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David Arnold

David G. Arnold
Born (1962-01-23) 23 January 1962
Luton, Bedfordshire, England
Genres Film score
Occupation(s) Composer
Instruments Clarinet, guitar, piano
Years active 1993–present

David G. Arnold (born 23 January 1962) is an English film composer best known for scoring five James Bond films, Stargate (1994), Independence Day (1996), Godzilla (1998) and the television series Little Britain and Sherlock. For Independence Day he received a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television and for Sherlock he, and co-composer Michael Price, won a Creative Arts Emmy[1] for the score of "His Last Vow", the final episode in the third series. Arnold is a fellow of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.


  • Career 1
    • James Bond 1.1
  • Other work 2
  • Filmography 3
  • Discography 4
    • Films 4.1
    • Television 4.2
    • Video games 4.3
    • Web series 4.4
    • Singles in charts 4.5
  • Awards 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


While attending a Sixth Form College in Luton, Arnold became friends with director Danny Cannon.[2] Cannon initially created short films for which Arnold was asked to write the music. The two made their respective major film debuts with The Young Americans. "Play Dead", a song from the film with singer Björk, charted #12 in the UK. The following year he scored Stargate and Last of the Dogmen, with excerpts from the former ranking third in the most commonly used soundtrack cues for film trailers.[3]

Arnold then composed music for Stargate director Roland Emmerich's next two movies, Independence Day and Godzilla, as well as four movies for director John Singleton. In addition, he has scored various comedies, dramas, and nineteenth-century period pieces, as well as providing music for several British television shows including the 2000 remake of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Little Britain. During film production, his compositions are conducted by Nicholas Dodd. In 2010, he composed the music for Come Fly With Me, a British television series from the producers of Little Britain.

He is a member of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA).[4] On Thursday 29 November 2012, Arnold received an honorary degree from University of West London. Now a university honorary, he will work closely with the University in particular London College of Music, a faculty within the institute. In 2014, he appeared as himself in The Life of Rock with Brian Pern.

Arnold performed his debut orchestral concert, showcasing his film and television music, on Sunday 6 July 2014 at London's Royal Festival Hall.[5] The line-up featured Nicholas Dodd conducting, David McAlmont as surprise guest vocalist ("My secret weapon!" said Arnold) and the Urban Voices Collective choir, plus Mark Gatiss and Amanda Abbington introducing the suite of Sherlock music, for which Arnold's collaborator on the project, Michael Price, replaced Dodd.[6]

He is performing his music in a series of orchestral concerts in 2015: Dublin[7]) in January (with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra); Manchester[8] (with the Manchester Camerata) in April; and London[9] (with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Birmingham[10] and Nottingham[11] (with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) in June 2015. He will also be the special guest at 'The music of David Arnold[12]', a concert in Lucerne in October 2015, with Ludwig Wicki conducting the 21st Century Orchestra.

James Bond

Arnold was a Bond fan from an early age and also a fan of Bond composer John Barry. In 1997, Arnold produced Shaken and Stirred: The David Arnold James Bond Project, an album featuring new versions of the themes from various James Bond films. The album featured a variety of contemporary artists including Jarvis Cocker, Chrissie Hynde, Propellerheads and Iggy Pop; a version of You Only Live Twice by Björk was recorded but not included on the album. John Barry, the composer of many of the themes on the album, was complimentary about Arnold's interpretation of his work; "He was very faithful to the melodic and harmonic content, but he's added a whole other rhythmic freshness and some interesting casting in terms of the artists chosen to do the songs. I think it's a terrific album. I'm very flattered."[13] Barry contacted Barbara Broccoli, producer of the then-upcoming Tomorrow Never Dies, to recommend Arnold as the film's composer.[14] Arnold was hired to score the installment and, returning the compliment to the man he refers to as "The guvnor",[15] included musical references to Barry's score for From Russia with Love (as well as, of course, the James Bond Theme by Monty Norman).

Arnold scored the four subsequent Bond films: The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day (in which he included references to John Barry's score for On Her Majesty's Secret Service), Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.[16] Arnold did not score the 23rd James Bond film, Skyfall, with Thomas Newman taking his place.[17] Arnold commented that Newman had been selected by the film's director, Sam Mendes, because of their history of working together, rather than because of Arnold's commitment to working with director Danny Boyle as composer for the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics. (However, a part of Arnold's composition work on Casino Royale was reused in Skyfall.)

Arnold also co-wrote the main theme songs for The World Is Not Enough ("The World Is Not Enough" by Garbage) and Casino Royale ("You Know My Name" by Chris Cornell), as well as "Surrender" by k.d. lang which appears during the end credits of Tomorrow Never Dies having been originally proposed as the opening theme. Arnold also contributed the main themes to Kevin Kiner's score for Activision's GoldenEye 007, the remake of the 1997 game of the same name.

Other work

He has collaborated with such musical acts as Cast, Kaiser Chiefs, Massive Attack, and Pulp, and solo artists Natasha Bedingfield, Melanie C, Björk, Chris Cornell, Shirley Manson, Mark Morriss, Nina Persson and in 2009 produced Shirley Bassey's album The Performance.

In 2001, he provided a new arrangement of Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme music for the Eighth Doctor audio dramas from Big Finish Productions. His version was used as the Eighth Doctor theme starting with 2001's Storm Warning until 2008, when it was replaced with a new version arranged by Nicholas Briggs starting with Dead London. Arnold's theme returned to the Eighth Doctor releases with the 2012 box set, Dark Eyes.

Arnold is the second cousin of Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice, and is an ambassador for aid agency CARE International in the UK. He has made minor appearances in two different episodes of Little Britain as separate characters.

In February 2011, it was announced that he was appointed Musical Director for the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.[18]

In May 2011, he was part of the United Kingdom's jury for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011.[19]

Arnold took part in a tribute to John Barry on 20 June 2011 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, singing a song that was composed by Barry and playing the guitar part of the James Bond theme.[20]

In 2014, Arnold teamed up with Richard Thomas, to write the music and lyrics for the new West End musical Made in Dagenham.[21]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Young Americans Wedding Band Also composed the score
2000 The League of Gentlemen Victorian Gentleman with Fox TV series (1 episode: "The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special")
2003 Little Britain Minicab Controller / Politician TV series (2 episodes)



Year Title Director Studio(s) Notes
1993 The Young Americans Danny Cannon PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Working Title Films
1994 Stargate Roland Emmerich Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Centropolis Film Productions
Carolco Pictures
1995 Last of the Dogmen Tab Murphy Savoy Pictures
(North America)
Carolco Pictures
1996 Independence Day Roland Emmerich 20th Century Fox
Centropolis Entertainment
1997 A Life Less Ordinary Danny Boyle 20th Century Fox
(United States)
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Channel Four Films
1997 Tomorrow Never Dies Roger Spottiswoode Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Eon Productions
1998 Godzilla Roland Emmerich TriStar Pictures
Centropolis Entertainment
1999 Wing Commander Chris Roberts 20th Century Fox
Digital Anvil
Main theme only
Composed with Kevin Kiner
1999 The World Is Not Enough Michael Apted Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Eon Productions
2000 Shaft John Singleton Paramount Pictures
Scott Rudin Productions
2001 Baby Boy John Singleton Columbia Pictures N/A
2001 The Musketeer Peter Hyams Universal Pictures
Miramax Films
MDP Worldwide
Crystal Sky Worldwide
2001 Zoolander Ben Stiller Paramount Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures

VH1 Films
NPV Entertainment
Scott Rudin Productions
2002 Changing Lanes Roger Michell Paramount Pictures N/A
2002 Hollywood Ending Woody Allen DreamWorks Pictures N/A
2002 Enough Michael Apted Columbia Pictures N/A
2002 Die Another Day Lee Tamahori Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Eon Productions
2003 2 Fast 2 Furious John Singleton Universal Pictures
Original Film
2004 The Stepford Wives Frank Oz Paramount Pictures
(United States)
DreamWorks Pictures
2005 Four Brothers John Singleton Paramount Pictures
Di Bonaventura Pictures
2005 Stoned Stephen Woolley Screen Media Films N/A
2006 Amazing Grace Michael Apted Momentum Pictures
(United Kingdom)
Samuel Goldwyn Films
(United States)
2006 Casino Royale Martin Campbell Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Columbia Pictures
Eon Productions
2007 Hot Fuzz Edgar Wright Rogue Pictures
(United States)
Universal Pictures
Working Title Films
Big Talk Productions
2007 Don't Edgar Wright Dimension Films
Vivendi Entertainment
Troublemaker Studios
The Weinstein Company
Fake trailer segment from Grindhouse
2008 Agent Crush Sean Robinson Fantastic Films International N/A
2008 How to Lose Friends & Alienate People Robert B. Weide Paramount Pictures
(United Kingdom)
(United States)
2008 Quantum of Solace Marc Forster Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Columbia Pictures
Eon Productions
2009 Whip It Drew Barrymore Fox Searchlight Pictures
Mandate Pictures
Flower Films
21 Laps Entertainment
2010 Made in Dagenham Nigel Cole Paramount Pictures
BBC Films
HanWay Films
2010 Morning Glory Roger Michell Paramount Pictures
Bad Robot Productions
2010 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Michael Apted 20th Century Fox
Walden Media
Replaced Harry Gregson-Williams
2011 Paul Greg Mottola Universal Pictures
Relativity Media
Working Title Films
Big Talk Pictures
2011 Unwatchable Marc Hawker N/A Short film
2012 The Book of Fire Mike Christie N/A As part of the 2012 Summer Paralympics closing ceremony
Short film
2012 Mr Stink Declan Lowney N/A Television film
2016 Independence Day: Resurgence Roland Emmerich 20th Century Fox
Centropolis Entertainment
Main theme only
Composed with Harald Kloser and Thomas Wanker


Year Title Studio(s) Notes
1997 The Visitor Centropolis Television
20th Century Fox Television
Main theme on pilot episode only
Rest of score composed by Kevin Kiner
2000-1 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) Working Title Films Main theme only (composed with Tim Simenon).
Single release by David Arnold and Nina Persson reached #48 (UK).
2001–2002 UC: Undercover 20th Century Fox Television Main theme only
Composed with Kevin Kiner
2003 Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree N/A Documentary
2003–2006 Little Britain BBC
2008 Little Britain USA 19 Entertainment
Reveille Productions
HBO Original Programming
3 episodes
2008 Crooked House Tiger Aspect Productions TV miniseries
2009 Free Agents Big Talk Productions
Bwark Productions
2010–2014 Sherlock Hartswood Films
BBC Wales
Composed with Michael Price
British Academy Television Award for Best Original Television Music
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score) (2010, 2011)
2010–2011 Come Fly with Me BBC
Little Britain Productions
2012 The Matt Lucas Awards John Stanley Productions N/A

Video games

Year Title Developer Publisher Notes
2010 GoldenEye 007 Eurocom
Composed with Kevin Kiner

Web series

Year Title Studio(s) Notes
2010–2011 Stiller & Meara Red Hour Digital N/A

Singles in charts

Year Single Peak chart positions Album / Film

1993 "Play Dead" (with Björk) 12 18 11 33 41 7 10 The Young Americans
1997 "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (with Propellerheads) 7 Shaken & Stirred
"Diamonds Are Forever" (with David McAlmont) 39
1999 "One Brief Moment" (with Natacha Atlas) 125 Gedida
2000 "Theme From Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)" (with Nina Persson) 49 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)
2012 "Wish You Were Here" (with Ed Sheeran, Richard Jones, Nick Mason & Mike Rutherford) 34 59 A Symphony of British Music
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.



  1. ^ "66th Emmy Award - press release" (PDF). Emmys. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "David Arnold". Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  3. ^ "Top 100 Frequently Used Cues". Retrieved 2007-08-14. 
  4. ^ Founder of UBR (18 May 2009). "British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors". The Unsigned band review. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "David Arnold: Live in Concert - Southbank Centre". Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Review: David Arnold at the Royal Festival Hall". Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "RTÉ Concert Orchestra Signature Series: David Arnold". National Concert Hall, Dublin. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "David Arnold: Live in Concert". Manchester Camerata. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "David Arnold: Live in Concert (Barbican)". Barbican Centre. 11 December 2014. Retrieved 11 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "David Arnold Live in Concert". Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "David Arnold Live in Concert - TRCH". Theatre Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  12. ^ "The Music of David Arnold". Art Productions. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Burlingame, Jon (1997-12-18). "Bonding with the Score: David Arnold blends the traditional with the modern in music for 'Tomorrow Never Dies'". Los Angeles Times (Times Mirror Company). 
  14. ^ Macnee, Patrick (Narrator). The Bond Sound: The Music of 007 (DVD (Documentary)). 
  15. ^ Hocknell, Tom (11 May 2011). "Posthumous award for John Barry". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  16. ^ "'"David Arnold Back For 'Bond 22. Retrieved 2007-10-08. 
  17. ^ MI6-HQ Copyright 2011 (20 October 1955). "James Bond News :: MI6 :: Exclusive: Thomas Newman to compose 'Skyfall' score". Retrieved 2012-04-22. 
  18. ^ "James Bond composer David Arnold will be 2012 musical director".  
  19. ^ "UK Reveals Names Of Its Jury". Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Composer John Barry remembered at memorial concert". BBC. 2011-06-21. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  21. ^ "Gemma Arterton strikes out for Made in Dagenham musical in the West End".  
  22. ^ "David Arnold - UK Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  23. ^ "David Arnold - Dutch chart". 20 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "David Arnold - Belgian Chart". Retrieved 20 January 2015. 
  25. ^ "Swedish chart - David Arnold". 20 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Norwegian chart - David Arnold". 20 January 2015. 
  27. ^ "Ivor Novello awards: The winners". BBC News. 25 May 2000. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  28. ^ Gillespie, Ruth (25 January 2005). "Bond scorer Arnold’s Ivor Novello honour". The Stage. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  29. ^ Barrett, Claire (13 March 2013). "Rawlings the hero at Radio Awards". BBC Ariel. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  30. ^ "Alan Silvestri, David Arnold & Michael Price Win Emmy Awards". Film Music Reporter. 16 August 2014. Retrieved 17 August 2014. 

External links

  • Official website
  • David Arnold at the Internet Movie Database
  • David Arnold Twitter feed
  • David Arnold Interview at
  • BAFTA Video Masterclass with David Arnold
  • John Barry Memorial Concert – The James Bond Theme on YouTube
Preceded by
Éric Serra
James Bond film score composer
Succeeded by
Thomas Newman
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