Topic: What music inspired John Barry

It's clear that John Williams' took from Holst and Stravinsky and Jerry Goldsmith took from Copland. John Barry was inspired by both romantic era classical music (his tonalities and lush arrangements) and jazz (swinging brass), but I've never heard anything before Barry that sounds quite like his music. Is there any specific music that would have been a clear inspiration towards Barry's sound?


Re: What music inspired John Barry

Shostakovich was a strong influence on Barry in the classical field, and Stan Kenton is the oft-cited jazz influence alongside such as Artie Shaw. The work of earlier film composers was what started him off in the first place.
I'll look for a few links and get back to you.


Re: What music inspired John Barry

Thanks Barbel. I like Shostakovich a lot, but I never connected his style with Barry's. I'm very interested to hear examples what you think were strong influences on Barry.


Re: What music inspired John Barry

I don't know if you're familiar with the UK radio program "Desert Island Discs" but have a look at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0094264/segments for his classical influences.

Shostakovich's 4th symphony https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CP-OJTOJHZU (it's in C minor, the second saddest of all keys).


Re: What music inspired John Barry


Artie Shaw's "Nightmare" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22z-JJSd9mA  may ring a few bells.

Gil Evans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zToiCuOJNVk (this is called "Barry's Tune"  ajb007/smile ) sounds like the JB7 around the time of "Beat Girl" (although Evans was more of a contemporary, so this is just for interest).

Here's some Stan Kenton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YefLht-j7-c and I think the influence is clear from about 40 seconds in.


Re: What music inspired John Barry

Thank you, Barbel.

I am not familiar with Desert Island Discs, but I had a listen to the John Barry broadcast and it was a fantastic listen. I now can really understand where his classical influences came from, even though I have more than half of his picks on CD. From the first notes of both Shostakovich's 4th and 5th Symphonies, I can hear the Barry sound, but somehow I never connected them before with Barry. I don't think I've heard Sibelius's 5th Symphony, but now I want to listen to that because of how much Barry took from it.

And thank you for sharing the Stan Kenton album, which demonstrates Barry's Bond brass sound perfectly.


Re: What music inspired John Barry

You're welcome, Matt, always happy to discuss JB and his music!


Re: What music inspired John Barry

I also greatly enjoyed John Barry's appearance on Desert Island Discs. I have enjoyed trawling through the archives picking out episodes featuring people that interest me.

Many Bond films will have heard a segment from Ian Fleming's appearance on Desert Island Discs, which was included on the Ultimate Edition DVD and subsequent Blu-Ray releases of From Russia With Love.