The sound of 007 - Documentary

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
in Music Posts: 21,705
Amazon Prime has released its long-anticipated documentary The Sound Of 007. We can discuss the documentary here.
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  • Posts: 4,540
    Did I miss references to the Dalton era ?
  • slide_99slide_99 USA
    edited October 9 Posts: 496
    The "making of" content was interesting, especially the Hamlisch and Winehouse bits. I didn't realize that she came that close to doing a Bond song. The commentary was somewhat shallow, but then again it was made more for general audiences than Bond aficionados.

    Also, it's interesting how much better-spoken the older generations were. Going from Barry's interviews, and even Duran Duran, to Billie Eilish was jarring. You go from relatively insightful comments to, "wooow, it like so crrraaaazyyyy...:"
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns The Bright Side of the Road.
    Posts: 18,919
    I watched it on James Bond Day, there were a few things I was not aware of I loved Michael Caine's story.

    Despite repurposing some old footage I liked how the documentary was put together and appreciated the animations on poster art etc. To be honest I feel starved of new Bond material so I was happy through out, though I often get enjoyment from watching Bond documentary's I have seen countless times.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 37,936
    I watched it on James Bond Day, there were a few things I was not aware of I loved Michael Caine's story.

    Despite repurposing some old footage I liked how the documentary was put together and appreciated the animations on poster art etc. To be honest I feel starved of new Bond material so I was happy through out, though I often get enjoyment from watching Bond documentary's I have seen countless times.

    That's about exactly how I felt. Like I said on release day, could've done without such a heavy focus on NTTD and would've enjoyed even more of a digging into the past, but all in all, it had a lot of new information and trivia I never knew about and was entertaining overall. The Bond documentaries are usually very solid go-to experiences.
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns The Bright Side of the Road.
    edited October 9 Posts: 18,919
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    I watched it on James Bond Day, there were a few things I was not aware of I loved Michael Caine's story.

    Despite repurposing some old footage I liked how the documentary was put together and appreciated the animations on poster art etc. To be honest I feel starved of new Bond material so I was happy through out, though I often get enjoyment from watching Bond documentary's I have seen countless times.

    That's about exactly how I felt. Like I said on release day, could've done without such a heavy focus on NTTD and would've enjoyed even more of a digging into the past, but all in all, it had a lot of new information and trivia I never knew about and was entertaining overall. The Bond documentaries are usually very solid go-to experiences.

    The run of Patrick Macnee narrated Documentaries are my favorites, in fact I really should do a rewatch of those.

    It occurred to me whilst watching The sound of 007 - Documentary that we are are all Bond experts so its quite difficult for the Bond family to surprise us with anything new.
  • RyanRyan Canada
    Posts: 669
    It was nice hearing Thomas Newman talk about why he reused David Arnold's Bond theme for Skyfall. I know that's been much discussed among the fandom about how he didn't bother giving it his own spin.
  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns The Bright Side of the Road.
    Posts: 18,919
    Ryan wrote: »
    It was nice hearing Thomas Newman talk about why he reused David Arnold's Bond theme for Skyfall. I know that's been much discussed among the fandom about how he didn't bother giving it his own spin.

    Newman had sound logic, Arnold's arrangement is superb.
  • HildebrandRarityHildebrandRarity Centre international d'assistance aux personnes déplacées, Paris, France
    edited October 9 Posts: 412
    Arnold's arrangement sticks to the 60s versions by John Barry, but is performed with a larger orchestra and also builds on the fact that the audience knows and expects the Theme to pop out, as he says.

    slide_99, I think you're talking about Marvin Hamlisch. Bacharach wasn't involved with Bond, outside of Casino Royale, the 1967 version. Both Hamlisch and Bacharach were actually romantically involved (but not at the same time) with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, who wrote the lyrics to "Nobody Does It Better". Bacharach also worked with Hal David, who wrote the lyrics to "We Have All the Time in the World" (which has a definite Bacharach feel in the way the horns are used during the instrumental part), but they weren't romantically involved.

    Anyway, if you interview Billie Eilish in two or three decades, she'll most likely give some more articulate answers to you, when she's in a position to look back over her career. She wasn't probably even 20 when she was interviewed, and you can't expect maturity. Sure, in the past there were 20-year-olds who could deliver long sentences, but they were most of the time parroting some rote message. And other 20-year-olds tended not to be interviewed for artistic documentaries in the sixties.

    Before QoS was released, there were actually a lot of rumours about Winehouse being involved, as it was a thing that made even more sense for Bond than Adele four years later. Winehouse was courted for months, even after the disastrous meeting. Mark Ronson even explained that he tried to coax her into recording a demo, but she wasn't even in a capacity to write anything. David Arnold offered a motive that he was already working into his own score, but it was left unused. He ultimately put it into "No Good About Goodbye" that he later wrote for Shirley Bassey, and even got "solace" used in the lyrics, as a reference.

    patb, for Dalton, they more or less implied that Barry was done in his mind with the series after The Living Daylights, when he paid for an entire page in Variety to thank Cubby Broccoli at the time of the 25th anniversary, as if it were some parting gift. Sure, he was supposed to return for LTK before he had his health issues, and he was asked back for GoldenEye and TND, but didn't get the producers to agree to his terms (or had other priorities). Still, this version makes sense, especially as Barry wasn't always upfront about what he wanted and would come up with excuses. Having Barry to cameo as the conductor in the final scenes of TLD did make for a very appropriate closure to his whole tenure in the franchise.
  • Jordo007Jordo007 Merseyside
    Posts: 1,696
    Ryan wrote: »
    It was nice hearing Thomas Newman talk about why he reused David Arnold's Bond theme for Skyfall. I know that's been much discussed among the fandom about how he didn't bother giving it his own spin.

    I really enjoyed when Newman said that, it was very humble. I understand his decision completely, I love that Arnold version
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,699
    Yeah and if I ever knew that Arnold played guitar on it, I'd forgotten - so that was good to see. But Zimmer called it a 'franchise'! Nooooooo...!
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,831
    I enjoyed the documentary and thought it did a nice job summing up 60 years of content in a couple of hours. I really enjoyed hearing about Garbage getting selected for TWINE. Harry thinking DAF was obscene was also a good laugh.

    It was interesting that they even acknowledged some of the lesser lights. All Time High and TMWTGG and of course poor QOS song. Which I actually enjoy now. LOL!

    I read a review that said this was almost teasing us that enough content exists for a multi part series, and I believe they are correct. I would love to hear more about a-ha and Gladys Knight. I also want to hear about the rejected themes, like the stuff with Mendes and RadioHead for SP.
  • HildebrandRarityHildebrandRarity Centre international d'assistance aux personnes déplacées, Paris, France
    Posts: 412
    Harry's reaction to "Diamonds Are Forever" were a big reason for which he said he was busy working on his musical when LALD went into production. At this point, Saltzmann and Broccoli would, partly by commodity, take turns on supervising a new episode. DAF and TMWTGG were mostly Broccoli's babies, while LALD had Saltzmann in the main role, and Barry resented Harry for second-guessing him on that song.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 11,641
    thedove wrote: »
    I enjoyed the documentary and thought it did a nice job summing up 60 years of content in a couple of hours. I really enjoyed hearing about Garbage getting selected for TWINE. Harry thinking DAF was obscene was also a good laugh.

    It was interesting that they even acknowledged some of the lesser lights. All Time High and TMWTGG and of course poor QOS song. Which I actually enjoy now. LOL!

    I read a review that said this was almost teasing us that enough content exists for a multi part series, and I believe they are correct. I would love to hear more about a-ha and Gladys Knight. I also want to hear about the rejected themes, like the stuff with Mendes and RadioHead for SP.

    Yes I like how it sounded like pretty much everyone wanted the Radiohead song! Can’t disagree with them.
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,252
    I didn't like the Radiohead song when I first heard it, but it has since massively grown on me.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited October 10 Posts: 1,699
    Have to say, I'm one of the three people who loved Writing's On The Wall from the first listen and I still do! I like it way, way better than that Radiohead song, too. Sorry, all! Mind you, I prefer Another Way To Die over No Good About Goodbye, too. I should probably get my coat at this point...
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 1,988
    Venutius wrote: »
    Have to say, I'm one of the three people who loved Writing's On The Wall from the first listen and I still do! I like it way, way better than that Radiohead song, too. Sorry, all! Mind you, I prefer Another Way To Die over No Good About Goodbye, too. I should probably get my coat at this point...

    At some level its' all subjective, but Another Way to Die over No Good About Goodbye? :-O
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,699
    :D I know - believe me, I know - but...yeh! :))
  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,252
    Venutius wrote: »
    Have to say, I'm one of the three people who loved Writing's On The Wall from the first listen and I still do! I like it way, way better than that Radiohead song, too. Sorry, all! Mind you, I prefer Another Way To Die over No Good About Goodbye, too. I should probably get my coat at this point...

    I’m one of the three that also loves TWOTW, and I do also like AWTD, but more than a Dame Shirley Bassey track? No way.
  • edited October 10 Posts: 5,215
    Enjoyable doc. I was particularly fascinated by Barbara Broccolis story about the meeting with Amy Winehouse!. For someone who was born to do a Bond theme, it was sad to hear she simply wasnt in good place to produce anything!
    In any interviews I've seen with John Barry, he always came across as a gentleman, but it looks like he was a grump to work with, though I would put it down to him being a perfectionist! When he related the story about working with DuranDuran. and difficulty with collaborating with these pop groups and it was time to move on, I couldn't help thinking, he missed out, as he probably would have got on really well with Gladys Knight on LTK!
    His story about Louis Armstrong was particularly moving!
  • Posts: 138
    The run of Patrick Macnee narrated Documentaries are my favorites, in fact I really should do a rewatch of those.

    It occurred to me whilst watching The sound of 007 - Documentary that we are are all Bond experts so its quite difficult for the Bond family to surprise us with anything new.

    They really should revive the 'Inside...' documentaries. They only covered Dr. No up to 'Licence To Kill' and they should continue with the Brosnan and Craig eras. The DVDs do feature some documentaries and tv specials from the Brosnan/Craig era but those were contemporarily produced mainly to promote the latest film but with the passage of time and hindsight new documentaries could be more candid and place the films in the historical context of the overall series as the other 'Inside...' docs do.

    Since Patrick Macnee narrated so many of the 'Inside...' docs it would only be fitting if the other John Steed, Ralph Fiennes, took over.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 10 Posts: 11,641
    Venutius wrote: »
    Have to say, I'm one of the three people who loved Writing's On The Wall from the first listen and I still do! I like it way, way better than that Radiohead song, too. Sorry, all! Mind you, I prefer Another Way To Die over No Good About Goodbye, too. I should probably get my coat at this point...

    Well I agree with you about AWTD, I think it's much stronger.
    As NGAG wasn't written as a Bond song (perhaps more inspired by a Bond movie) I tend to give it a pass.
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    Enjoyable doc. I was particularly fascinated by Barbara Broccolis story about the meeting with Amy Winehouse!. For someone who was born to do a Bond theme, it was sad to hear she simply wasnt in good place to produce anything!

    Yeah it was rather heartbreaking, that story.
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    In any interviews I've seen with John Barry, he always came across as a gentleman, but it looks like he was a grump to work with, though I would put it down to him being a perfectionist!

    I think he's clearly one of the best film composers ever, but as a bloke he often comes across as a little prickly; I can well imagine him not being the easiest person to work with! I think we even lost out on a couple more Bond scores from him because of his personality perhaps, but it was lovely to see that Variety ad he took out to congratulate Cubby in '87: that was a classy touch.
    I'd love to see someone make a film about that crowd of stars about London town in the early 60s; Barry, Caine, Stamp etc. I'd love to know what their lives were like then. Although perhaps not very much drama potential in it! :)
    Mathis1 wrote: »
    His story about Louis Armstrong was particularly moving!

    Yes it's lovely.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    Posts: 1,699
    Dunno if that was an old yarn about Shirley Bassey taking her bra off to hit the sustained note in GF, but it was worth repeating if so! Excellent. I wonder if any of them realise that Jimmy Page played the guitar on GF, though?
  • HildebrandRarityHildebrandRarity Centre international d'assistance aux personnes déplacées, Paris, France
    edited October 10 Posts: 412
    Jimmy Page played on a lot of sessions that took place in London during most of the sixties, before he joined the Yardbirds then founded Led Zeppelin. But, as for his talented American counterparts who were part of the "Wrecking Crew" (like Glen Campbell), most of the time his contribution amounted to just play what was he was asked to, and nothing more. It could be the score for a film, it could be the jingle for a commercial, it could be the backing track for a future number one hit, he would do session after session.
    And the problem is now that there are many myths and legends about him that make it hard to distinguish reality from fiction. He reportedly played the solo on "You Really Got Me" (not true, it was Dave Davies), he is supposed to play on 90% of the backing tracks where the lead guitarist wasn't identified, etc. So, even if he definitely played on "Goldfinger" and has clear memories of it, it would have been one more "Hey, Jimmy Page played on this" story and my immediate reaction would be to check if it was true, due to the myriad of myths about him.

    Anyway, while we're speaking of British bands started in the late sixties by John Mayall alumni, a proto-Led Zeppelin (Page, Jones and Bonham) may have played on Donovan's "Hurdy Gordy Man" but it's quite interesting that Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker actually worked together a full year before Cream, as part of the backing band for future James Bond girl Caroline Munro (who, as many directors realized later, benefitted from staying silent) who recorded as a teenager a single for Columbia, with Steve Howe on the second guitar.

    Their contributions are noticeable on the B-side.


    But they're definitely buried in the A-side.


    And for Barry, as much as I admire his work, I must say that he was most likely very difficult as a person. If Jane Birkin found it easier to live with Serge Gainsbourg (12 years) than John Barry (three years), that's quite telling.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    edited October 10 Posts: 11,641
    Yes I always get the feeling that even his friends would have found him perhaps endearingly grumpy; there's always lots of talk of his being a Yorkshireman (which is often code for that- apologies Yorkshirefolk!) and all that footage of him at home looking pretty miserable :D

    Great trivia fact about Cream! I'm not sure everyone is making a particularly nice noise together there- glad they worked on it a bit!
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 6,447
    Re: Barry:

    The artistic temperament! He got his hits of dopamine while creating, and anything after that was a disappointment, lol!
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited October 10 Posts: 1,699
    'He didn't know how to be polite about it' - like Q, Barry was probably operating on such a high level that he didn't have any patience when it came to mere mortals who struggled to keep up! These anecdotes do sometimes make him sound like Harry Enfield's The Yorkshireman, though, and I'm sure he wasn't that bad!

    Yes, it's probably impossible to catalogue Jimmy Page's '60s sessions at this point, so I only go with the ones that Jimmy himself has actually confirmed that he's on - GF being one of them. Although, I've heard that yarn about collapsing from singing the last note being told about Tom Jones, too, so who knows!
    https://www.mi6-hq.com/news/jimmy-page-reveals-he-played-guitar-on-goldfinger-track-210120
  • HildebrandRarityHildebrandRarity Centre international d'assistance aux personnes déplacées, Paris, France
    edited October 10 Posts: 412
    Yeah, but in Barry's case, it was at a very different level. And he tended to voice his opinion obliquely.
    For instance, there's this story by his agent about his collaboration with Pixar, as he was hired to score The Incredibles (and a new orchestration of "Escape from Piz Gloria" was even used on the trailer). Of course, Pixar pays a premium (just ask Thomas Newman's cousin, Randy... or Thomas himself), and it was hard to turn down that offer.
    He has several meetings with the director, and they talk about a Bondian action theme. Except that Barry was in his more quiet and melodic phase, and he only plays them very quiet and melancholic sketches
    Finally, after a few weeks of repeated requests, he obliges and plays them a new bombastic theme. It works great, everybody agrees, there are echoes of his work on the Bond films, except that Barry suddenly switches for four measures to some twangy moment that pops out just like a sore thumb.
    The director voices his admiration for the sketch, except that he suggests removing the small thing that sounded more suited for a western.
    That was officially enough for him to make him leave the whole thing.

    https://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=115332&forumID=1&archive=0
    https://www.mi6community.com/discussion/15915/john-barry-and-the-incredibles
    https://jamesbondradio.com/talking-john-barry-richard-craft-interview-the-music-of-bond-015/

    It sounds like that Barry wasn't able to take criticism, but the whole description suggests that he didn't feel motivated enough in his heart to write one more Bondian score, something he may have been able to do in his sleep. But instead of admitting that directly, he deliberately sabotaged the commission and left some incongruous bit that allowed him to leave, to pretend that they didn't respect his creativity and to put the blame on Pixar or the industry, which didn't get him anymore.

    Michael Giacchino (who was already supposed to assist Barry and handle the orchestration based on his themes) got the gig instead (his first major feature film score). So far, he has composed the score for seven Pixar projects...

  • NickTwentyTwoNickTwentyTwo Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Posts: 7,252
    That’s a fascinating story, thanks for sharing. That little piece of self sabotage is quite a dramatic little tidbit.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 21,705
    I quite like the documentary. I just wonder why composers such as Serra and Kamen weren't even mentioned.
  • VenutiusVenutius Yorkshire
    edited October 11 Posts: 1,699
    I was bamboozled by Sheena Easton's accent, dragged out of the moment by the unwanted intrusion of Bruce Forsyth, baffled by the claim that No Time To Die is sung from the female perspective, surprised that Prince liked Another Way To Die and didn't expect it to have been Dan who wanted We Have All The Time In The World to be used in NTTD.
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