"Play it again, Sam..." - The John Barry Appreciation Thread

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  • edited January 2019 Posts: 4,599
    @bondsum Love this!! can argue with the number 1 :-)

    Got a vinyl repressing of YOLT for Xmas, time to replace the stylus
  • Posts: 3,333
    bondjames wrote: »
    The Lion In Winter [/i]either (the latter reminds me of the theme from The Omen due to the chanting). The Beat Girl is really great - first time hearing that one too. Love Body Heat - I could imagine that in a Bond film.
    You know, I've always had my suspicions that Richard Donner used The Lion in Winter as a temporary track for The Omen and then got Goldsmith to score something appropriately similar. Just watching Sidney Pollack talk about using a lot of John Barry as a temporary score in the cutting room for his other movies, then eventually settling on Barry to score his Out of Africa movie because he wanted a similar sound to the Walkabout score which he used as a temporary track, it's an element of making movies we don't tend to hear much about. As I recall, the original Blade Runner movie had Jerry Goldsmith's Planet of the Apes score cut to the movie, which was the version being accidentally shown in a San Francisco movie theatre that paved the way for the eventual Director's Cut.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    I recently listened to this. Great score.
  • Posts: 17,272
    I recently listened to this. Great score.

    The Ipcress File is my favourite non-Bond Barry score, and one of my favourite films as well. Barry's score was perfect for that film.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,716
    bondjames wrote: »
    they may have been pulp fiction, but it was done in a way which set the bar for a generation and then some back then.
    Yes!


    bondjames wrote: »
    patb wrote: »
    @bondjames The trouble is, I can't imagine any composer producing such quality which is sad in a way. In many areas, Bond has moved on, evolved and improved but Barry set the bar so very, very high so the music will never be as good as this.
    You could be right @patb, but I still live in hope no matter how unrealistic that may be.
    Why? The music might never recapture brilliance in the same exact Barry style, but it might achieve it in a different style (not even radically different, merely different and still Bondian). It's the individual composer's sensibilities which lend the music its brilliance. Surely other people can come along and achieve what Barry did? The fact it hasn't happened since he left --not at the same level, anyway-- is not evidence to the contrary. And I'm saying this as a big Barry fan with rather narrow music taste.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 2019 Posts: 23,883
    mattjoes wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    patb wrote: »
    @bondjames The trouble is, I can't imagine any composer producing such quality which is sad in a way. In many areas, Bond has moved on, evolved and improved but Barry set the bar so very, very high so the music will never be as good as this.
    You could be right @patb, but I still live in hope no matter how unrealistic that may be.
    Why? The music might never recapture brilliance in the same exact Barry style, but it might achieve it in a different style (not even radically different, merely different and still Bondian). It's the individual composer's sensibilities which lend the music its brilliance. Surely other people can come along and achieve what Barry did? The fact it hasn't happened since he left --not at the same level, anyway-- is not evidence to the contrary. And I'm saying this as a big Barry fan with rather narrow music taste.
    I agree actually, and that's why I live in hope. I'm not one who longs for someone who can ape Barry. His sound evolved over the years anyway, being a bit more jazz influenced at the beginning (which I preferred), transitioning in the early 70s to a bit more experimental sound (TMWTGG) and then going full blown orchestral in the late 70s and on to the end of his career.

    What his music always had was a sublime combination of romance and suspense, and he composed tunes which stood on their own outside of the accompanying scenes and yet elevated those same scenes to the point where they became even more special on account of his music. It never overshadowed, but complimented and was always thematic.

    It is certainly possible for a composer to recapture those aspects while bringing a modern sound to the table, and that is what I would prefer for the next Bond actor - a new and fresh sound, but one full of melody and hummability. I don't want someone to try and copy Barry, because I don't think they will come close, and will only invite unfavourable comparisons. I feel the same way about Bond actors. One should find one's own voice.
  • edited January 2019 Posts: 17,272
    I hope to see a composer bringing a modern take on what Barry did so well; interesting melodies, brassy arrangements and romantic themes. It's one of the reasons I like City of Lovers from the CR score so much. Modern Bond film, a different composer, but still feels Barry-esque (in a good way). It's a track that feels as appropriate for CR as it would for AVTAK, for example.
  • edited January 2019 Posts: 3,333
    patb wrote: »
    @bondsum Love this!! can argue with the number 1 :-)

    Got a vinyl repressing of YOLT for Xmas, time to replace the stylus
    Just to clarify, do you mean you can argue with the No. 1 choice? Or do you mean "can't" argue?

    Personally, I love Barry's King Kong score, and put it right up there amongst his very best work. There's some amazing pieces in there. The inclusion of the church organ is totally inspired. Just take this piece called "Nightwall" where Kong makes his first appearance. Alternatively titled "Sacrifice-Hail To The King" on the original vinyl album, this is the full-length 15 minute version!! It's totally goosebumps awesome!! I always felt Arnold took something from it for his "African Rundown" piece in Casino Royale.



  • Posts: 4,599
    sorry, typo - "can't argue"
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,716
    bondjames wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    patb wrote: »
    @bondjames The trouble is, I can't imagine any composer producing such quality which is sad in a way. In many areas, Bond has moved on, evolved and improved but Barry set the bar so very, very high so the music will never be as good as this.
    You could be right @patb, but I still live in hope no matter how unrealistic that may be.
    Why? The music might never recapture brilliance in the same exact Barry style, but it might achieve it in a different style (not even radically different, merely different and still Bondian). It's the individual composer's sensibilities which lend the music its brilliance. Surely other people can come along and achieve what Barry did? The fact it hasn't happened since he left --not at the same level, anyway-- is not evidence to the contrary. And I'm saying this as a big Barry fan with rather narrow music taste.
    I agree actually, and that's why I live in hope. I'm not one who longs for someone who can ape Barry. His sound evolved over the years anyway, being a bit more jazz influenced at the beginning (which I preferred), transitioning in the early 70s to a bit more experimental sound (TMWTGG) and then going full blown orchestral in the late 70s and on to the end of his career.

    What his music always had was a sublime combination of romance and suspense, and he composed tunes which stood on their own outside of the accompanying scenes and yet elevated those same scenes to the point where they became even more special on account of his music. It never overshadowed, but complimented and was always thematic.

    It is certainly possible for a composer to recapture those aspects while bringing a modern sound to the table, and that is what I would prefer for the next Bond actor - a new and fresh sound, but one full of melody and hummability. I don't want someone to try and copy Barry, because I don't think they will come close, and will only invite unfavourable comparisons. I feel the same way about Bond actors. One should find one's own voice.
    Yes, I agree. Though the process of finding one's voice does begin with the influence and inspiration of those who came before.
  • bondjamesbondjames You were expecting someone else?
    edited January 2019 Posts: 23,883
    mattjoes wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    bondjames wrote: »
    patb wrote: »
    @bondjames The trouble is, I can't imagine any composer producing such quality which is sad in a way. In many areas, Bond has moved on, evolved and improved but Barry set the bar so very, very high so the music will never be as good as this.
    You could be right @patb, but I still live in hope no matter how unrealistic that may be.
    Why? The music might never recapture brilliance in the same exact Barry style, but it might achieve it in a different style (not even radically different, merely different and still Bondian). It's the individual composer's sensibilities which lend the music its brilliance. Surely other people can come along and achieve what Barry did? The fact it hasn't happened since he left --not at the same level, anyway-- is not evidence to the contrary. And I'm saying this as a big Barry fan with rather narrow music taste.
    I agree actually, and that's why I live in hope. I'm not one who longs for someone who can ape Barry. His sound evolved over the years anyway, being a bit more jazz influenced at the beginning (which I preferred), transitioning in the early 70s to a bit more experimental sound (TMWTGG) and then going full blown orchestral in the late 70s and on to the end of his career.

    What his music always had was a sublime combination of romance and suspense, and he composed tunes which stood on their own outside of the accompanying scenes and yet elevated those same scenes to the point where they became even more special on account of his music. It never overshadowed, but complimented and was always thematic.

    It is certainly possible for a composer to recapture those aspects while bringing a modern sound to the table, and that is what I would prefer for the next Bond actor - a new and fresh sound, but one full of melody and hummability. I don't want someone to try and copy Barry, because I don't think they will come close, and will only invite unfavourable comparisons. I feel the same way about Bond actors. One should find one's own voice.
    Yes, I agree. Though the process of finding one's voice does begin with the influence and inspiration of those who came before.
    Very true. We all are the product of what has come before in some way shape or form.

    I think the trick is to be inspired by, but not to idolize. Ultimately the eventual sound and feeling must come from deep within and be personal.
  • edited January 2019 Posts: 4,599
    Re the discussion on whether Barry will ever be bettered, it crossed my mind that all composers are, to some extent, products of their origins and experiences. The music scene back then was unrecognisable to present day. Barry's background and experiences obviously served him well. No modern composer can go back in time and experience the music scene that Barry soaked up.
  • Someone said that 'Barry is to Bond what Herrmann is to Hitchcock' - to that I would add 'what Morricone is to Leone'.

    As for his orchestration of the Bond Theme, some hints of its origins are already apparent here, with Vic Flick's guitar work in Barry's very first film score:

  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,716
    Great theme. Some time ago I was listening to it on a loop. The B-section is even better.

    The film version is great, as well. I might prefer it to the album version. Faster tempo! I wish they had released it:
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    edited June 2019 Posts: 6,716
    An 1981 interview with John Barry has just been uploaded at the Frank Wilson film music podcast:

    https://whatsthescore1.podbean.com/e/john-barry-the-unknown-interview-1981/

    Wilson was 24 years old at the time. His enthusiasm comes across in the interview, despite having edited out many of his own words for the podcast, because he thought he had geeked out too much back then and it would be embarrassing to listen to today! He asks some pretty interesting questions about the Bond scores (I especially appreciated the question about the gunbarrel music), even if the answers aren't all that revealing. You can tell he knew the usual answers and wanted more detailed information. I also appreciate his telling us what went down after the interview with Barry. Sad that the lunch between them never took place. But a heartwarming and exciting interview to listen to. Subtly emotional, too.
  • Posts: 17,272


    I never get tired of John Barry's music for The Ipcress File.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    edited July 2019 Posts: 6,716
    Lovely. The timbre of the cimbalom is magical. (Edit: sorry, I thought that was the main title! Still, I love the beat of the version you posted.)

    Listening to this myself.



    Looks like a good film, too-- I might seek it out.

  • edited July 2019 Posts: 17,272
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Lovely. The timbre of the cimbalom is magical. (Edit: sorry, I thought that was the main title! Still, I love the beat of the version you posted.)

    The score features variants of the main theme; of which several are named Alone something. Can't remember if all were used in the film though.
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Listening to this myself.



    Looks like a good film, too-- I might seek it out.


    I've heard that track before (it's a good one!), but not the whole soundtrack. Never seen the film either; is seems like a good plot for a comedy-drama.
  • Posts: 4,023
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Lovely. The timbre of the cimbalom is magical. (Edit: sorry, I thought that was the main title! Still, I love the beat of the version you posted.)

    The score features variants of the main theme; of which several are named Alone something. Can't remember if all were used in the film though.

    I like the dry, pithy dialogue from the movie that they added on to the album.
  • edited July 2019 Posts: 17,272
    vzok wrote: »
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Lovely. The timbre of the cimbalom is magical. (Edit: sorry, I thought that was the main title! Still, I love the beat of the version you posted.)

    The score features variants of the main theme; of which several are named Alone something. Can't remember if all were used in the film though.

    I like the dry, pithy dialogue from the movie that they added on to the album.

    Yes! I usually don't care for added dialogue in soundtrack albums, but in this case I thought it was a nice touch. It fits the tone of the film too, IMO.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,716
    Ipcress is a nice album, though I must confess I miss having an album dedicated exclusively to film cues. The Knack is one of my favorite non-Bond Barry soundtracks and I believe it's also made up from re-recordings.
  • Posts: 17,272
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Ipcress is a nice album, though I must confess I miss having an album dedicated exclusively to film cues. The Knack is one of my favorite non-Bond Barry soundtracks and I believe it's also made up from re-recordings.

    The Knack as in The Knack ...and How to Get It?
    Never heard that soundtrack before (nor seen the film for that matter). Is it all made out of Barry re-recordings?
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,716
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Ipcress is a nice album, though I must confess I miss having an album dedicated exclusively to film cues. The Knack is one of my favorite non-Bond Barry soundtracks and I believe it's also made up from re-recordings.

    The Knack as in The Knack ...and How to Get It?
    Never heard that soundtrack before (nor seen the film for that matter). Is it all made out of Barry re-recordings?

    Exactly. I'm not sure it's made entirely out of re-recordings, but I do know at least the main title and Something's Up cues are re-recordings.



  • Posts: 17,272
    That's some great music! Do you know what songs the re-recordings were taken from/based on? I know The John Barry Seven/The John Barry Orchestra worked with several artist in the early 60's (Adam Faith, for example).
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,716
    Mhmm, I'm not sure I understand the question. The re-recordings of the album are just variations on the music Barry composed for the film. He no doubt assembled and conducted the recording of those versions. As for songs, there is a song in the album which is sung by Johnny De Little. Another prominent artist in the album might be organist Alan Haven (who also played the organ on the FRWL main title).
  • edited July 2019 Posts: 17,272
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Mhmm, I'm not sure I understand the question. The re-recordings of the album are just variations on the music Barry composed for the film. He no doubt assembled and conducted the recording of those versions. As for songs, there is a song in the album which is sung by Johnny De Little. Another prominent artist in the album might be organist Alan Haven (who also played the organ on the FRWL main title).

    Ah, my bad. I didn't get you mean re-recordings of the film music; I thought it was re-recordings of music Barry had made elsewhere you meant. Sorry!

    I think I might have a song by Johnny De Little on a compilation vinyl album somewhere. I must check that.


    Re. re-recordings; that makes me think of the Bullitt soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin, which includes alternative recordings of the music heard in the film. I think there was an additional re-recording, but I'm not sure. Anyway, they eventually released the original recording of the score around 2009 or something. I got that one on CD.
  • edited July 2019 Posts: 4,023
    Schifrin did do a re-recording of Bullitt when it looked like the OST was never going to be released on CD. It’s good.
  • Posts: 17,272
    vzok wrote: »
    Schifrin did do a re-recording of Bullitt when it looked like the OST was never going to be released on CD. It’s good.

    I just read a bit about the soundtrack; is it the one he made back in 2000 you're thinking of?

    I have the Film Score Monthly release of the actual movie version – which also features the 1968 soundtrack album version. Both of these are great, but I prefer the film version one. I can't be sure if I've ever heard the recording Schifrin made in 2000.
  • mattjoesmattjoes Kicking: Impossible
    Posts: 6,716
    mattjoes wrote: »
    Mhmm, I'm not sure I understand the question. The re-recordings of the album are just variations on the music Barry composed for the film. He no doubt assembled and conducted the recording of those versions. As for songs, there is a song in the album which is sung by Johnny De Little. Another prominent artist in the album might be organist Alan Haven (who also played the organ on the FRWL main title).

    Ah, my bad. I didn't get you mean re-recordings of the film music; I thought it was re-recordings of music Barry had made elsewhere you meant. Sorry!

    I think I might have a song by Johnny De Little on a compilation vinyl album somewhere. I must check that.


    Re. re-recordings; that makes me think of the Bullitt soundtrack by Lalo Schifrin, which includes alternative recordings of the music heard in the film. I think there was an additional re-recording, but I'm not sure. Anyway, they eventually released the original recording of the score around 2009 or something. I got that one on CD.

    No worries, my friend.

    I didn't know about Bullitt. On a related note, the Dirty Harry film scores had a somewhat belated release as well. At some point there was a compilation album with a selection of cues from the films, but each individual score didn't get an album until Schifrin's own company, Aleph Records, released them.

    The ones I'd really like to see get released are Schifrin's Charley Varrick and Prime Cut.
  • Posts: 4,023
    vzok wrote: »
    Schifrin did do a re-recording of Bullitt when it looked like the OST was never going to be released on CD. It’s good.

    I just read a bit about the soundtrack; is it the one he made back in 2000 you're thinking of?

    I have the Film Score Monthly release of the actual movie version – which also features the 1968 soundtrack album version. Both of these are great, but I prefer the film version one. I can't be sure if I've ever heard the recording Schifrin made in 2000.

    Yes I think it was released on his own label in 2000
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