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

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  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,927
    That's great, thank you- never heard of that one.
  • Posts: 1,511
    mtm wrote: »
    It's a touch too pastiche-y for me. I prefer the songs to bring something new, but it is very hummable.

    In your opinion, which songs brought something new?

  • edited November 2023 Posts: 11
    As it would've been John Barry's 90th birthday today I feel I need to write my first comment to celebrate John and also thank everyone for their interesting posts and amazing rescores.

  • Posts: 6,710
    Thanks for the post, @Venini. Agreed. Also, great version of that theme.

    This year, Quartet Records will be releasing re-recordings of Séance on a Wet Afternoon, The Corn Is Green, Love Among the Ruins and The Glass Menagerie. We don't have a date yet, but they're coming. I'm very excited about Séance, and I hope they get it right.
  • MalloryMallory Do mosquitoes have friends?
    edited November 2023 Posts: 2,055
    I will always argue that there are 7 people who have played James Bond in the EoN series so far. 6 actors... and one composer. John Barry's work continually evolves the identity and character of James Bond, portraying so much of him across different eras, actors, film styles, and stories.

    His 3-film run of YOLT, OHMSS and DAF is a near unrivaled trilogy of amazing cinematic music.

    Happy Birthday to our maestro!
  • peterpeter Toronto
    Posts: 8,478
    Mallory wrote: »
    I will always argue that there are 7 people who have played James Bond in the EoN series so far. 6 actors... and one composer. John Barry's work continually evolves the identity and character of James Bond, portraying so much of him across different eras, actors, film styles, and stories.

    His 3-film run of YOLT, OHMSS and DAF is a near unrivaled trilogy of amazing cinematic music.

    Happy Birthday to our maestro!

    Love this @Mallory
  • edited November 2023 Posts: 6,710
    Frankly, I wish it was John Barry's birthday everyday, so we could get some more music discussion going around this place... I miss the days of the music elimination game.

    I'm not really familiar with this score, but it sounds lovely.

  • edited November 2023 Posts: 11
    @mattjoes Thanks for the video and for all the great music you've posted.

    Here's an interview with John Leach who worked with John Barry on The Persuaders and many other scores
    http://www.filmmusicsociety.org/news_events/features/2014/071414.html
  • edited November 2023 Posts: 6,710
    Venini wrote: »
    @mattjoes Thanks for the video and for all the great music you've posted.

    Here's an interview with John Leach who worked with John Barry on The Persuaders and many other scores
    http://www.filmmusicsociety.org/news_events/features/2014/071414.html

    You're welcome.

    Thanks for the link. I think I'd read the interview before, but I enjoyed revisiting it. It's great to know the exact instrumentation used for the theme of The Persuaders. Also interesting to read Leach had to retune the kantele to match the melody written by Barry. Leach's words seem to suggest the melody was recorded piecemeal. This is not noticeable in the final result.

    I've continued to listen to the Raise the Titanic score. I absolutely love the march heard at 1:45-2:10 in this track. 25 seconds of sheer beauty.



    I've also been enjoying the score of Body Heat more and more. It's seriously good stuff. The expanded album from 2012 comes with a bunch of demo recordings of the main theme, and there's an upbeat one (track 23 on disc 2, the very last track on the disc) that's just awesome. I can't find it on YouTube, but it's fantastic. I wanted to share it here, so I took the time to upload it somewhere. Have a listen:

    https://sndup.net/d82h/

    This year, I also had the pleasure of watching the film for the first time. And in a theater, to boot. Great experience.
  • Posts: 11
    @mattjoes Thanks for the two pieces of music, they're really great. And yes, it's so interesting to read about the rare instruments he used to get that special Barry sound.
  • Posts: 84
    Forgive me if this has been posted on a previous page of this thread, but I've only recently discovered Barry's enchanting score for 'Mary, Queen Of Scots'. It's so beautifully understated and I imagine it marks the first departure from his more bombastic scores of the 60s?

  • Posts: 11
    @Bond_Scores That is a beautiful piece. Could it be John Leach again on a kantele or a similar instrument?


    Here's a synth version of We have all the time, I think he captured the 60s/70s synth sound very well
  • edited November 2023 Posts: 11
    Mary, Queen of Scots got an expanded version a few days ago

  • Posts: 6,710
    I love Mary Queen of Scots, though one of my favorite cues is actually rather bombastic.

  • zebrafishzebrafish <°)))< in Octopussy's garden in the shade
    Posts: 4,312
    From 0:25 onwards that sounds rather familiar from the Bond universe. I just don't find the tune right away...
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    Posts: 8,676
    I just received the 2021 OST CD of this one today:



    In principle, Barry at his finest, but at just under an hour of music including source cues and alternate versions, it does get a bit repetitive when listened to in its entirety.

    I also ordered Mary, Queen of Scots after swallowing heavily when reading its price of over 30 euros.
  • edited November 2023 Posts: 6,710
    I think that Tamarind Seed track, and in fact the entire Silva Screen album, was mastered at the wrong pitch. This video from the film presents the music at the presumably right, lower pitch.



    In the film, the track appears to be in the key of E minor, but the album presents it as F minor. Everything's approximately a semitone higher. It's like the audio they worked with had a typical NTSC to PAL speedup that wasn't corrected.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,927
    I love Tamarind Seed, and I can hear that. I hope they didn’t mess it up.
    Speaking of albums being repetitive, sadly that is one of those- especially with the sort of dramatic theme he had for it taking over the latter half of the album. It’s certainly film music more than it is album music.
    Barry seemed to have that approach in a few of his films in his middle period: lovely lilting main theme, add a different dramatic theme, rinse and repeat the two throughout the film.
  • j_w_pepperj_w_pepper Born on the bayou. I can still hear my old hound dog barkin'.
    edited December 2023 Posts: 8,676
    That's interesting about the different key, but then I had never heard the original before and couldn't tell if there was a difference. I also sincerely doubt that I could tell if I only hear one version isolated without being able to directly compare them. Under the circumstances, I'm quite happy with a number of cues from the Silva Screen album, so I can't really complain.

    Nevertheless, you got me curious and I just checked, and it can't really be sped-up. In the video, the main theme starts at five seconds in and ends at 2:28 (then the waves come on). The "main title" track on the CD clocks in at 2:23, i.e. the same length. There must be another reason for the difference. And when switching between the video and the CD (ripped to FLAC on my PC), I can also hear that difference...though I can't say it makes a whole lot of difference to me overall.
  • Posts: 84
    This isn't specifically Bond related, but there are some quite interesting anecdotes about John Barry. I didn't realise Jane Seymour was friends with him too.



    (posted on the FSM forum originally)
  • Posts: 6,710
    I ran into that as well. Great story.

    On another subject, I'm hoping we get an announcement from Quartet Records about their John Barry re-recordings soon enough.
  • edited December 2023 Posts: 6,710
    Sí señores, nos vamos al mundial...

    Quartet Records has announced their double disc album featuring re-recordings of 5 John Barry scores:
    SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON
    A DOLL'S HOUSE
    LOVE AMONG THE RUINS
    THE CORN IS GREEN
    THE GLASS MENAGERIE


    https://quartetrecords.com/product/seance-on-a-wet-afternoon-katharine-hepburn-2-cd/

    SEANCE-ON-A-WET-AFTERNOON.jpg

    KATHARINE-HEPBURN.jpg

    IMG-20231208-WA0011.thumb.jpg.e501fc4017f309cdcf774cd8a5504a74.jpg

    DISC 1

    SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (1964)
    1. Main Title From Séance On A Wet Afternoon 2:14
    2. The Room 0:41
    3. The Plan 0:22
    4. Myra Remembers 5:26
    5. Billy Leaves 0:55
    6. Kidnapped 1:24
    7. The Ransom Letter 1:01
    8. The Prayer / Good Morning, Amanda 1:04
    9. The Drop (Part 1) 2:09
    10. The Drop (Part 2) 2:44
    11. The Drop (Part 3) 3:02
    12. We’re Mad 0:33
    13. Mrs. Clayton’s Reading / The Woods 1:21
    14. The Final Reading 1:21
    15. Arthur’s Waiting 0:54
    16. Finale From Séance On A Wet Afternoon 1:51

    A DOLL’S HOUSE (1973)
    17. Main Title From A Doll’s House 1:26
    18. The Children 0:29
    19. Tarantella 0:48
    20. End Title From A Doll’s House 1:19

    Total Disc Time: 31:08

    DISC 2

    LOVE AMONG THE RUINS (1975)
    1. Main Title From Love Among The Ruins 1:41
    2. There She Is 3:10
    3. You Look, You Look… / Don’t You Remember? 0:36
    4. The Boy Who Loved You 1:09
    5. First Time I Saw You 1:53
    6. I Pray You Know Me When We Meet Again 0:39
    7. The Fire’s Gone Out 0:26
    8. Freedom’s Prisoner 1:44
    9. A Day In Court 0:50
    10. Sauerbraten With Egg And Milk 5:31
    11. Vision Of Portia 2:02
    12. End Title From Love Among The Ruins 2:44

    THE CORN IS GREEN (1979)
    13. Main Title From The Corn Is Green 1:44
    14. First Look / Get The Rights 1:19
    15. Going To See The Squire 1:03
    16. Morgan Dreams 0:27
    17. Good Day, Sir 0:56
    18. First Composition 1:12
    19. Morgan Enrolls 1:44
    20. Two Year Birthday 0:41
    21. Lady Moffat Studies 0:37
    22. Morgan Upset 0:38
    23. To The Squire, Again 1:26
    24. How Kind You Are 0:48
    25. Moffat Home 0:26
    26. Enraged Morgan 0:46
    27. I Don’t Understand You 1:06
    28. Moffat Alone 1:29
    29. Off You Go 0:21
    30. To Oxford 2:13
    31. Reflection 1:19
    32. The Lady Gets A Baby 0:53
    33. Morgan Decides 2:51
    34. End Title From The Corn Is Green 1:08

    THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1973)
    35. Main Titles From The Glass Menagerie 1:11
    36. An Old Maid / Father’s Charm 1:07
    37. The Argument / A Nailed-Up Coffin 0:42
    38. Laura’s World 1:14
    39. The Unicorn 2:11
    40. Goodbye 1:41

    Total Disc Time: 56:46

    Total 2-CD Time: 87:54

    I haven't compared the Séance track samples on the Quartet website with the film audio, but at a first listen, they sound pretty great, and certainly more faithful than the City of Prague Philharmonic suite, which, while not bad, had some shortcomings. The track titled Kidnapped, in particular, is a marked improvement over the City of Prague recording. I love the reverb-heavy flute phrases in that track, which in the film represent the screams of the kidnapped girl.

    The Séance score is so cool that at some point I actually thought of transcribing it and recreating it in full, like I did with the unreleased music of Goldfinger (I still have a couple of basic mock-ups of Séance sitting on my hard drive). Thanks for saving me the effort, Quartet! (I still want to redo the main title of Mister Moses, because the Tadlow re-recording has a crucial error all throughout the track.)

    The other Barry scores I'm only passingly familiar with, but the samples sound lovely.

    You are the best, Quartet Records!
  • edited December 2023 Posts: 11
    Don't know if this 1981 interview has been posted before.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 3,104
    The BFI (London Southbank) is running a John Barry season in February:

    John Barry: Soundtracking Bond and Beyond

    Films include YOLT, GF and Ipcress, and there's a 'richly illustrated discussion about the distinctive sounds of John Barry' on Tuesday 6 Feb: Spies, Swingers and Shadows: The Films and Scores of John Barry.

    john-barry-season-1280x720.jpg
  • CraigMooreOHMSSCraigMooreOHMSS Dublin, Ireland
    edited December 2023 Posts: 8,026
    Expanded and Remastered 2CD set of Octopussy coming next month from the heroes at La-La Land Records:

    octopussy-environmental_Web.jpg

    https://lalalandrecords.com/octopussy-40th-anniversary-expanded-remastered-limited-edition-2-cd-set/
  • DwayneDwayne New York City
    Posts: 2,617
    To add to @CraigMooreOHMSS post, La-La-Records will also be releasing an expanded soundtrack for LALD for its' 50th anniversary at the same time.
  • mtmmtm United Kingdom
    Posts: 14,927
    Goldfinger and Golden Gun next year?
  • Posts: 1,394
    Expanded and Remastered 2CD set of Octopussy coming next month from the heroes at La-La Land Records:

    octopussy-environmental_Web.jpg

    https://lalalandrecords.com/octopussy-40th-anniversary-expanded-remastered-limited-edition-2-cd-set/

    Nice!

  • R1s1ngs0nR1s1ngs0n France
    Posts: 2,013
    Wish La La Records had done a 60th anniversary release for FRWL if only to have the gunbarrel music.
  • edited March 10 Posts: 2,895
    I heard for the first time today Barry's "James Bond Suite," from his 1972 album The Concert John Barry:



    It combines GF, the James Bond Theme, FRWL, TB, 007, YOLT, OHMSS, and DAF.

    Though from 1972, the sound points directly toward the sound of Barry's later scores for the Moore films: lush symphonic sound, increased use of triangle, and (for the first time) a version of the gunbarrel music that highlights strings instead of guitar. Two years before TMWTGG!

    The liner notes for the album are on Barry's website. Some excerpts below:

    In 1972, John Barry was thirty-nine and had just written three works, each with a different aesthetic, that were destined to leave an indelible stamp on the collective memory: the historical production Mary, Queen of Scots, the James Bond film Diamonds are Forever and his theme-music for The Persuaders. And then Sydney Samuelson invited him to conduct the orchestra at the third Filmharmonic concert in London...In accepting Samuelson's offer, Barry was well aware of what was at stake, if not the symbolic reach of such an offer: it would be his first symphonic concert, and the venue was to be the legendary Royal Albert Hall...

    One has to give credit to the composer for submitting his scores to a vigorous overhaul, given the Royal Philharmonic's instrumental line-up. Barry had to rethink the orchestration of certain works due to the absence of a rhythm section, and also key instruments such as the Moog used in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the cimbalom in The Persuaders or The Adventurer, or else the harmonica in Midnight Cowboy.... "I had a full orchestra at my disposal, so it was up to me to adapt. At a pinch, you could say it was a game, a rather stimulating exercise. I managed to compensate for the absence of some of the soloists by making full use of the orchestra's resources."

    ...One of the high points in the concert was a shattering James Bond Suite that lasted seventeen minutes, a kind of musical compression of the first seven Bond films, from Doctor No to Diamonds are Forever, which had been released to cinemas the previous year. "I tried to preserve the best of the Bonds, and write a resume in a suite with a continuity that's fluid, logical and natural," explains John Barry. "With hindsight, you can see that this suite corresponds to the 'classic' period in the series, a period which ends with Diamonds, the last film with Sean Connery. Obviously that period is my favourite, and its template still remains Goldfinger, the Bond film where, in terms of style, all the codes and references found their place: the gun barrel, the opening sequence, the animated titles sequence, Peter Hunt's editing... It was also the first Bond where I had sole responsibility for the music; so I was able to assert a compositional style inspired by what I learned from Bill Russo, Stan Kenton's arranger: a particular way of adapting the brass right across the register from the deepest bass to the highest treble, with sharp attacks and incisive punches. That's where you find the roots of the 'Bond sound'."

    ...There were two consequences to the triumphant welcome reserved by Filmharmonic 1972: first, John Barry returned to the stage of The Royal Albert Hall for the event's subsequent edition a year later; and Barry also went to Abbey Road to record a large part of the concert for Polydor, the record-label with which he had just signed a contract as an artist. Released towards the end of 1972, The Concert John Barry became the first 33rpm LP produced under the new contract. It was never reissued in its entirety, curiously, because the master-tapes were reported missing. Providence, however, took a hand thirty-eight years later when the tapes were located among the archives of Universal Music in Japan.
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