007: The Music of James BondColorado Springs Philharmonic
Conductor: Thomas Wilson
Date: March 4, 2017

Very few film franchises have been able to stand the test of time. Of course, with the resurgence of reboots and remakes, some long-gone franchises are starting to find themselves once again. The James Bond franchise has had a few bumps over the years, but it continues to maintain its presence in the popular culture landscape. One of the most recognizable aspects of this franchise has certainly been its music. There’s a tension in it that oozes action and masculinity. With films spanning half a century, the music has done its best to keep up with the changing styles of our culture.

Similar musical styles gave many of the early Bond films’ title songs a very consistent sound. I was a little disappointed that the Philharmonic chose to do “The Look of Love” from the 1960’s spoof, Casino Royale, instead of the Herb Alpert opening track, but at least it matched the tone with the rest of the evening. With the first half of the evening dedicated to the music of these early films, the music that came after the intermission was certainly a departure and made it obvious that the music changed to suit the modern tastes of modern audiences.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of seeing these songs performed live was being able to pick out which instruments made which sounds. I’ve heard these songs numerous times, so to find out that the iconic music is composed of multiple instruments playing in tandem made the music truly come alive for me. And while the first half of the evening was excellent, I enjoyed the second half much more with such songs as Live and Let Die, Goldeneye, and Skyfall. Of course, Skyfall always gives me shivers, and this was no different.

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