My friend Jim emailed me this morning informing me of the sad news that veteran film composer, John Barry had died at age 77. We're at a time now where many of my favourite personalities are leaving us - I was also very sad to hear of the passing of director, Blake Edwards a couple weeks ago. Both John Barry and Blake Edwards were highly representative of my favourite era of movies: the 1960's. Yes, I know many movie buffs won't share my opinion of the films of that era, but I personally love the STYLE of everything from the 60's - in movies, music and television. And both of these talented men helped to shape that style.
In the case of John Barry, he was one of a handful of film composers that I really admired from that era, the others being Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand, Maurice Jarre, and Ennio Morricone. All of these incredible composers wrote memorable and melodic film scores, often with title tunes that went on to become well loved standards. Barry was of course best known for creating the exciting scores from the James Bond films of the 60's through 80's. He won Academy Awards for both the title song and score to Born Free, about the orphaned lion cub, Elsa. I even have the soundtrack record album for Disney's The Black Hole, a somewhat disappointing film somehow made more interesting through John Barry's imposing and exciting score.
Anyway, I figure the best way to celebrate this legendary film composer is to listen to his music. Here then is the maestro himself conducting his score from Goldfinger, followed by another YouTube clip featuring the wonderful Shirley Bassey reprising her rendition of the title song in concert. Enjoy!