor.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 5,559
    suavejmf wrote: »
    It’s easily THE best non-Barry score. Zimmer has a chance to dethrone Serra, but we shall see.

    Ha ha ha!

    Kamen, Martin, Arnold etc all far superior.

    G Wilson wanted to sack Serra.....he had to have the tank chase re-scored as it was so poor.

    This is an appreciation thread.
  • suavejmfsuavejmf Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England
    Posts: 4,834
    suavejmf wrote: »
    It’s easily THE best non-Barry score. Zimmer has a chance to dethrone Serra, but we shall see.

    Ha ha ha!

    Kamen, Martin, Arnold etc all far superior.

    G Wilson wanted to sack Serra.....he had to have the tank chase re-scored as it was so poor.

    This is an appreciation thread.

    This is MI6 Community Forum.

    I'd didn't realise opinions were banned?
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 5,559
    suavejmf wrote: »
    suavejmf wrote: »
    It’s easily THE best non-Barry score. Zimmer has a chance to dethrone Serra, but we shall see.

    Ha ha ha!

    Kamen, Martin, Arnold etc all far superior.

    G Wilson wanted to sack Serra.....he had to have the tank chase re-scored as it was so poor.

    This is an appreciation thread.

    This is MI6 Community Forum.

    I'd didn't realise opinions were banned?

    That's quite a jump! It was just a friendly reminder; being overly negative in an appreciation thread just makes you look contrary for the sake of it.
  • Posts: 478
    Eric Serra is a solid composer and some of the GoldenEye soundtrack is very, very good. The tank chase music is fantastic, and there is a string piece played a few times towards the end of the film that's just brilliant (although it doesn't appear to be on the OST). That string piece has even been used in a couple movie trailers.

    That being said, there are a few pieces of the soundtrack that are (IMO) quite dreadful, and I think it's those pieces that people latch onto. The cold, almost machine-like music heard often throughout the first half of the film is jarring and unpleasant. One could argue that it's supposed to be, given the cold Russia setting, but to me it's just murder on the ears.

    So, a mixed bag. I don't think it's nearly as bad as it's made out to be, as there are truly some fantastic pieces within it.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 5,559
    @PDJamesBond are you talking about Serra's original tank music or the one that appears in the film?
  • ResurrectionResurrection Kolkata, India
    Posts: 2,351
    Nothing beats this one. Imagine how much fun Serra must had creating this piece :))

    Ok, these three are my favorites


  • Posts: 3,875
    I like some of his industrial sounding tracks

    And this atmospheric one

    Plus the tiger helicopter
  • Posts: 3,129
    Here’s the original tank chase music synced with the film.




    Very European.
  • MurdockMurdock Mr. 2000
    Posts: 15,993
    I love GE's soundtrack. It's one of my all time favorites.
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    edited March 4 Posts: 210
    Murdock wrote: »
    I love GE's soundtrack. It's one of my all time favorites.

    +1
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    edited March 4 Posts: 6,991
    I have always loved the GE soundtrack since I bought it as a 17 year old back in '95. I can't agree with the OP's (double entendre) opinion that it's better than CR or QoS, but do agree that it has been unfairly maligned by some fans throughout the years. Thanks for starting this thread!

    It fits the the film and the times very well, a la LALD, TSWLM, FYEO and LTK. There's no replacing Barry, but I'm so thankful for some of the one offs we have received. Do we really want to hear the same thing ad nauseam? I sure don't. It's been a part of the longevity of the series. Variety is the key to a long running franchise, no?

    From the colder industrial sounds to some of the more tender, orchestral moments, what's not to like? I don't disagree with replacing the track for the tank chase, although I do like it as an isolated piece of music. Hell, I don't even hate Ladies First. Get out your pitchforks!
  • OctopussyOctopussy Piz Gloria, Schilthorn, Switzerland.
    Posts: 1,063
    pachazo wrote: »
    Hell, I don't even hate Ladies First. Get out your pitchforks!



    I like Ladies First as well and feel that it works well in the context of the scene.
    pachazo wrote: »
    It fits the the film and the times very well, a la LALD, TSWLM, FYEO and LTK. There's no replacing Barry, but I'm so thankful for some of the one offs we have received. Do we really want to hear the same thing ad nauseam? I sure don't. It's been a part of the longevity of the series. Variety is the key to a long running franchise, no?

    Agree. I think that Serra's genius is that he is was able to give us a score that is completely inline with the film in terms of tone. He didn't go for a more classical brass driven sound, he created a score that was entirely his own. Scores like Tomorrow Never Dies could fit with any film in the franchise, whereas Serra's soundtrack would only fit with Goldeneye.

    The romantic cues that Serra created are also fantastic and I actually love The Experience of Love.



    Such tracks like 'We Share The Same Passions' and "What Keeps You Alive" are truly emotive and demonstrate Serra's versatility.
  • Posts: 3,129
    Should be noted that not only was he recommended by John Barry due to his work on LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL but EON actually encouraged him to try a whole different sound. It wasn't until much later in the process that EON had started to get cold feet and make alterations. The biggest example is the tank chase rescored, but there's also other things like reusing music cues. In the exploding pen scene instead of using the cue that Serra composed, they used a different cue from an earlier part of the film (I think it was the train exploding countdown). Then during the cradle climax instead of using the original cue written for the scene they simply reuse the one we heard with Bond and Natalya escaping into the archives.

    I really hope one day we get a full comprehensive album release for this like David Arnold's Bond work. Not only every piece of music used in the film but all the other cues that ultimately went unused. I believe the original soundtrack actually has three tracks featuring cues not used in the final cut.
  • Daniel316Daniel316 United States
    Posts: 210
    I hope we get a soundtrack release too, hopefully if we do we'll finally get an official release of the Helicopter Escape track that never got officially released (one of my favorite tracks) and yeah they did reuse a few tracks, Run Shoot and Jump being the most infamous (though harmless) example as it was used 3 times for the Cradle battle and it got used in the Archives as well.
Sign In or Register to comment.