John Barry: 1933-2011

The Oscar-winning composer behind the music of Bond -- and much more -- passes away, aged 77.

by | January 31, 2011 | Comments

The world bid farewell to one of the giants of soundtrack music today, as John Barry, the multiple Oscar-winning composer associated with the James Bond scores, passed away aged 77.

Barry’s compositions for the 007 series, beginning with his arrangement of Monty Norman’s famous intro for 1962’s Dr. No, were instrumental in shaping not just the sound but the iconography of the franchise; his bold and brassy pieces are among the most instantly recognizable music cues in movie history. Barry would also compose many of Bond’s signature pop themes, including Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger,” Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice” and Duran Duran’s “A View To A Kill”. His last score for the series was 1987’s The Living Daylights.

Beyond Bond, Barry was a prolific composer of regard and influence. His first soundtrack, performed when the jazz-honed musician lead the group The John Barry 7, was the British teen romp Beat Girl in 1960, an early precursor to the screen sound of ’60s London. During that decade he would go on to create memorable scores for Zulu, The Ipcress File and Midnight Cowboy, among many others, while winning Oscars for his music to Born Free and The Lion In Winter. (Barry contributed to his share of cult classics, too: the creepy Seance on a Wet Afternoon, swingin’ The Knack… and How To Get It, and off-kilter Liz Taylor flop Boom! were all his impressive handiwork.)

He continued to demonstrate his versatility across the ensuing decades, composing for films as diverse as Walkabout, King Kong, The Deep, Body Heat, Disney’s The Black Hole and even the notorious Howard the Duck; more Oscars were also forthcoming, with trophies for Best Picture winners Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves. Barry’s final score was for Michael Apted’s Enigma, in 2001.

Tag Cloud

Video Games Universal Year in Review TIFF Logo Winners crime drama diversity Trailer Rocky science fiction Character Guide Musicals CNN Tumblr Netflix Rock Emmys Esquire serial killer crime thriller Cartoon Network Fox News Opinion social media VH1 Calendar Star Wars Adult Swim Amazon Pirates Ghostbusters History TNT Sneak Peek cinemax A&E Fall TV cooking 24 frames Set visit adventure DC Comics travel Sci-Fi HBO Biopics Extras Polls and Games LGBTQ American Society of Cinematographers ESPN Nickelodeon singing competition Writers Guild of America thriller vampires CBS All Access Pop MSNBC PaleyFest ITV Thanksgiving Box Office Country Martial Arts 007 TCM Showtime comiccon AMC TCA 2017 Best and Worst Nominations E! sports Disney Channel Food Network Hulu harry potter SundanceTV Holidays Freeform Schedule BET TBS TCA boxoffice Valentine's Day SDCC Premiere Dates Nat Geo IFC Marvel BBC America period drama Lifetime Spring TV The CW TruTV dramedy ABC Bravo CBS Summer Interview Syfy Comedy Central Rom-Com Kids & Family Superheroes GIFs 2015 Awards Winter TV Reality FOX Music ABC Family Sundance Oscars OWN WGN Toys VICE GLAAD Masterpiece NYCC Action FX Lionsgate Reality Competition Animation Cosplay DirecTV 2016 FXX docudrama El Rey sitcom Starz Grammys 2017 Marathons Photos TV Land PBS Countdown President First Look Disney CMT MTV Exclusive Video Tomatazos Crackle Red Carpet Mystery Drama Podcast Infographic Certified Fresh Trivia Watching Series GoT USA BBC politics Comedy discovery Election Fantasy NBC Horror