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Topic: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

What non-Bond scores by John Barry would you recommend to a potential collector? I've recently listened to Raise The Titanic and many of the suspense cues from that would not be at all out of place in a Bond film.

Of course, it doesn't have to be music from films of similar genres. I absolutely love the Midnight Cowboy theme. Looking at his credits on the IMDb, there are many obscure titles that quite possibly have music as brilliant as that as his well-known films.

Last edited by spectre7 (4th Jul 2005 18:31)

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

spectre7 wrote:

What non-Bond scores by John Barry would you recommend to a potential collector? I've recently listened to Raise The Titanic and many of the suspense cues from that would not be at all out of place in a Bond film.

If you are a potential collector, don't you have EVERYTHING? ajb007/confused

ajb007/lol

Just kidding. My non-Bond favourites are too obvious (The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa), but there are a few rarities... Though not all of them are good. For instance, there's The Legend of Lone Rider for instance, which was even nominated for a Razzie. But if you like Wilhelm Tell by Rossini, you're going to love it.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

I could swear there was a topic about this some time ago, but I can't seem to find it right now.  If you want an overview of Barry's musical career, you might like to try John Barry: 40 Years of Film Music from Silva Screen records.  It's a Nic Raine/City of Prague Philharmonic/Crouch End Festival Chorus production; the first two also did the Bond Back in Action collection and many other Barry recordings like Raise the Titanic

Personally I'd recommend the recently released score to Deadfall for his one and only concerto, "Romance for Guitar and Orchestra."  That's not to insult the rest of the soundtrack, of course.

The other Barry soundtracks/albums that I've listened to (some of them briefly, I'll admit) that I happen to like are:

Zulu
the Lion in Winter
the Ipcress File
the Appointment
Mary Queen of Scots
Walkabout
Robert and Marian
the Dove
Out of Africa
Dances With Wolves
Enigma
the Beyondness of Things
Eternal Echoes

I'll even confess to having a likely for the Specialist even though I know it's not Barry's best work...

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

I thought there was a similar topic too, but couldn't find it either.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Over the nearly 50 years he’s been writing & recording, JB has produced a vast variety of material. Here’s part 1 of a necessarily partial and partisan breakdown:

Early work, mainly with the JB7:

EMI YEARS Vols 1-3 Doesn’t sound much like his later style except in places. The guitar of Vic Flick is prominent, and there’s a lot of covers. On Vol1 you’ll find the famous “Bees Knees” in both studio and live versions, as well as JB attempting a few vocals! Vol3 (naturally) sounds more like his familiar styles, including the “James Bond Theme”, “The Human Jungle” (2 versions), and some lush strings.
BEAT GIRL/STRINGBEAT His first film score c/w a non-soundtrack album. “Stringbeat” is also included in EMI Years Vol2.  Again, lots of the Seven/Vic Flick.


Early scores:

ELIZABETH IN LONDON Poorly recorded, and available on lots of low price compilations usually in fragmented form.
FOUR IN THE MORNING Low budget score from a low budget movie. Very sombre and repetitive.
ZULU Stark and dramatic, but again repetitive. The original version is available as well as Nic Raine’s stereo version (slightly longer and in better quality).
THE IPCRESS FILE The main theme (“A Man Alone”) could not be bettered, but the score lacks variety and the dialogue snippets annoy on replaying.
THE KNACK Much the same.
KING RAT Serious, atmospheric, heavy.
THE CHASE Alternates between the sultry deep-south atmosphere of the main theme and cocktail party music.
THE WHISPERERS Oozes atmosphere. Again the dialogue snippets interfere.

The classic period:

BORN FREE Great stuff, very well known. The main title theme crops up a little too much, though. Frederic Talgorn’s version is longer and fuller, though a bit less “alive” in feel.
DEADFALL “Romance For Guitar & Orchestra” is worth the price alone, though “My Love Has Two Faces” is a very Bond-like piece (it doesn’t hurt to have Shirley Bassey singing one of the versions, either).
THE LION IN WINTER You’ll either love this or hate it. Plain song chants and dramatic orchestral flourishes, totally unlike his other work. Includes his first tentative use of synthesisers (although not noticeably). The original beats Nic Raine’s easily.
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS Beautiful and appropriate music, at the same time classic Barry and completely non-Bondian.
MIDNIGHT COWBOY Too many non-Barry songs, though his material’s excellent. “Fun City” could have slotted easily into a casino scene in a Bond movie.
THE LAST VALLEY Some lovely melodies, lots of martial music. Raine’s album isn’t bad, but JB’s is of course the one to pick (if you can find it).
MONTE WALSH One of the more repetitive albums- the best stuff is available elsewhere.
WALKABOUT I haven’t heard JB’s full score on CD, only in the film. Raine’s version is ok, but loses some of the steamy atmosphere. The Raine album does include some otherwise unavailable themes.
ROBIN & MARIAN Again, Raine's version is ok. More martial music, some love themes.

Last edited by Barbel (5th Jul 2005 14:55)

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

(continued)
KING KONG Heavy and rhythmic. Only one softer piece throughout. The disco music is dreadfully dated.
GAME OF DEATH/NIGHT GAMES Listed together since available together. An off the wall combination of kung-fu music, including a love song (“Will This Be The Song I’ll Be Singing Tomorrow”) for which JB unusually wrote the lyrics, and romantic/sexy moods (“The Lesbian Tango” and “The Dominatrix’s Waltz” are not as bad as you’d think, while “Descent Into Decadence” is excellent).
THE DEEP Great title music both with and without Donna Summer’s vocal. Some of the underwater themes are reminiscent of “Thunderball”.
SOMEWHERE IN TIME Beautiful & romantic, loved by many. JB’s album is fairly short,  John Debney’s version longer & fuller. Try the suite on “Moviola” first- if you like that, get the album.
RAISE THE TITANIC Covered above.
BODY HEAT Sultry and atmospheric, though tends to become repetitious.
JAGGED EDGE Some nice piano-based themes, some harsh synth effects.
HIGH ROAD TO CHINA One of the more action-oriented Bond-like scores, eg “Airborne” is reminiscent of “OHMSS”.  Nice love theme, too.
THE COTTON CLUB Barry content on album minimal- best bits on “Moviola”.
PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED Barry’s music, piano-led and romantic, mixed in between pop songs used as source music in the film.
UNTIL SEPTEMBER/STAR CRASH Listed together since available together. The first is romantic and a little more varied than usual, the second is cheesy space opera.
OUT OF AFRICA So well known and loved it hardly needs comment- I will point out that in places it’s very like the “Moonraker” score, and that Joel McNeely’s version is longer and very well done.
RUBY CAIRO One of the lost gems. Superb stuff- the action cues, eg “Come, We Must Hurry” work perfectly, and the main theme is unforgettable.
DANCES WITH WOLVES Needs no comment.
CHAPLIN Repetitive and contains some atmosphere-breaking inappropriate material.

Late period:

INDECENT PROPOSAL The wonderful 25 minute suite is sandwiched between various pop songs.
MY LIFE Short album, but great romantic melodies.
THE SPECIALIST Relies too much on “Did You Call Me”, but some good action cues here and there. Avoid the version with the pop songs, get the full-length JB one.
THE SCARLET LETTER Repeats the main theme too much.
SWEPT FROM THE SEA aka AMY FOSTER Again, too much use of the (admittedly wonderful) main theme.
MERCURY RISING Great score, well-balanced between thoughtful and action pieces.
PLAYING BY HEART Late night jazz/cocktail atmosphere.
ENIGMA Slightly reminiscent of the later Bond scores in places, though not in the same league.

Non-soundtrack:

AMERICANS A wonderful jazz-inflected album sadly unavailable on CD.
THE BEYONDNESS OF THINGS Tone poems of surpassing beauty and expressiveness; an autobiography in music.
ETERNAL ECHOES More of the above.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

(continued)

Compilations, etc:

THEMEOLOGY The basic “Gt Hits”; covers from the JB7 period (eg “Walk Don’t Run”) through Bond (GF, DAF, YOLT etc), features the Oscar winners (“Born Free”, “Dances With Wolves” etc).
THE MUSIC OF JOHN BARRY The CD version of two vinyl LPs from the 60s. Comprehensive and recommended.
THE HITS & THE MISSES For completists only. Dated pop singers chirp away over JB’s backing.
MOVIOLA & MOVIOLA 2 JB in the 90s conducts revised versions of his biggest pieces. Slow & stately for the most part.
LOUNGE LEGENDS/THE BEST OF JOHN BARRY Basically similar albums mostly consisting of JB in the 70s re-recording some of his then current pieces. Some unavailable elsewhere (eg “Follow, Follow”, “A Doll’s House”).

There are countless variations available on JB’s period at Ember records, usually at budget prices. This covers the albums “Zulu”, “Four In The Morning”, “Elizabeth In London”, and assorted pieces such as “Fancy Dance”. The quality varies greatly from album to album.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

kerby4u wrote:

think we have found a Barry fan...  :-))

It's not a rare breed...

Barbel wrote:

LOUNGE LEGENDS/THE BEST OF JOHN BARRY Basically similar albums mostly consisting of JB in the 70s re-recording some of his then current pieces. Some unavailable elsewhere (eg “Follow, Follow”, “A Doll’s House”).

I was surprised when I heard this for the first time. It's like the great John Barry themes set to the style of the lounge pieces OHMSS and DAF with familar synths... Which is not bad if you consider those are my favourites. ajb007/smile

Last edited by The Cat (5th Jul 2005 17:39)

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Barbel wrote:

(continued)

Compilations, etc:

THEMEOLOGY The basic “Gt Hits”; covers from the JB7 period (eg “Walk Don’t Run”) through Bond (GF, DAF, YOLT etc), features the Oscar winners (“Born Free”, “Dances With Wolves” etc).
THE MUSIC OF JOHN BARRY The CD version of two vinyl LPs from the 60s. Comprehensive and recommended.
THE HITS & THE MISSES For completists only. Dated pop singers chirp away over JB’s backing.
MOVIOLA & MOVIOLA 2 JB in the 90s conducts revised versions of his biggest pieces. Slow & stately for the most part.
LOUNGE LEGENDS/THE BEST OF JOHN BARRY Basically similar albums mostly consisting of JB in the 70s re-recording some of his then current pieces. Some unavailable elsewhere (eg “Follow, Follow”, “A Doll’s House”).

There are countless variations available on JB’s period at Ember records, usually at budget prices. This covers the albums “Zulu”, “Four In The Morning”, “Elizabeth In London”, and assorted pieces such as “Fancy Dance”. The quality varies greatly from album to album.

Ah, I was wondering about Four in the Morning and Elizabeth in London as I remeber seeing those score cues pop up on a compilation somewhere sold at Yahoo Shopping online.  Do you know which album version has the best sound quality?

And JakeL-if you want to really get hooked on Dances with Wolves, get one of the later releases which has more material (albeit this is a bit more repetitive).  I vaguely remember something about a platinum release?  Alas, I only have the original, but I've been meaning to get an extended version for some time.

Random Barry question while we're at it: were there ever any other recordings of "Romance for Guitar and Orchestra" besides the London Symphony Orchestra one on the Deadfall soundtrack and the horribly arranged, abridged version on the JB: 40 Years?  I remember hearing that sometime in the 70's Barry conducted the piece with a different orchestra and a nerve-wreck of a guitarist; the performance got such bad reviews that rumor is that the piece wasn't played again until the recording on JB: 40 Years.

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

18 would be the original recording, which is what I have.  The later recordings have 20-something tracks, so you might want to look at those.

Flattery will get you nowhere, but don't stop trying.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Tracy wrote:

Ah, I was wondering about Four in the Morning and Elizabeth in London as I remeber seeing those score cues pop up on a compilation somewhere sold at Yahoo Shopping online.  Do you know which album version has the best sound quality?
Random Barry question while we're at it: were there ever any other recordings of "Romance for Guitar and Orchestra" besides the London Symphony Orchestra one on the Deadfall soundtrack and the horribly arranged, abridged version on the JB: 40 Years?

(1) For "Four In The Morning", the best release is the one doubled with "Zulu". This has the best sound quality and the most tracks- but be warned that this means more very similar pieces.

(2) "Elizabeth In London" is available on one of the "Ember Years" CDs- bear in mind that the recording quality of this score was always below par.

(3) JB recorded an abbreviated version of "Romance For Guitar & Orchestra" for CBS- it's on "The Music Of JB" CD. It's quite short, and entitled "Theme From Romance For Guitar & Orchestra".

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Anyone who likes Moviola, Beyondness Of Things or Eternal Echoes would also enjoy Across The Sea Of Time.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Barbel wrote:

THEMEOLOGY The basic “Gt Hits”; covers from the JB7 period (eg “Walk Don’t Run”) through Bond (GF, DAF, YOLT etc), features the Oscar winners (“Born Free”, “Dances With Wolves” etc).
THE MUSIC OF JOHN BARRY The CD version of two vinyl LPs from the 60s. Comprehensive and recommended.
THE HITS & THE MISSES For completists only. Dated pop singers chirp away over JB’s backing.
MOVIOLA & MOVIOLA 2 JB in the 90s conducts revised versions of his biggest pieces. Slow & stately for the most part.
LOUNGE LEGENDS/THE BEST OF JOHN BARRY Basically similar albums mostly consisting of JB in the 70s re-recording some of his then current pieces. Some unavailable elsewhere (eg “Follow, Follow”, “A Doll’s House”).

There are countless variations available on JB’s period at Ember records, usually at budget prices. This covers the albums “Zulu”, “Four In The Morning”, “Elizabeth In London”, and assorted pieces such as “Fancy Dance”. The quality varies greatly from album to album.

I am looking for Barry conducts Barry albums focused on his Bond music, other than the OSTs of course. The quoted albums seem to fit the bill, but I'm afraid they're long out of print. Is there a chance of a reissue? As in soon? Is there something else like that in the works?

If these out of print albums remain out of print for long, can someone help me? ajb007/wink

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

a rogue AI wrote:

If these out of print albums remain out of print for long, can someone help me? ajb007/wink

I'm afraid that would be illegal.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Victor Zokas wrote:

Anyone who likes Moviola, Beyondness Of Things or Eternal Echoes would also enjoy Across The Sea Of Time.

Then we can add Cry, The Beloved Country that recycles an awesome romantic version of Zulu.

On the jazzy side, Hammett is a must too.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

a rogue AI wrote:

I am looking for Barry conducts Barry albums focused on his Bond music, other than the OSTs of course. The quoted albums seem to fit the bill, but I'm afraid they're long out of print. Is there a chance of a reissue? As in soon? Is there something else like that in the works?

A new "Best Of" album was released recently, and there's a box set coming shortly.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Alan_more wrote:
Victor Zokas wrote:

Anyone who likes Moviola, Beyondness Of Things or Eternal Echoes would also enjoy Across The Sea Of Time.

Then we can add Cry, The Beloved Country that recycles an awesome romantic version of Zulu.

Cry, The Beloved Country is one of my favourite films (based on one of my favourite novels) and featuring a nice score by John Barry. An interesting aside is that the railway station scenes at the beginning of the film were shot at the station of my home village, Hilton in South Africa. At that time a preserved steam train ran excursions and I was a member of the Natal Railway Museum. During my childhood, i thought that this particular train was my reason for living, so the film has a special place for me, and the score as well. I love the use of the Zulu theme in Train to  Johannesburg.

Last edited by Golrush007 (15th Apr 2007 16:36)

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Watched Raise the Titanic yesterday and Barry's score certainly was good - but what I found striking was I found it an almost perfect blend of both Moonraker and AVTAK's scores (minus the guitar effect).

1. TWINE  2. FYEO  3. MR  4. TLD  5. TSWLM 6. OHMSS  7. DN  8. OP  9. AVTAK  10. TMWTGG  11. QoS 12. GE  13. CR  14. TB  15. FRWL  16. LTK  17. GF  18. SF  19. LaLD  20. YOLT  21. TND  22. DAD  23. DAF.

"If you'll forgive me, that's a little too scented for my palate."

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

My, I had forgotten about this thread! Since I posted the list above 12 years ago, it has become outdated and there have been changes to Barry albums and their availability. For example:

Americans has been issued on CD.

I'd no longer recommend The Music Of John Barry https://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-John-Bar … n+barry+cd  great as it is, since almost all of the tracks contained therein plus many more can be obtained more cheaply on The Real John Barry https://www.amazon.co.uk/REAL-JOHN-BARR … n+barry+cd.

If anyone would like more info, I'd be happy to help.

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

I was fortunate enough to pick up 'The Deep' (Intrada 2xCD) from Amazon.co.uk a few years ago for only 20 pounds.  At first I thought it may have been a pirate copy as every few weeks (for about 4 months) they seemed to have new stock which surprised me as they were apparently sold out as only 3000 copies were issued.  Anyway, the quality is fine and I checked the matrix (I think that's the right terminology) numbers and they seemed to match.  Apparently very hard to get now unless a new issue is released.

Regardless, an excellent soundtrack perfectly matched to the film which is no surpirise being John Barry.

"Everyone knows rock n' roll attained perfection in 1974; It's a scientific fact". -  Homer J Simpson

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Barbel wrote:

My, I had forgotten about this thread! Since I posted the list above 12 years ago, it has become outdated and there have been changes to Barry albums and their availability.

Americans has been issued on CD.

I'd no longer recommend The Music Of John Barry https://www.amazon.co.uk/Music-John-Bar … n+barry+cd  great as it is, since almost all of the tracks contained therein plus many more can be obtained more cheaply on The Real John Barry https://www.amazon.co.uk/REAL-JOHN-BARR … n+barry+cd.

If anyone would like more info, I'd be happy to help.

Must be my computer but your link defaulted to stores like Target, Walmart etc.  Anyway, is your recommendation the 3xCD (18 tracks on each CD) collection with John Barry at a piano writing notes?

"Everyone knows rock n' roll attained perfection in 1974; It's a scientific fact". -  Homer J Simpson

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

Yes, that's the one! More on that here- http://www.ajb007.co.uk/topic/48384/new … y-box-set/

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

spectre7 wrote:

What non-Bond scores by John Barry would you recommend to a potential collector? I've recently listened to Raise The Titanic and many of the suspense cues from that would not be at all out of place in a Bond film.

Of course, it doesn't have to be music from films of similar genres. I absolutely love the Midnight Cowboy theme. Looking at his credits on the IMDb, there are many obscure titles that quite possibly have music as brilliant as that as his well-known films.

I, too, love Barry's theme to Midnight Cowboy. And although I haven't heard the rest of the soundtrack, I'm also quite fond of the theme for The Adventurer.

"Felix Leiter, a brother from Langley."

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

No problem there BL- there is no "rest of the soundtrack" for The Adventurer, JB only wrote the theme

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Re: Other (non-obvious) John Barry recommendations

I would recommend "the specialist"  soundtrack,  Barbel has pretty much covered everything John Barry,  you could do a lot worse than pick up one of the many and cheaply priced compilation albums and extend your JB listening from there.  Be warned though I did this not long ago and bought one of belarbels recommended albums and now I've felt compelled to buy more and more.

It was either that.....or the priesthood