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SPECTRE Soundtrack by Thomas Newman


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Poll: Are you disappointed that Thomas Newman is back?

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Are you happy that Thomas Newman has returned?

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#31 tdalton

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:10 PM

 

Just because Newman is better than Arnold, it doesn't mean he's good. So far I haven't seen a single comment about his score that wasn't "He's better than Arnold", rather than praising his music for its merits.

I think Newman stands on his own two feet just fine. However, I also think it's natural to judge Newman's immediate predecessor - especially after having five consecutive Arnold soundtracks. 

 

 

Agreed.  No matter what Newman did, he was going to be compared to Arnold just for the fact that Arnold had been the guy of the modern Bond era, with only one other composer having a crack at it since Brosnan took over.



#32 Bryce (003)

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:36 PM

I liked the few Bond nuances in several moments. 

 

There just wan't enough of it IMO.

 

With Arnold's work, there was a flavor like Barry. I've collected countless scores over the years from Bond to non-Bond and a few have hit the mark, again, IMO, but I will give that the overall score for SF did hit it nicely but could have use a bit more of both the Bond theme and, to a point, maybe the "007" theme from FRWL - Especially during the assault on Skyfall itself.

 

With SPECTRE being the title, I expect more, but, as with Arnold and Barry, "Don't over use it".

 

As for whatever the main title may be, rifts are best. The CR soundtrack made good use of it as did the QOS score.

 

Above is my two pence. ;)  



#33 RMc2

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:50 PM

My only real concern about his return to the Bond franchise is whether or not he'll be able to sufficiently differentiate his SPECTRE score from his Skyfall score. Because Newman doesn't rely on clear thematic motifs in the same way Barry did, it's possible that SPECTRE could just sound like Skyfall: Part 2.

 

Yes, I'd say this is my concern too.

 

I think Newman is a very, very good composer, but his scores tend to blend together because he emphasises ambience. That's fine if a composer has a distinctive voice across many separate films, like Newman does, but bad when making sequels. Hopefully he'll take a cue from John Barry and provide something different for Spectre, but based on all his other work and Mendes' "I'll do it my way" attitude, I'm expecting an extension of the SkyFall soundtrack.

 

Which isn't a bad thing in itself; just a missed opportunity for something different.

 

 

More importantly than my thoughts on Newman, I just wish the Arnold hating would stop. When SkyFall came out people were ranting as if Newman was the Second Coming... I love David Arnold's work and think any flaws in his scores were because he was poorly served by the films he was scoring. TND & QoS spring to mind...



#34 deth

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 04:48 PM

I found Newman's Skyfall score grew on me... I didn't much like it at first though. I'm expecting much of the same this time.



#35 seawolfnyy

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:18 PM

With Arnold's work, there was a flavor like Barry. I've collected countless scores over the years from Bond to non-Bond and a few have hit the mark, again, IMO, but I will give that the overall score for SF did hit it nicely but could have use a bit more of both the Bond theme and, to a point, maybe the "007" theme from FRWL - Especially during the assault on Skyfall itself.

I would absolutely die if we got a modern reinterpretation of the 007 theme. Imagine it: a ski chase in Austria. Bond attempting to elude Blofeld with SPECTRE assassins all around and all the while a modernized version of the 007 theme blaring in the background. :D



#36 MadeleineSwann

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:19 PM

From what I know of Spectre, they seem to be improving on the things they "got wrong" according to some people, so why wouldn't that go for Newman as well?



#37 BlackFire

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 07:53 PM

Yes. The Skyfall soundtrack is the best (With Casino Royale a close second).



#38 Walecs

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:42 PM

 

With Arnold's work, there was a flavor like Barry. I've collected countless scores over the years from Bond to non-Bond and a few have hit the mark, again, IMO, but I will give that the overall score for SF did hit it nicely but could have use a bit more of both the Bond theme and, to a point, maybe the "007" theme from FRWL - Especially during the assault on Skyfall itself.

I would absolutely die if we got a modern reinterpretation of the 007 theme. Imagine it: a ski chase in Austria. Bond attempting to elude Blofeld with SPECTRE assassins all around and all the while a modernized version of the 007 theme blaring in the background. :D

 

Wouldn't the OHMSS theme be better?



#39 Ace Roberts

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 09:52 PM

True fans of John Barry recognize he could mix up the atmosphere (OHMSS is way different than YOLT for instance) yet stay within the Bond style.  I imagine Thomas Newman will do this for SPECTRE.  I personally can't wait for the score. 



#40 marktmurphy

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 10:50 PM

He produced a very classy and rich score, whereas Arnold's can be a bit thin and simplistic. I found Newman's suited the expensive world of Bond better.

 

He's not John Barry, but then nobody is.



#41 S K Y F A L L

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 06:40 AM

"Don't call me Shirley"

 

I find Arnold's scores are a hit or miss. I felt Newman played it safe with SF there were a few tracks I loved however few and far inbetween like Arnold. Give Newman another chance to wow us.



#42 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:30 AM

I wonder how people would have reacted to the Barry scores back then if there had been an internet message board.

 

"What?  Monty Norman is not invited back?  This Barry fellow is doing it all wrong, I can´t dance to his much too dark, sinister score the way I could hum "Underneath the Mango Tree".  Bond needs that!"

 

or

 

"Barry´s always doing the same laid-back melody, now it´s laced with a Moog synthesizer - so tired.  Why does EON still work with this guy?"

 

or

 

"George Martin/Marvin Hamlish/Bill Conti/Eric Serra is destroying the Bond legacy!"



#43 plankattack

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 06:24 PM

He produced a very classy and rich score, whereas Arnold's can be a bit thin and simplistic. I found Newman's suited the expensive world of Bond better.

 

He's not John Barry, but then nobody is.

 

I'm with you Markt. I'm not an Arnold-hater by any stretch. I thought his CR score, based around the theme song was Barry-esque in its execution, and I think QoS is in the top, say, ten of all the series' soundtracks. But yes, when he was bad, it was simplistic, falling back on the Bond theme too often, though if he hadn't, some of the "action" tracks would have had absolutely nothing memorable about them at all.

 

I do love QoS for its "moments" - small 10-15sec snippets that that really enhance the mood of the visuals. That was a Barry strength, and something that really defined the "sound" of the series (YOLT a great example of that).

 

And so to Newman, who I thought did a very good job with his debut. For me, because of the moments - everything in Macau, the arrival at the lodge. All scene-setters that again, were a strength of Barry's. I don't think DAF is his best score (though still a good one) but it's a terrific example of that light touch - Bond mountaineering outside the Whyte House, on his way to the labs, and also entering Whyte's country house.

 

Barry did little moments well, and that's something that both QoS and SF have in common. It will be interesting to see if overcomes the concerns of many - can he be different but still in-tune, but I've got no problem with him getting a go.



#44 BondSuits

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:24 PM

 

I am happy with it. I liked his score on Skyfall.

 

I am also a fan of David Arnold and I don't think Newman was that different.

I'd agree. I think both went for a style that is more akin to the style of Bond scores that John Barry developed, but slightly modernised.

 

 

I find that Thomas Newman is one of the least Barry-like Bond composers. Barry's music was all about melody. His scores have complete melodies that repeat throughout the score whilst Newman's scores are more like mood music. Newman's music complements the action on the screen, but few of his cues are developed pieces of music. Newman incorporates some of Barry's mood, but not his style of composing like Arnold does a little more of.



#45 Harmsway

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 12:34 AM

Arnold is more melodic than Newman, but Arnold's melodies are largely uninspiring and hampered by overbearing orchestration.

#46 Admiral Messervey

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 01:54 AM

I wonder how people would have reacted to the Barry scores back then if there had been an internet message board.

 

"What?  Monty Norman is not invited back?  This Barry fellow is doing it all wrong, I can´t dance to his much too dark, sinister score the way I could hum "Underneath the Mango Tree".  Bond needs that!"

 

or

 

"Barry´s always doing the same laid-back melody, now it´s laced with a Moog synthesizer - so tired.  Why does EON still work with this guy?"

 

or

 

"George Martin/Marvin Hamlish/Bill Conti/Eric Serra is destroying the Bond legacy!"

You spared Michael Kamen



#47 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 06:08 AM

 

I wonder how people would have reacted to the Barry scores back then if there had been an internet message board.

 

"What?  Monty Norman is not invited back?  This Barry fellow is doing it all wrong, I can´t dance to his much too dark, sinister score the way I could hum "Underneath the Mango Tree".  Bond needs that!"

 

or

 

"Barry´s always doing the same laid-back melody, now it´s laced with a Moog synthesizer - so tired.  Why does EON still work with this guy?"

 

or

 

"George Martin/Marvin Hamlish/Bill Conti/Eric Serra is destroying the Bond legacy!"

You spared Michael Kamen

 

 

Not intentionally.  So...

 

"Michael Kamen is destroying the Bond legacy!"



#48 dtuba

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 06:40 AM

As I stated elsewhere my big disappointment with the SF score was that it was the 50th anniversary and when I didn't hear the JB theme blaring left and right, I felt a bit cheated. Was also hoping Newman would do his own interpretation of the JB theme like Martin, Hamlisch, Moby, etc had done before.

Otherwise I thought it was a pretty decent score and this time round I won't care as much. Still would be nice to hear what some other composers could do, though.



#49 the villain's architect

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 09:20 AM

While Arnold put as much "Bond sound" as possible into his first score (which I liked very much), Newman's Skyfall score didn't sound very bondian to me. I would have liked to hear Arnold's contribution to Spectre. But if Newman will surprise me with a more bondian sound this time, I'll be happy with his Spectre score.

#50 Guy Haines

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:31 AM

I remember when we were considering the score for SF comments made on the site that the score was a bit like Barry or Arnold's scores mixed with Eric Serra's - or something to that effect. That's what the SF score made me think of. I hope the Spectre score has some differences, if only to make it distinctive to that film. Thomas Newman is a very experienced film composer, so I'll be surprised if he doesn't make "Spectre" distinctive in some ways from "Skyfall".

 

One thing I would have liked in SF was Thomas Newman having his own "take" on the Monty Norman theme - I was slightly disappointed to find the arrangement of the Bond theme in the film was basically David Arnold's. It even said so in the very end credits of the picture. Nothing against Arnold, by the way, but every other composer had their own arrangement, so in Spectre I would like to hear an arrangement of The James Bond Theme which really is, to borrow from a certain food product, "Newman's Own".



#51 SecretAgentFan

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 10:31 AM

Newman used the Bond theme throughout the score, not only blasting it triumphantly in the train sequence but also during the "Tennyson"-sequence, in the reveal of the DB5 and during the destruction of the DB5.  

 

Also, the Bond theme is used in many different ways, extrapolating parts of the melody, the rhythm, the instrumentation, employing variations of it.  Maybe it takes more time to realize this, but Newman actually used the Bond theme more often than Arnold. 



#52 Guy Haines

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 12:05 PM

True, he did interpolate the Bond theme in various soundtrack cues, but what I and other posters are of course getting at is a fully fledged version of The James Bond Theme.

 

Arnold did hold back on the theme in CR and QoS, the reason being I think that Craig's new Bond was being "granted" bits of it as and when as he developed into the character. There's no need for that now, imho.

 

I'm not asking for a soundtrack with every other cue a version of the Monty Norman theme, but I'd wouldn't mind at least one major sequence in the film where Craig's Bond is in action to the original Bond theme, as arranged by the composer.



#53 Walecs

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Posted 29 January 2015 - 02:30 PM

Newman used the Bond theme throughout the score, not only blasting it triumphantly in the train sequence but also during the "Tennyson"-sequence, in the reveal of the DB5 and during the destruction of the DB5.  

 

Also, the Bond theme is used in many different ways, extrapolating parts of the melody, the rhythm, the instrumentation, employing variations of it.  Maybe it takes more time to realize this, but Newman actually used the Bond theme more often than Arnold. 

 

What we wished to hear though would be other parts of the theme, not just the vamp which indeed appeared everywhere.

 

Also I agree with Guy Haines about Newman using Arnold's arrangement. I really hope he will make his own for SPECTRE.


Edited by Walecs, 31 January 2015 - 07:12 PM.


#54 x007AceOfSpades

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:01 AM

Newman used the Bond theme throughout the score, not only blasting it triumphantly in the train sequence but also during the "Tennyson"-sequence, in the reveal of the DB5 and during the destruction of the DB5.  

 

Also, the Bond theme is used in many different ways, extrapolating parts of the melody, the rhythm, the instrumentation, employing variations of it.  Maybe it takes more time to realize this, but Newman actually used the Bond theme more often than Arnold. 

Well said. I love the ways Newman incorporated the theme and used it in different lights. Arnold really just blared the theme for nearly any action scene. It was old. Newman brings a sound that I think fits perfectly with the franchise and the character.



#55 Harmsway

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:42 AM

Of all the criticisms I could make of Newman's score, the lack of Bond theme citations is not among them. That score is positively brimming with the Bond theme.

 

Besides, it's not like Barry leaned on the Bond theme all that much. It barely shows up in many of his scores.



#56 plankattack

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 01:08 PM

Of all the criticisms I could make of Newman's score, the lack of Bond theme citations is not among them. That score is positively brimming with the Bond theme.

 

Besides, it's not like Barry leaned on the Bond theme all that much. It barely shows up in many of his scores.

 

Agreed. There's definitely 2 schools of taste. Bond theme at full blast for at least 15 seconds (Arnold) or subtle nods and chords (Barry). I'm in the latter category and do think that Newman got it about right. The full blast was saved for a couple of moments and the reveal of Aston was as triumphant moment (regardless of how you feel about the Aston Martin even turning up there :)  ) as any in the series.

 

Even anything, Newman's effort (and I'm not saying he doesn't have room to improve it second time around) reminds me a little of Hamlisch's TSWLM - different, but still Bond.



#57 Admiral Messervey

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 05:34 PM

 

Newman used the Bond theme throughout the score, not only blasting it triumphantly in the train sequence but also during the "Tennyson"-sequence, in the reveal of the DB5 and during the destruction of the DB5.  

 

Also, the Bond theme is used in many different ways, extrapolating parts of the melody, the rhythm, the instrumentation, employing variations of it.  Maybe it takes more time to realize this, but Newman actually used the Bond theme more often than Arnold. 

Well said. I love the ways Newman incorporated the theme and used it in different lights. Arnold really just blared the theme for nearly any action scene. It was old. Newman brings a sound that I think fits perfectly with the franchise and the character.

 

 

When Arnold returns, he should cut lose with the 007 action theme since that's not been used since Moonraker



#58 BondSuits

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 06:01 PM

 

Of all the criticisms I could make of Newman's score, the lack of Bond theme citations is not among them. That score is positively brimming with the Bond theme.

 

Besides, it's not like Barry leaned on the Bond theme all that much. It barely shows up in many of his scores.

 

Agreed. There's definitely 2 schools of taste. Bond theme at full blast for at least 15 seconds (Arnold) or subtle nods and chords (Barry). I'm in the latter category and do think that Newman got it about right. The full blast was saved for a couple of moments and the reveal of Aston was as triumphant moment (regardless of how you feel about the Aston Martin even turning up there :)  ) as any in the series.

 

Even anything, Newman's effort (and I'm not saying he doesn't have room to improve it second time around) reminds me a little of Hamlisch's TSWLM - different, but still Bond.

 

Barry uses the Bond theme full blast in many of his scores, especially with Moore and Dalton. It comes up twice in MR, OP (probably done to make it seem like a real Bond compared to NSNA) and TLD. It's there once each in TMWTGG and AVTAK, I believe. FRWL has James Bond with Bongos, which is almost the Bond theme. YOLT and OHMSS use Barry's original arrangement of the theme for DN, but perhaps that's more the editor and not Barry's choice. I don't recall the theme full blast in GF, TB (unless you count the end) or DAF, but Barry makes some very good use of the Bond theme.



#59 plankattack

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 08:29 PM

 


Barry uses the Bond theme full blast in many of his scores, especially with Moore and Dalton. It comes up twice in MR, OP (probably done to make it seem like a real Bond compared to NSNA) and TLD. It's there once each in TMWTGG and AVTAK, I believe. FRWL has James Bond with Bongos, which is almost the Bond theme. YOLT and OHMSS use Barry's original arrangement of the theme for DN, but perhaps that's more the editor and not Barry's choice. I don't recall the theme full blast in GF, TB (unless you count the end) or DAF, but Barry makes some very good use of the Bond theme.

 

 Suits - I'm not suggesting that Barry doesn't use it. I guess to clarify, there's using the Bond theme, and then there's falling back on the theme and it's the latter which I felt Arnold relied on too much, especially in, and to the detriment of, his earlier scores. 

 

It's interesting when talking Arnold, how often people are very positive about CR and QoS. I know I am - I think they're his best, and very good by non-Bond standards. In both, the decision was made to heavily restrict the use of the Bond theme. As a result, Arnold overall, was much better IMHO, across the rest of the score. 

 

I'm not one of those people who thinks the theme should be axed or anything! But for Arnold specifically, it seemed all to easy just to go to it. To defend Arnold (who I don't think was bad by any stretch), in both TND and DAD he was denied the title song to build the rest of his score around, something which Barry (and Hamlisch especially) did very well. So to be fair, without that riff, you're either using something else which isn't familiar (his use of Surrender in TND is most-Barryesque, but unfortunately thanks to people above him, we don't hear that until the end of the film), or going back to the Bond theme. Which he did. Often.

 

Unfortunately for all potential scorers out there, when you sign up for Bond you are signing on to be measured against Barry, who was the first, the trendsetter, the genius (and not just with Bond). So Arnold, Newman, Conti (alright, not Conti) all come in for stick that probably isn't quite reflective of their efforts. Hamlisch is the only one who really elbowed out some space on that top line.



#60 BondSuits

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 10:52 PM

 

 


Barry uses the Bond theme full blast in many of his scores, especially with Moore and Dalton. It comes up twice in MR, OP (probably done to make it seem like a real Bond compared to NSNA) and TLD. It's there once each in TMWTGG and AVTAK, I believe. FRWL has James Bond with Bongos, which is almost the Bond theme. YOLT and OHMSS use Barry's original arrangement of the theme for DN, but perhaps that's more the editor and not Barry's choice. I don't recall the theme full blast in GF, TB (unless you count the end) or DAF, but Barry makes some very good use of the Bond theme.

 

 Suits - I'm not suggesting that Barry doesn't use it. I guess to clarify, there's using the Bond theme, and then there's falling back on the theme and it's the latter which I felt Arnold relied on too much, especially in, and to the detriment of, his earlier scores. 

 

It's interesting when talking Arnold, how often people are very positive about CR and QoS. I know I am - I think they're his best, and very good by non-Bond standards. In both, the decision was made to heavily restrict the use of the Bond theme. As a result, Arnold overall, was much better IMHO, across the rest of the score. 

 

I'm not one of those people who thinks the theme should be axed or anything! But for Arnold specifically, it seemed all to easy just to go to it. To defend Arnold (who I don't think was bad by any stretch), in both TND and DAD he was denied the title song to build the rest of his score around, something which Barry (and Hamlisch especially) did very well. So to be fair, without that riff, you're either using something else which isn't familiar (his use of Surrender in TND is most-Barryesque, but unfortunately thanks to people above him, we don't hear that until the end of the film), or going back to the Bond theme. Which he did. Often.

 

Unfortunately for all potential scorers out there, when you sign up for Bond you are signing on to be measured against Barry, who was the first, the trendsetter, the genius (and not just with Bond). So Arnold, Newman, Conti (alright, not Conti) all come in for stick that probably isn't quite reflective of their efforts. Hamlisch is the only one who really elbowed out some space on that top line.

 

I can't disagree. Barry's scores often had three or four major themes (including the Bond theme) that he could work into the score. Arnold did that well, also, in TWINE, since he had both the title theme and I've Only Myself to Blame. I really think the use of the Bond theme throughout TND is effective, though not very original. I think the CR score relied too much on the main theme. When it wasn't that it was rather nondescript action music. QoS had the unused theme to hold it together well, and some great moments like the Opera cue. I can't recall the DAD score. I'm not too fond of Hamlisch's score for a Bond film, but it's a very well-written score and has great pieces of music overall. I feel the same about Conti's and Martin's scores. It's mostly because the non-Barry Moore scores sound really dated. But they are very well-written.






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