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"Goldeneye" (1995) arrived after a six year wait with a new Bond- Pierce Brosnan, and a new composer- Eric Serra. While an interesting score, fans weren't thrilled and apparently neither were the producers who had Serra's arranger and orchestrator, John Altman, rescore the entire tank chase sequence. Serra's version is on the CD (I swear I hear the Chipmunks in there) and a cover version of Altman's is included on "Bond back in Action-Vol. 2"
"Tomorrow Never Dies" (1997) introduced composer David Arnold to the series who combined a little of the old John Barry sound with his own newer, boom, crash, action music. We also got TWO CDs of music this time! (Only half of the score had been completed in time for the first album and Chapter III records put out a CD with the rest). Unfortunately, one of the best Bond themes in a long time, "Surrender", performed by K. D. Lang was pushed back to the end titles in favor of Sheryl Crow's so-so "Tomorrow Never Dies". There is however a great collaboration with the Propellerheads on the "Company Car" track as well as Moby's take on the James Bond Theme during the closing credits.
"The World Is Not Enough" (1999) brings Mr. Arnold back and has a nice title song performed by the band Garbage. Another good action score with a lot of the Bond theme thrown in, but more on the techno side. While it works well in the type of action movies the Bond films have become, it leaves the listener wishing for a little something more.
"Die Another Day" (2002), was scored once again by David Arnold with Madonna performing a title song that works well in the film, but doesn't make you walk out humming the tune. There are some near thrills when the OHMSS bass line kicks in and the trumpets begin to blare, but they only last a few bars before switching to the standard action fare. A Bond theme remix (yawn) by Paul Oakenfold, and some interactive computer nonsense take up space on the CD better filled with music. Blame whoever put the CD together because there was plenty of good music in the film. Having said that, lurking around on the web is a second CDs worth of music. While of questionable legality, it's good stuff and only makes you regret the shoddy job they did on the legit release.
"Casino Royale" (2006), "reboots" the Bond series and introduces Daniel Craig to the role. The familiar James Bond theme doesn't show up till the end credits. Snippets of it are scattered throughout, but one misses the guitar riffs and blaring trumpets. Perhaps, learning their lesson from the last CD, they jammed 75 minutes of music onto this one (and 13 extra tracks on the i-Tunes site). The title song, "You Know My Name" by David Arnold and Chris Cornell is not on the CD. Of the several versions available the one in the film is only available... in the film!
"Quantum Of Solace" (2008) Mr. Arnold has taken some flak in the past for over-using the Bond theme, but like Casino Royale it is only heard in the end credits while bits and pieces wind through the film's atmospheric, location oriented music. The title song, "Another Way To Die" by Jack White and singer Alicia Keys is included. The version during the credits was better than the single, but you'll probably never listen to it again anyway. Track down the instrumental instead.
"SKYFALL" (2012) brings in Thomas Newman to take over the scoring duties. David Arnold's music was often a listening experience in itself, whereas Newman's is more of an accompaniment to the film. We get a little more of the familiar Bond theme in this one and a lot of repetitive action music which takes away from some of the good stuff (try "The Chimera"). The theme sung by Adele is not on the soundtrack CD, but can be found on a CD single and thankfully is real Bond theme. Look for the import version which has both the vocal and instrumental (which is like a Bond score all by itself!) You can also find one extra track (Old dog, New Tricks) on iTunes.
"SPECTRE" (2015) is once again scored by Thomas Newman. Much like Skyfall, there is some good Bond music (try "Los Muertos Vivos Estan") mixed with a lot of repetitive action music. While the theme song, "Writing's On the Wall" by Sam Smith is not on the score CD. It is available as a single that also includes the instrumenal, however his voice bleeds through here and there. A shorter version of the instrumental is included on the CD with no voice and may be more to your liking. No extra tracks on iTunes this time.
and of course...
James Bond will return in