Posts Tagged ‘The James Bond Theme’

David Arnold conducts two “Casino Royale” tracks…

July 4, 2009

Nicholas Dodd tends to conduct most of David Arnold’s James Bond scores.

Here’s a glimpse at the Bond composer conducting his own music …

David Arnold conducts “City of Lovers”:

David Arnold conducts “The Name’s Bond … James Bond”:

Though I’m not much of a fan of his Casino Royale score, it’s still interesting to see him conducting his own work.

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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.

Behind the Scenes ::: "Quantum of Solace" – RECUT [Part I]

May 26, 2009

“Juzza”, of Juzzmeister.co.uk, recently answered some of my questions about his Quantum of Solace – RECUT fan media project…

First of all, what did you think of “Quantum of Solace”? Did you want to make a recut of the film because you disliked it? Or perhaps just wanted to fool around with the footage?

I enjoyed Quantum of Solace but in my opinion it did have one serious flaw which was the editing, something that has been highlighted by many people.  I’m all for new styles and ideas but not at the expense of losing the suspense for a scene.  The first time I saw the movie I thought M had been shot but it is only after subsequent viewings was I able to determine that Bond had dragged her to the floor and out of danger whilst at the same time throwing a chair at Mitchell.  Stand out piece for me was the car chase at the start of the movie, I love how the music plays as the camera sweeps towards the mountain side and when the action starts the music stops and all we can hear is the sounds of the cars racing.  It is only as Bond exits the tunnel does the music start playing again and really adds to the adrenaline.

There are two reasons why I re-cut the movie.  Firstly, it gave me an excuse to edit another Bond movie and secondly I was able to incorporate this into a project brief for my Degree in Graphic Design and Digital Media.

Can you explain the process that you went through in order to create a totally new gunbarrel sequence?

First thing I needed to do was rip a HD copy of the movie which I did by installing Linux on my PS3 and dumping a copy of the film over the network directly onto my PC.  This took about 12 hours and I ended up with a 45Gb iso image.  From there, I ripped the content and found the stream that contained the main movie (about 21Gb) and then converted this to a high quality HD file in the MP4 format (this also took about 12 hours).  Then I used various applications to rip frame-by-frame the gun barrel sequence and then cleaned up each individual frame in Photoshop until I had Bond walking on a pure white background.  I then reconstructed the footage using the edited images to a high quality uncompressed AVI file.  As I wanted reflection inside the gun barrel (like the Casino Royale version) the only way I knew this could be achieved would be with a 3D application.  I looked at Maya, 3DSMAX and eventually settled on Blender after watching a trailer for ‘Big Buck Bunny’.  Open Source or not, if people were able to create such high quality footage using Blender then it was good enough for me.  So I spent a few days learning Blender until I was comfortable enough to use it for what I wanted to achieve.  The gun barrel and blood sequence were all completed in 3D.

How was the brief work with Rich Douglas? He’s quite a well-known name in the Bond fan media world.

During the development stage I was using a clean version of the gun barrel from Die Another Day.  Although this worked, I was never really that keen on this version and had hoped to replace it with another at some point.  I went retro and tried some from the Connery and Moore era and although it worked it just didn’t feel right with Arnold’s score.  So I contacted a couple of people who I know had composed their own Bond music and asked if they had any gun barrel pieces I could use.  To my pleasant surprise, Rich Douglas went one better and composed a brand new piece just for my gun barrel sequence.  Not only is it unique but Rich really understands the style of the movie so it works perfectly with Arnold’s score.

What are some other bits of the film that you would like to “recut”?

There are three aspects of the movie I plan on changing.  Although I don’t have a big problem with it, the gun barrel at the end of the movie just seemed odd.  I felt the way it was incorporated into Casino Royale worked and after that we would go back to the traditional Bond of gun barrel at the start of the movie.  Therefore, I wanted to see how it looked so I created my own and added it to the start of Quantum of Solace.

The other two aspects are regarding the title sequence.  Firstly, I think the way it appeared in the film was weak and the titles themselves were not very interesting.

I plan on moving the title sequence to appear after Bond has shot Mitchell and then creating my own title sequence hopefully to compliment the main feature with symbolic images.

Will you be doing any Bond-related fan projects in the future?

There are a couple.  One project I started on was giving Never Say Never Again the EON vibe but for many reasons I never got to finish it.  Now that it is released on Blu-Ray I think I would like to re-visit this again.  One of the major problems I encountered last time was the ripped movie had a lot of gate weaving which meant when editing frame-by-frame not every frame matched the alignment of the previous one.  Since this movie has been re-mastered on Blu-Ray and is effectively a digital print all those previous problems will have gone.

The second project is a tribute to the work of John Barry and is a mash-up sound track of his Bond work.  All I need to do is edit in the visuals.

Click below to view Juzza’s first “Quantum of Solace” RECUT installment:

JUZZAMEISTER.CO.UK ::: “Quantum of Solace” Gunbarrel – RECUT

Special thanks to “Juzza” for taking the time to answering my quesitons. I look forward to seeing more of his Bond-related work.

"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.

Film Review ::: Diamonds Are Forever

March 8, 2009

Regarded as one of the worst Bond films, perhaps- or at least one of the films that isn’t as liked as much as others. Well, I’m not sure what to think of DAF; I’ve never been sure, actually. The film has a very dirty mood to it, in my opinion. The whole film seems exhausted, if you will. There’s just something about the colors, the tones, the music, the acting, and the story that reminds me of the scent you’d smell in a funeral parlor, or something- which fits well with Slumber, Inc. I suppose. You probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but I sure do! All I’m saying is that the mood and style of this film makes me rather uneasy, in some parts; however, funny bits, intentional and unintentional, clear that up throughout the film.

The locations are rather bland. The film certainly isn’t as vibrant as it’s predecessors, YOLT and OHMSS. As I mentioned, everything seems dirty. It’s got that brownish / sepia look to it in the Nevada scenes. Probably the prettiest place in this film is the pool, outside of the house they keep Whyte in. Nothing’s all that beautiful about a barren desert, I suppose. Or the 1970s’ Las Vegas, for that matter.

At first, I didn’t care for Barry’s score to this film. However, after a few more listens, I’ve realized that it’s a great score – actually, one of his best Bond scores. The music compliments the sleazy, dirty style of the film. Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd’s theme is my favorite track here. Very dark and original.

On the subject of Ernst Blofeld, I think Gray had potential.
However, with this film, that’s thrown out the window. Had this been another Bond film, where he was given a decent role, and not having to dress as a woman, I think he would’ve done a fine job. But, in DAF, Blofeld was hardly intimidating.

What’s with the oil rig scene, after Bond lands? Blofeld treats Bond as a drunken brother who stumbles across his hideout, and decides to let him hang out a while. He shows Bond around his little control room… lets Bond fiddle with the controls… has his guards carry Bond away… in which, Bond causes a little quarrel, and yet, nothing’s done about it. Then he’s just wandering around the rig, and Tiffany comes up to him to talk about the tape, and the guards don’t even move.

Connery made the film, in my opinion. His humor and delivery of certain lines made the film worth watching.

The funniest bits of the film have to be:

The Moonbuggy Chase
Completely cheesy and un-exciting, but made for a good laugh. And I love when the ATV rider falls off, and gets back on. He starts up the ATV, and waits about 5 seconds, followed by Bond kicking him off.

The Mouse Scene
Well, one of us smells like a tart’s handkerchief. [sniffs]
I’m afraid it’s me. Sorry, old boy.

Just the way Connery said it- made for a good laugh.

Other memorable lines from Connery:
That’s a nice little nothing you’re almost wearing.

(To Tiffany while he’s in bed with her)
Presumably I’m the condemned man and obviously you’re the hearty breakfast.

Man: I got a brother.
Bond: Small world.

Plenty: Plenty O’Toole.
Bond: Named after your father perhaps?

Certainly, this is one of the most quotable Bond films, if nothing else.

Before I wrap this review up, I’ll mention Jill St. John, and Wint and Kidd.

Jill St. John was gorgeous in this movie, but just not a good Bond girl. She had the looks, but it seemed like she was as dumb as a box of rocks. Wint and Kidd were good henchman. Very mysterious, and always kept the audience on their toes, because they were so dangerous. Too bad they were in a film like this though. Had it been a better story, I think they would have been more highly regarded.

Very humorous Bond film, that strays away from Connery’s more classic Bond… however, none-the-less, the film still holds certain Bondian traits.

This is my least favorite Connery Bond flick, but overall, not completely terrible.

5.5 / 10

5.5 / 10

Four Tet's "Crawl, End Crawl" – Now on iTunes

December 9, 2008

Four Tet and Sony/MGM/Columbia Pictures have finally released “Crawl, End Crawl” on iTunes. Here’s the link:

iTunes > Four Tet > “Crawl, End Crawl”

You could also access the track if you go to your iTunes store and simply submit “Crawl, End Crawl” in the Power Search

 

 

"Crawl, End Crawl" on iTunes

"Crawl, End Crawl" on iTunes

Enjoy!

Four Tet's "Crawl, End Crawl" leaked onto the net…

November 29, 2008

For all of you Four Tet fans looking to snag a download of the [up until recently] unreleased “Crawl, End Crawl” track from “Quantum of Solace”… here’s your chance. 

While I’m not at liberty to post the download links on this site, I will add that it’s been floating around numerous James Bond fan sites. Though, below, you’ll find a YouTubed video of it, which should wet your appetites.

If you really want it, get it while it’s hot… before Sony puts an end to it.

"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