Who created the James Bond theme?

edited March 2012 in Music Posts: 2,460
I found out these videos so and i wanted to share them :)



And this is a song by Norman explaining how he wrote the theme...


Comments

  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Dancing at midnight under the BeBop Moon
    Posts: 11,736
    thanks!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 18,191
    Norman brought in the tunes. Barry arranged them, picked the orchestration which so empowered the notes as to almost render Norman's bars unrecognisable. At the risk of sounding like an irrational, hero-worshipping Barry fan, I applaud Barry more for his work on the Theme, than Norman. In any case, I find Norman rather lazy, borrowing from something he had written for a previous commitment to now be deployed for this new thing, this Bond film. True, without the notes who is to say what a Bond Theme, for instance composed entirely from scratch by Barry, would have sounded like. I'm grateful for having the final result and should I have to split the difference I will come down in the middle and say that both men had their own share of influence in the final outcome, with Barry's share perhaps more vital but Norman's more crucial. I don't know. Again, perhaps I'm just a fan boy blinded by his love for one composer, failing to see the truth, instead devising his own appropriate truth out of wishful thinking.
  • TheWizardOfIceTheWizardOfIce 'One of the Internet's more toxic individuals'
    Posts: 9,117
    DarthDimi wrote:
    Norman brought in the tunes. Barry arranged them, picked the orchestration which so empowered the notes as to almost render Norman's bars unrecognisable. At the risk of sounding like an irrational, hero-worshipping Barry fan, I applaud Barry more for his work on the Theme, than Norman. In any case, I find Norman rather lazy, borrowing from something he had written for a previous commitment to now be deployed for this new thing, this Bond film. True, without the notes who is to say what a Bond Theme, for instance composed entirely from scratch by Barry, would have sounded like. I'm grateful for having the final result and should I have to split the difference I will come down in the middle and say that both men had their own share of influence in the final outcome, with Barry's share perhaps more vital but Norman's more crucial. I don't know. Again, perhaps I'm just a fan boy blinded by his love for one composer, failing to see the truth, instead devising his own appropriate truth out of wishful thinking.

    I agree with everything you say. When discussing this I always fall back on a quote from John Barry - 'Who was it that Harry and Cubby asked back?'

    If Monty is such a genius rather than a bloke who just struck it lucky by having his melody rearranged by one of the greatest film composers of all time then why has he never been heard of again? Except when desperately shouting from the rafters to anyone who will listen about how he alone composed the Bond theme. Methinks Monty doth protest too much lest anyone should try and take his pension from him.

    Just count up the Oscars and I think the answer is fairly obvious.
  • DarthDimi wrote:
    In any case, I find Norman rather lazy, borrowing from something he had written for a previous commitment to now be deployed for this new thing, this Bond film.

    But isn't the point of the first video in the post that originated this thread to show that John Barry drew upon riffs he had already done for the John Barry Seven and use them in the final version of The James Bond Theme in Dr. No? Also, once he became Eon's composer of choice, he wove those riffs into part of the title songs for Goldfinger and Thunderball. When I first heard them, I thought, "Ah, he put in some notes from The James Bond Theme." As I learned more about the origins of the theme, I concluded that Barry was using the elements *he* originated and not Norman.

    Don't get me wrong. I think Barry is more talented than Norman and the fact that Eon kept asking him back is an indication of that. And he even though he's not listed as the composer (or co-composer) of the James Bond Theme, Barry's contributions were immense. I'm just saying it's not unheard of for musicians to borrow from themselves.

  • edited March 2012 Posts: 5,767
    And he even though he's not listed as the composer (or co-composer) of the James Bond Theme, Barry's contributions were immense.
    IIRC Barry couldn´t be credited as composer for Dr. No because a contract says that Norman was the composer of Dr. No.

    I always thought music consists of both composition, and interpretation or performance. I had long discussions with fellow musicians in the past on that topic, some guys claiming that the chord progression defines a song. And chord progressions are in fact quite often subject of legal problems. On the other hand, if chord progressions make a song, then what about bands like ACDC, or Rage against the Machine, who have many songs that are based not on chords at all, but on riffs and melody hooks?
    DarthDimi wrote:
    In any case, I find Norman rather lazy, borrowing from something he had written for a previous commitment to now be deployed for this new thing, this Bond film.
    The fact that said borrowed material turned into one of the most famous pieces of music in the world should be proof enough that borrowing or laziness are not negative by themselves.


  • Posts: 7,807
    monty is a bad singer if that is him
  • Posts: 278
    Monty Norman is a small man in the great scale of things, having met him in a record shop in London he had absolutely no time for anyone who mentioned the name John Barry to him. In fact he turned on his heals and went, leaving me to concluded that, this is a man who got lucky when asked to score Dr No. He approached it in the musical way he only knows how and felt that he'd done a good job!? Harry & Cubby felt differently but it was to late to do anything about it, so.... John Barry was brought in to tidy things up, and to give this film a THEME!! And yes that theme was indeed "The James Bond" as we know it, NOT the theme that Monty had put together and is named on the original soundtrack as "The James Bond" theme!?
    Barry was given no time at all to work wonders, and I believe along with many others that he and he alone Composed the theme as we know it, all for £250 pounds!! And then not knowing how successful Bond would be, walked away from the job never expecting to hear from Eon & co again!!
    Monty Norman has dinned out on this tale and the theme that was never his, all his life and still does so!!! Its earned him a lot of money and kept him all these years!?
    I for one can't recall or hear anything that Monty has composed since Dr No, can you!? And certainly NOT in the same league as John Barry, who as we all should know is ONE of the most influential modern day Film Composer the world has ever known, something Monty is not!!
    He (Monty) is credited with the theme, but the DNA is all John Barry and any composer I've ever spoke to about this has always agreed, including other Bond composers! >:D<
  • Posts: 3,815
    I don't know, they look very friendly in this photo... :D

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