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

First Look E! TLC composers romance BBC crime Logo Warner Bros. USA Biopics Western historical drama Valentine's Day Certified Fresh GoT Creative Arts Emmys Winners unscripted NBC Cosplay DC Comics USA Network Extras Musicals X-Men Animation 2017 Ellie Kemper ratings DC streaming service FXX social media BBC America Calendar justice league CW Seed OWN Box Office SXSW what to watch Universal ESPN Oscars DC Universe Sci-Fi Marathons Syfy Photos thriller Music Apple talk show PBS Watching Series Sony Pictures zombies GIFs war dceu AMC The Arrangement Country TBS Ovation politics 24 frames 20th Century Fox cops Schedule American Society of Cinematographers Spring TV medical drama WGN ABC Family IFC TIFF crossover YA GLAAD Election political drama RT History Premiere Dates Mystery festivals Amazon President CNN Writers Guild of America dramedy VICE Best and Worst TV Land Paramount Network Sneak Peek Showtime MTV HBO Fox News serial killer aliens comiccon Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Emmys Nominations TNT science fiction DirecTV period drama Action Thanksgiving Netflix Dark Horse Comics discovery Reality Competition Trivia Disney Channel National Geographic Britbox Comic Book Ghostbusters Rock Superheroe streaming Pop CBS All Access Hulu transformers boxoffice finale Walt Disney Pictures Infographic SundanceTV Sundance Now E3 Comedy YouTube Red Holidays 007 El Rey TruTV TCA 2017 zombie Grammys Opinion The CW Lionsgate binge CBS VH1 technology Star Trek Christmas Spike Acorn TV NYCC police drama ABC Interview Countdown Crackle harry potter 45 Esquire travel singing competition biography History See It Skip It Disney IFC Films supernatural 2016 cats Lucasfilm FX Shondaland Freeform Lifetime Mindy Kaling sports Martial Arts Marvel Trailer vampires Rom-Com Nat Geo Polls and Games Sundance diversity ITV Columbia Pictures Year in Review cinemax APB cults LGBTQ Nickelodeon Starz Star Wars Fantasy psycho sitcom CMT TV Teen crime thriller golden globes PaleyFest crime drama 2015 Summer Winter TV robots Video Games Food Network dc Adult Swim spy thriller Kids & Family Bravo Cartoon Network Podcast Reality Tumblr Horror SDCC TCM Musical Set visit Toys Rocky Character Guide Drama cooking Mary Tyler Moore Pixar adventure Awards Pirates Red Carpet Superheroes FOX MSNBC 21st Century Fox Fall TV hist A&E Super Bowl Masterpiece based on movie TCA docudrama Comedy Central Paramount Tomatazos BET