Website last updated: 26-11-2020

Steven Jay Rubin remember composer John Barry (1933-2011)

By: Steven Jay Rubin
Published:
2020-11-03
John Barry James Bond Movie Encyclopedia
The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia presents This Day in James Bond History - remembering the late British composer John Barry on the anniversary of his birth in 1933.

John Barry made huge contributions to the 007 series, starting with his signature staccato, plucked-guitar, theme, arguably, the most famous movie music track in history. Monty Norman gets credit for it, but Barry brought the guitar into the mix, never having seen the initial Bond movie, Dr. No (1962).

His scores for the subsequent Bond movies were rich, moody and iconic – perfectly supporting Peter Hunts swift cutting Sean Connery's cat-like movements.

If you ever want to see Barry in action, play the gypsy camp sequence in From Russia with Love (1963) – it's a kaleidoscope of classic Barry themes.


The lushness of his composing is perhaps best seen in the underappreciated On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), starting with the instrumental title track.


John Barry’s composing career extended beyond Bond to such classics as Zulu (1964), The Quiller Memorandum (1966), Somewhere in Time (1980), Out of Africa (1985), Dances with Wolves (1990) and many more. Even in Bond films that fell short like A View to a Kill (1985), his music soared. He was a titan of a composer.

And speaking of music, we would also like to wish singer Lulu a very Happy Birthday. Her rendition of the title tune for The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) is remembered for its own staccato rhythm.


Lulu Roger Moore The Man with the Golden Gun
All text. Copyright © 2020 Steven Jay Rubin. All rights reserved.

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