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 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

I've seen a small handful of the James Bond films, and since the prices were really terrific for the Blu-rays at Amazon, decided to invest in some of the early Bond's. 'Goldfinger', 'The Spy Who Loved Me', and the latest ones with Daniel Craig, are the only ones I've seen. I know I've missed whole decades worth, which is why I wanted to start at the very beginning. 'Dr. No' is seriously lacking in a lot of areas, and you can't fault Sean Connery as it was his very first outing as James Bond. However I believe possibly the single most glaring oversight is it's music. I had thought, (incorrectly), that John Barry had written all of the early James Bond Films, but a man named Monty Norman wrote the music for 'Dr. No'. There's a lot of 'source music' here from Jamaican music to phonograph records, to an outside band. But the film really needed more..'OOOMPH', which I'm sure another composer could have given it. John Barry does do the 'Bond Theme' at the beginning, and that's it. Monty Norman's music just doesn't have an weight to it. A scene where Bond kills a tarantula found on his bed with a shoe was almost laughable. Every strike of the shoe to the spider was accompanied with a loud musical 'strike', and it didn't even need it there.
Any ideas as to how Monty Norman was signed to write the score to this film, and was there any other offers to other Film Composers at the time?
Next up: 'From Russia With Love', and I just looked it up and found Norman did this score as well!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 10:18 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Oh dear...

 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 10:19 AM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

I actually read he was signed to score the next Bond film as well, but obviously that didn't happen.

He had a score which was tossed for "Dr. No". The book rejected scores book Torn Music said something like two or three scores not used by Norman, but I've yet to find anything to indicate that is correct.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 10:28 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

It baffles me how anyone could have avoided nearly all of the Bond movies all these years. They seem to be omnipresent on TV throughout the year, every year. At least that's UK TV anyway. Don't they show them on US TV all the time?

Norman didn't do From Russia With Love.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 10:39 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

It baffles me how anyone could have avoided nearly all of the Bond movies all these years. They seem to be omnipresent on TV throughout the year, every year. At least that's UK TV anyway. Don't they show them on US TV all the time?

Norman didn't do From Russia With Love.


Hello Thomas. I viewed little television throughout my lifetime, the 1980's probably was the last time I recall viewing much t.v. I can honestly say that since I left New York, I have not had a television hook-up of ANY sort. So that's been 11 years for me without t.v. and I do not miss it. I must now go out to walk my dog...

 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 11:25 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

It baffles me how anyone could have avoided nearly all of the Bond movies all these years. ...

It's not that the OP has not seen so many of the JB007 films that is baffling - I have a number of friends/acquaintances who do not watch these films - but that this subject, which has been discussed on this forum almost as many times as which is Jerry Goldsmith's/John Williams' best/worst score, etc. has not registered with Montana Dave. That said, if you have no interest in the films, do not know the music ... why read the thread?

The OP has a wonderful musical journey ahead (and will hopefully enjoy a great many of the films, too) and will learn just how great the best film music can be .., (but then I am biased smile)

Seeking to keep it simple, Dave, JB was brought in late during the film's production precisely because the production team knew the music wasn't working. MN had scored the film like a typical 1950s British travelogue/adventure film - he states that he was looking for a theme to take it into the action/adventure genre - and JB was contracted to arrange and record an original MN theme for this purpose .... to be placed over the film's main credits.

The question of just how much arrangement v. composition JB applied has been discussed, litigated, etc. ever since - and certainly MN has the legal ownership of the theme's composition (whilst he acknowledges that JB's arrangement and performance is the best version) - but what is not challenged is that the score as a whole is weak and that JB's recording of his arrangement/composition of the James Bond Theme features throughout the film, not just over the opening credits.

This last point is fundamental since it led to JB being asked to score From Russia With Love (1963) etc. ... whilst MN disappeared from the JB007 franchise. Some of MN's score to Dr. No (1962) was tracked in the following film but he had no hand in scoring that film.

At least, that's the sequence of events I've read ... time and again.

Mitch.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 11:56 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

It baffles me how anyone could have avoided nearly all of the Bond movies all these years. They seem to be omnipresent on TV throughout the year, every year. At least that's UK TV anyway. Don't they show them on US TV all the time?

Norman didn't do From Russia With Love.


Hello Thomas. I viewed little television throughout my lifetime, the 1980's probably was the last time I recall viewing much t.v. I can honestly say that since I left New York, I have not had a television hook-up of ANY sort. So that's been 11 years for me without t.v. and I do not miss it. I must now go out to walk my dog...


I don't watch much TV either MD, though I keep an eye out for films I like or want to like on the channels and generally record them. I'd say you're not missing much and sounds nicer getting outdoors, especially where you live I'd imagine. Wild Montana Skies and all that.

 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 1:08 PM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

Dave, where have you been? Have I simply been blind or have you been somewhat silent on FSM for a while? Nice to see you back. I must, however, add to the surprise about the Bond films. How could you, Dave, how could you NOT have seen the Bond films? wink

You're in for a lovely journey, in my opinion. The main thing about the Bond films, in my opinion, is that although I take my Bond love VERY SERIOUSLY, they're meant simply to be a ton of fun. Seriously. wink

 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Plenty of people don't watch or even like James Bond, Dave.

If you use the search engine here, you'll find lots of threads with heated debate about the court cases between Norman and Barry about this. 'truth is, they both wrote the James Bond theme. The world being the polarising place it now is, especially the internet, you'll see lots of satire threads too, all having a go at poor Norman. I think they feel John Barry will welcome them at the pearly gates as good and faithful servants. He's more likely to pull the trapdoor.






 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 1:47 PM   
 By:   Doctor Shatterhand   (Member)

John Barry was brought in late to enhance Monty Norman's theme which is the now famous James Bond Theme played during the opening credits of Dr. No. Editor Peter Hunt liked the theme so much that he used the theme again during the car chase with the Three Blind Mice. This was a violation of contract which Hunt did not realize and to appease John Barry from a law suit, which would have gone automatically, the producers asked him back for From Russia with Love with Lionel Bart writing the lyrics.

This was the beginning of great spy music from John Barry and he followed From Russia with Love with Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man with the Golden Gun, Moonraker, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, and The Living Daylights, which marked the 25th anniversary of the series.

Going back to Dr. No, Monty Norman was hired by producer Harry Saltzman and was flown down to Jamaica to soak up the island atmosphere and come up with a film score. The results were Underneath the Mango Tree, Three Blind Mice, and Jump Up. Norman did his best to create a Jamaican feel but was more focused on that part of the music than a theme that could carry into further film adventures. It was director Terence Young who suggested to the producers that the film needed a linchpin score that was OO7's music. Peter Hunt had heard of John Barry and suggested him to Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman.

There is no evidence of other film composers offered to do Dr. No.

I highly recommend the book by Jon Burlingame called The Music of James Bond. You can find it at Amazon.

 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 1:50 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

Does anybody with some obscure knowledge know anything about this odd find at soundtrack.net?

Dan has listed Lionel Bart for an "unused score" to "Thunderball".


Barry's Wikipedia page states:
When the producers of the Bond series engaged Lionel Bart to score the next James Bond film From Russia with Love (1963), they discovered that Bart could neither read nor write music.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 30, 2018 - 3:05 PM   
 By:   mortenbond   (Member)

Does anybody with some obscure knowledge know anything about this odd find at soundtrack.net?

Dan has listed Lionel Bart for an "unused score" to "Thunderball".


Barry's Wikipedia page states:
When the producers of the Bond series engaged Lionel Bart to score the next James Bond film From Russia with Love (1963), they discovered that Bart could neither read nor write music.


Some info here: http://doubleosection.blogspot.no/2012/11/previously-unknown-thunderball-demo.html?m=1

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 1:24 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

Folks, you need to read Jon Burlingame's book.

Harry Saltzman did want Lionel Bart to score From Russia With Love, but I don't think he was ever actually signed up for it.

And no, there is no unused Lionel Bart score for Thunderball.

There might be demos, yes, but demos don't actually mean all that much. Anyone can create a demo and send it in, it does not mean they were commissioned or that they wrote an unused score. In this case, I believe Saltzman was repeatedly interested in having Bart do a Bond movie, but I think it is a great exaggeration to say there is an unused score.

The internet is not the most reliable source of information and public access sources like Wikipedia are not subject to any journalistic rigour.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 1:37 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

During the 2001 James Bond Theme court case in London, Norman was asked why he didn't score further Bond films. Norman said that he had asked Harry Saltzman about his salary for Call Me Bwana (a Bob Hope movie produced by Harry Saltzman and Cubby Broccoli straight after Dr.No for which Norman had composed the theme). Saltzman replied "If you want to talk money, then we can't do business' and that was the end of Norman's professional relationship with the Bond producers. However, there was nobody to confirm this story at the trial. Norman also said he was primarily a composer of stage musicals rather than film scores. However, Barry said that he had already been promised serious consideration for the score for the follow up when he agreed to work on the James Bond Theme.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 1:44 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Amazing that Bart was even considered for Thunderball after Barry's contributions to the first three films. One reason may have been Saltzman's dislike of the Goldfinger song. However it does appear that promos were produced and appeared on a Bart compilation album in 2012. More info here:

http://doubleosection.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/previously-unknown-thunderball-demo.html

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 5:39 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Dave, where have you been? Have I simply been blind or have you been somewhat silent on FSM for a while? Nice to see you back. I must, however, add to the surprise about the Bond films. How could you, Dave, how could you NOT have seen the Bond films? wink

You're in for a lovely journey, in my opinion. The main thing about the Bond films, in my opinion, is that although I take my Bond love VERY SERIOUSLY, they're meant simply to be a ton of fun. Seriously. wink


Hello Accidental Genius. How I did NOT see most of The Bond Films, well, I suppose I had other films in mind or things to do during those times. The main reason I'm going back, to the very beginnings of them is that last Summer, I retired, so now I've got plenty of time on my hands.Television is still NOT an option. I've felt so much better not turning on that 'idiot-box' for 11 years! 'From Russia With Love' is up next for me and I'll view it this weekend. 'Thunderball' and 'You Only Live Twice' I'll order from Amazon in the next few weeks. Funny about the music though. I have a lot of the scores on c.d. and 'know' their theme songs like, 'Man With the Golden Gun', and 'You Only Live Twice' etc, but I just never viewed the films. I also have not even heard the music to the Bond Films featuring Timothy Dalton, or Pierce Brosnon, so THAT will be an adventure! All I know of Mr. Arnold's film music is his score to 'Independence Day', which is not something I would listen to again. And if memory serves me correctly, I recall seeing some threads here on the message board about 'Octopussy's' music by John Barry. Expand it, full score, missing music, or maybe it was 'Moonraker'? Either way, those films are some time away until I get to them.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 5:49 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Folks, you need to read Jon Burlingame's book.




That's the truth of it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 5:51 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Plenty of people don't watch or even like JB, Dave.

If you use the search engine here, you'll find lots of threads with heated debate about the court cases between Norman and Barry about this. 'truth is, they both wrote the James Bond theme. The world being the polarising place it now is, especially the internet, you'll see lots of satire threads too, all having a go at poor Norman. I think they feel John Barry will welcome them at the pearly gates as good and faithful servants. He's more likely to pull the trapdoor.








Thanks for this, WILLIAMDMCCRUM, as I found 'how' Mr. Norman discovered his 'Bond theme'. I've got to say there must be something easier than that song from his stage music wherein he added/subtracted/subtracted etc until he got the theme song for Bond! What a confusing explanation, but it's so weird it must be true. Right?

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 5:59 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

If John Barry had anything to do with the James Bond Theme, it'd be the only time he contributed to an exciting cue that wasn't total sludge in tempo.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2018 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   Thomas   (Member)

I quote here a recent pertinent post from TG in another thread regarding Barry's Bond music...

Here’s a statement: Nobody - not Williams or Goldsmith or Morricone or Fielding or Herrmann or Giacchino or Horner or Rozsa or Bernstein or anyone - has written a main title with such sheer muscular joy and exuberance as that one.

 
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