Mendes, Arnold to participate in 007 music programs

Sam Mendes

This month, Royal Albert Hall in London will be the site of music programs for Casino Royale, Skyfall and SPECTRE. Composer David Arnold and director Sam Mendes are scheduled to participate.

Here are the descriptions

Casino Royale in Concert

Thu 17 Nov

Daniel Craig makes his debut as the one and only 007. Featuring an in-person introduction from Casino Royale composer David Arnold.

For more information: CLICK HERE.

Skyfall in Concert

Fri 18 Nov

Bond looks back to his family roots in this roaring espionage adventure. Featuring an in-person introduction from director Sam Mendes.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

SPECTRE in Concert

Sat 19 – Sun 20 Nov

Watch Bond infiltrate a mysterious criminal organization known as Spectre. Saturday’s evening performance will feature an in-person introduction by director Sam Mendes. For more information, CLICK HERE.

The programs feature the Hall Philharmonic Orchestra. The score for Casino Royale was composed by Arnold. Thomas Newman, Mendes’ choice for composer, worked on the scores for Skyfall and SPECTRE.

Just one more thing, as Lt. Columbo used to say, Daniel Craig was “the one and only 007”? I realize the hall needs to sell tickets, but really?

The celebration of the Daniel Craig era of Bond continues.

UPDATE: A reader suggests the Casino Royale event referring to “the one and only 007” means Bond the character rather than Craig the actor. Perhaps so. But Eon Productions, which makes the Bond films, has made clear Craig is the best film Bond.

Bond music documentary: Some recycled material

John Barry (1933-2011)

I am watching the new James Bond music documentary on Amazon Prime. It’s very entertaining. But it also recycles a lot of interviews originally done in the 1990s for DVD extras for the Bond films.

Some of the videos of John Barry (1933-2011) for those extras are obvious to anyone who watched them originally. Also, some of the Barry interview footage was shown for a 2006 special about Bond footage on the BBC.

Some interviews with Monty Norman also were originally shown on those DVD extras.

That’s not to say it’s all recycled. There are some more recent interviews. It appears Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson of Eon Productions made recent comments. Ditto for David Arnold, who scored five Bond films for Eon.

In the documentary, Barbara Broccoli says the title song for No Time to Die was from the female point of view.

Bond concert scheduled for Oct. 4 in London

Logo for James Bond concert

A charity concert featuring songs from the James Bond film series has been scheduled for Oct. 4 at Royal Albert Hall in London, according to the venue’s website.

Here are the details.

Celebrate 60 years of the James Bond film franchise with a charity concert that will showcase the iconic music of Bond, headlined by the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey.

Curated by five-time Bond composer David Arnold and produced by EON Productions, the concert will feature Bond soundtrack artists including Garbage, as well as special guests including Celeste, putting their own interpretation on classic theme songs, backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas Dodd.

The date marks the anniversary of the world premiere of the first 007 film, Dr. No held on 5 October 1962.

More special guests to be announced

Bassey’s Twitter account helped announce the news.

Shirley Bassey performed the title songs for Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker. All had music by John Barry with Leslie Bricusse, Anthony Newley, Don Black and and Hal David doing the lyrics.

David Arnold composed the scores for Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Monty Norman dies at 94

Monty Norman (1928-2022)

Monty Norman, the composer of The James Bond Theme, has died, the BBC reported.

Norman was hired to score Dr. No, the first Bond film produced by Eon Productions. There were disputes how much Norman contributed versus John Barry, who orchestrated the Bond theme for the movie.

Norman said he based the theme off something he wrote for a play titled A House For Mr. Biswas. Norman won a 2001 court case after suing The Sunday Times “over an article which said he did not write the James Bond theme,” the BBC reported at the time.

The composer only worked for Eon one other time — 1963’s Call Me Bwana, a comedy starring Bob Hope.

Starting with From Russia With Love, Barry composed six straight Bond films (From Russia With Love through Diamonds Are Forever). Barry ended up composing 11 Eon Bond movies overall.

Nevertheless, Norman’s Bond theme credit was included throughout the Eon series.

In 2013, Norman described how the Bond theme came together.

Clapton submitted track for Licence to Kill genuine, MI6 says

A music track of a collaboration between Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen submitted for the 1989 film LIcence to Kill is genuine, the MI6 James Bond website said.

The lengthy article was written by Matthew Field and Ajay Chowdhury, authors of the book Some Kind of Hero: The Remarkable Story of the James Bond Films.

“(W)e can confirm that the recording is indeed genuine,” Field and Chowdhury wrote. “We first heard it in September 2020, the culmination of a fascinating journey unearthing the Holy Grail of lost Bond treasures which begun as COVID shut the world down.”

The track has circulated on the internet and “has left fans split over its authenticity,” the duo wrote.

Kamen composed the score for Licence to Kill but was not involved with the film’s title song. performed by Gladys Knight.

For more about the track’s history (including the participation of guitarist Vic Flick), CLICK HERE. To hear it, CLICK HERE for a YouTube video by Bond Blog that incorporates it. But be warned, you don’t know when YouTube might yank it.

Dan Romer talks (briefly) about NTTD

Dan Romer talked very, very briefly about his involvement on No Time to Die on season 4, episode 9 of Score the Podcast.

The composer got into few specifics. He was retained for a time to compose the score for the 25th James Bond film. He was replaced by Hans Zimmer and his fellow composers.

Among the few comments about the Bond film by Romer were these:

“That film was essentially me and my old friend (NTTD diector) Cary Fukunanga. Cary and I will continue to work together. That situation was really amicable at the end. Everybody is trying to do the right thing.”

Romer seemed to indicate the Bond experience was not a bad one.

“You can’t let that kind of stuff stop you from being creative,” he said. “At the end of the day, you’re an artist and you’re making art.

“I don’t announce a job generally until right before it’s coming out,” he added. “The Bond thing leaked….You never know how things are going to go.”

You can listen to the entire episode by CLICKING HERE. Go about one hour, 40 minutes and you’ll get to the brief exchange about No Time to Die.

h/t to reader Patrick Donahue

Work on official NTTD podcast resumes

Hans Zimmer

Work on an official No Time to Die podcast to promote the 25th James Bond film has resumed. The podcast had produced three episodes in fall 2020 before release date delays.

James King, who had hosted the podcast, said June 29 on Twitter, that he had just interviewed lead NTTD composer Hans Zimmer. In response to a later question, he said the interview is for the podcast. “Yes. Launches soon,” he wrote.

No Time to Die’s release has been delayed five times, with three of those related to COVID-19. The movie is scheduled to come out Sept. 30 in the U.K.

Here are the tweets:

From 2020: A peek at NTTD’s scoring sessions

One of several images Steve Mazzaro uploaded to Instagram in March 2020.

Back in March 2020, Steve Mazzaro, a composer who assisted Hans Zimmer in doing No Time to Die’s score, posted several behind the scenes images on Instagram.

The photos were originally posted on March 4, 2020, after the movie had the first of three COVID-19 delays in its release date.

Zimmer is the only composer listed on movie posters and soundtrack covers that have been released to date. But Mazzaro is one of the many composers who work for Zimmer. Mazzaro also composed the score for The Rhythm Section, a non-Bond spy film made by Eon Productions.

In a June 2020 interview with Variety, Zimmer said Mazzaro’s contributions to No Time to Die were significant.

“Steve should really be the top name on the Bond film,” Zimmer told Variety. Obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way.

Besides the image above, Mazzaro posted images of himself working with Zimmer at a control board as well as musicians recording the No Time to Die score.

As with anything else concerning No Time to Die, fans will have to wait to see how the movie’s score worked out.

Q the Music is hanging it up

Q the Music, which does live performances of James Bond music and songs, will shut down permanently in 2022 after a farewell tour, Warren Ringham, the group’s director, announced on social media.

Ringham cited how Brexit and COVID-19 how changed conditions for the group.

“Whilst we have fought on for as long as possible, I myself as the director must now think about how my decisions will impact my own health and that of my family around me,” he wrote.

I never had the opportunity of witnessing a live performance by Q the Music. But those who have rave about the experience.

Below is a video Q the Music posted to YouTube about one of its performances. It runs almost two hours.

Media merry-go-round continues with AT&T-Discovery deal

One of the brands affected by Discovery’s deal with AT&T

The media business was shaken up, yet again, when AT&T announced today it’s opting to exit the media business and combining those assets with Discovery Inc.

Not that long ago, AT&T couldn’t wait to get into media as a way of combining “content” (Warner Bros., HBO, TBS, TCM, etc.) with wireless.

It was AT&T management that had Warner Bros. debut its 2021 film slate simultaneously in theaters (those that are open) and on the new HBO Max streaming service.

Never mind. AT&T’s media entities will be combined with Discovery’s, which include the likes of HGTV and The Food Network.

Why you should care: The deal announced today is a reminder that media (including, but not limited to, movie studios) remains volatile.

For James Bond fans, their hero is tethered to a media small fry, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM reportedly is for sale. It would be no surprise if MGM gets gobbled up by a bigger media player.

Why you could care Part II: The AT&T-Discovery deal involves a lot of prominent media properties. Warner Bros. already has been affected by being acquired by AT&T. Who knows what happens next?

What happens next: MGM controls some prominent media properties (the Bond franchise among them). The AT&T-Discovery deal that well encourage additional media deals. MGM is owned by hedge funds so now may be the time to cash out.

We’ll see.