Great Film Composer John Barry Dies at 77-Did He Write The James Bond Theme?

February 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Movies/TV, Music, Top Story

I was sorry to hear of the passing of John Barry, the great film composer. Barry is best known for the James Bond scores, but there`s so much more. The best tribute piece I could find on the internet, was John Barry: An Appreciation by Jon Burlingame, written for The Film Music Society web page. The New York Times obituary was good also (John Barry Dies at 77; Composed for Bond Films). This morning more of my curiosity is focused on his early days with the swinging sounds of the John Barry Seven. This is also where a giant black hole exists in my education (of John Barry).

I want to see the film Beat Girl and hear the score by John Barry. I wonder if there are any John Barry Seven collections (or compilations) around? I will have to do some digging. I was running some errands on Saturday morning, when I heard the news of John Barry`s death. Was listening to the radio, The Lounge Show (Koop 91.7 here in Austin) and I noticed lots of James Bond tunes were being played. John co-wrote Diamonds Are Forever, my personal favorite of the Bond theme songs.

So much to explore that I know little about. One thing is true (I think?), apparently he did write the James Bond Theme *(covered by every garage band that ever formed in our great country) for Dr. No, but was ghost written for Monty Norman. My personal favorite is the score for Midnight Cowboy, with the twangy harmonica capturing the down and out life of Ratso Russo ever so perfectly. This will take me years (years I may not have) to sort through all of this marvelous music. Better get started!

“I expect you to die, Bond!”-Goldfinger, the Man with the Midas Touch!

June 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Movies/TV, Music

Well, on Sunday I picked up a pristine VHS copy of Goldfinger at Cheapos. It was just $3.95 and the quality is perfect. So many things are classic about this film, but FAB-BEST for me are the Shirley Bassey theme song and the ‘golden girl’ over there on the right. The actress that got painted with gold paint was Shirley Eaton playing Jill Masterson, an assistant to Mister Goldfinger.

At the time (December 1964) of the James Bond Spy Thriller`s release, there were rumors that the actress (Shirley Eaton) had actually died when painted gold. This wasn`t true, but that was going around my elementary school. The music and the theme were written by John Barry. The silver Aston Martin DB5 that Sean Connery buzzes around in is way up there in contention with other screen-grabbers, such as OddJob (Harold Sakata), Miss Moneypenny (Lois Blackwell) or Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman).

Yes, Goldfinger is my favorite James Bond film with Thunderball as a strong contender. The two themes are the greatest also. Fantasies of all that gold bullion from Fort Knox helps a lot too! *(source-Wikipedia, memories, and the VHS box cover.)