Even before the announcement that retro multiplayer classic GoldenEye 007 will come to Nintendo Switch and Xbox on January 27, fans were already celebrating its soundtrack — especially the song that plays when you hit the pause button. After a viral TikTok bit about that song made the rounds last December, fans everywhere have been doing finger-gun dances in their living rooms. (Or maybe that’s just me?) This week, the song’s composer Grant Kirkhope revealed the process behind his masterpiece — and that the real difficulty wasn’t the composition, but getting the song onto the Nintendo 64.
#n64 #nintendo #goldeneye007 #goldeneye #90s #90skids #2000s #videogames #gaming #foryou #foryoupage♬ GoldenEye 007, 007 Watch Theme - Arcade Player
Kirkhope’s dive into the song’s history began when Nintendo of America’s official Twitter account shared a clip of the song, in anticipation of the game’s release on the Switch. The composer then shared Nintendo’s tweet, saying, “haha ... glad you like it! Could this piece rival the DK Rap???” After that, he described the process of composing and programming the song:
I can remember the first day starting work on Goldeneye and @norgans showing me how the N64 dev kit worked and what I had to do to get just one single sample into it! I'm guessing it was around November 1995.— Grant Kirkhope (@grantkirkhope) January 25, 2023
it's so bizarre that the Goldeneye pause music has developed a life of its own, something that took me 20 mins to write and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. Constantly on the phone to @norgans because I'd broken something or couldn't understand what was going on!— Grant Kirkhope (@grantkirkhope) January 25, 2023
After dropping the absurdly impressive fact that the song apparently took him only “20 mins to write,” Kirkhope went on to shout out the rest of the musicians who worked on the game. He was the composer for about half of the game’s songs, and his colleague Graeme Norgate did the rest — except the elevator music, which was composed by Robin Beanland. All the GoldenEye 007 songs are bangers, but there’s just something wistful and unforgettable about Kirkhope’s pause music.