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Topic: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

https://img.discogs.com/1V6uJoUonh57KPpCzJLpfNCLAGk=/fit-in/400x400/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-12886386-1543857747-4370.png.jpg

I picked up this 2cd set the other week, Discogs says it came out last year (2018), on the Primo label.

Anybody else have this album?
Anybody know much about the music included on it?

There's two pages of liner notes, but the font's about .005pt, I can't read it even with a magnifying glass, so I don't appreciate the context of what I'm listening to. I gather some of it's from his early soundtracks, but that the John Barry 7 also released several singles.

Much of it sounds more like early rock'n'roll than what I expect from the classic Bond soundtracks, or at closest jump blues. Several toons are early rock'n'roll covers.
Lots of "surf" guitar as the melodic lead, usually a plinkety-ploink staccato counterpoint (rhythm guitar or keyboard), both elements heavily echoed. Despite Barry himself being a trumpet player, horns are not prominent in most of these toons, or if they are it usually sounds like a baritone sax doubling the bass underneath everything else.
When the original Bond theme arrives at the very end, the surf guitar vamp sounds similar to the rest of the album. But then the big brass section fanfare comes in, and it's unprecedented. If this compilation is the music he was doing before he got the Bond gig, there was nothing to suggest the kind of sound he was about to give the world.

That's just my tonedeaf musical analysis from the first couple listens.
As I say, I literally can't read the liner notes so don't fully appreciate the context. Any insight you experts can give me will be much appreciated. (I bet Barbel has all the original records memorised!)

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

ajb007/lol  Well, rather than re-invent the wheel have a look at

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-joh … 0002152296

and see if that answers your question!  ajb007/smile

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

aw please boss, I was looking forward to your insights to these early records!


but that AllMusic writeup does answer many questions. I should study that and write up my own legible liner notes.

Yes, the Seven were a rock'n'roll band competing with the Shadows, and most of this compilation is their singles. (I'm now wondering if theres any soundtrack material here at all?)

Barry himself was not always an active member, and Vic Flick really the leader ... explaining the predominance of his guitar sound and the seeming absence of expected trumpet.

and this is interesting:

they were frequently augmented by the presence of Ted Taylor, a keyboard player who owned a clavioline, an electronic keyboard instrument that made a killer sound in tandem with Flick's guitar.

one track that really held my attention focussed on an instrument that sounded like an early synth, with very rapid fire attack on the keys and weird trippy sustain ... I wonder if that was this clavioline?

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

Yes, there are a couple of soundtrack recordings ("Beat Girl", for one- title track from his first soundtrack and I believe the first UK soundtrack album).
And yes, that's a clavioline played by Ted Taylor. This comp doesn't have "The Human Jungle" which I think is Barry's best use of it. It does have JB himself reluctantly singing, though!
Though JB may not necessarily be playing (or singing) on all the tracks here, he did the arranging, conducting, producing and often (though not always) the composing. Vic didn't become leader of the group till later, when Barry's film assignments became more frequent and he couldn't devote enough time to the Seven.

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

thanks Barbel, I knew you knew these records!

That's interesting, his role in his own band was more behind the scenes mastermind rather than an instrumentalist.

Next time i play it, I'll have to pay attention which track has that zany clavioline.

The music is not at all what I expected, but it is a very good listen, expanding the sounds in my record collection, so that's a bonus.

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

is that Barry singing on Zip Zip and Three Little Fishes?!!?

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

Yes, that's the man himself! I hinted at it above. He didn't like it at all, and was persuaded by the label.

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

yes I saw the hints, its what sent me back to specifically those tracks. I see that they were the a- and b-side of the first John Barry Seven single.
On my first listens I just assumed that was some long forgotten guest vocalist, never suspected that could be our John Barry himself. One thing I gotta admit, he can do an American accent more persuasively than many British actors.
The next track on the comp You've Gotta Way has him singing as well.

Connery-Bond'd be begging for earmuffs!

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Re: John Barry – The Essential Early Recordings

ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol  ajb007/lol

Exec- So, you gotta sing this song, son. (Puffs cigar)
JB- No, I'm planning to play the trumpet and-
Exec- I said you gotta sing, boy!