Thursday, September 10, 2015
The World Is Not Enough (1999) | Music
After having his theme song to Tomorrow Never Dies bumped in favor of Sheryl Crowe's, new Bond composer David Arnold got to write the song for The World Is Not Enough. He worked with Don Black, who'd written the themes for Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man with the Golden Gun, and who'd co-written with Arnold the unused Tomorrow Never Dies song. (Well, it was was used over the closing credits, but you know what I mean.) Getting to use his own music, it makes sense that he incorporates this theme song into the score more than he did the one for Tomorrow.
To sing the song, they hired the band Garbage, a great choice that hearkened back to the days of getting culturally relevant artists instead of throwbacks. It's a beautiful, haunting song, enhanced by Shirley Manson's powerful voice. And it follows the tradition of turning the movie's title into a love song, although a very greedy one. It doesn't describe the kind of relationship I'd want, but nicely sums up Erika King's twisted world view in the film.
For the credits sequence, Daniel Kleinman pulled inspiration from the Kings' oil company. It opens with oil drops and then becomes all manner of combinations of oil and women: women submerged in oil, women covered in oil, women made of oil. And finally it closes with a field of oil pumps. It's a gorgeous sequence, as all Kleinman's are, but it does get repetitive.
Arnold's score is pretty great, including a collaboration with Garbage for the parahawks sequence. He doesn't use the Bond Theme quite as much as he did in Tomorrow Never Dies, but it's still all over the place - way more than John Barry ever used it. It plays when Bond's escaping the banker's office in the teaser and again during the speedboat chase on the Thames. It's playing as he shows up at Elektra's oil field and during the battle between Bond's BMW and the sawblade helicopter. One of my favorite uses is when Bond tells Christmas his real name as he improvises an elevator to get them out of the bomb facility. "Bond," he says. Cue music as they shoot up the shaft and come to a halt at the top. "James Bond." Very cool.
And finally, instead of a separate song for the closing credits, there's a techno remix of the Bond Theme there as well.
Top Ten Theme Songs
1. A View to a Kill
2. "Surrender" (end credits of Tomorrow Never Dies)
3. The Living Daylights
4. The Spy Who Loved Me ("Nobody Does It Better")
5. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
6. Diamonds Are Forever
7. You Only Live Twice
8. From Russia With Love (instrumental version)
9. The World Is Not Enough
10. Live and Let Die
Top Ten Title Sequences
1. On Her Majesty's Secret Service
2. Dr No
6. From Russia with Love
7. The Spy Who Loved Me
8. Tomorrow Never Dies
9. Diamonds Are Forever
10. Live and Let Die