Posts Tagged ‘Monty Norman’

In Review: The Bond Music of the 90's

June 17, 2009

The Scores:

Ranking The Scores:

My ranking is chronological. The quality seems to decrease as the years roll on:

  1. “GoldenEye”
  2. “Tomorrow Never Dies”
  3. “The World Is Not Enough”

Composer Eric Serra opened Pierce Brosnan’s Bond era with a fresh, original score which not only complimented the post-Cold War era, but also the new Bond era.

David Arnold’s debut Bond score was one of his best efforts. It contained quite a bit of music, and generally stayed orchestral, rather than relying heavily on synth/techno trash. Another good debut score.

“The World Is Not Enough” had few perks, and sounds more and more like a video game score whenever I hear it. The music sounds messy through out most of the score.

The Best Tracks of the 90’s:

“GoldenEye”

Track 02: The GoldenEye Overture
All around stylish. Definitely the most original Bond theme rendition of the 90’s … and perhaps one of the most original of all time.

Tank Drive Around St. Petersburg (Theatrical Version)
Very stylish action piece. The track sounds very much like a Barry action piece, and compliments the scene in the film perfectly. There’s a nice take on the Bond theme in this track, also.

Track 08: Whispering Statues
Perhaps one of the most original tracks of the 90’s Bond music, also. Definitely very different than what we’ve heard pre-1995, and sets the mood of the scene very well.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”

– Track 14: Bike Shop Fight
One of his finest tracks. The opening cues really set the mood of the scene, and the music following compliments the location of Saigon.

– Track 15: Kowloon Bay
Though not a very romantic scene in the film, it’s a very romantic piece. Shame he couldn’t have done more like this with “Casino Royale”.

“The World Is Not Enough”

– Track 09: Elektra’s Theme
Definitely one of Arnold’s finest themes of the 90’s. I wish he would’ve done something more like this with Vesper’s theme in “Casino Royale”. This track is very elegant and romantic. Used through out the film, it works very well.

– Track 10: Body Double
Very synthy, but has a nice style. It’s probably one of his more stylish overly-synth pieces. It also compliments the scene in the film well, and makes for a quality stealth cue.

The Worst Tracks of the 90’s:

There are too many to name, but I’ll cover the worst of each score…

“GoldenEye”

Track 03: Ladies First
Pure trash. Sounds like the theme to a pinball game. I believe someone once stated that it sounds like it was performed by “R2-D2”.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”

Track 18: All in a Day’s Work
Very messy. The over-lapping of synth beats and noises make this a very unenjoyable track.

“The World Is Not Enough”

Track 18: Christmas In Turkey
A very poor “romantic track”. This sounds like it belongs in a soap opera, rather than Bond film. Compare this to the love themes of John Barry’s earlier scores — I think you’ll feel the same way as I do.

The Best Theme Songs of the 90’s:

  • “GoldenEye” – Tina Turner
  • “Tomorrow Never Dies” – Sheryl Crow
  • “Surrender” – K.D. Lang
  • “The World Is Not Enough” – Garbage
  • “Only Myself to Blame” – Scott Walker

I’d rank them as:

  1. GoldenEye
  2. Surrender
  3. Tomorrow Never Dies
  4. Only Myself to Blame
  5. The World Is Not Enough

Turner’s “GoldenEye” theme has to be one of the best Bond themes since Bassey’s work.

“Surrender” was another great piece by K. D. Lang; the brass was outstanding and very Bondian, reminiscent of “Goldfinger”. I think this should’ve been the main theme song.

“Tomorrow Never Dies”, by Sheryl Crow, was a quality song. I enjoyed the romantic style of it, but I could be bias here, as I’m a fan of Crow’s non-Bond work, also.

“Only Myself to Blame” is an interesting track. Performed by Scott Walker, I can definitely hear where “Elektra’s Theme” was derived from. It’s also got a slight jazzy, noir style to it.

“The World Is Not Enough” isn’t a terrible track, but I don’t think it’s outstanding either. The style and tune is interesting. I enjoy the Bondian guitar riffs and brass through out, too.

Final Thoughts:

The Bond music of the 90’s was surely a mixed bag. The 90’s Bond scores started out quite original, but ended on an unoriginal note with “The World Is Not Enough”. It seems as if Arnold has kept up with this unoriginal tradition with the release of his “Quantum of Solace” score. This decade didn’t feature many glamorous Bond themes, as John Barry once did, either. I can’t say that most of the music of this decade is memorable, either. Perhaps some of Serra’s score, and some of the theme songs … but I’d say that’s about it.

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"Hero… Guitar Hero."

March 8, 2009

Kotaku.com > Guitar Hero Marches on with Queen, Hendrix, and James Bond…

Activision details their downloadable content lineup for Guitar Hero World Tour this month, bringing players more Hendrix, a little Queen, a smattering of European tracks, and the James Bond theme song.

The month’s downloadable songs kick off this Thursday with the third European track pack, with Italy, Finland, and France represented by Vanilla Sky, The Rasmus, and Les Rita Mitsouko respectively. On March 19th the European invasion continues with Dutch symphonic rock band Within Temptation, German punk band Die Toten Hosen, and Spanish rock from M-Clan.

The second Jimi Hendrix Track Pack also drops on the 19th, with “Freedom”, “Angel”, and a recording of the classic “Foxey Lady” from 1969’s Woodstock festival, all complimenting Hendrix’s appearance as a playable character in the game.

The month ends on a seriously high note, with three songs from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Queen. The classic “We Are The Champions” and “C-Lebrity” from their 2008 album make up two thirds of the pack, but they could have simply released the third track – “Fat Bottomed Girls” – and I would have gladly payed full price.

Backing up Queen on March 26th will be a new original recording of the classic James Bond theme, which World Tour singers should have a complete blast with, making up their own lyrics.
Check out the full listing of tracks by date below!

March 5th
Rasmus – In the Shadows
Vanilla Sky – Break It Out
Les Rita Mitsouko – C’est Comme Ça

March 19th
Within Temptation – What Have You Done
Die Toten Hosen – Her Kommt Alex
M-Clan – Carolina
Hendrix Track Pack 2

March 26th
Queen Track Pack
James Bond Theme

Pretty interesting. I don’t play Guitar Hero, but who hasn’t wanted to play the James Bond theme on guitar? Hopefully the gamers will have fun with this.

"A Quantum of Covers" for Children In Need

November 19, 2008

Article Link: BBC Oxford > Children In Need > A Quantum of Covers

 

A Quantum of Covers
The Name’s Bear, Pudsey Bear… 

The BBC Oxford team certainly like their music shaken and not stirred judging by their idea for this year’s BBC Children In Need.

It seems Nobody can do a Children In Need Event better than BBC Oxford Introducing who have brought together eleven of the best Oxfordshire bands you’ve never heard of to record their favourite Bond themes for the appeal.

The album, called a Quantum of Covers is available on iTunes and for every individual track downloaded 49p goes to Children In Need and for every album purchased £4.90 will go to the charity.

And with the likes of former Miss England Eleanor Glynn contributing to an industrial electro version of The Living Daylights with Banbury’s Sikorski to Borderville doing a glam-stomp through the Wings classic Live and Let Die, it is sure to be a hit.

Talking about the charity project and their choice of theme Nobody Does It Better, David Balch, from Witches said: “I think A Quantum of Covers is an excellent idea. Bond is an institution and the themes are such iconic songs, it’s great to be a part of it. Hopefully it’ll raise a load of cash for Children in Need’s work with disadvantaged children.”

Xmas Lights took on the challenge of the Bond theme. James Gray-King of the band commented: “It was an honour to be asked to take part in the project and a huge challenge. The main theme has been tackled by so many incredible people over the years that finding a route in and keeping it recognizable while retaining our sound was a really interesting endeavour. I am proud of what we have done and very proud that it is for a worthy cause…”

Sikorski joined forces with their own Bond girl and former Miss England Eleanor Glynn for the Living Daylights, with Jan and Darren saying: “We really enjoyed the process of reinterpreting and recording this song. It was a real challenge from the outset, but one we enjoyed and endeavoured to get right. We wanted to make it our own and not just a copy of the original, and we think we have achieved this.”

And Maria Ilett noticed how BBC Children in Need brings out the generosity in people:
“We were really excited to be asked to record a song for a Quantum of covers BBC Oxfords Children in Need album, people have been extra generous when they realised what charity the song was for- Barry and Markus from The Doghouse Studio donated their studio and engineer time! Just goes to show what a much loved charity Children In Need is.”

BBC Children in Need positively changes the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK.

This theme of this year’s Appeal is Do Something Different and we are asking you to take up the challenge and help thousands more young people, here in the UK, who need our help. Doing Something Different doesn’t mean anything difficult, expensive or scary; it just means something outside of your normal routine which will help raise money.  There are lots of fun, silly and unusual ideas in our BBC Children in Need Fundraising Pack. For more information go to bbc.co.uk/pudsey or call 0345 607 3333.

Remember, for every penny raised, a penny will go towards projects helping those in need. We couldn’t do it without you, so a big Pudsey thanks in advance!

iTunes — “A Quantum of Covers”

Cover songs, especially of Bond tunes, are always interesting to listen to. Even if you buy this, and don’t like it, you’re still contributing to a good cause. If you buy this, and do like it, then I suppose it’s a win/win. I’ll definitely check it out, as it’ll make for a good piece to add to my Bond soundtrack collection. Plus, I like the idea of helping the Children In Need organization.

If you’re not interested in the music, but feel like being generous and helping out the organization, here’s their site link: 

Children In Need