Monday, January 31, 2011

John Barry dead at 77

Film composer John Barry has died at 77:

Chicago Tribune

There are three film composers who have had the greatest effect on me. The first was Ennio Morricone, partner in crime with director Sergio Leone, who remains one of my favorite directors. The second was John Williams, who wrote several ear-catchers up until Star Wars (Episode 4). But it's The Empire Strikes Back that's my favorite. Unfortunately, the best of all the Star Wars films doesn't do his soundtrack any justice; they sliced and diced his cues horribly. Watching the film and listening to the soundtrack remain separate experiences for me.

And the third was John Barry, who scored 11 James Bond films.

Dr. No is credited to Monty Norman. The question of who wrote what has been the subject of debate and litigation for years. Here's the entire list, cribbed from Wikipedia:
  • Dr. No (1962) — James Bond Theme used on main and end titles and Bond's arrival in Jamaica 
  • From Russia with Love (lyrics by Lionel Bart) (1963), Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Song in a Motion Picture 
  • Goldfinger (1964) 
  • Thunderball (1965) 
  • You Only Live Twice (1967) 
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) 
  • Diamonds Are Forever (1971) 
  • The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) 
  • Moonraker (1979) 
  • Octopussy (1983) 
  • A View to a Kill (1985), (Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Original Score - Motion Picture & for Best Original Song - Motion Picture) 
  • The Living Daylights (1987) 

The first eight I like. The rest I could care less about. Thunderball and You Only Live Twice are my favorite scores. Goldfinger is overrated.

Legend has it that Tom Jones almost blacked out from lack of oxygen on the final note of Thunderball. Great stuff.

Midnight Cowboy wasn't too bad.

I glanced around YooToob but couldn't find decent copies of any of the other opening credits. Fuck it. Check someone else's blog.

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