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 Posted:   Oct 15, 2009 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

It also hasta be historically emphasized around this time two interesting accounts of John’s life and career appeared,

Radio 1 journalist Eddi Fiegel’s

and the thoroughly intoxicating first edition of

Both are must-haves for anyone even remotely smitten by The Man from York’s music and all the intertwining threads weaving in and out, betwixt and between his real and reel life.

Messrs. Leonard, Walker and Bramley have richly revamped the latter tome with the recent publication of

“No well-stocked Barry book-shelf

should be without one” wink

 Posted:   Oct 16, 2009 - 9:41 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Bonding Out On the Beautifully Bonded Blessed High Note Department:


Director: John Glen.

There’s no possible way he knew beforehand this was gonna be his baton finale on the franchise that’ll forever fly
the musical flag of his seminal stamp. That being the case, ya gotta wonder where the specific re-ignited inspiration
for this fabulous score came from – generally speaking, certainly the source was clearly the chance to launch
Timothy Dalton’s auspicious entry into the series.

If anything, this film presents a dynamite example of the patented modus operandi the composer residually
exhibited and refined throughout his tenure, that of approaching each sequence and cue as an independent
entity needing its own melodic identity derived from the drama inherent in the situation itself.

Nothing typifies this better than the superb

It’s virtually impossible to ferret our favorites in a score simply brimming with brilliant set-pieces, yet this
next extract has an enthralling exoticism, wonderfully-evocative warmth, laid-back luxury and atmospheric allure
that segues seamlessly into its ominously threatening conclusion.

As to that, the usual bred and Bonded stops along the way are also dutifully made attention to,

with an effective title tune

tho considerably less-than-enamoured working alliance with the then flavor-of-the-global-month.

Far more favorable was the collaboration with Chrissie Hynde, who incisively joins the noted
Bonded band of singers warbling two nifty songs, 'Where Has Everybody Gone?'

and the memorable

With the appearance of restored cues to the recent unveiling of the reissued soundtrack, it’s a feast
for hungrily famished ears who never dared imagine such a day would actually arise.

It seems fitting to end this bon voyage with a supreme example of
The Barry Bond in ALL its intoxicating splendor, the rousingly euphoric

’If There Was A Man’ Definitively Distinctive Department:

There was (is) and his immortal name is Barry …


 Posted:   Oct 19, 2009 - 5:10 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)



You Can Live Twice – and Transcend with A Consummate, Mind-Blowing, Breath-taking Come Forward Department:

After drinking a health beverage that resulted in a ruptured oesophagus and near-fatal illness that put him on the serious sidelines for over a year, there then ensued what’s easily one of the most resplendent resurrections and return to unparalleled form in film music history.


Director: Kevin Costner.

It’s been insultingly maligned almost as much as its been universally praised, yet the fact remains this intimate epic is probably the first major Hollywood production EVER to honestly portray Native American culture and people as the human beings they are with all that entails whether it’s love, loss, family, marriage, adolescence, bravado, friendship, marriage, children and virtually everything inbetween.

“I’d been very ill – I’d been ill for two years, so Dances was the first thing I’d wrote after I’d been out of action for two years.”

It also captures once and for all the John Barry magic in pristine, powerfully dramatic, romantically-restrained yet still superlatively sensitive, anguish and affection intermingled in a magnificent mix that was as much joyously life affirming for the tale being told on-screen as it symbolically was for the man returning to his chosen creative calling with incredible energy and renewed artistic vigor.

“The worst thing you can do is fall in love with the first idea you get … You never know what’s going to trigger off something. But I do have total faith in the fact that something will arise out of the dark that’s going to perk you up –

and you never know when that’s going to happen.

You know when it happens

when it happens, you know, it’s ‘Oh, God, yes!’, it’s like a gun going off,

‘I got it’.”

[ “Things that work in films are very black and white: they either work or they don’t work - they don’t kind of work. And that (whistles the ‘John Dunbar theme) – you just sort of went, that works! … It’s one of the only crafts that a director really doesn’t know how to do. You put your whole self in the hands of a composer, it’s like you actually give this thing to him and say, ‘Can you make this better?’” ] – Kevin Costner.

“Music is a very personal thing – probably the most personal thing of anything -

- whereas literature gets very specific about the details, so you’re following the specifics of the writer.
Music doesn’t have those specifics, but it carries the mood …”

And Oscar Number FIVE (whereupon he also thanked the trio of doctors who’d saved his life).

In our interview, John once stated “Any good film I’ve ever scored the goodness of it has been there in the script and in the direction, which makes my job 10 times easier. I mean, it’s like you see a movie that good, you tend to say ‘You don’t need any music’, and then you have the luxury of riding on the crest of those marvelous moments.

It’s like anything else – when the team’s good, and its working, there’s nothing more exhilarating. It’s really rewarding when all the elements come together and everything takes off; I mean, that’s one thing you learn in this business: when it’s there, everybody knows it.”

Well, Sir: the whole wide WORLD certainly did with this

big grinbig grinbig grin

 Posted:   Oct 21, 2009 - 10:16 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)


101. "The Witness".

Had those enterprising and invaluable gents over on the John Barry: A Life in Music site not listed this little-known short teevee film, we’d never have known it even existed.

Director: Chris Gerolmo.

We’d love to know if anyone has actually seen it,

tho we're aware Mr. Gerolmo has gone on to helm episodes of Steven Bochco’s Iraq drama, “Over There”.


Director: Richard Attenborough.

Good Intentions Don’t Necessarily Lead to Hell – Or Marvelous Movies Department:

If there are two royal reasons for seeking out and giving up a coupla of non-refundable hours, it’s the impressively inciseful metamorphosis of creative channeling Robert Downey Jr. does in the title role; far from just general mimicry, there’s subtle substance underlaying it all that catches the contradictory title character with utterly compelling authenticity

as well as an affecting turn by Geraldine playing her grandmother.

If you can get pass the episodic patchwork and various fill-in-the-eventful-dots aspect of the screenplay, you’ll be rewarded for what’s on view (chiefly via Mr. Downey)

but also in the Oscar-nominated score John delivered in his distinctive way. You could almost call it a brotherly book-end to sisterly “Frances”, in that the music has a muted but no less poignant sense of melancholy and sadness that’s evoked with disarming delicacy and anchored anguish.

In fact, there’s one memorable sequence herein that’s another master-class in Nailing the Moment, an occasion that’s far and away the most marvelous in the entire film … when Charlie accidentally-On-Purpose – ah, heck, watchit for yourself, why don’tcha? smile

The music is the second most wholly successful part of the film,

lending an understated foundation at turns captivating, ultimately moving yet still subtly sad.

"He's never satisfied with what he does. Every day he wakes up and believes that into his mind and soul is going to come some magical arrangement of notes that he's going to ultimately either entrance you with in a concert hall or cinema. It's because he thinks there's still a peak to climb that he's a great film music composer." Richard Attenborough.

By the bye, on the clip below, JayBee briefly discusses his harrowing health-drink experience as well


 Posted:   Oct 21, 2009 - 10:35 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I have THE WITNESS on DVD. A short, evocative film greatly helped by the one-theme-wot-keeps-coming-back score. It's a dark, doomladen theme.


 Posted:   Oct 22, 2009 - 8:41 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)



Director: Grahame Clifford.

Now here's a film (his second collaboration with the helmer of “Frances”) we really wanna catch up with -


because we’ve heard so much about the music

(including some extremely tantalizing extracts, particularly the evocative “Pyramid of Cheops”.


Hmmmm, this vacuum of commentary sounds like a job for sooper Stephen wink


Director: Adrian Lyne.

It was one of the bonafide box-office contenders of the year, replete with handsome and sexy stars, a lush production, provocative storyline AND an underlying score that supplies the mysterious blend of erotic intrique and subterranean morality threading through it all.

It’s not an over-the-top effort by any means, as this example extorts quite well -

yet the underlying subtextual sense of ominous threat (sexual

and otherwise) is woven – melodically - wonderfully well throughout it all.

Our favorite scene, howsomever, spotlight's John’s signature quality of quiet inspiration -

All in all, there’s much to recommend, beginning with “In All the Right Places”,
nicely sung by Lisa Stansfield

plus a right nifty jazzy romantic mixture of what JayBee

so unabashedly excels at

 Posted:   Oct 22, 2009 - 10:13 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)


You're doing a great job and this is a great, great tribute.

Ruby Cairo. Not a great film. From memory, not all JB's music was there. And I even recall that in parts, the music was double-tracked, i.e. JB's cue plus something else dubbed over the top. In that sense, a very dissatisfying film and a very dissatisfying fate for the music!

Note to self: must watch again, just to be sure!

Of Indecent Proposal, I remember Lisa Stansfield being interviewed on Wogan and I remember her 'wowing' about the fact she'd worked with John Barry.


 Posted:   Oct 22, 2009 - 10:53 PM   
 By:   laurent   (Member)

i never heard "young forgotten kennedy" Score TV by JBarry and you ?

 Posted:   Oct 23, 2009 - 2:15 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I've got the theme on a tape, recorded from a broadcast of it. Very nice theme. I think Barry was a bit on auto-pilot during "The TV movie years" with some stuff being a bit "Okay, but even so" (like The Gathering and The War Between The Tates), but the two Eleanor And Franklin mini-series stand out and - back to the question - I do like the Young Joe theme quite a lot.


 Posted:   Oct 24, 2009 - 10:27 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)


Director: Bruce Joel Rubin.

We mentioned during our lauding of “Until September” there was another Barryfest that was tied as our favorite of his dramatically-romantic opuses – and this is it.

Ostensibly the depiction of how someone is forced to put his life in order once he learns he hasn’t long to live, John invoked an incredibly moving mixture of disbelief (you’ll haveta ignore the Spanish in this extract but his music will more than sock across the frustrated anger the main character’s feeling)

and exceptionally-conveyed musical awareness of how precious every moment is (not least the unimaginable manner in which many take so much for granted so often with so little titled time available).

Superbly sensitive and crafted with compassionate clarity as well as ingenious inventiveness (the rattle he uses throughout symbolizing a baby’s innocence is absolutely magical), there’s a miraculous aura of increased mortality investing each and every articulate note

Granted, the specific contours of our life may render us more acutely attuned to the general overtones and undertones of this film’s foundation, but we feel anyone who’s ever suffered any kind of loss (which means everyone with no one exempt) can’t help but be immensely moved by what’s on offer here.

Oh, as to that, the final rollercoaster sequence – and the wizardly way John captures the thrilling transcendence of the human spirit – is one of the most gol-darned GLORIOUS cues in his entire career

smile smile smile

 Posted:   Oct 26, 2009 - 10:06 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)


One of the more malicious myths that’s received disgusting traction of late is the stupefying claim John’s final decade of work is somehow stupendously inferior to what went before, that he’d somehow “lost” his creativity (as if such a nitwit notion is even possible except to those judgmental jugheads bereft of any artistic blood at all) and, above all, that the music became ‘slow as molasses’, thus totally and utterly without intrinsic interest.

This proves that as the ungranulated, grotesque disrespectful defamation those cowardly without-a-conscious-clue claims truly are.


Director: Luis Llosa

Forget about the less-than-combustible combination of the two stars

(tho she’s far more effective than his tiresomely faux low-key - to the point of invisibility -‘sincerity’ is).

From its full-throttle opening sequence of tragic death (and the marvelous manner in which he establishes the musical foundation for later supenseful retribution

plus cathartic redemption), this is probably the final instance where JayBee unleashed a major statement
in the genre he’d helped so remarkably to reinvent lo, those many cinematic moons ago.

Aside from a coupla Bond-like moments of major mayhem (part of a building collapsing off its side into
the ocean is a highlight), the other main reason to watch this is James Woods

prodigiously over-the-top performance as the hair-trigger ex-partner to Stallone. It’s such a sheer delight

to witness it ranks up there with other unforgettable stints ala Laurence Fishburne’s turn in “King of New York”; just check out his extraordinary plastics-explosive stunt (and the super way JayBee deftly but distinctively provides its foundation) 8 minutes into this extract:

Mr. Woods is damn near hypnotic in as entertaining and supremely galvanizing characterization ever so kinectically unveiled.

For all the pyrotechnics, tho, there’s one piece de resistance that automatically elevates artifice into Art, the scene in the chapel when both characters finally meet. The choral support John supplies splendidly cements and captures all the conflicting emotions underway from misplaced grief, disbelief, fascination and culmination – it’s a breathtaking sequence wherein the dramatic wealth is TOTALLY due to the magnificent music.

Wayyyyy UP there in the BarryBuster Nailing the Brilliant Moment Hall of Fame.

Thankfully, they didn’t just relegate this remarkable effort to simply the two cuts
that appeared on the song-inspired album

so we can still enjoy the score's full flavorful scope.

"Lost his touch"? Anyone who claims thus has fully and completely lost theirs

(if they ever had any - including discerning taste rather than embedded bias) ... wink

 Posted:   Oct 27, 2009 - 4:12 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)



Director: Roland Joffe.

Three of the Best for One of the Worst Department:

(tho Elmer Bee’s response to the widdout-a-clue Ms. Moore hasta be one of the classic all-tyme – und justifiably legitimate – putdowns ever! big grin)

At any rate, the third time was the musical charm where this unbelievably misconceived atrocity is concerned

because whatever is amiss on screen was almost pulled outta the fire

by the resourcefully romantic score JayBee came up with. A considerable case can be made of far more merit than the movie deserved, but we’ll belay such sentiments and simply count it a blessing he was able to fashion such a moving epitaph to a project that wasn’t quite dead-on-arrival (but durn near it).

It’s not quite “Dances with Pilgrims”, however,

as the banked passion and forbidden desires are given their melodic due with uncommonly fertile foundation in a bevy of bountiful cues that simultaneously capture a general chemistry between the characters utterly missing up thar on the scarlet screen.

The apex is reached (in more ways than one) in the consummation scene

when all the musical stops are pulled out and romantic panache The Yorkman is renowned for
arrives fully at the fore.

There’s a good deal more worth aurally excavating at your leisure as it’s yet another pristine demonstration

of what inspired professionalism is all about.


Director: Darrell Roodt.

What’s of particular import with this remake of Alan Paton’s famous novel

is the deftness with which

John revisits a triumphant from his past and seamlessly incorporated into the present – meaning the celebrated theme from “Zulu” into this score in such a delicate manner you hardly notice the transposition.

Tho one can quibble with certain unsatisfactory aspects of the film itself – and others seem this was the harbinger of the lethal litany “his music scarcely has a heartbeat, is entirely too slow and hardly keeps you awake – we find much favor with it in the many levels of

of introspection, reflection, hope, poignancy, pain and transcendency threading through the music from beginning to end.

Alas, the movie never quite penetrated the public consciousness in a meaningful way (either critically or via finding an appreciative audience) – which is a substantial shame in and of itself.

Then again, all things being unequal in possibility if not potential,

there’s still the memorable music to always be thankful for

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2009 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Boyoboyoboy, Have Wee Gotta a Brilliantly-Belated Barry Gift for U!!! Department:

Beam back to around, oh, page 3 of this little opus for the latest addition down at the bottom of our ‘Deadfall’ spotlight and, courtesy of YouTube, see what made this first-rainy-now-sunny (literally and metaphorically) Wednesday so memorable!

And, by the Barry bye, we’re gonna pull another Time Travel exercise by temporarily skipping something from 1995 whilst beginning agin in ’97. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re gonna get around to the omission but only to tie this { Appreciation } up into a nifty little knot once and for all wink

 Posted:   Oct 30, 2009 - 10:49 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)



Director: Beeban Kidron.

Some You Do For the Dough, Some for Fun and Some ‘Cause It Stirs Something in Your Spiritual Soul Department:

There’s an uncommon depth of distinction the last reason asserts itself; the music has a fibred flavor that goes beyond the usual fundamentals and becomes akin to a significant second skin to what it’s meant to mirror. Now expand this to encompass a tale of the embryonic embers of passionate affection smoldering and erupting, the coming together of two apparent polar opposites

united in their mutually-meshed hearts desire finding (first) subtle recognition and (inevitably) impossible-to-ignore desire.

This is the kinda story which always brings out the Barry bestest, and here’s another prime exemplar of what happens when a project also ignites the same empathetic fire within the composer.

Mind you, his royal resume is full to overflowing with examples par excellence of exactly this type of fabulous foray, but we’d haveta wager this stands high among them with its resplendent melodies, romantic reveries, memorable longing and muscular majesty. (The fact his home now in Oyster Bay overlooks Long Island was a symbolic connection that had to have played in his initial conceptual inspiration).

John also enlisted the impressive aid

of Corina Brouder in an absolutely exquisite song (“To Love and Be Loved”)

that she sings with beguiling beauty to truly touching effect.

You can consider this the genuine “First Love” we never heard in the late 70s and, again, another titled testament to the foundational flaw in that monumental myth JayBee’s late work is anything BUT resplendent with jewels to be sought out -

and cherished.



Director: Harold Becker.

Back to the Basics Department:

There’s nothing particularly exceptional (nor noteworthy) about this effectively-crafted yarn

other than the professional holiday

it provided its two stars,

along with a reasonably involving tale about an endangered child and the protector pledged to stop the rogue elements of the government from assassinating him as they did his parents.

However, serious studio disenchantment with John’s score in general led to Carter Burwell’s engagement to write a serious of cues to balance/compensate for what JayBee had produced on his own.

It hasta be said, for whatever reasons, one of his final efforts does lack the characteristic Barry spark and whether his own equally underwhelming response to how the industry had irrevocably changed – and he wouldn’t or couldn’t (we suspect the former than the latter) go with the flow – is an issue we’ll probably never have the definitive answer to. frown


Director: Willard Carroll.

We can’t comment on this impressively-cast ensemble piece simply because we haven’t seen it as yet,

but we are well aware of the brutal behind-the-scenes debacle involving much of JayBee’s music being redone by Christopher Young.

Eventually a soundtrack was issued with the mellow collaboration of Chris Botti

as well as the abiding influence flavor Chet Baker represented.

Still, by all accounts (and, what’s more, for whatever irrevocable reasons from all sides), the experience encountered on this project couldn’t have been one that left a sweet taste in anybody’s mouth frown frown

 Posted:   Oct 30, 2009 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Dances With Wolves ... (the extended edition] remains, after many years, my favourite film. Unusually, for me, I find that Mr. Barry's score doesn't work quite as well as an album as in the film (where it is almost perfect) but the extended CD release certainly sounds better and is more involving. I think that years of playing the original release with the rather flat sound spoiled it a little for me.

Chaplin ... love the film, despite its faults ... and another 10/10 for Mr. Barry's score. It could not have been better and his use of Mr. Chaplin's Smile works perfectly. What's more, his arrangement and recording of this tune converted me ... prior I had never thought much of it. I love the OST and play it regularly, usually omitting the less than enjoyable vocal version.

Ruby Cairo ... a complete and utter mess of a film (shame as I'd really wanted to enjoy it) with some nice score/melodies but an OST album which I find difficult to rate very high. This is one score where I think there is a lack of development of the main theme and, accordingly, the album becomes a little repetitive. It's a great theme, though, so it's certainly not a waste of money/time (I've bought both releases).

Indecent Proposal ... I commented on this film/score a while back: the film works solely because of the music as it is only the music which gets the audience to like the Robert Redford character. I'd like a proper OST release (in addition to the suite of themes). I'm not too taken with the song but that's more to do with not caring for Ms. Stansfield's performance. The melodies are just brilliant.

My Life ... I've yet to see this and the score has taken a long time to get into my soul. I've always liked it but found it less interesting than most of his works, though Child's Play and The Roller Coaster have been long-time favourites. But it is a score I play a lot and it is climbing through my own "Barry charts".

The Specialist ... a film I really enjoy (even putting up with Mr. Stallone ... James Woods steals the film for me) as it is just such good fun. And Mr. Barry's score is - for me - the best score of the 1990s. Absolutely brilliant, spoiled a little in the film by the redundant pop/rock songs.

The Scarlett Letter ... I watched because of Mr. Barry's involvement. I'm aware that the film has a troubled history (!) and the score ... towards the end ... is, for me, far from his best work. The main theme is outstandingly gorgeous but I don't find the album as satisfying as the majority of his scores.

Cry, The Beloved Country ... is yet another film I watched solely because of JB's music. Very moving and well played by the main actors I particularly like the cue The Boys' Club.

Swept From The Sea ... exquisite melodies ... this is a favourite album for playing whilst lounging in bed on a Sunday morning with cups of tea. I'd struggle to place it particularly high on my favourite JB scores but that's more to do with his other scores!

Mercury Rising ... I wrote about this score a while back (somewhat out of order, I'm sorry) but my views still stand: it's a great score (for a great movie, highly under-rated, IMHO) with My. Barry getting it absolutely right. Rather than score the action he scores the story ... the agent who decides to take on the system to defend the innocent boy. We watched the film a few months ago and I was impressed yet again at how the music works. There are some rogue, out of place, pieces which I do not recognise from the OST and presume that these belong to Mr. Burwell.

Playing By Heart ... track this one down, Neo, it's a wonderful film. I have Mr. Barry talking about it on UK radio at the time of the film's UK release and he speaks well of it and how he enjoyed working on the score. I accept that much of the film is filled with noisey pop/rock tracks but his melodies do survive. A lovely album, somewhat different from many of his other scores.

 Posted:   Oct 31, 2009 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)


A Profound Change of Personally-Professional Pace Department:


Not since “Americans” in 1976 had he embarked upon a concept album singular in both its approach and tenor, and one was rapt with excitement to experience the result. As a major minority of not one (but three), we daresay the result was well worth waiting for.

A’course, we wouldn’t go so far as to unreservedly parrot the publicity in the above commercial, but there’s far more of inherent interest in this effort than first meets the eye (or ear). While some (mayhap rightly) surmise a qualitative quotient of the material may accrue from the rejected “Horse Whisperer” score – the only cut we unabashedly would bet the bank in Las Vegas on is the ‘Meadow of Shadow and Delights’ cut – the remainder is rich in both reverie and that Barry touch of intense intimacy, robust reflection and a coupla dynamite cues that transport you outta your seat.

The one that transcends everything else is “A Childhood Memory”, John’s evocative musical remembrance of his experience during the British blitz and how it impacted his consciousness.

It’s hands down (and heart up) THE most muscular, majestic, thrilling and touching piece of all – an exemplary piece that we’d hail on a par with the most powerful extracts from his creative essence not just in the 90s but EVER.

Rousing, powerful and operating on innumerable emotional levels, it’s a proud paean of both the innocence of being a child and the retroactive resilience of the human spirit in spectacular fashion.

This musical recipe has a full assortment of different dishes guaranteed to appease whatever

mood or appetite is most prevailing.

As such,

it’s of mucho merit



Director: Michael Apted.

We’ve yet to absorb John’s final (completed) enterprise but from the meaningful morsels

we’ve aurally heard, it appears to fall within our previous theory that those projects with a

particularly British historical pedigree instigates an entirely different (tho no less distinctive)
response from him. Natch, the espionage angle isn’t anything utterly (or even remotely) alien to him,

and the same can be said for the romantic angle that’s introduced.

Alas, any assessment we’d be tempted to make would be entirely useless having yet to see the flick
- not Vic wink - which sorta leaves us ala Blanche Dubois beholden on the kindness of (not) strangers to - if hardly rescue, exactly - then graciously provide some much needed assistance as to their eagerly-awaited reactions to it.

Done deal? smile


Our first thoroughly intriquing introduction of metaphysical awareness where John O’Donohue’s concerned emanated from his

so when ‘twas announced Our Man from York was going to fashion another concept album around Mr. Donohue’s most recent offering, we were acute with anticipation to see what Oyster Bay’s royal maestro would bring forth (tho forget about us for the nonce and check out his own comments):

The end result doesn’t quite compare with “Beyondness” and has very little in common – conceptually, musically or emotionally. This was apparently more than many could handle as they beamed outta further investigation once it became apparent it was another instance of that infamous “slow stuff” and far too “easy listening” for their too-sophisticated (try profoundly impatient) hyper-where’s-the-exciting-keep-us-awake-ultra-high grade personifications their musical addictions far more favored - and have become increasingly accustomed to.

Favorite Tracks: the lyrical “First Steps” with its sensuous swirling down to its contemplative conclusion and the mellow harmonica elevating the charming “Slow Day”.

As to that, it’s JayBee in remarkably reflective mode, bringing forth the melodious birth of what you imagine might mirror his interior thoughts and moods gazing out across his lawn over the ocean back into his present state of mind. It’s the work of someone with nothing else to prove, no more mountains to scale, having harnessed all his ambition and drive in everything that’s gone before …

and is now reasonably content to simply BE how, what, why, where and who he is: himself.



This also marked another finale insofar as it’s highly unlikely any further theatrical life will accrue from this long-gestating professionally-personal pet project which first saw the embryonic embers of life many years ago.

Actually, you could almost call it kinda keeping it All in the (Theatrical) Family since the director’s dad had starred in the original film way back when.

For the main characters the musical focused upon, Michael Jibson played Pinkie

and Sophia Ragavelas played his amour Rose.

In this charming interview clip, John and Don Black discuss the creative genesis behind it all.

Now various generally optimistic comments have been shared by Barryophiles luckily enuff to have caught the show, and the specific response seems to have been the intimate nature both the songs and staging doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of future resurrection yet those two conceptual elements might very well negate any backers in today’s wham-bam-Webber-wowza theatrical arena.

Still, it’s too durn bad SOME kinda recording wasn’t made for permanent posterity ... frown

 Posted:   Nov 2, 2009 - 8:38 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

“Bond movies are never going to win an Academy Award. They’re just big entertainment movies and that’s it.

But technically, those scores are very difficult. I used to refer to it as million-dollar Mickey Mouse music.

That means it really follows the picture, really emphasizes the action

… The Bond movies are really wrapped into and are very supportive of the action.

They take a lot of time. I would spend a whole day without writing a note,

just working through the manuscripts for a two-minute cue, which points I’m going to hit.

I’d draw a huge graph highlighting all the action: Bond takes a knife, Bond draws his gun -

You have to find interesting ways to bring all these effects off

without being distracting.

It’s got to sound like a continuous piece of music

while hitting all these points, as well.”

Consummate Compliment Department:

Pay PARTICULAR attention to what

hasta say – it’s as lovely a professional pearl to another peer as you’re ever gonna hear!

big grin

 Posted:   Nov 2, 2009 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

“These are sound-paintings. These are colours and motions as of the restlessness in distant seas and lands. These are melodies at once wistful and heroic embodied in the sureness of orchestral mastery. Barry is a man who has seen life and lived it to the hilt. He has drunk deeply from the cup and has tasted its flavours. The music tells us this … What is treasured in our own hearts we find there – in his music – for he has been there before us. If music has wit, grace, depth and soul, its speaks for us all – it speaks to that unknowable language that a master composer such as John Barry interprets so well …” – Terry Walstrom.

“Barry’s tendency and forte, however, has always been at creating giant canvases of cavernous interiors. I am speaking of scores designed like great halls of marble and stone, and these have been adorned with orchestrated references to gems and gold …” – John Bender.

And we leave the final supreme say so to the ever-merry, magnanimous captain of this enterprising cyber-ship:

“To adapt a cliché, it isn’t the speed of your music,it’s how you use it that counts.

… Like Bernard Herrmann before him, he is a rare example of a perfectly accomplished composer who, when turning his attention to film, has come up with an approach of matching music to visuals that is a stroke of genius … Barry came informed by the rich worlds of jazz and pop. (Due to the one-way street of history, and the inventions of the 20th century, it is a birth of a style the likes of which we may never witness again) …

… Finally, any appreciation of John Barry… must acknowledge is genius in daring to create mood out of sheer melody. In an age where film-makers seem deathly afraid of any recognizable pace or tune, Barry goes in the completely opposite direction to provide both …

Once you develop a taste for his work, there are treasures galore.” -


 Posted:   Nov 2, 2009 - 10:21 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Saving the Bestest for Ever-Lasteth Department:


Director: Stephen Low.

Despite our enormous admiration for “Dances”, the poignancy he bestowed upon “Chaplin” and the adrenalin-rush stimulating “The Specialist”, what constitutes (in our non-Nobeled estimation) his crowning achievement on our purely personal side (right next to “My Life”) is the magnificent achievement John creatively conjured up for this IMAX production. It must’ve been something to see in the original format because even the video we watched is visually impressive as it luxuriously puts forth its bouquet for New York’s past history and present intoxicating appeal.

It also provided the musical canvas for the tapestry of scope, scale, size, spectacle, awe and unique underpinning of the emotional trajectory the main character Tomas experiences – a young lad who makes the cross-ocean passage alone searching for his relatives with only a post-card as his guide.

From jumping ship to going through Ellis Island and finally into the maddening maelstrom of a thoroughly alien and frightening city,

his misadventures receive the beautiful ballast of a score that’s ravishing in its loveliness,

truly touching in its intimate compass

and bountiful with a bouquet of themes (whether the exquisitely charming

or the transcendently moving ‘Never Have I Felt So Free’) that dazzle with their distinctive charm and memorable impact.

There’s also enough flavorful fun in store, too, that evokes the many luminous levels part and exciting parcel of living in New York, whether in Central Park

or the seductive allure that’s Broadway.

The giant show-piece, tho, is the throat-catching aerial flight over the city which has as poetic a heavenly introduction as JayBee has ever birthed (consequently leading into an extended virtuous rendering of the ‘Prince of Tides’ theme, herein unveiled in a manner mebbe not initially envisioned yet no less wonderfully suitable, anyway).

[ What minor caveats we can come up with only haveta do with some really catchy cues from the film aren’t on the soundtrack and, inexplicably, vicey versy – especially the rousing “Subway Ride”, which has an entirely different embodiment in the movie). Still, we shan’t quibble about that Sybil as the feast still to be tasted more than makes up for everything else.]

John has always had a special affection for New York and, whilst we definitively doubt it could ever equal, eclipse or come close to how he feels about his place of origin, this musical valentine is an absolutely, absolutely – actually, we absolutely have no words weighty enough to do it supreme service for its utterly sublime epiphany of essence.

 Posted:   Nov 2, 2009 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Happy Birthday – and Beyond Department:

“The man is the music. You can’t separate yourself from what you write …

“I know Katharine Hepburn rather well, and she always says the secret of this business of longevity
– and she should know – is being a good picker.

Making the right choices …

“A guy called Michael Ayrton, an art critic, wrote an article in a wonderful book called ‘The Rudiments of Paradise’ (1971), in which he talked about still paintings. He made a reference that said, ‘It’s like a nervous reaction to visual phenomena’, and when I read that I thought, ohmygod, that’s what I do.

The first time you see a movie, that’s the most important viewing, that reaction you get, because you write for a first-time audience
. So I watch and I remember and I sometimes make written notes to hang on to those initial responses – because after you’ve seen it once, you’ll see it 20 or 30 more one way or another. So I make mood notes, not musical notes but dramatic observations ...

“I’ve had the most magnificent life,

a splendid life, with the most extraordinary parents, and the most extraordinary brother and sister, and I have three grown daughters. I just had a son … I’ve been blessed with possibly the best things that anybody could be blessed with.

But I draw upon that; I don’t draw upon the script. The script rings bells.

And that’s about writing music, that’s not about film scoring. It’s not about how you score a movie, it’s about what you do to your music, the loneliness of your own room and that, and you think about what that is, and you have the guts to pull it out of yourself and apply it to a dramatic situation. That’s what it’s about …

You draw upon the history of yourself. Anybody who writes must write essentially what they know about …

So your life is full of all kinds of levels … and as you walk the earth, these are the things you call upon to write your music.

… I think I’m terribly good at what I do, I love doing what I do. I’m a very, very good movie composer.

I am very happy with being that way …

The future is: sit down and write terrific music.”

{ Farewell Hello } Department:

There was a tyme, some tyme ago, when we had the dream of authoring a book entitled ”John Barry: Movie Music Maestro”. That reality hasn’t yet quite achieved the creative pregnancy we’ve wanted, but we hope this gives you a wee bit of a gracious glance as to what might still acquire belated artistic birth. wink

Our transcendent and honorably humble thanks to all who’ve graced us with your presence, thoughts,
insights, support and ever-curious eyes in escrow of your equally empathetic ears. smile

Be Well. Be Brave. But Always – In All Ways – Be the Uniqueness That’s { U }. cool cool cool

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