MMM: You Only Live On Her Majesty’s Daylights Twice

James here with Movie Music Monday!

Standing before you guilty of loving James Bond movies, I present in my defense three (or so) classic pieces from composer John Barry, who scored the series’ majority until ‘The Living Daylights’.  I hope they can convince you to be lenient in your sentencing.

‘You Only Live Twice’, with its screenplay by Roald Dahl, bizarre hijinks, and Bond made up ambiguously Asian, is one of the chief reasons I was brought before this honorable court.  To offset its awesome British badness, I offer this gorgeous instrumental of its famous theme song.

George Lazenby was a great Bond, I think.  ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ was pretty darn entertaining, which is why I chose this video to illustrate this point and hopefully rebuff some of my accusers, your honor.

I confess!  Timothy Dalton’s underrated turn as James Bond turned out my favorite of the series, ‘The Living Daylights’.  You might as well haul in the chair right now and fry me.  This medley of the main themes as performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic sums up its musical appeal.  Now, where’s the priest and my last meal?  Can I get chocolate chip cookies for that?

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James’ Top Five Film Composers

Sound, as the saying goes, is half the picture.  It’s a critical part of any good movie, and I’ve got my list of favorite composers here, once again in no particular order.

Sound good?

John Williams

Unleashing the bald power of music.  (Somebody stop the puns!)

Unleashing the bald power of music. (Somebody stop the puns!)

Here’s the why. Anybody who can write ‘Indiana Jones’, ‘Superman’, ‘Jurassic Park’, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Jaws’ etc. etc. without a serious degradation in awesome is too awesome to degrade.  I’m sure the man is a saint.  God bless him.

Howard Shore

Ssh.  Mr. Shore is listening to the music of the angels.

Ssh. Mr. Shore is listening to the music of the angels.

Here’s the why. Mr. Shore was so kind as to provide us with the operatic and extremely leitmotif-errific ‘The Lord of the Rings’ scores for Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the trilogy, but you should listen to it as much as you can, because I’m pretty sure it’s on loan from the seraphim.

Danny Elfman

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Here’s the why. He’s fantastic, and suitably whimsical to enhance the heck out of everything Tim Burton (or anyone else) does.  His ‘Batman’ score is beyond the impossible.

Bernard Herrmann

The dog could be a bomb, and Bernard Herrmann's music could subtly tip you off either way.

The dog could be a bomb, and Bernard Herrmann's music could subtly tip you off either way.

Here’s the why. He was one of the greatest film composers ever to grace our ears, and helped train a young John Williams. Noted for his Hitchcock scores, among many others. Currently a part of a black-on-black ops team of superhero celebrities. R.I.P., Bernard Herrmann.

John Barry

The one on the left, standing trial for knowingly breaking the awesome limit in thirty countries.

The one on the left, standing trial for knowingly breaking the awesome limit in thirty countries.

Here’s the why. He composed 11 out of 22 James Bond soundtracks, and though he may or may not have written the James Bond theme, he’s still well ubiquitous with the secret agent. He’s just an all around master.