Bond misses David Arnold

189101214

Comments

  • John Barry is one of the best film composers ever period. Having just watched AVTAK, Barry (and Walken) pretty much saved the movie from total mediocrity. Bill Conti's compositions in FYEO were certainly inferior, but weren't terrible, it just didn't feel like Bond. I did however enjoy the music in a couple of the chase sequences. Overall there was too much 80's synth and too little orchestra.

    As for Eric Serra, his score for GE was absolutely terrible. This is one of the reasons why I don't hold GE in such high regard in comparison to Brosnan's other films, as most others do.

    David Arnold otoh os an excellent composer, although he never quite achieved the extremely high standard set by Barry, he came close. I was very disappointed that he didn't return for SPECTRE.
  • Arnold came close to Barry's standards? I disagree. For me he was nowhere close and was kept on for scoring duties for way too long when better composers were available. Newman has added a touch of class to Bond scoring. Arnold attempts to make up for a lack of ideas by making it louder and more bombastic. I admire Arnold's enthusiasm but it takes more than being an enthusiastic fan to be able to score a Bond film.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,336
    What class did Newman add to Bond scoring?
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    edited November 2015 Posts: 8,063
    If you can't hear the class in Newman's efforts, there's no way convincing you.
  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    It's the Big Band vs Rock Music thing, ain't it, old chum? ;)
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,063
    To take the big band thing further. David Arnold to me is like Michael Buble, trying too hard and making it more obvious that he doesn't have a fraction of what made that music brilliant in the first place.
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    Posts: 5,080
    I'm sorry, but Newman's score has all the class as a pot noodle.
  • Newman has elevated Bond music. Under Arnold it was in a gentle decline. It would be a major error to invite Arnold back.
  • MayDayDiVicenzoMayDayDiVicenzo Here and there
    Posts: 5,080
    Actually, I thought Arnold's music got better with every film he did, with QOS being his best. Much stronger than the reheated Skyfall score that was served up for Spectre. Blows it well out of the water.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,058
    Actually, I thought Arnold's music got better with every film he did, with QOS being his best. Much stronger than the reheated Skyfall score that was served up for Spectre. Blows it well out of the water.

    Agreed. Really not seeing what a lot of people are seeing in Newman's stuff. What people are judging as classy I only hear empty, unpassionate noise. That's not class.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,063
    "Madeline" isn't passionate?
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,336
    Actually, I thought Arnold's music got better with every film he did, with QOS being his best. Much stronger than the reheated Skyfall score that was served up for Spectre. Blows it well out of the water.

    Agreed. Really not seeing what a lot of people are seeing in Newman's stuff. What people are judging as classy I only hear empty, unpassionate noise. That's not class.

    This. Newman's scores don't sound very classy to me. They sound atypical and generic to any modern movie today. It's safe and inoffensive. No power or identity to it.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    Posts: 23,883
    Newman's probably done with the franchise now so I don't think it's worth complaining about him any longer. He's most likely history - he was Mendes' man. That's all.

    However, those who advocate for Arnold's return may want to consider expanding their horizons imho. There are far better options out there, and Bond deserves them......in fact I think Bond demands a change.

    Arnold is no Barry (I think even his fans should, perhaps reluctantly, realize this). So why keep asking for someone who is not even close to the best? Is that all Bond is good for? I think not.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,336
    Well I think Arnold's pretty good. His Brosnan scores rule. I haven't heard that many other composers that can convince me that they are good for it aside from Kraemer and Giacchino. And no Arnold is no Barry but he knows the Bond sound and has proven himself that he can make a good Bond score.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    Arnold knows the Bond sound, I don't deny that, but to my ears, for the most part, he comes across as a novice,...... a fan boy. Like those kids on youtube imitating their idols poorly.

    It's one thing to understand what your master is doing, but it's another thing entirely to imitate properly, with all the nuances, panache, subtlety, polish & virtousity of the person you are trying to emulate.

    That's why I agree with an earlier post somewhere that said that Conti's score was better than Arnold's work. There are things about Conti's score that I absolutely abhor (including the disco that is terribly dated) but when he tries to channel Barry, it sounds to me like the work of a contemporary of Barry's delving into another genre. Someone with the same skill level but perhaps less experience in this area. Same goes for Hamlisch, Martin, & Kamen. To a lesser degree, Newman & Serra. They all sound like they belong in this rarified company. There is a musical creativity there that I can sense.

    Apart from a few tracks, Arnold just seemed to be a few pegs lower on the skill level to me. Like he was in over his head. Like an amateur. That's because when he was bad, he was god awful to my ears and in those instances, he sounded like he was trying too hard. Over-scoring it and over-dramatizing it. A better composer would have known when to dial it back.

    He did have a few good pieces though.

    I don't think my view is in the minority.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,336
    I like most of Conti's score but I wouldn't say it's better than Arnold contributions. He may have been a Novice then but did was was required of him. It was what the times needed. 60's was Brassy, 70's was groovy, 80's was mostly orchestral with the exception of Conti for the most part and the 90's was more or less the Greatest hits era. And there is nothing wrong with that. I agree that some of his early stuff was a bit over the top like the Paris and Bond track but was pretty well rounded elsewhere.

    He'll never top Barry no, but always delivered something energetic, daring and memorable. Granted there are some Arnold tracks I don't like either. I think he did go too far with the electronica elements at times but with the 90's that what was new sound for scoring. But Arnold was best when he used the Bond theme. He knew just how to use it.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    The only thing really working in his favour among those who aren't bona fide fans of his is the fact that many of these folks (and I'm one of them) think his last two scores were by far his best work.

    I still there are far better composers out there. People who, when you watch a film composed by them, you know they are creatively impressive, even if you've never heard of them. People who you know can step up and deliver with an inventive sound for Bond if given the chance.

    After all, who had really heard of Barry before Bond?

    The problem these days is EON seems to have gone soft again, eg:
    -Smith rather than the daring of Cornell,
    -Waltz, who let's face it is rather predictable rather than the daring of Bardem, Mikkelsen or Almaric.

    So I wonder if they will have the creative eye or 'balls' to look outside for someone suitable on the musical front.

    It appears that nearly all the one-off composers were recommended by Barry except Newman who came with Mendes, so they may end up going with whoever is the next director's favourite, which may be a shame.
  • MurdockMurdock The minus world
    Posts: 16,336
    @bondjames I agree with you on all points there. I haven't really expanded my search. I like Arnold a lot and would rather see him come back over Newman, However, I would rather fancy seeing...or hearing I Alan Silvestri do a Bond score. I recently picked up a few of his scores. I think his work for Back to the Future is perfect, I also enjoyed his work for Judge Dredd and The Avengers. (2012.) I've been listening to some of Michael Giacchino's work recently and it's not doing it for me too much. His score for the Incredibles I love because it was a flat out copy of Barry's sound. I could even tell you which tracks sound like which Bond movie. I've only heard Joe Kraemer's work for MI:RN so I don't know what his other works are like.

    I don't hate Newman's score. They are fine within the films but on their own there's just not much. I listen to the Bond scores heavily outside of watching the films. I just wish the Bond theme was used more. Not overdone of course but just more of it.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    Posts: 8,063
    Interestingly it was Newman who asked Mendes via e-mail if he could get the Bond composer gig, rather than the other way around as many seem to believe.
  • Posts: 11,189
    Getafix wrote: »
    I have never seen a writer/director put
    a telephone call in the middle of a car chase before. If someone has time to make a relaxed call mid chase, that's not a very exciting chase IMO. It totally deflates any sense of urgency/danger. It works neither as action sequence or dramatic moment. Very weird film making.

    To me that explains a lot of what is wrong with that particular sequence. Totally bizarre.

    I agree with you @Getafix. To be honest it reminded me of a moment in the terrible Die Hard 5 (the theatrical cut) when Willis answers a call mid chase to his daughter.
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,058
    "Madeline" isn't passionate?

    Certainly less so than "City Of Lovers", for example.
  • MakeshiftPythonMakeshiftPython “Baja?!”
    edited November 2015 Posts: 8,063
    It's Arnold once again overreaching like on many of his romantic cues throughout the years. What hurt this for me is that it telegraphs way too much of what's to come. When I hear it in the film, I don't hear romance, I think "oh these two are obviously not going to have a happy ending". It's another weakness of Arnold, he doesn't know how to hold back.

    This is how you do a romantic cue. Simple, elegant, never trying to stand in for the romance, it compliments it. It's a wisdom that separates composers like Barry from hacks like Arnold. It's why Arnold has been stuck doing TV work instead of doing prestigious movies like Barry or Newman.

  • Arnold's film scoring career appears to be on permanent hold as he now does TV work. Let's face it, Arnold has scored his final Bond film. Mendes is non committal about returning so there could yet be a Newman hat trick.
  • SirHilaryBraySirHilaryBray Scotland
    edited November 2015 Posts: 2,138
    bondjames wrote: »
    The only thing really working in his favour among those who aren't bona fide fans of his is the fact that many of these folks (and I'm one of them) think his last two scores were by far his best work.

    I still there are far better composers out there. People who, when you watch a film composed by them, you know they are creatively impressive, even if you've never heard of them. People who you know can step up and deliver with an inventive sound for Bond if given the chance.

    After all, who had really heard of Barry before Bond?

    The problem these days is EON seems to have gone soft again, eg:
    -Smith rather than the daring of Cornell,
    -Waltz, who let's face it is rather predictable rather than the daring of Bardem, Mikkelsen or Almaric.

    So I wonder if they will have the creative eye or 'balls' to look outside for someone suitable on the musical front.

    It appears that nearly all the one-off composers were recommended by Barry except Newman who came with Mendes, so they may end up going with whoever is the next director's favourite, which may be a shame.

    I don't think it deliberately set itself out as being soft, I think it was success buying success. Smith is the hot thing in British music, just like Adele before him. Javier Bardem had won an Oscar for best Supporting Male Actor for No Country for Old Men. Waltz Inglourious Basterds and Django won the same awards. Lea Sedoux has been nominated and many thought she should have won for her role in Inglourious Basterds. Fiennes nominated Best actor The English Patient and supporting for Schindler's List and Andrew Scott BAFTA for best supporting actor for Sherlock.


    But going forward if they stay down this same path, I would love to see Jean Dujardin or Chiwetel Ejiofor playing a villain.


  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    bondjames wrote: »
    The only thing really working in his favour among those who aren't bona fide fans of his is the fact that many of these folks (and I'm one of them) think his last two scores were by far his best work.

    I still there are far better composers out there. People who, when you watch a film composed by them, you know they are creatively impressive, even if you've never heard of them. People who you know can step up and deliver with an inventive sound for Bond if given the chance.

    After all, who had really heard of Barry before Bond?

    The problem these days is EON seems to have gone soft again, eg:
    -Smith rather than the daring of Cornell,
    -Waltz, who let's face it is rather predictable rather than the daring of Bardem, Mikkelsen or Almaric.

    So I wonder if they will have the creative eye or 'balls' to look outside for someone suitable on the musical front.

    It appears that nearly all the one-off composers were recommended by Barry except Newman who came with Mendes, so they may end up going with whoever is the next director's favourite, which may be a shame.

    I don't think it deliberately set itself out as being soft, I think it was success buying success. Smith is the hot thing in British music, just like Adele before him. Javier Bardem had just won an Oscar for best Supporting Male Actor for No Country for Old Men. Waltz Inglourious Basterds and Django won the same awards. Lea Sedoux has been nominated and many thought she should have won for her role in Inglourious Basterds. Fiennes nominated Best actor The English Patient and supporting for Schindler's List and Andrew Scott BAFTA for best supporting actor for Sherlock.

    I realize this is a matter of opinion, but from a song perspective (Smith is no Adele.....not even close) and a villain casting perspective (henchman and main villains) I find it terribly predictable. I did not feel that way about CR/QoS in particular and even SF (Marlohe/Harris even though I'm not a fan/Bardem who is not all that good with English). It was edgy, imho. Success always breeds this kind of cautiousness, I've noticed. Only after a critical (DAD) or commercial (LTK) failure do we see the best from EON it seems.
  • edited November 2015 Posts: 824
    Arnold at his worst. Noisy, directionless, homogeneous goo. The last 30 seconds is tolerable, just.

  • ClarkDevlinClarkDevlin Martinis, Girls and Guns
    Posts: 15,423
    Take the electronic beats away, and that track is a great one. Funny, in the film, the electronic bumps didn't exist during that scene.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited November 2015 Posts: 23,883
    @PeterGreenhill, what you posted above just about sums it up for me.

    Let's please move on from this fellow, who's already had far more than his 15 minutes with Bond. He may have improved, but we still have to live forever with the banality and hackneyed nature of his first few. In total, his contributions are best remembered as trite imho.
  • Mark_HazzardMark_Hazzard Classified
    Posts: 127
    @bondjames raises a fair point that it might be interesting to broaden the horizon in terms of composers. I think Newman did a better job this time than with SF, some of the best bits made it into the trailers, but still not very memorable.

    Arnold on the other hand did some fantastic and very memorable things for the franchise. I'm not talking about his "Shaken and stirred" album, but his scores for TND, CR and QoS. He did have a techno phase with Brosnan, but his themes "Surrender", "The World Is Not Enough", "You Know My Name" and "Vesper" are brilliant. He knows both how to compose a wonderful theme song and how to create a vivid soundtrack around it.

    I've read somewhere that people find he "throws it all down the sink", and might be too bombastic. Fair point, but like stated on this thread before, I think he gets better and better every time. Arnold is also heavily depended on the script, as this is what he initially uses to compose most of the soundtrack.

    His work may have had its flaws, but those can be neglected when listening to the brilliance of the rest of his work. @bondjames always has a good argument to experiment and expand beyond known territories, whereas I usually opt for a safe bet. Arnold is just that. Would have loved to hear what he would have done with SPECTRE.

    For his actual latest work on Bond, please listen to the supposed main theme of QoS again. It's a masterpiece.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rCX4SxhpPwE"; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    Posts: 8,058
    Take the electronic beats away, and that track is a great one. Funny, in the film, the electronic bumps didn't exist during that scene.

    Yeah, in fact the majority of his music for DAD was different in the film, save for the first part of the ice chase. The majority of the electronics were bumped up for the album release. They do get a bit grating at points but it's the only score of his that does, for me. The majority of it is pretty good.

    It helps that Nick Dodd is one of the best conductors around. Seeing them live is a treat.
Sign In or Register to comment.