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 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 9:24 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

This was John Barry's swan song for Bond scores. He left the series because he felt limited by the constraints of keeping within the Bond style, but funnily enough, there are as many new and further developed ideas in this score as in any other, and perhaps even more:

http://www.filmmusicnotes.com/john-barrys-james-bond-scores-part-5-of-6-the-living-daylights/

A very well done score if you ask me.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 9:38 PM   
 By:   Michael24   (Member)

My favorite Bond score (and film).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 17, 2013 - 10:01 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Although in TV GUIDE I told millions my favorite JAMES BOND SONG was MOONRAKER-79-BARRY-I would say my favorite now is from THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS-IF THERE WAS A MAN - PRETENDERS.

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 4:33 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

Good analysis as usual, but I must correct you on one thing.

You suggest Barry "resigned" from Bond after The Living Daylights. Not quite. He was slated to score LICENCE TO KILL and the producers held out to the last minute before hiring Kamen. (Barry was famously hospitalized after nearly dying.)

It was at GOLDENEYE that he suggested the Broccoli's go with someone new. However, after the failure of that film's score, he was back in talks to score TOMORROW NEVER DIES and, apparently, nearly did — but for various reasons allegedly including fee and, more importantly, involvement in the song, it fell through.

It was only at that point that Barry was completely out of the picture.

Cheers

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 4:39 AM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

Thanks, Stephen. It's quite a fascinating story. It'll update accordingly.

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 8:34 AM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

This was the first Bond score I ever purchased, on cassette tape no less, back in '88 after seeing the movie on HBO. It has long been one of my top favorite Barry/Bond scores and Barry scores overall, such a rich thematic feast throughout.

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 11:42 AM   
 By:   LeHah   (Member)

An excellent write-up. Living Daylights is my favorite all-around score for the series (though other scores have cues that I like more) and was always interested to see how it gels - though admittedly a lot of this went right over my head.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   Disco Stu   (Member)

The film took more time to "grow on me" than the score. I like both a lot. How can it not? My favourite Bond and a good Barry track; now THAT's entertainment! The one before the last Bond as far as I'm concerned. The fun ended with the best actor to see the old franchise out, and the worst brought the new wave in.

D.S.

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   YOR The Hunter From The Future   (Member)

My favorite Bond score (and film).

YOR's too!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   Illustrator   (Member)

While I do enjoy the score I always have to skip the sections featuring that electronic rhythm. Other than that it is classic timeless Bond but those rhythms, whether they were an afterthought to update the sound or part of Barry's original intent, just lock it into a particular period.

Enjoyed the analysis.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 8:58 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

While I do enjoy the score I always have to skip the sections featuring that electronic rhythm. Other than that it is classic timeless Bond but those rhythms, whether they were an afterthought to update the sound or part of Barry's original intent, just lock it into a particular period.

Enjoyed the analysis.


Yes, that synth track doesn't stand the test of time too well. I suppose it's like most things that are trendy at any particular time. They sound great when they're new, but time seems to move on without them.

I wonder if it's because that synth track in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS has kind of a weak snare-like sound and obvious synthy sound to the bass. What I mean is, I wonder if it might hold up better over time with a more realistic or at least substantial sound to the percussion and bass parts. It's not too hard to imagine it redone in our time that way.

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 9:21 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

My favorite Bond score (and film).

Right up there for me too, on both counts.....

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 9:26 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

Good analysis as usual, but I must correct you on one thing.

You suggest Barry "resigned" from Bond after The Living Daylights. Not quite. He was slated to score LICENCE TO KILL and the producers held out to the last minute before hiring Kamen. (Barry was famously hospitalized after nearly dying.)

It was at GOLDENEYE that he suggested the Broccoli's go with someone new. However, after the failure of that film's score, he was back in talks to score TOMORROW NEVER DIES and, apparently, nearly did — but for various reasons allegedly including fee and, more importantly, involvement in the song, it fell through.

It was only at that point that Barry was completely out of the picture.

Cheers


As much I would treasure another Barry Bond score (and another Barry score period) it's hard to imagine what he would have done with the soulless enterprise that was TOMORROW NEVER DIES, with all that meaningless action that goes on and on to the point that it has zero impact.

I think Barry would have been pretty bored by it all....

 
 Posted:   Jun 18, 2013 - 9:28 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

The film took more time to "grow on me" than the score. I like both a lot. How can it not? My favourite Bond and a good Barry track; now THAT's entertainment! The one before the last Bond as far as I'm concerned. The fun ended with the best actor to see the old franchise out, and the worst brought the new wave in.

D.S.


This hits the mark! As far as I'm concerned, LICENCE TO KILL is the last true Bond film, the last one that holds much interest for me.

 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2013 - 12:03 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I think John Barry was remarkable with his Bond scores in that I don't think there was a single Barry/Bond score that fell below the "this is good" line. And as Goldsmith once said, the fact he created new themes every time rather than just re-using old ones, was remarkable.

That said, I think most people would agree that Octopussy and A View To A Kill showed some tiredness relative to the vitality of the early Bond scores.

What he did with The Living Daylights is he pulled "an OHMSS" on us: he was writing good Bond stuff anyway, but even so, it's like he decided to push it up a notch, much like he did with OHMSS.

And to have no less than three songs/themes to work with ... well there was a gold mine of great material to expand on there.

I honestly don't think Barry had "planned" this to be his final Bond score, it just turned out to be. But I'm glad he went out with a blast and not a whimper.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2013 - 10:00 AM   
 By:   Illustrator   (Member)

Yes, that synth track doesn't stand the test of time too well. I suppose it's like most things that are trendy at any particular time. They sound great when they're new, but time seems to move on without them.

I wonder if it's because that synth track in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS has kind of a weak snare-like sound and obvious synthy sound to the bass. What I mean is, I wonder if it might hold up better over time with a more realistic or at least substantial sound to the percussion and bass parts. It's not too hard to imagine it redone in our time that way.


Yes on both counts. I must admit even at the time I never liked the synth drumming in Living Daylights (as with the twangy electric guitar 'interruptions' on View To A Kill for me it spoils some otherwise excellent music), yes anything that attempts to be fashionable has by it's very nature a narrow shelf life.

The fact that when Barry used synth on OHMSS he did so brilliantly and it was completely integrated is what makes be think that the use in Living Daylights was an afterthought.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2013 - 2:18 PM   
 By:   Ludwig van   (Member)

What he did with The Living Daylights is he pulled "an OHMSS" on us: he was writing good Bond stuff anyway, but even so, it's like he decided to push it up a notch, much like he did with OHMSS.

I suppose the new face of Bond was the impetus for this extra effort. But from Barry himself or the director and producers? Does anyone know how much leeway Barry had with his Bond scores, particularly the later ones (say, from Roger Moore on)? I know there were disagreements, as with the lyrics of the DIAMONDS title song, but that's the lyrics. And not being able to write the title song was part of the reason he stayed away from TOMORROW NEVER DIES. But with the style of the score, were there any pressures aside from having to insert the Bond theme at places he didn't want to?

 
 Posted:   Jun 19, 2013 - 2:58 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)


That said, I think most people would agree that Octopussy and A View To A Kill showed some tiredness relative to the vitality of the early Bond scores. ...

What he did with The Living Daylights is he pulled "an OHMSS" on us: he was writing good Bond stuff anyway, but even so, it's like he decided to push it up a notch, much like he did with OHMSS.

And to have no less than three songs/themes to work with ... well there was a gold mine of great material to expand on there.

I honestly don't think Barry had "planned" this to be his final Bond score, it just turned out to be. But I'm glad he went out with a blast and not a whimper.


Maybe it's not creatively as innovative, but OCTOPUSSY is one of my favorite Bond scores, as well as my favorite Moore Bond film. Lush, beautiful, exotic, with a splendid subtext suggesting the Octopussy character's loneliness and isolation, a theme otherwise only marginally hinted at in the film itself.

As much as I enjoy all the Moore films (though having watched SPY WHO LOVED ME on blu-ray a month ago I remain as puzzled as always at its popularity), the series found new energy with Dalton's first outing as a more intense and edgy 007. Barry may have been dubious about the casting choice (ironically, Dalton not too many years ago hosted a Barry/LION IN WINTER tribute with the composer present), but he seemed to respond to the film's refreshed tone, and as Mr Woolston observes, pushed it up a notch .. and then some!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2013 - 10:21 AM   
 By:   soundtracksi   (Member)

yet again ,
another well done piece I thank you ,

i remember see this when it came out as i did with most of the bond movies ,
it was the score for sure that make this feel so bond even with the synth work and some of the standout pieces such as The Harrier takes off i could not wait to get the LP home to play it as i bought it at the cinema as you could then ,
soon after I bought the cd always wanted more of the score and of course it did come many years later well worth the wait

 
 Posted:   Jun 22, 2013 - 11:04 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I've had a fairly loose mental association with TLD as a sort of trailblazing 'disco' Bond ever since the CD landed on my doorstep. The mode of the music is skillfully interleaved by Barry in this Bond and, hence, makes for a very entertaining listen. No wonder it's a popular Bond score.

Out of interest, how many man hours would it have taken Barry to compile his work on paper before even confronting the orchestra?

 
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