Music Break: Casino Royale Score (City of Lovers)

Happy Thursday everyone! It’s been over a month since my last music break, and I definitely could use one today.

As a preview to our monthly Bond post coming next week, I feel like highlighting one of my favorite Bond scores. I’ve posted my top five Bond title songs, but as far as main scores go, this one is definitely on the top of my list. So much so that it’s one of the twelve piece of music I wish I have with me if I were to be stranded on a desert island. I might as well bring the Blu-ray too, it’s not just a great Bond film, it’s a great film, period.


The whole soundtrack is splendid, but City of Lovers is by far my favorite. It’s a love theme of sort as it’s played during the scene when Bond and Vesper arrives in Venice. It’s an impossibly gorgeous day and Bond has just typed in his resignation. He’s a man in love. But we know that such blissful state is short-lived and there is something hauntingly melancholic in this score… yet the soothing, elegant strings has that buoyant effect that gets me every time.

What I love about this score is that it sounds a lot like the classic John Barry’s Bond themes of the 60s and 70s, but there’s something fresh and edgy about ’em. So it’s no surprise that composer David Arnold is apparently a big fan of the Bond franchise, AND of Barry’s work. In fact, it’s Barry who recommended Arnold to Barbara Broccoli for Tomorrow Never Dies, having been impressed with his Bond-related project called Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project. (per Wiki) Since then the English composer has worked on the scores for two other Pierce Brosnan’s Bond movies, this one and Quantum of SolaceI do think this is the best and most memorable soundtrack since Barry left the franchise.

I’m looking forward to what Thomas Newman will bring to the table with Skyfall. He’s worked numerous times with director Sam Mendes in American Beauty, Road to Perdition and Revolutionary Road. Meanwhile, Arnold will be working on the score for the opening ceremony for this year’s Summer Olympics in London.

Are you a fan of Casino Royale‘s soundtrack? Please share YOUR favorite Bond score.

27 thoughts on “Music Break: Casino Royale Score (City of Lovers)

  1. It does sound incredibly like the John Barry classic stuff! I like it! I don’t think I have a favourite score but I’m really hoping that Mendes and his team are going to take Bond to extroardinary new levels.

    1. Yeah, I think Mendes should bring something fresh to the table. I mean he’s already brave enough to say that he’s going to kill off one of the major characters!

  2. I have never been a big Bond fan…until “Casino Royale”. LOVE this new grittier take on Bond. And you’re right, the soundtrack is really, really good.

    1. Glad to hear that Keith. I think CR definitely brings a lot of new fans to the franchise, and the soundtrack is definitely one of the best even amongst other films, not just from this series.

  3. Great choice of track from Casino Royale’s score. It definitely is a beautiful bit of music and you can hear it in other tracks, just quietly somewhere.

    Really looking forward to what Thomas Newman’s going to do. He’s done some solid stuff in the past and hopefully, do some good stuff for Skyfall.

    1. Yeah, I do like Newman’s work. He did an amazing job in ‘The Road to Perdition,’ no wonder he’s a long-time collaborator w/ Mendes.

  4. these days the soundtracks are better than the films with some exceptions as the 60’s and 70’s brought us a better caliber of artists than of recent years. As the clip is more theme music than anything I think most rarely get to hear it. a-ha’s “The Living Daylights”, Sheena Easton’s “For Your Eyes Only” and Madonna’s “Die Another Day” as well as Garbage “World is not Enough” etc.. I prefer the more jazz end of Bond films as it suits the Bond character giving it class unlike the pop versions. Shirley Bassey and Nancy Sinatra and Tom Jones even did better. But I can say I agree that most of the films the theme music was very well done.

    1. Hi Stella! Oh yeah, Shirley Bassey and the two others you mention are definitely classics, I always associate miss Bassey with Bond, especially Goldfinger. I think you’ve got a point there about the jazzy ones sound more ‘elite’ than the pop stuff. I do like For Your Eyes Only and World is Not Enough though, they both have a nice melody.

  5. FUNK

    Love the Bond movies, and I always enjoy the opening Bond Theme.
    Really did like the Casino Royale movie with Craig, but still like the 1967 Burt Bacharch score and main theme the best of the Royale movies.

    1. Yeah, when I was a kid I’m always so fascinated by the opening themes. But growing up in a largely-Moslem country, they often block out the women’s parts in the videos, ahah.

  6. I liked the soundtrack all right but “Bond Falls in Love” music’s melody reminded me of the film “The Way We Were.” Not that that is necessarily a bad thing. Just sayin’.

    Bond music will always likely be on top form. The big question is the signature tune.

    1. Ahah, ‘The Way We Were’?? I never would imagine, but o-kay 🙂

      I think the signature tune is brilliant as it somehow still holds up well even today and can be incorporated into the more contemporary themes.

  7. Ted S.

    That’s a good theme from Casino Royale, my only disappointment was that the Bond theme didn’t play till the end credits.

    Yeah I can’t wait to hear what Thomas Newman does with the soundtrack for Skyfall, since the film will be quite emotional, Newman’s a perfect composer for it. Hopefully he’ll at least include the Bond theme during the movie and not wait till the end credits Arnold did for the last two films.

    1. Y’know, normally I’d feel the same way Ted but I guess I love the CR score so much that I don’t mind that I don’t hear the Bond theme until the end. You’re right though, it’d be nice to hear it a few times during key moments of the movie. Perhaps Newman will do that in ‘Skyfall.’

  8. Ruth, you know I am a big movie score fan! I haven’t heard this one before. It’s a nice listen. thanks for sharing. I can’t wait for 007: Skyfall. My favorite Bond score…I think Dr. No will always be my fave. It is my ringtone on my phone!

    1. Woo hoo! I’m pleased that you haven’t heard this before and loved it. I should watch Dr. No soon. My friend lent me her dvd, part of a 3-disc set w/ 2 other Bond films.

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