Another Week, More News for James Bond in the Build up to No Time To Die..
The internet went into meltdown when it was announced that HANS ZIMMER will be scoring the new Bond film. Why? How can there be ANY doubt that he is the man for the job? Well, some think Hans has become generic and obvious because everyone copies him and one can spot his scores a mile off? Another composer faced that criticism once. I met him in Oxford. I chatted to his beautiful wife. His name? JOHN BARRY (RIP) and he defined the sound of Bond. ‘Your stuff sounds the same? Some people call that STYLE’ he quipped, frequently.
In the same way as Barry, so Zimmer has a style. It is recognisable, immediately and can even be classified, roughly, as follows:
- Rousing drum beats / horns / strings combo
- Variations on a theme: sometimes his own, sometimes someone else’s
- Synth/Rock / Gaming noise: often effective, a kind of low key but distinctive focus through a blur
- Playful, Circus like, Clownish dances with a sound of a character’s movement
- Plaintiff / Chant / Choral / Requiem / Elegy /Reflective Moods
- Sheer Romantic Urgency and Passion
- Fusion of the above.
Like any good thing, if overused, it can breed contempt. Hence, some Bond fans less than sold on a Zimmer score. But the reason we hear so much Hans is that he has mentored and inspired an entire school of composition. Naturally, his kind of tones can be heard in equally good yet familiar work from the likes of Lorne Balfe, John Powell, Brian Tyler and so on. That’s not in any way to diminish those composers’ individual achievements or styles. But it is unavoidable to embrace the simple fact that the Zimmer sound reinvented score on film. Steven Spielberg cited Zimmer as the natural successor to John Williams: high praise, indeed!
We know, too that some directors have used Hans in the way Steven used Williams: Chris Nolan has a Zimmer score on most of his movies (though it’s yet another example whereby an already established practice was simply adopted and perfected rather than invented or established by Nolan?). Whatever way you look at it though, Zimmer WORKS!And there is nothing wrong with style, as James Bond, of all people should know! Indeed, it’s a PERFECT match that has taken far too long to happen.
Still not sold? Ok. Here are some Zimmer pieces that could match any template stages in the new Bond picture. You’re welcome..
- The Baddies’ Heist / Plan Set Up (Pre Titles?): See and listen to The Rock (1996)
- Brooding Bond in Jamaica, Reflecting on His Life, Looking to the Sea but Waiting for More War: Cf The Last Samurai (2003)
- Saving the Girl / Countdown to the End of the World? See: Mission:Impossible 2 (2000), The Dark Knight (2008)
- The Complex Dr Swann/ Good Bond Girl Gone Bad? See X MEN: DARK PHOENIX (2019)
- BOND IS BACK IN LONDON / OFFICIAL BRIEFING WITH M / INTERROGATING BLOFELD /COMIC RELIEF WITH Q: See BIRD ON A WIRE (1990); DUNKIRK (2017); CRIMSON TIDE (1995); AS GOOD AS IT GETS (1997)
- SMASHING OUT THE BOND THEME: WHAT ZIMMER CAN DO WITH OTHERS’ WORK. CF HOLST / ROSSINI: GLADIATOR (2000) AND THE LONE RANGER (2013)
- CURTAIN CALL / BOND ALIVE OR DEAD? See: DARK KNIGHT RISES (2012)
- ‘FEEME TUNE’: EVERY BOND FILM NEEDS A SONG! Hans is no stranger to composing those, too…
ok that’s enough zimmer tunes..Bond fans..if you are not sold on a Hans score for 007..then you are clearly not a proper Bond fan 😉
NO TIME TO DIE IS RELEASED IN APRIL AND WILL BE REVIEWED IN A FUTURE POST. JAMES MURPHY WILL RETURN. TO A BARNSTORMING HANS ZIMMER ACTION CUE 🙂
ps: there is NOTHING ‘WOKE’ about Bond having a non alcoholic beer or driving a hybrid car. He makes it clear he is on duty! Plus, Ian Fleming LOVED conservation. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!