Eric Serra - 'The music of Goldeneye'

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  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,776
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I have been keeping the GE soundtrack in heavy rotation all morning while doing some tedious "laptop work". It's interesting to notice how excited this score can get me. I will continue to defend it.

    You and I both! It's not the best the series has to offer but it's not even close to the worst. It's an amazing slice of '90s work and I'll always defend it.

    And now I'm really getting curious: Which of the scores, in your opinion, is the worst?
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,674
    j_w_pepper wrote: »
    Creasy47 wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I have been keeping the GE soundtrack in heavy rotation all morning while doing some tedious "laptop work". It's interesting to notice how excited this score can get me. I will continue to defend it.

    You and I both! It's not the best the series has to offer but it's not even close to the worst. It's an amazing slice of '90s work and I'll always defend it.

    And now I'm really getting curious: Which of the scores, in your opinion, is the worst?

    SP, without question. I already wasn't that blown away by Newman's work on SF (save one or two tracks that I really did love), but to re-use your own stuff in the following film? Pass. Zimmer's work was thankfully a big improvement in NTTD.

    Serra's tracks, while not always perfect, are too connected to that '90s nostalgia that fuels me. I love it a lot and think I find a bit more appreciation for it with every new viewing (after the 500-1,000+ of GE I've already had, surprisingly enough).
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,715
    I prefer SP over SF. Funny how that goes. :-)

    The worst for me? Tough one. DN is really not that good in terms of the actual score (not the songs or the Bond Theme), even for those times. I'm not a big fan of George Martin's score either, though it has grown on me. If I can choose NSNA, then we have a clear winner. Such an awful score from a no less respected composer. And then there's SF. It's probably one of these four.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 1,458
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I have been keeping the GE soundtrack in heavy rotation all morning while doing some tedious "laptop work". It's interesting to notice how excited this score can get me. I will continue to defend it.

    I couldn't agree more.
  • mattjoesmattjoes At my most trollish behavior
    edited December 2023 Posts: 6,880
    Can I offer an opinion? My least favorite score is Dr. No. And even that one I have come to enjoy through years of familiarity, I guess. I would say the quality this score captures most vividly is anxiety. The anxiety of this man lurking in the shadows, doing who knows what-- Dr. No, of course.

    Speaking of Skyfall vs. Spectre, even with the reused themes, I prefer Spectre. There are some great tracks there, like the PTS helicopter fight music. But Skyfall has continued to grow on me. I just find Spectre has a more pronounced quintessentially Bondian quality that gives it an edge over Skyfall. I guess the scores reflect the films.

    And somewhat paradoxically, I love the GoldenEye score, considering it is not a quintessentially Bondian score. But that's me, full of contradictions I guess.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,715
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Can I offer an opinion? My least favorite score is Dr. No. And even that one I have come to enjoy through years of familiarity, I guess.

    Speaking of Skyfall vs. Spectre, even with the reused themes, I prefer Spectre. There are some great tracks there, like the PTS helicopter fight music. But Skyfall has continued to grow on me. I just find Spectre has a more pronounced quintessentially Bondian quality that gives it an edge over Skyfall. I guess the scores reflect the films.

    And somewhat paradoxically, I love the GoldenEye score, considering it is not a quintessentially Bondian score. But that's me, full of contradictions I guess.

    Why I prefer SP to SF has a lot to do with a few new themes and cues that Newman threw in. Especially a couple of romantic bits (Bond and Lucia, Bond and Madeleine), with that lovely piano and soft strings, and some more ominous atmospheric pieces, do it for me. The SP score really moves me. The SF score much less.

    And yeah, DN. It's almost blasphemy to say this but the score really isn't any good in my opinion. The difference between Norman's music and Barry's in FRWL is almost whiplash-inducing. Nothing in the DN score is as playful, smooth, delicate, exotic and exciting as what Barry composed the next year. I regret this, since DN is one of my favourites in the series, a Bond film I think is often overlooked because it's "just the first one" and "not yet as good as the next few". I rank it really high. But its major weakness is the music. Barry's rendtition of the Bond Theme elevates the score, and some of the songs create an interesting mood. But the actual score is a disappointment. I suppose we needed Barry to invent the 'spy' sound. He really shook up that world, didn't he?

    And GE, with the electronics and metallic sounds and such? Fits the film. Can't think of that film with a more orchestral Arnold score. Somehow, GE plays as a cold, "metallic" techno-thriller. Serra's score is perfectly adequate. They chose the right guy, if you ask me. The GE score simply isn't his finest work.
  • I feel like if EON had managed to secure somebody like John Barry or David Arnold, then the film wouldn’t feel as moody as it does, which is a huge part of the appeal of Goldeneye as a film, at least to me. No other Bond film feels quite as atmospheric/edgy as Goldeneye, and I think Serra’s score is a huge component of that. It was the perfect sound to bring Bond into the 90s imo.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 1,458
    Serra's Bond score is also futuristic. His gunbarrel music sounds like something a 2023 Bond film can still have to suit 2023.
  • mattjoesmattjoes At my most trollish behavior
    edited December 2023 Posts: 6,880
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    And yeah, DN. It's almost blasphemy to say this but the score really isn't any good in my opinion. The difference between Norman's music and Barry's in FRWL is almost whiplash-inducing. Nothing in the DN score is as playful, smooth, delicate, exotic and exciting as what Barry composed the next year. I regret this, since DN is one of my favourites in the series, a Bond film I think is often overlooked because it's "just the first one" and "not yet as good as the next few". I rank it really high. But its major weakness is the music. Barry's rendtition of the Bond Theme elevates the score, and some of the songs create an interesting mood. But the actual score is a disappointment. I suppose we needed Barry to invent the 'spy' sound. He really shook up that world, didn't he?
    I would have liked to see what Bernard Herrmann could have done with Dr. No, even if it wouldn't have been a "spy" score in the Barry mould.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,776
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    I prefer SP over SF. Funny how that goes. :-)

    The worst for me? Tough one. DN is really not that good in terms of the actual score (not the songs or the Bond Theme), even for those times. I'm not a big fan of George Martin's score either, though it has grown on me. If I can choose NSNA, then we have a clear winner. Such an awful score from a no less respected composer. And then there's SF. It's probably one of these four.

    Funny enough, I find George Martin's LALD score to be the best non-Barry score of them all. Way ahead of David Arnold and all the others.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 1,458
    Yeah. Martin sounded like Bond without sounding like Barry.I love LALD's score. Like a lot of tracks in the score, Bond Drops In is a killer track.
  • GoldenGunGoldenGun Per ora e per il momento che verrà
    Posts: 6,826
    I just rewatched GE yesterday, I love this score so much, it’s been in my top 3 forever and won't go anywhere else.

    It’s so much part of that distinctive feel of this film, I would not want it any other way.
  • brinkeguthriebrinkeguthrie Piz Gloria
    Posts: 1,400
    Serra should've never been allowed near this movie. I just read John Barry declined to do GoldenEye.
  • Posts: 2,098
    Serra's score is both amazing and naff at the same time. When it works, it really works. And when it doesn't, well... it doesn't. But despite it bringing a very different style of sound, it most definitely is a Bond score.
  • talos7talos7 New Orleans
    Posts: 8,068
    Mallory wrote: »
    Serra's score is both amazing and naff at the same time. When it works, it really works. And when it doesn't, well... it doesn't. But despite it bringing a very different style of sound, it most definitely is a Bond score.

    A very appropriate evaluation; there are elements that are outstanding but there are tracks that are painfully bad.
  • goldenswissroyalegoldenswissroyale Switzerland
    Posts: 4,408
    talos7 wrote: »
    Mallory wrote: »
    Serra's score is both amazing and naff at the same time. When it works, it really works. And when it doesn't, well... it doesn't. But despite it bringing a very different style of sound, it most definitely is a Bond score.

    A very appropriate evaluation; there are elements that are outstanding but there are tracks that are painfully bad.

    It looks like the majority agrees that "Ladies First" is bad (me too, although I only have real issues with the first part). Which other tracks are "painfully bad"?

    The action tune in the archives and used again twice in the finale is a bit I absolutely love. And I agree that the metallic sound fits the movie well and I'm happy that this score exists.
  • Posts: 4,027
    It's just the squonking noise in Ladies First that is unbearable.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,355
    Mallory wrote: »
    Serra's score is both amazing and naff at the same time. When it works, it really works. And when it doesn't, well... it doesn't. But despite it bringing a very different style of sound, it most definitely is a Bond score.

    Yeah, I think it's a mix of successful and unsuccessful, but it certainly creates a mood and is completely bound to the film now, so it's almost unimaginable without it.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,355
    Probably not really the best thread, but regardless, Count Binface's party political broadcast for his candidacy as Mayor of London today had a familiar ring to it :D

  • mattjoesmattjoes At my most trollish behavior
    edited May 22 Posts: 6,880
    This music is just delicious. And overlooked, I think. I also love the mysterious part at the end.

  • Fire_and_Ice_ReturnsFire_and_Ice_Returns I am trying to get away from this mountan!
    edited May 22 Posts: 23,832
    A Pleasant Drive In St. Petersburg

    My favorite track from the GE score.... 2:53 that is pretty cool.
  • Posts: 229
    Someone pointed out that the car chase music at the beginning sounds like porno music and I can't unhear it.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,715
    mattjoes wrote: »
    This music is just delicious. And overlooked, I think. I also love the mysterious part at the end.


    I completely agree, @mattjoes. In a way, this track reminds me a bit of Barry. Just a little, but it's got that nice, sensual and, indeed, mysterious touch to it.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,776
    I actually like this one the best of the lot:
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 15,355
    It's Run Shoot Jump for me.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,674
    The weakest element for me in GE was always the score, but damn, if I haven't really come around on my feelings toward it in the past five or so years. I really, really dig it now, and there's some true genius in some of those tracks that far outweighs the negatives (like 'Ladies First').
  • mattjoesmattjoes At my most trollish behavior
    Posts: 6,880
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    This music is just delicious. And overlooked, I think. I also love the mysterious part at the end.


    I completely agree, @mattjoes. In a way, this track reminds me a bit of Barry. Just a little, but it's got that nice, sensual and, indeed, mysterious touch to it.

    Yes. I feel so much of the discussion around this score goes toward its more radical qualities, that a purely orchestral piece like this (thanks John Altman too for the arrangement), one which has nothing "controversial" to it, tends to get overlooked.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 23,715
    mattjoes wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    This music is just delicious. And overlooked, I think. I also love the mysterious part at the end.


    I completely agree, @mattjoes. In a way, this track reminds me a bit of Barry. Just a little, but it's got that nice, sensual and, indeed, mysterious touch to it.

    Yes. I feel so much of the discussion around this score goes toward its more radical qualities, that a purely orchestral piece like this (thanks John Altman too for the arrangement), one which has nothing "controversial" to it, tends to get overlooked.

    I keep saying that the GE score perfectly fits the film. Its electronics, while odd, match the computer/tech plot of the film. We're in the world of hackers and programmers now, the '90s version of it, that is. So whatever Serra is throwing at us, I'm taking it. But, at times, the music plays more conventionally, and those bits are frequently overlooked when people criticize the score.
  • SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷SecretAgentMan⁰⁰⁷ Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria
    Posts: 1,458
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    This music is just delicious. And overlooked, I think. I also love the mysterious part at the end.


    I completely agree, @mattjoes. In a way, this track reminds me a bit of Barry. Just a little, but it's got that nice, sensual and, indeed, mysterious touch to it.

    Yes. I feel so much of the discussion around this score goes toward its more radical qualities, that a purely orchestral piece like this (thanks John Altman too for the arrangement), one which has nothing "controversial" to it, tends to get overlooked.

    I keep saying that the GE score perfectly fits the film. Its electronics, while odd, match the computer/tech plot of the film. We're in the world of hackers and programmers now, the '90s version of it, that is. So whatever Serra is throwing at us, I'm taking it. But, at times, the music plays more conventionally, and those bits are frequently overlooked when people criticize the score.

    I couldn't agree more. I love the score deeply.
  • bcaloubcalou France
    Posts: 9
    DarthDimi wrote: »
    But, at times, the music plays more conventionally, and those bits are frequently overlooked when people criticize the score.

    Exactly.
    I believe bad music can ruin a movie, and I don't think Goldeneye would be regarded as such a classic if its music was actually bad.
    It has some, ahem, controversial moments, but they don't amount for much screentime in the end.
    And I think some fans tend to focus on these weird moments (because as fans, we know the scores inside out).
    But I love most of the score. I wouldn't even take a Barry or Arnold score to replace it. It gives the movie such a peculiar feel.

    But I also believe that it had to be a one time affair. I can't imagine TND scored by Serra!
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