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 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 9:23 AM   
 By:   ahem   (Member)

Has anyone heard A-ha's synthrock version of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS as heard on the STAY ON THESE ROADS album? It's got tinny, tin eared cheap digital synths, clattery dance beats and the arrangement is altered from adult contemporary to dancepop. The timeless orchestral elements are gone, as is the wailing power ballad saxaphone solo.

Barry co-wrote the track with A-ha, yet they've (most confusingly) tried to downplay all of his contributions, making the song pretty thin. Not just Barry who has been shortchanged, but also pop song producer Jason Corsaro (who engineered and co-produced Duran Duran's A VIEW TO A KILL for Bernard Edwards). Corsaro's Trevor Horn-ish melding of live rock, orcxhestral and synth elements is tossed aside, and the whole thing now happens on a high street CASIO keyboard. Corsaro and Barry played an equally significant part in the original song's success, as proved with their absence on this 1988 "improved" A-ha version.

When it hurts, it hurts.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 9:30 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Yes, I have the Stay on These Roads album. I don't think the "Living Daylights" version is that bad, but I would agree with you that the film version is better. You should be aware, however, that they've re-arranged the song again for the various concerts they've had recently. This time a more contemporary, polished sound that is even better than the film version on which Barry worked, IMO.

a-ha is one of the few 80's electropop bands that have displayed a masterful ability to update themselves according to contemporary rock and pop sensibilities.

NP: INDELIBLY STAMPED (Supertramp)

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   Chris1770   (Member)

On the John Barry discussion board can be found an interesting thread about that topic. By the way, I've never warmed up with that terrible song.

This is what a fan of a-ha's version wrote:

It's a well known fact that there has been heavy argument between a-ha and John B[a]rry, over the Bo[n]d theme "The living Daylights" Here is some info:

a-ha are amongst artists such as Queen and Paul McCartney who are asked if they would like to perform the new James Bond song. Pål and Magne have already written the basis of a song which they feel would be suitable and send it in. This song is chosen to be used for the next James Bond film "The Living Daylights". During the recording process of the song, it becomes apparent that John Barry has a problem with not being one of the song writers and therefore replaces Magne's name in the credits for his.

"The song is actually written by Pål Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen in a-ha. John Barry wasn't involved with the production of the song. Barry was credited as a producer, but this is wrong. He never actually touched the production of the track, at all. Like Waaktaar once said in an interview: "He wanted to produce the song, but he never showed up in the studio"

Barry was angry at a-ha because they didn't want to credit him as a writer to the track, but the track had already been written a couple of months earlier by Pål Waaktaar. while on tour with a-ha .

The Royal Premiere of the James Bond film "The Living Daylights" is held in London. Charles and Diana from the Royal family attend. a-ha cannot be there as they are on tour in Japan. This does not please the Bond-folk who expected a-ha to cancel their sold-out tour to be at the premiere. John Barry takes this opportunity to speak out to the press about how difficult a-ha are to work with. The decision is made to neglect the song in the States and use another song as the title song for the U.S. version of the movie.

a-ha is still releasing albums and touring and has just released their 8 th studioalbum and has just finished a tour of Europe. The tour will continue in 2006.



http://www.johnbarry.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=333

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 10:51 AM   
 By:   ahem   (Member)

The orchestra heard in the song is clearly conducted and arranged by Barry. That's not open to debate!

As for the recording of the song in the studio, they seem to think it's either Barry or A-ha. This is simply not the case- According to the credits, Jason Corsaro co-produced and engineered the film version of THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS, and he had nothing to do with the STAY ON THESE ROADS version.

I think it's not soley a Barry vs. a-ha comparsion- it's Barry AND Corsaro (both equal forces) vs. a-ha.

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 11:34 AM   
 By:   spielboy   (Member)


"The song is actually written by Pål Waaktaar and Magne Furuholmen in a-ha. John Barry wasn't involved with the production of the song. Barry was credited as a producer, but this is wrong. He never actually touched the production of the track, at all. Like Waaktaar once said in an interview: "He wanted to produce the song, but he never showed up in the studio"

Barry was angry at a-ha because they didn't want to credit him as a writer to the track, but the track had already been written a couple of months earlier by Pål Waaktaar. while on tour with a-ha .


I really find that hard to believe...

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I really find that hard to believe...

I don't. But of course it will always be word against word and no way to resolve it.

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   spielboy   (Member)

You believe he wasnt involved AT ALL in the production of the song and then he asked to get credit???

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 4:32 PM   
 By:   ahem   (Member)

In my opinion, it's all a bit Monty Norman if you ask me, because the orchestral arrangement heard in the film version (and even the synth strings emulation in the STAY ON THESE ROADS version) is I think 9999999% Barry. Without Barry it would sound different, and that isn't open for debate (he even gets credited on the SOTR version). I also think Jason Corsaro's influence shouldn't be overlooked, seeing as the group only ever worked with him on that song- the accoustic element within the group was all Corsaro. Perhaps Corsaro came in because of Eon/UA (and I'm guessing Barry) after the success of his work on A VIEW TO A KILLs title track.

I always thought the excellent SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV sounded like it could have been a Bond song, and is closest to TLD in composition. Very Barry influenced, but not to the obvious extent of TLD.

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS was definitely a collaboration, and not the pure product of one artist. However, it makes you wonder about the whole thing seeing as Barry was recording the drum machines and synths for the score as well as the PRETENDERS songs with SWING OUT SISTERS producer Paul O'Duffy, yet A-ha were independently in the studio with ANOTHER producer, Jason Corsaro (Barry's strings added on afterwards). It's a funny one.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 4:41 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

You believe he wasnt involved AT ALL in the production of the song and then he asked to get credit???

No, I believe he helped in the arrangement. But again, this is just pure speculation and not very constructive.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 5:11 PM   
 By:   Geoff   (Member)



No, I believe he helped in the arrangement. But again, this is just pure speculation and not very constructive.


Barry told me "they kept me waiting for the lyric". To me that doesn't sound like the song had been written some time previously.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 7:10 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

The decision is made to neglect the song in the States and use another song as the title song for the U.S. version of the movie.

If this particularly statement is any indication, I find this whole article to be total bollocks!

John

 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 7:48 PM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

I find it monumentally unlikely that the composer of The Black Hole, The Lion In Winter, and 95% of the music heard throughout the rest of the film in every film in the Bond series (which he scored that is) was not the core melodic force.

Ignoring the fact that each soundtrack was solidly predicated upon said themes, every credit I`ve read clearly indicates that the band contributed. Primarily lyrically; the music has always been the realm of Barry.

Could they have gotten it wrong - over the course of 12+(?) Bond movies - repeatedly? Where`s Ford when you need him...

The A-ha contention is silly. Where are the similar complaints of everybody else the maestro ever worked with to the same end?

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 14, 2006 - 7:58 PM   
 By:   Alex Klein   (Member)

A-ha prepared the recipee, Barry baked it in the oven. Without Barry's contribution the song is quite different. A-ha thought Barry's contributions were very suitable for the song but apparently they refused to use it at some point. Barry gave them his arrangement and put it in the song, A-ha went back to the studio and put THEIR version back in. That's why Barry was upset.

Alex

 
 Posted:   Sep 15, 2006 - 6:35 AM   
 By:   batman844   (Member)

I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion and I think the answer is somewhere in the middle of what has already been argued here. A-ha wrote the song, Barry added some class orchestration to the thing. (The "Stay on These Roads" version is not as good IMHO). A-ha didn't turn up to the Premiere due to tour commitments, Barry made a comment. End of story.

I've seen a-ha live twice in the last two years and they've performed a very passionate extended film version of The Living Daylights. This version can be heard on the following album:

http://www.hmv.co.uk/hmvweb/displayProductDetails.do?ctx=280;-1;-1;-1&sku=490432

 
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