'Skyfall' re-ignited me as a fan. What about you?

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  • edited August 2013 Posts: 4,622
    Samuel001 wrote:
    I just can't believe when asked "where are you going to put the theme?" Newman only put it in once for the entire film! Why would you do that with such a great track? It doesn't make sense.
    It makes perfect sense though, as IMO the current crop of Craig-era filmmakers are very self conscious about the fact they are making a Bond film. They are almost embarassed it seems to be doing a Bond film. QoS reeked of this attitude. Blasting the Bond theme in the film, is very much in the tradition of the original films ( all 20 of them). These guys it seems are trying to distinguish themselves from the original series, which was so '60s to early '00s, I guess. Now out of fashion apparently.
    It's not a coincidence that we get one lame excuse after another not to put the gun barrel at the front either. That's so original series.
    The common denominator is Craig. The tone of these films starts with him. There seems to be a conceit that permeates all of his films, that his films are somehow an improved version of the franchise. He may think so, but I don't. I don't like the more sombre character-drama direction.
    I can enjoy the Craig films as stand-alone Bond inspired films. Just take them for what they are as cinematic entertainment, but I am actually loathe to even rank them with the original spate of 20 films. I am more inclined to rank them with NSNA as alternative take Bond films.
    To that end I would rank the four thusly 1. NSNA (Sean carries the film, even if the music really sucked) 2. CR. 3. SF. 4. QoS.

    I am happy to say nice things about SF as a stand-alone film. Its quite watchable and I can participate in what's good about SF discussions, but its not my cuppa Bond. I am just riding out the Craig era.
    @sirhenry I wasn't complaining about the homages to the previous Bond films in SF. My point was that the film itself, as a broader body of work IMO is not readily recognizable as a Bond film, in terms of tone, tenor etc. Many of its parts do of course resonate Bond. But compare with everyone's favourite Bond-film whipping boy, DAD. There is no mistaking DAD as a Bond film. It just doesn't service the template, the formula as well as it could have. It's off,but still there is no mistaking that it's stridently, unashamedly and unselfconciously a Bond film, albeit a bad one.
    SF just doesn't resonate Bond film with me. It's a much better piece of filmcraft than what immediately preceded it, but like QoS it doesn't IMO resonate 007. Both films come across as alternative visions of the franchise. Actually SF seems to be more of a Mendes take on a Bond film than anything else. A Mendes film first, a Bond film second.

    But back to the thrust of this thread. No SF does not re-ignite my Bond passion. I can enjoy it as an alternative take on the character and franchise, but that's it. But I am hoping that when Craig is done with what he is doing, we can re-boot with a fresh take - with a younger actor, that just wants to do exciting Bond films in the '60's tradition, heck even the '70s and '80s tradition ie in the Cubby/Saltz or Cubby solo tradition, minus the IMO tedious character drama. However I am beginning to fear that that era might have truly died with Cubby. The melodrama really did start to first creep in with the Broz era.
    The lead actor IMO defines the tone of an era. The Craig era is what it is. If you are down with it, enjoy!!! I am not going to poop on your parade. Rather I will choose to ride this out.
    Again I am really hoping Uncle is a huge movie success in the exciting Uncle tradition, and that Eon might be suitably inspired. Eon has never been shy about picking up on contemporary cinematic trends. Unfortunately Dark Knight and Bourne seem to be the prevalent contemporary influences.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    @SirHenry. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    It does smack of hypocrisy from M&B though at their insistence of Adele's song being incorporated into the SF score when they never previously seemed too bothered about the inclusion of Another Way to Die or Die Another Day into the soundtrack.

    I'm guessing this is purely down to the very positive critical reaction Adele received as opposed to the mauling that White/Keys & Madonna took for their efforts.

    It could also represent a change in philosophy that they are not willing to let another overall effort like Serra's happen without the time to listen and give their approval. How that applies to DAD or QOS I don't know, but with QOS you'd at least think Arnold did what he could to at least acknowledge AWTD. It may have had to do with turnaround time in that particular case regarding why there's wasn't more of it. Obviously most would have preferred NGAG or Eva Almer's "Forever" instead, I would assume that based on prior opinions stated at the time on the older KTBEU site. Newman replacing him here was at Mendes' insistence, and I wouldn't take it as anything negative towards Arnold on their part or vice versa.

    @RC7- I couldn't agree more with everything you said.

    @Gustav_Graves- I agree with your assessment of modern movie music processes and it is a far cry from Barry's time. And truly, no one for me except Miklos Rosza in the past century in is his league. I know there are other composers such as John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, and Marvin Hamlisch who have a ton of respect for their excellent body of work and innovation, and fans of theirs would be entitled to feel they should be included along side of Barry and Rosza, but those two for me are the Mozart and Bach of the 20th century, that's how much I revere them. But then I have to disagree somewhat with this-
    I must say this though: Thomas Newman is nearing this particular craftsmanship better than David Arnold did. What I missed a bit was the mentioning of Thomas Newman in the main titles as 'MUSIC COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED BY THOMAS NEWMAN'. That kind of honour David Arnold could not have.

    I also think that, like John Barry, Thomas Newman knows how to give a Bond film a certain 'exotic atmosphere/feeling'. I for instance love to listen Newman's atmospherical sound....and they are for me more crisp and clear than Arnold did.

    Still, I do agree that Newman is no Barry. But he's at least better than Arnold if you ask me.

    I think Arnold's past two efforts, especially QOS, were a big step towards injecting said exotic atmosphere. The Haiti and Bolivia pieces had that feel for location as far as I was concerned including subtle use of the Bond theme, and after Barry I'm a tough critic for that. He also did a very fine job with the Far East locales in TND. And Barry loved his CR work, no small feat there. I thought QOS was a big step in Arnold's growth towards true craftsmanship. As far as Newman being the more talented and advanced composer between him and Arnold, it's obvious to me there is a lot of merit in that. But as far as being a better Bond composer, I've amply and in my opinion convincingly stated why the Skyfall soundtrack fails to be better than some of Arnold's efforts, and those who truly understand Barry's franchise style and feel know I'm both dead on point and completely correct that Newman failed to capture that in a convincing manner.





  • Posts: 6,432
    Certainly ignited the franchise, though stated before not a fan of the film. Never needed to be ignited into a vast diverse series of films, even if the next several Bond films are average i will always love Bond because of the great films that already exist.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 34,992
    If anything, SF brought a lot more fans to the franchise, which is always a good thing for future films.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    @Timmer- to each his own brother. I'm sure your reasons make perfect sense to you, and I hope for your sake that the next film is more to your idea of what a Bond film should be. And with the support cast back in place and what appeared to be normalcy in an older sense prevalent in much of Skyfall regarding playful banter and a sense of the older characterizations by film's end, perhaps it will, although I can't see the support roles as being as limited as they were now that big money for these actors and more scenes for them to earn those checks are the order of the day. But saying DAD and NSNA are more Bondian, yet alone better films, no offense intended, is the biggest crock of horse you know what and red planet Mars nonsensical at best in my opinion. DAD I find unrecognizable as anything remotely resembling the Bond I love, and when we start counting bad TB remakes with none of the old time flair we've really hit the bottom of the "what constitutes a Bond film" barrel. The new vision of the series is easily an improvement on the Brosnan era formula, by then hopelessly stale and in need of the major overhaul towards realism and a level of emotional value that it's received. The films are relevant for these times and it's refreshing for me that they've taken some chances instead of sticking strictly with the formulaic "same old, same old" of Cubby's day. Also, I think your opinion stated thusly "The common denominator is Craig. The tone of these films starts with him. There seems to be a conceit that permeates all of his films, that his films are somehow an improved version of the franchise. He may think so, but I don't" is an opinion that doesn't mirror his own. Yes, the series at this point could stand for a movie that is less introspective and a regular type of mission, I completely agree that it's time for that. Planned as a two parter, I don't know what to expect to be honest. But again I fail to see past that how an issue with M in SF detracts from his performance as the Bond I recognize now as easily as I recognize Connery and Dalton. The traits are there. He's easily more Flemingesque at this moment than Moore or Brosnan and he's looked to Connery and the books for that and for many he's succeeded. Why you'd gloss that over I don't understand. He's on record as stating that he'd absolutely love to do a big, outlandish Spy type film and would roll with that in a second. Let's not discount that in favor of some pseudo analysis of his motivations.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,305
    timmer wrote:
    Samuel001 wrote:
    I just can't believe when asked "where are you going to put the theme?" Newman only put it in once for the entire film! Why would you do that with such a great track? It doesn't make sense.
    It makes perfect sense though, as IMO the current crop of Craig-era filmmakers are very self conscious about the fact they are making a Bond film. They are almost embarassed it seems to be doing a Bond film. QoS reeked of this attitude. Blasting the Bond theme in the film, is very much in the tradition of the original films ( all 20 of them). These guys it seems are trying to distinguish themselves from the original series, which was so '60s to early '00s, I guess. Now out of fashion apparently.
    It's not a coincidence that we get one lame excuse after another not to put the gun barrel at the front either. That's so original series.
    The common denominator is Craig. The tone of these films starts with him. There seems to be a conceit that permeates all of his films, that his films are somehow an improved version of the franchise. He may think so, but I don't. I don't like the more sombre character-drama direction.
    I can enjoy the Craig films as stand-alone Bond inspired films. Just take them for what they are as cinematic entertainment, but I am actually loathe to even rank them with the original spate of 20 films. I am more inclined to rank them with NSNA as alternative take Bond films.
    To that end I would rank the four thusly 1. NSNA (Sean carries the film, even if the music really sucked) 2. CR. 3. SF. 4. QoS.

    I am happy to say nice things about SF as a stand-alone film. Its quite watchable and I can participate in what's good about SF discussions, but its not my cuppa Bond. I am just riding out the Craig era.
    @sirhenry I wasn't complaining about the homages to the previous Bond films in SF. My point was that the film itself, as a broader body of work IMO is not readily recognizable as a Bond film, in terms of tone, tenor etc. Many of its parts do of course resonate Bond. But compare with everyone's favourite Bond-film whipping boy, DAD. There is no mistaking DAD as a Bond film. It just doesn't service the template, the formula as well as it could have. It's off,but still there is no mistaking that it's stridently, unashamedly and unselfconciously a Bond film, albeit a bad one.
    SF just doesn't resonate Bond film with me. It's a much better piece of filmcraft than what immediately preceded it, but like QoS it doesn't IMO resonate 007. Both films come across as alternative visions of the franchise. Actually SF seems to be more of a Mendes take on a Bond film than anything else. A Mendes film first, a Bond film second.

    But back to the thrust of this thread. No SF does not re-ignite my Bond passion. I can enjoy it as an alternative take on the character and franchise, but that's it. But I am hoping that when Craig is done with what he is doing, we can re-boot with a fresh take - with a younger actor, that just wants to do exciting Bond films in the '60's tradition, heck even the '70s and '80s tradition ie in the Cubby/Saltz or Cubby solo tradition, minus the IMO tedious character drama. However I am beginning to fear that that era might have truly died with Cubby. The melodrama really did start to first creep in with the Broz era.
    The lead actor IMO defines the tone of an era. The Craig era is what it is. If you are down with it, enjoy!!! I am not going to poop on your parade. Rather I will choose to ride this out.
    Again I am really hoping Uncle is a huge movie success in the exciting Uncle tradition, and that Eon might be suitably inspired. Eon has never been shy about picking up on contemporary cinematic trends. Unfortunately Dark Knight and Bourne seem to be the prevalent contemporary influences.

    Sorry to say but I was talking about the theme song, Skyfall, not the James Bond theme.

    As for all the other stuff, it would be stupid to rule out it coming back, even under Craig. For all you know the next film starts with the gun barrel and goes from there...
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 4,622
    Samuel001 wrote:
    [Sorry to say but I was talking about the theme song, Skyfall, not the James Bond theme.

    As for all the other stuff, it would be stupid to rule out it coming back, even under Craig. For all you know the next film starts with the gun barrel and goes from there...
    But what we DO know is that the last three films have made effort NOT to start with the gun barrel.
    There is a pattern in the Craig era of each film finishing with strong indications that after the detour of the film just completed, that full blown Bond sans-issues would be up next, and both times it didn't happen. We got QoS and SF instead, with Bond beset with personal drama issues in both films.
    So despite the promising ending of SF, the pattern remains that the next film will still see Bond with some deep psychological or emotional issue that needs to be resolved.
    I would expect nothing less from the likes of Craig, Mendes and Logan.

    And yes it was quite odd, that Newman would not work to incorporate the SF theme more obviously into the soundtrack.
    All told IMO the soundtrack isn't bad. There are fleeting, very understated hints of both "neglected" themes audible in the score, as Sir Henry pointed out, especially in the Komodo Dragon track, but fleeting is the operative word. He seemed "shy" (reluctant is probably a better word) to use either theme, and as we saw he brazenly compartmentalized the Bond theme in a scene that was a cheesy nod to the past.
    I do actually like Newman's original work here, however it would have been nice if he could have put his ego aside (and I do think that is often the issue) and find space for more judicious use of both the Bond Theme and the Title theme in the great Barry tradition.
    But his approach alas, is also in keeping with the general contrarian nature of the Craig-era filmmakers to want to do things very differently.

    He's on record as stating that he'd absolutely love to do a big, outlandish Spy type film and would roll with that in a second. Let's not discount that in favor of some pseudo analysis of his motivations.
    This is encouraging, but I won't believe it until I see it. The prospect of Craig simply playing Bond as well adjusted, motivated and focused on mission, for a whole film, like the good ole days is a joyful proposition. A giddy one even.
    But I don't think its going to happen. All the evidence says it won't. Not with Craig, Mendes and Logan driving the bus. They're not likely to do a film in the tradition of Terrence Young, Peter Hunt etc.
    I do think Bond would benefit from going back to house directors and developing its own people such as Hunt, Glen, Lamont etc. This would make the films more consistently about an established Bond vision, and less about what a big-name new director might be inclined to do with a long established franchise.
    Keep the series fresh, but within a more structured context, and less of the experimental outsider approach.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 4,622
    double post
  • pachazopachazo Make Your Choice
    Posts: 7,210
    timmer wrote:
    So despite the promising ending of SF, the pattern remains that the next film will still see Bond with some deep psychological or emotional issue that needs to be resolved. I would expect nothing less from the likes of Craig, Mendes and Logan.
    I hear you @timmer. It's high time for the focus of the next film to be on the mission and not Bond's psyche.
    timmer wrote:
    I do think Bond would benefit from going back to house directors and developing its own people such as Hunt, Glen, Lamont etc. This would make the films more consistently about an established Bond vision, and less about what a big-name new director might be inclined to do with a long established franchise.
    Keep the series fresh, but within a more structured context, and less of the experimental outsider approach.
    I don't think that Mendes can be considered an outsider anymore, like it or not. It's his vision now so at least there is that consistency.
  • Samuel001Samuel001 Moderator
    Posts: 13,305
    timmer wrote:
    Samuel001 wrote:
    [Sorry to say but I was talking about the theme song, Skyfall, not the James Bond theme.

    As for all the other stuff, it would be stupid to rule out it coming back, even under Craig. For all you know the next film starts with the gun barrel and goes from there...
    But what we DO know is that the last three films have made effort NOT to start with the gun barrel.
    There is a pattern in the Craig era of each film finishing with strong indications that after the detour of the film just completed, that full blown Bond sans-issues would be up next, and both times it didn't happen. We got QoS and SF instead, with Bond beset with personal drama issues in both films.

    That may be so but that doesn't mean it won't be up first in the next film. I remain optimistic and live in hope that I'll be right. I'm sure you do too! ;)

    By the way, not half as many personal drama issues in Skyfall for me, compared to what came before. I think we're on the right track.

    You can beat the themes will be back in full force with the next film. Newman will either learn his lesson or get the boot, here's hoping.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    Samuel001 wrote:
    timmer wrote:
    Samuel001 wrote:
    [Sorry to say but I was talking about the theme song, Skyfall, not the James Bond theme.

    As for all the other stuff, it would be stupid to rule out it coming back, even under Craig. For all you know the next film starts with the gun barrel and goes from there...
    But what we DO know is that the last three films have made effort NOT to start with the gun barrel.
    There is a pattern in the Craig era of each film finishing with strong indications that after the detour of the film just completed, that full blown Bond sans-issues would be up next, and both times it didn't happen. We got QoS and SF instead, with Bond beset with personal drama issues in both films.

    That may be so but that doesn't mean it won't be up first in the next film. I remain optimistic and live in hope that I'll be right. I'm sure you do too! ;)

    By the way, not half as many personal drama issues in Skyfall for me, compared to what came before. I think we're on the right track.

    You can beat the themes will be back in full force with the next film. Newman will either learn his lesson or get the boot, here's hoping.

    I agree with this statement a whole lot and think the personal drama regarding Bond was much toned down in Skyfall compared to CR and QOS. It felt much more akin to the first 20 in overall style, especially with Craig going about the job with all the usual character traits in place. Just one bit of baggage regarding M's distrust to deal with. Otherwise he was all about the mission right from the start, which was to retrieve the hard drive before M's micromanagement and distrust caused the "bloody shot". This film was obviously partially about giving Dench a grand finale which of course did distract it from being a completely "normal" type of Bond film, but there was a well written consistency about this that went back all the way to TWINE where the trust issues truly started in earnest. The moment he returned to field duties, is was business as usual, the tux, vodka martinis, bedding a lady, all while doing his duty and tracking the villain, that's the usual formula aside from the M issue. Now if one would have preferred that Dench went out with a whimper and had Q and Moneypenny brought back with little to no fanfare, well then the film is very different indeed. After a 10 year hiatus, I expected a much deeper reintroduction to re-establish these relationships so I was prepared for this and it was only a question of if it was done well. So none of it was a sticking point for me. I was more concerned with seeing the Bond I recognized and loved (and yes he was that while on a mission), but the gun barrel and not having the real Bond girl in the end (Severine in this case without the reintroduction distractions) are points that detract. They could have been there and I'm not buying Mendes' cute idea to put the barrel in the end as a good and logical one. Better to have two. And saving Severine was more than possible. But at least the reasons for her demise were explained by Silva, and in line with being the sacrificial lamb they had obviously planned for her to be.

    Judging by the last scene, I have hope and optimism that these things can be corrected. However, things like the regular support cast being as limited as they were was never a formula set in stone. Sometimes they got more than one scene, sometimes not, it depended on the script. These are questions for the future that I have, how much will we be seeing and how their roles will continue to evolve. Mendes' statement that Penny could still assist in the field and be a bit of an equal is not an idea I like. They need to make up their minds there and I hope we get new characters for field assistance or Leiter at the least. Craig playing a satisfying Bond that I recognize is no longer a concern, it's there on the screen unless you've made up your mind otherwise for some reason I cannot fathom nor agree with.

  • I was there in 1962 and the first seven Bond films + The Living Daylights and Goldeneye are my favourites along with Skyfall and Casino Royale. Skyfall is an exceptional Bond film and isn't better than FRWL and OHMSS but runs both pretty close. The reboot has certainly reignited my enthusiam for a series that had been in serious decline post Goldeneye.
  • Thomas Newman has nothing to learn and gave us, easily, the best score since TLD in 1987. Certainly better than anything Arnold produced. Despite his Barry pastiche, Arnold never came close to Barry. Five Arnold scores was enough and Newman's score was a breath of fresh air. Sadly, John Barry has gone.However, the days of copying his style and making it palatable for 15 year olds have also gone. Looking forward to hearing Newman's score for Bond 24.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 4,622
    pachazo wrote:
    [.... It's high time for the focus of the next film to be on the mission and not Bond's psyche.

    That's it in a nutshell. Bond's psyche isn't a smidge as interesting as the Craig-era filmmakers including Craig himself, seem to think it is.
    Bond is much more interesting IMO as suave, cool as cucumber blunt instrument. We don't need to know what's going in with his psyche.
    Yes Fleming would give us Bond's internal monologue, but almost all of the time, Fleming was trying to present that Bond was not a killing machine, that he was human - that even though he was a death dealer he didn't really enjoy it, which was all well and good, but we know that by now, so we don't even really need help there. The cinema Bond was established long ago.
    Interestingly, even with Fleming's internal monologues, they were just that, monologues that only the reader was privy too. I think that the other characters in the Fleming books, not privy to the internal monologues, might have seen Bond much the way he was portrayed by Connery/Young... the same visible, exterior persona as we saw on screen...the end result of the internal musings, manifesting in a smooth, even glib, confident persona but decisive and ruthless when the going got tough.
    His internal monologues remain just that, internal. We don't need to see it. We already have a good idea as to what Bond is all about.
    What we want is to see him in action, executing the mission with the flair and efficiency that only Bond can muster.
    Sure maybe a little reflection here and there, as Connery was want to do from time to time, mostly by means of facial expressions. Dalton might have overplayed things a tad, but even Dalts didn't really dwell, he got back to form pretty quick too.

  • Thomas Newman has nothing to learn and gave us, easily, the best score since TLD in 1987. Certainly better than anything Arnold produced. Despite his Barry pastiche, Arnold never came close to Barry. Five Arnold scores was enough and Newman's score was a breath of fresh air. Sadly, John Barry has gone.However, the days of copying his style and making it palatable for 15 year olds have also gone. Looking forward to hearing Newman's score for Bond 24.

    For someone who appears to be an original fan, you and Newman both have some things to learn about franchise music and the Barry legacy.

  • Posts: 7,645
    Thomas Newman has nothing to learn and gave us, easily, the best score since TLD in 1987. Certainly better than anything Arnold produced. Despite his Barry pastiche, Arnold never came close to Barry. Five Arnold scores was enough and Newman's score was a breath of fresh air. Sadly, John Barry has gone.However, the days of copying his style and making it palatable for 15 year olds have also gone. Looking forward to hearing Newman's score for Bond 24.

    For someone who appears to be an original fan, you and Newman both have some things to learn about franchise music and the Barry legacy.

    While I am not a great fan of DA's oevre when it comes to the 007 franchise I find it difficult to condemn his efforts at revitalising the 007 sound for the franchise. I find only his efforts lacking from CR & QoS where he essentialy had a card blanche to create a new sound or theme for the future Bondfranchise and he came up with some nice tunes but NO complete soundtrack to leave his mark. But DA did have his value.
    Now I want a good composer that has the balls to go beyond what DA & Newman have done and create something new with moments of remembrance of the times gone by.

  • SaintMark wrote:
    Thomas Newman has nothing to learn and gave us, easily, the best score since TLD in 1987. Certainly better than anything Arnold produced. Despite his Barry pastiche, Arnold never came close to Barry. Five Arnold scores was enough and Newman's score was a breath of fresh air. Sadly, John Barry has gone.However, the days of copying his style and making it palatable for 15 year olds have also gone. Looking forward to hearing Newman's score for Bond 24.

    For someone who appears to be an original fan, you and Newman both have some things to learn about franchise music and the Barry legacy.

    While I am not a great fan of DA's oevre when it comes to the 007 franchise I find it difficult to condemn his efforts at revitalising the 007 sound for the franchise. I find only his efforts lacking from CR & QoS where he essentialy had a card blanche to create a new sound or theme for the future Bondfranchise and he came up with some nice tunes but NO complete soundtrack to leave his mark. But DA did have his value.
    Now I want a good composer that has the balls to go beyond what DA & Newman have done and create something new with moments of remembrance of the times gone by.

    Certain things must be there. The title and Bond themes weaving it and out with variation, lush strings, and brass. This is franchise music. This will never go out of style and this is what was lacking in Newman's effort. It's clear when you hear it this is not very Bondian sounding. We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, but it appears that the producer can do whatever he wants and that Mendes seemed to have forgotten that.

  • Posts: 4,622

    Certain things must be there. The title and Bond themes weaving it and out with variation, lush strings, and brass. This is franchise music. This will never go out of style and this is what was lacking in Newman's effort. It's clear when you hear it this is not very Bondian sounding. We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, but it appears that the producer can do whatever he wants and that Mendes seemed to have forgotten that.
    Yes! Here here!
    I think @SirHenry, you might be the one, best to sit down and have a little talk with Messrs Newman and Mendes in this regard.

  • QsAssistantQsAssistant All those moments lost in time... like tears in rain
    Posts: 1,789
    I don't mean this as a joke. I have been a huge Bond fan ever since my dad brought me to cinema to see 'Licence To Kill'. But for me, 'Skyfall' made me an even more nerdy Bond fan than I already was. Some examples:

    --> It's August 2013 now, but I don't get bored of 'Skyfall'. I keep re-watching it at least once a month. Especially since I bought the Daniel Craig Bond-trilogy on BluRay.
    41s0u3k0LPL._SY300_.jpg
    --> Ever since 'Skyfall' premiered I just keep posting and posting topics in this forum. I can't recall visiting this forum as much as I did in the past. I'm still 'hooked' to the MI6-forums.
    --> I have been buying so many Bond related stuff in the past months, including books like 'James Bond: 50 Years of Movie Posters' (DK Publishing), 'The James Bond 007 Archives' (Taschen Publishing), 'LIFE Magazine: 50 Years Of James Bond' (by all editors of LIFE Magazine) and 'Bond On Bond' (written by Sir Roger Moore).
    --> Ooowh, and don't forget....I have bought the DVD's 'Top Gear: 50 Years Of Bond Cars' and 'Everything Or Nothing', the documentary.

    One could say, this newly ignited 'fan craziness' is because of the 50th anniversary jubilee. But to be very honest, it always come back to 'Skyfall', my favourite Bond film I have ever seen since I went to the cinema seeing 'Licence To Kill'.

    I have to admit I'm jealous of the height of your Bond fandom right now. The last major Bond fandom I had was just before Casino Royale came out and it ended around the time Quantum of Solace was released on DVD. I have good memories of the time, watching 2-3 Bond movies a month, owning and playing all the Bond video games I could, owning all the Fleming books plus a few others, and going to all the Bond forums I could. I really hope my Bond fandom picks up again sometime soon.
    Anyway, I like Skyfall but I feel it's a little overrated among fans. It is in my top ten, at about seventh if I remember right. It does bring back more of a classic Bond feel than the other Craig films but not as much as I wanted and was expecting for a 50th anniversary film. Personally I wish Bond would have more gadgets but nothing over the top like lasers coming out of cars and watches but the more realistic gadgets of tomorrow. I like that we finally have Q and Moneypenny and M is a man once more!

  • RC7RC7
    Posts: 10,491
    SaintMark wrote:
    Thomas Newman has nothing to learn and gave us, easily, the best score since TLD in 1987. Certainly better than anything Arnold produced. Despite his Barry pastiche, Arnold never came close to Barry. Five Arnold scores was enough and Newman's score was a breath of fresh air. Sadly, John Barry has gone.However, the days of copying his style and making it palatable for 15 year olds have also gone. Looking forward to hearing Newman's score for Bond 24.

    For someone who appears to be an original fan, you and Newman both have some things to learn about franchise music and the Barry legacy.

    While I am not a great fan of DA's oevre when it comes to the 007 franchise I find it difficult to condemn his efforts at revitalising the 007 sound for the franchise. I find only his efforts lacking from CR & QoS where he essentialy had a card blanche to create a new sound or theme for the future Bondfranchise and he came up with some nice tunes but NO complete soundtrack to leave his mark. But DA did have his value.
    Now I want a good composer that has the balls to go beyond what DA & Newman have done and create something new with moments of remembrance of the times gone by.

    Certain things must be there. The title and Bond themes weaving it and out with variation, lush strings, and brass. This is franchise music. This will never go out of style and this is what was lacking in Newman's effort. It's clear when you hear it this is not very Bondian sounding. We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, but it appears that the producer can do whatever he wants and that Mendes seemed to have forgotten that.

    Yes. What I find peculiar is that Mendes clearly, as has been stated, went back to the classics with Daniel to determine how to make SF. The two that, from memory, were mentioned were FRWL and LALD (although there were naturally others). Why then was the score not of utmost importance. If two films showcase just why a Bond soundtrack is a vital ingredient, these two films are perfect examples. They desperately need to get back to the score and theme going hand-in-hand. I can hum YOLT at will, or DAF, or MR, or TLD, or ANY bloody Barry score. I don't just mean the main theme, I mean specific cues. They are memorable, they stick like glue in the mind. Aside from 'Tennyson' and 'New Digs' none of the SF soundtrack is indelible and they don't even feel like they belong in the same score - that's not good enough for Bond. I could even hum 'White Knight' from TND, or any number of Arnold cues. I guarantee, show a 6 year old a Barry-scored Bond followed by SF. Then show them the same films again at 16 and the Barry score will be evocative, the SF score won't even register.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    timmer wrote:

    Certain things must be there. The title and Bond themes weaving it and out with variation, lush strings, and brass. This is franchise music. This will never go out of style and this is what was lacking in Newman's effort. It's clear when you hear it this is not very Bondian sounding. We don't need to reinvent the wheel here, but it appears that the producer can do whatever he wants and that Mendes seemed to have forgotten that.
    Yes! Here here!
    I think @SirHenry, you might be the one, best to sit down and have a little talk with Messrs Newman and Mendes in this regard.

    Why thank you, I would be delighted to do so. I'm a musician, albeit retired from active performance, and I could certainly have an intelligent conversation. For the record, I'm not saying we should strangle Newman's creativity, I maintain that he's a better overall composer than Arnold and can do better. But when you have music such as "City Of Lovers" and you hear someone call it a "pastiche", or "aping", what it boils down to is, it is franchise music and nothing anyone has any good reason to complain about for what it is. Name something on the Newman soundtrack more ingenious or innovative than "Night At The Opera"? If you want to say Arnold isn't technical enough, his electronica is out of place, that's all well and good. But to dismiss his work as Friday night garbage is akin to saying if Williams or Zimmer died we should have brand new music for those franchises. Now we're going to throw out Barry's sound? Codswallop!

    "Breadcrumbs" has Arnold's CR style all over it, who's aping who now? I found a lot of Newman's tracks to be a bit redundant and over reliant on similar themes but when he followed Barry's lead, it's the darndest thing isn't it, that those are the tracks that people talk most about. The same applies to Arnold here.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 810
    I agree about the score and theme going hand in hand. Easy solution on Bond 24 is to let Newman compose the song with Don Black doing the lyrics. Maybe Adele or Paloma Faith doing the vocal. However, it will never happen because the song is now purely a marketing tool and has little to do with the mood and feel of the movie. It's been like that since the mid 80s when Barry was forced to work with Duran Duran and A-ha in the search for hit songs to sell the motion pictures. Very little consideration is now given to the song's ability to be used as part of the score. The MGM music department handle the song. On DAD the song was 'delivered' to Broccoli and Wilson. They have little real influence. It's a consequence of Saltzman selling his share of DANJAQ to UA after 'The Man With The Golden Gun' in the 70s.

    I'm a huge admirer of John Barry and his contribution to the series is immense.In 1997 Eon/MGM could have had Barry compose the score for TND. He was ready and willing, However he insisted on doing the song. MGM refused. Barry walked and we got Sheryl Crowe and David Arnold.The hit song was everything, regardless of the needs of the film, and was certainly more important than getting the composer of eleven Bond scores back on board. In 1983, Barry had turned down NSNA and scored Octopussy out of loyalty to Cubby Broccoli. It's sad that a little loyalty wasn't shown to Barry in 1997.

    On Bond24 the liklihood, IMO, is that Adele will be back. I suspect she is being groomed as the new Bassey. If you want a monothematic score based on Adele's title song, why bother to employ, Arnold or Newman or any other serious composer?. Newman was correct to mainly avoid the song on Skyfall. He was composing the score NOT Adele.
    Why employ one of the leading composers of film music and then expect him to endlessly use somebody else's theme. Barry did it on FRWL but he didn't put up with that nonsense from Goldfinger onwards.

    Thankfully, Skyfall is a Newman Bond score. He used his own creativity and didn't turn the score into a shrine to the past of Bond music. The films have changed, inevitably the music will also change. This idea of 'franchise music' is IMO just a concept to justify endlessly worshiping the past rather than developing the music for the present and the future.

    Sadly, Barry's final Bond score was in 1987. Time, maybe, to move on.


  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    edited August 2013 Posts: 12,230
    Personally, I would hope the composer would be able to take his/her ego out of the equation enough to include the theme song in the Bond score even if written by someone else. Especially if it is a good theme song, which I feel Adele's was. Adele's theme for Skyfall did fit in the one place I remember it - so lovely and uplifting (Bond entering the casino harbor by boat) - and could have been weaved in elsewhere. It was not jarringly different or unmelodic (like Die Another Day).

    I am sorry they did not give Barry the chance to do the theme song for TND; I am sure it would have been great. I understand him being upset by that. But I still wish he could have done the score, even if he did not do the theme song. As a Bond fan, I simply want that.
  • edited August 2013 Posts: 810
    In the end, I suspect that Newman will deliver what he's required to deliver. Did Mendes/Broccoli/Wilson tell him to use the Adele theme in his score more than just the once?. His score has plenty of references to the JB Theme in addition to Bread crumbs and the end title.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,494
    Before I rebut, I'd like to say that I have a strong feeling that you are a musician yourself, and I respect your views greatly if I am correct regarding your expertise in this area. Sadly for fans who expect music from a Bond movie to sound a certain way, much of what you wrote is true of the current climate of movie music today and there is a lot of truth in it. However, it doesn't have to be that way even if the composer didn't write the title song. I'll get to that in a bit and prove that the composer can be made to include it by EON and that they have the power to make that much happen if they choose to. I don't think MGM cares about anything but the title song as far as interfering with it's use in the soundtrack, or they'd make sure that happens- because it's inclusion can make the song even more memorable as opposed to being a one time listen during the course of the movie. Of course, you have to have such a song that can be effectively worked in to the soundtrack and that's hasn't always been the case twice in the past 4 films.
    I agree about the score and theme going hand in hand. Easy solution on Bond 24 is to let Newman compose the song with Don Black doing the lyrics. Maybe Adele or Paloma Faith doing the vocal. However, it will never happen because the song is now purely a marketing tool and has little to do with the mood and feel of the movie. It's been like that since the mid 80s when Barry was forced to work with Duran Duran and A-ha in the search for hit songs to sell the motion pictures. Least of all, little consideration is given to the song's ability to be used as part of the score. The MGM music department handle the song. On DAD the song was 'delivered' to Broccoli and Wilson. They have little real influence. It's a consequence of Saltzman selling his share of DANJAQ to UA after 'The Man With The Golden Gun' in the 70s.

    Having the composer write the theme song would indeed be the obvious solution in keeping it prominent in the overall soundtrack. With Duran Duran, the story going around is that Cubby, not MGM, hired them to collaborate with Barry on the title song. I'm sure they approved that and the result. A quote from Empire magazine reflects that the Barry philosophy was at least not lost on the interviewer-

    Komodo Dragon (Track 13)
    "In the grand tradition of Bond films, this cue - which plays as Bond arrives at the casino in Macau - heavily references the melody of the Bond song, in this case Adele's Skyfall".


    There's that magic phrase, "Grand Tradition". I know you don't care for Arnold, but the inclusion of even a smidgeon of AWTD is there and to his credit, from everything I've ever read, no one had to tell him to do it. Granted the song is so wretched that like the Crow and Madonna songs, it's difficult to use. But when a song is that bad, that tells me the people running the MGM music department are tone deaf and don't deserve their paycheck. More telling is the next statement from Newman, who was oblivious to this if someone had to even suggest it to him. Since the next statement proves that EON still has some amount of control there, if they care then it's their duty to hire a composer with that understanding ahead of time, something they failed to do with Serra-

    "The Adele song was written by Adele and Paul Epworth. I had nothing to do with the song but I remember a meeting I had with Barbara Broccoli and Michael and Greg Wilson and Sam, and we talked about using the song again. They thought that this moment of Bond, who’d kinda come back from the dead and was finally shaved and wearing a tuxedo, that this was a classic James Bond moment, and it would be a good and fun idea to reproduce the song."

    What he is saying in so many words here is that if he didn't write it, why use it? And that it was included was at the behest of others, including the producer. EON giving Mendes too much power is a different story and one I don't much agree with, but that's another story I'll get to as it relates to the music.
    I'm a huge admirer of John Barry and his contribution to the series is immense.In 1997 Eon/MGM could have had Barry compose the score for TND. He was ready and willing, However he insisted on doing the song. MGM refused. Barry walked and we got Sheryl Crow. The hit song was everything, regardless of the needs of the film. Barry had turned down NSNA and scored Octopussy out of loyalty to Cubby Broccoli. It's sad that a little loyalty wasn't shown to Barry in 1997.

    I am disgusted with MGM's decision regarding everyone but Cornell, Garbage, and obviously Adele since 1997 and not only did they stick it to Barry but they stuck it to Arnold as well, who wrote a wonderful and very Bondian title song that even as an end theme gave the movie an musical identity throughout. Count me among the many who consider "Surrender" one of the best Bond themes ever.
    On Bond24 the likelihood, IMO, is that Adele will be back. I suspect she is being groomed as the new Bassey. If you want a monothematic score based on Adele's title song, why bother to employ, Arnold or Newman or any other serious composer?. Newman was correct to avoid the song on Skyfall. He was composing the score NOT Adele.

    The part about Adele is quite an interesting suspicion. The rest I've answered and would disagree with his ideas of exclusion and your argument for such. It's a fine song he should have been proud to use as much as possible. The chorus could have easily been used as a rousing action theme, and the bridge could have been used as well in a nice and romantic way. I don't think Barry nor Arnold would have missed that. This is why I say that there is plenty of room for improvement with Newman and feel he didn't nail it in such a way regarding all the praise you and others have heaped upon it as virtually a fact.
    Why employ one of the leading composers of film music and then expect him to endlessly use somebody else's theme. Barry did it on FRWL but he didn't put up with that nonsense from Goldfinger onwards.

    That's true in Barry's case, but how does one then explain the following? Also from the Empire source-


    Breadcrumbs (Track 22)
    "Ah, yes. Hinted at throughout the movie, the revelation of the Aston Martin DB5 gives Newman licence to fully bring back another old favourite: the James Bond Theme in all its twangy glory". And Newman's response-

    "As much inspired by Sam Mendes. How could you not reprise the theme in that context? It’s just classic Bond and there’s the line, we’re going back in time and you see the car and hear the music, which is an iconic piece that makes people applaud. The image of the DB5 does as well. As an American, you just hope you’re doing the Bond theme service. It’s such a British institution so there’s probably a bit of fear that no-one’s going to roll their eyes when I’m not looking."

    Hinted at is another dangerous musical problem the series is facing. Granted, it seems difficult for composers to grasp how much or how little to use the Bond theme. And people notice this most of all because it is indeed so iconic. Yet the concept of it's use is very simple- when Bond does something in a big way, use it loud and use it proud. This was too missing in Skyfall. When it's a more subtle yet Bondian moment that calls for it, give it a subtler approach. Newman's moments here, for me, were perhaps a bit too subtle and Arnold did a better job with this in the QOS soundtrack with some distinctly original sounds that I'm not hearing with Newman. Newman's seeming intimidation makes me question more than praise him. If he comes back, hopefully he's got a better handle of it. He's very aware of the grand tradition and has said so regarding "Severine". And why is Mendes involved in this aspect of the proceedings anyway? There are issues with this film he would have better spent his time correcting rather than be concerned with this!
    Thankfully, Skyfall is a Newman Bond score. He used his own creativity and didn't turn the score into a shrine to the past of Bond music. The films have changed, inevitably the music will also change. This idea of 'franchise music' is IMO just a concept to justify endlessly worshiping the past rather than developing the music for the present and the future.

    "Franchise music" for myself and others goes way past mere nostalgia. Of course the series has to undergo changes to make it fresh. But when the concept permeates the Star Wars and Batman's of the world, it's a valid concept and one that Arnold rightfully honored. As a musician and composer, it's the saddest commentary of all when studios, producers, composers, and most of all the fans advocate relegating Barry's concepts and hallmarks for the series as those of ancient history, when for so many more they are as relevant as ever in the modern world and technically sound.
  • Posts: 6,396
    @PeterGreenhill and @SirHenry both give their views, for and against, so articulately.

    I do think ego plays a massive role in all this. Not just from the composer but the director and producers and there is part of me that thinks if a composer hasn't been asked to contribute towards the theme song then his response (at least to himself) is why the hell should I include it in my work. It kind of reminds me of the clashing of such egos between Ridley Scott and Jerry Goldsmith on Alien.

    I would like to think the easiest solution to this would be to have the composer co-write the song with the chosen artist a la Barry/Durran Durran, Arnold/Cornell etc. Unfortunately, as has already been pointed out, the studio execs are no longer concerned about this and their priority is to use the song merely as a promotional tool, to garner enough exposure through the song to promote the film and they'll look for whichever artist is big/popular enough to do this. Hence the probable reason why Crowe was chose over Lang in '97 when the majority of us know that Surrender is by far superior to TND.

    I have gone on record before saying that I am not Arnold's biggest fan and I do really like Newman's score for SF but even having said all that, I do miss the theme song being so prominent throughout the score and I too am quite fed up with the whole 'teasing us with the subtle usage of the Bond theme until it's phoenix- like-resurrection at the climax of the picture'.

    Along with the lack of the gunbarrel at the start, it's all getting to be a very tiresome trick.
  • M_BaljeM_Balje Amsterdam, Netherlands
    edited August 2013 Posts: 3,767
    It earlier be the opposite, also after the second time. Since Brosnan left it take years til QOS before iam back a litle bit and ''accepting'' also change my expections of DC era.

    I must like the movie so much that i can see it a lot of times before bored. DAD, CR,QOS and Skyfall all of them missing something.

    I have strong feeling i also whant more of what i disliked in some older movies, but updated to present time. Good example be Goldfinger where Bond be alone for a whyle.
    Samuel001 wrote:
    [Sorry to say but I was talking about the theme song, Skyfall, not the James Bond theme.

    As for all the other stuff, it would be stupid to rule out it coming back, even under Craig. For all you know the next film starts with the gun barrel and goes from there...
    But what we DO know is that the last three films have made effort NOT to start with the gun barrel.
    There is a pattern in the Craig era of each film finishing with strong indications that after the detour of the film just completed, that full blown Bond sans-issues would be up next, and both times it didn't happen. We got QoS and SF instead, with Bond beset with personal drama issues in both films.
    So despite the promising ending of SF, the pattern remains that the next film will still see Bond with some deep psychological or emotional issue that needs to be resolved.
    I would expect nothing less from the likes of Craig, Mendes and Logan.

    I hope so, but i already expext this for Bond 23. It be shame the park scene not be in Skyfall what have showed him more doing what Camile ask him to do and have made more cleare about the re-bulding, what i believe in Eon is doing. It give a litle bit that Yolt (Training) and commander Bond element.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 3,278
    I absolutely qualify as one who has had his sense of belonging to Bond fandom rekindled by the Skyfall phenomenon. I've been following the Bond films since the mid-sixties, back when Sir Sean was the one and only Bond. By the early '70s I had read all of Fleming's work on the character, and considered myself something of a purist regarding the proper approach that should be taken toward Bond...so the Moore era was not entirely satisfying to me. Nonetheless, I've followed the films dutifully ever since, rejoicing with the Dalton efforts and grimacing a time or two during Brosnan's reign. I've been heavily involved with other types of fandom (comic books, music, etc.) throughout much of my life, but never considered myself a Bond fan per se. All that changed with the build-up to Skyfall.

    QoS was another disappointment for me after the magnificent rebooting that occurred with CR...but the few clips that appeared on the internet & in theatres prior to the release of Skyfall led me to believe that Bond could be back in form again with this outing. Impatience in the months prior to the release led me to watching the various Bond reviews available on YouTube -- let me give a nod of appreciation to Calvin Dyson here for his marvelously entertaining work in this area -- and this led me to realize that, hey! there is an organized Bond fandom out & about on the internet & elsewhere. Might as well check this stuff out while I'm waiting for the new one...

    And so in a very real sense, Skyfall has indeed rekindled my appreciation for the Bond phenomenon. If I may be allowed to briefly toot my own horn, I've been posting a batch of reviews on the Bond movie series over in the very fine "For Original Fans" topic thread on this board, hosted by @SirHenryLeeChaChing. Check 'em out!
  • Posts: 1,052
    timmer wrote:
    pachazo wrote:
    [.... It's high time for the focus of the next film to be on the mission and not Bond's psyche.

    That's it in a nutshell. Bond's psyche isn't a smidge as interesting as the Craig-era filmmakers including Craig himself, seem to think it is.
    Bond is much more interesting IMO as suave, cool as cucumber blunt instrument. We don't need to know what's going in with his psyche.
    Yes Fleming would give us Bond's internal monologue, but almost all of the time, Fleming was trying to present that Bond was not a killing machine, that he was human - that even though he was a death dealer he didn't really enjoy it, which was all well and good, but we know that by now, so we don't even really need help there. The cinema Bond was established long ago.
    Interestingly, even with Fleming's internal monologues, they were just that, monologues that only the reader was privy too. I think that the other characters in the Fleming books, not privy to the internal monologues, might have seen Bond much the way he was portrayed by Connery/Young... the same visible, exterior persona as we saw on screen...the end result of the internal musings, manifesting in a smooth, even glib, confident persona but decisive and ruthless when the going got tough.
    His internal monologues remain just that, internal. We don't need to see it. We already have a good idea as to what Bond is all about.
    What we want is to see him in action, executing the mission with the flair and efficiency that only Bond can muster.
    Sure maybe a little reflection here and there, as Connery was want to do from time to time, mostly by means of facial expressions. Dalton might have overplayed things a tad, but even Dalts didn't really dwell, he got back to form pretty quick too.

    Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth, spot on.
  • SharkShark Banned
    edited August 2013 Posts: 348
    Granted, it seems difficult for composers to grasp how much or how little to use the Bond theme. And people notice this most of all because it is indeed so iconic. Yet the concept of it's use is very simple- when Bond does something in a big way, use it loud and use it proud. This was too missing in Skyfall.

    That's exactly what you here when Bond does his bike flip onto the train (the signature gunshot chords we've been waiting for), when he uses the digger's claw to the grab the other train car, wrestling with Patrice in the tunnel as Eve gets in position to shoot, Silva's capture, the enquiry shootout, the above mentioned DB5, the death of the DB5 (one of my favourite moments in the score - a balls to wall TBesque rendition of the theme) and the underwater struggle - along with a few more I've probably forgotten.

    It's probably the most extensive and 'epic' use of the Bond theme since DIE ANOTHER DAY.
    When it's a more subtle yet Bondian moment that calls for it, give it a subtler approach. Newman's moments here, for me, were perhaps a bit too subtle and Arnold did a better job with this in the QOS soundtrack with some distinctly original sounds that I'm not hearing with Newman.

    They might not be original to Newman, but the use of instrumental colours like George Doering's hammered dulcimer (sometime it's heard normally as in Jellfyfish, or its reversed as with the pads as with Mother), the psy trance string sample in Shanghai Drive, Phil Todd's jazz and ethnic flute solos, the brass choir theme for M, Sonia Slany's Middle Eastern electric violin solos in Grand Bazaar, Istanbul and Adreneline and so on - all of these are unique amongst Bond scores.

    If we're talking about Bond theme interpretations, then I loved the ethnic-world music-ambient spin in Day Wasted, with the layered drums and the tremolo guitar (continuing on from where Arnold left off in QoS with Inside Man and Bolivian Taxi Ride) or the old school Barry-esque use of the 3 chord vamp in Someone Usually Dies (when Bond raises his martini to the bodyguards).
    Newman's seeming intimidation makes me question more than praise him. If he comes back, hopefully he's got a better handle of it. He's very aware of the grand tradition and has said so regarding "Severine".

    Severine is much more than Newman than Barry in the harmonies and Bluesy modulations, even if he said it was a tribute.
    And why is Mendes involved in this aspect of the proceedings anyway?

    It's call spotting.

    In a spotting session the composer, director and producer/s (probably MGW) will watch a workprint cut of the film, with incomplete sound fx, folly, VFX and no dubbing. In a second viewing they all decide where the music will go and what its dramatic purpose is for each scene. Here notes will be made, and the composer and music editor will be given cue sheets, with the timing for all the different cues, sometimes with footnotes from the director. From here the composer will write his sketches (either on a MIDI sequencer or handwritten on 8-12 line sketch paper), which will later be orchestrated (in SF the orchestrators were JAC Redford, Carl Johnson, Peter Boyer, and Newman himself).

    Film music is a collaborative art and compromise between the composer and the director's vision.
    As a musician and composer, it's the saddest commentary of all when studios, producers, composers, and most of all the fans advocate relegating Barry's concepts and hallmarks for the series as those of ancient history.

    No one here has said that. All Newman did was reinterpret Barry's Bond sound in a less obvious way than Arnold (notice there's no wailing plunger-muted trumpets in SF - a welcome change after their oversaturation in Arnold's 5 film run = even Barry never used the sound that much), tied with his own unique sensibilities.
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