Monday, January 31, 2011
Farewell, John Barry
Music can make a good movie great, and a great movie legendary. John Barry had the ability to use music to take the films he scored to the next level. Sadly, he died yesterday at the age of 77. In his long career he won 5 Academy Awards and scored 11 James Bond movies. Many credit John Barry with helping the James Bond film series achieve its status as the longest lasting and most profitable one of all time. His work on the scores, as well as the theme songs was integral in setting the tone for the popular titles sequences, as well as the action and romantic scenes.
The brassy, jazzy and sensuous melodies penned by Barry are some of the most recognizable in screen history. The James Bond theme (credited to Monty Norman) was unfinished when John Barry took it and made it iconic with its aggressive twangy guitar. It is no surprise that I have the vast majority of Barry's James Bond music on my iPod, not only because it reminds me of my favorite film series, but because the music is that good. Do I like John Barry because of James Bond, or do I like James Bond because of John Barry? Both. The two are linked forever in cinema history, and even though other great composers worked on Bond films, nobody left a mark like John Barry.
JOHN BARRY'S BEST BOND SCORES
1. ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE
5. A VIEW TO A KILL