Category Archives: David Arnold

Best Bond Title Tune?

I’m a huge fan of all things Bond. James Bond. That includes the music—both the film scores and the theme songs. Although some are better than others. And some are just crap.

Digital Spy recently ranked 22 Bond theme songs—the list could use a bit of shuffling, but it’s not bad, overall.

So, what’s your favorite?

Sam Smith’s “Writing’s On The Wall” will accompany the main titles sequence in the upcoming Bond adventure, “Spectre.” However, no amount of dazzling graphics or dancing naked ladies on-screen is gonna make that tune more tolerable.


UPDATE (16 Oct 2015) > I see someone was having a laugh by voting “All Time High” up to fourth place. And c’mon—should “Skyfall” really be second on the list? Because we all know that ‘popular’ and ‘good’ are not synonymous. Clearly, a disgruntled Sam Smith fan (or fans) did not take kindly to my comments, and attempted to elevate “Writing’s On The Wall” to an undeserving position in the rankings. However, I’m most surprised that “Thunderball” did not receive any votes—yeah, the lyrics are rubbish, but Tom Jones sings the hell out of it.

Oakenfold – The James Bond Theme (US Promo)

01 The James Bond Theme (Album Version)
02 The James Bond Theme (Extended Dialog Mix)
03 The James Bond Theme (Extended Mix)

INFO > Paul Oakenfold was commissioned to remix 007’s musical signature for inclusion on the soundtrack to “Die Another Day”, the franchise’s 20th installment. Madonna performed the film’s title theme, and Oakey had recently signed a deal with Madge’s Maverick label; so his selection for the job was less an inspired choice of producer and more a strategic marketing opportunity.

I never cared for Moby’s ‘re-version’ of the Bond theme (nor the umpteen remixes that accompanied it), produced in 1997 to promote “Tomorrow Never Dies”; Oakenfold’s take is not dissimilar in its approach and thus equally disappointing (at least Moby’s rendition has some balls).

And as a longtime James Bond fan, I condemn “Die Another Day” as the worst entry in the series: horrible script, unoriginal threat, bad acting, ridiculous action sequences, unmemorable score, blatant product placements, awful promotional art—a complete wreck.

Already a massive UK hit, the new James Bond adventure, “Skyfall”, is released in US theaters on 09 November 2012.

Natacha Atlas & David Arnold – One Brief Moment

Natacha Atlas & David Arnold
“One Brief Moment”
1999 Mantra Recordings (UK)
MNT42CD

01. One Brief Moment (Edit) 04:04
02. You Only Live Twice 04:36
03. One Brief Moment (Klute Mix) 06:04

INFO > Soaked in Arnold’s distinctive, lush sound, “One Brief Moment” is taken from Atlas’ third album, “Gedida.” Atlas and Arnold first worked together in 1997 to produce a new version of “From Russia With Love” for Arnold’s album of James Bond theme covers, “Shaken And Stirred.” Included as a bonus track is another Bond theme collaboration, “You Only Live Twice”—Arnold previously recorded the same arrangement with Björk; however that version was never commercially released (hear it here).

ONE BRIEF MOMENT

David McAlmont / David Arnold – Diamonds Are Forever

David McAlmont and David Arnold
“Diamonds Are Forever”
1997 EastWest Records (UK)
EW141CD

01. Diamonds Are Forever (Radio Mix)
02. Diamonds Are Forever (You Expect Me To Do What Mr Goldfinger? Mix)
03. The James Bond Theme (Orchestral)
04. Diamonds Are Forever (Orchapella)

INFO > “Diamonds Are Forever” is the second of two singles taken from David Arnold’s “Shaken And Stirred” concept album. Shape Navigator, formerly on the Guerilla Records roster, deliver a chilled out remix, while Arnold’s fully orchestrated recording of “The James Bond Theme” is arguably the best version since the 1962 original.

Diamonds Are Forever
djshelf

Propellerheads / David Arnold – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Propellerheads and David Arnold
“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”
1997 EastWest Records (UK)
EW136CD

01. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Edit)
02. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
03. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Orchapella Version)

INFO > In 1997, the producers of the James Bond film series were seeking a new maestro to score the master spy’s on-screen adventures. By no coincidence, composer David Arnold had recently delivered the ultimate job application: “Shaken And Stirred,” a collection of Bond theme cover versions recorded in collaboration with various popular artists of the day. While ambitiously produced, the album yielded inconsistent results; however, this take on John Barry’s brilliant instrumental from the 1969 film is top notch. Incorporating the opening salvo of “James Bond Is Back” as well as “Space March” from “You Only Live Twice,” the full length version of “O.H.M.S.S.” is a big beat epic.

ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE