BOND: Live & Let Write (Music) - David Arnold - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

Home Top Ad

Post Top Ad

BOND: Live & Let Write (Music) - David Arnold

Chris Morley is shaken and stirred by the David Arnold James Bond Project...

Somewhat fittingly, the only man who can legitimately claim to rival John Barry for longevity in terms of the number of Bond films scored was a boyhood fan of the maestro - David Arnold going on to work on Tomorrow Never Dies off the back of a recommendation from Barry himself to producer Barbara Broccoli, and subsequently offering something of a musical thank you in his score by adding liberal dashes of elements of John's own work on From Russia With Love alongside his own embellishments, which got him the gig for a further four films.

How did he get to that point, though? Having found noteriety from scoring Hollywood blockbusters like Stargate and Independence Day, Arnold caught the ear of arguably the most famous man to ever lend his baton to Bond not from his cinematic work but rather being open with regard to his love of all things 007 through the release of Shaken Not Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project.

First released in 1997, the album essentially contains Arnold's takes on various classic themes with collaborators as varied as Iggy Pop, Pulp, Aimee Mann & Leftfield, with an arrangement of the James Bond Theme itself included as a Japanese bonus track.

Somewhat amazingly the man he'd cribbed off heard the album & became something of a fan. As Barry explained,
"He was very faithful to the melodic and harmonic content, but he's added a whole other rhythmic freshness and some interesting casting in terms of the artists chosen to do the songs. I think it's a terrific album. I'm very flattered."
And so began a friendship between the student & the man Arnold called “the guvnor”, further quotations from Barry-era Bond evident in the score for Die Another Day as On Her Majesty's Secret Service was plundered.

In between came The World Is Not Enough, for which he also co-wrote the theme tune with Don Black for Garbage, the lyricist also having previously penned Thunderball for Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey's Diamonds Are Forever & Lulu's The Man With The Golden Gun, as well as KD Lang's perhaps lesser-known Surrender, used over the end credits of Tomorrow Never Dies.

Garbage got the nod for The World Is Not Enough as David thought frontwoman Shirley Manson was the perfect candidate to embody Bond girl Elektra King, at least musically...
“Part of the reason I thought Garbage would be such a good idea [for the theme song], is that I think Shirley Manson is someone who could easily inhabit Bond's world.

The whole thing about the song is that it needs to entice you, and beckon you in. [...] Shirley is the only person I can think of in the world of contemporary music who is the musical equivalent of Elektra.

It is as important as casting the characters – getting the right voice and right attitude for the song. “
And David would later get himself another co-writer's credit on You Know My Name from Casino Royale with former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, who went back to the classics for inspiration.

“I decided that I was going to sing it like Tom Jones, in that crooning style. I wanted people to hear my voice...

And 'Live and Let Die' is a fantastic song. Paul McCartney wouldn't have written it if not for that movie. I [also] wanted to write a song in its own universe.

I knew I'd never have it again — a big orchestra — so I wanted to have fun with it."
Arnold had earlier admitted that his new writing partner wasn't even in his plans before they came to work together!
“The main reason for choosing Chris was to do with the idea of masculinity in music. I asked myself, who could sound the way Daniel Craig’s Bond looks?

The way Daniel moves made me consider the whole alpha male thing which has been absent in music and to a certain extent films for a while.

Is there a contemporary male singer who can go from sensitive to aggressive and back convincingly?

Lia Vollack, head of music at Sony Pictures, came up with the idea of Chris, who wasn’t really on my radar at that point, but when she mentioned him, I thought it was an intriguing choice, especially as he is a great writer as well.”
Yet You Know My Name doesn't appear on the official soundtrack album for Casino Royale in any conventional form, as Chris kept it for release under his own name. It does appear in instrumental form as part of several sections of the main score, at least.

In 2010 Arnold would also in a sense move into video game scoring as he contributed the main themes for Goldeneye 007, an Activision remake of the earlier Goldeneye game for the Nintendo 64, alongside Kevin Kiner's main score for the project.

Having previously scored 2008s Quantum Of Solace, there would be no return for Arnold for Skyfall, director Sam Mendes opting to go with Thomas Newman as his music man of choice following their work together across American Beauty, Road To Perdition, Jarhead & Revolutionary Road. And we'll also move on to look at the literal new man in David's shoes on our final assignment next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post Top Ad