It always amuses us when those who know nothing of the creative process (and even less of the personal artistic alchemy that goes into channeling its professional pedigree) come forth with pronouncements such as "they've lost their talent or he's no longer what he once was" (as if any of us are ).
All one has to do is listen to this powerfully-pertinent and dramatically dynamite slice of J.B.'s uprearing to richly realize none of his passionate fire or musically-intense, emotionally-explosive yet subtly sensitive insightfulness had vanished towards the final third of his career ... actually, magnificently much to the still- compelling contrary.
"The Beyondness of Things" is a splendid journey through the life of John Barry. It's like a musical autobiography, and I love how it all culminates in the optimistic, jazzy "Dance With Reality" - as if saying (after all the gloom and heartbreak of the tragic episodes) "Hey, we got through it and THIS is what matters" - a celebration of Life.
And I'm still enchanted by the smoochy and sweet "Kissably Close". Takes me back to being about seventeen years old again - and this came from JB when he'd already reached the age of about 65. There's an "authenticity" in that writing which shows that the man was still very much in touch with what makes us tick.
I love Barry, but The Beyondness Of Things is a hit and miss affair with me. I enjoy some tracks ("Dawn Chorus", "The Fictionist") but the quote from that children's song in "A Childhood Memory" always made me cringe.
I'm an Eternal Echoes guy. "Fred & Cyd" -- that's MY kind of Barry!