Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, John Barry!

Birthday greetings to composer extraordinaire John Barry, who turns 75 today! A five-time Oscar winner, Barry is best known for his lush, epic, often melancholic film scores. When I think back to being a 10-year-old sitting in that dark theater watching the 1976 remake of King Kong, even then I could tell that much of the film's epic power and sense of romantic doom was a direct product of Barry's score.

Barry, of course, defined the "sound" of James Bond, scoring eleven films: From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), The Man With The Golden Gun (1974), Moonraker (1979), Octopussy (1983), A View To A Kill (1985), and The Living Daylights (1987), in which Barry had a cameo.

Variety celebrates his birthday with several articles about Barry's career in films, television, and theater:

Composer with the midas touch
Five oscars reflect his elegant simplicity

John Barry reflects on 10 of his scores
'Goldfinger' 'Midnight Cowboy' reconsidered

Barry succeeds in theater and TV
Obscure works attest to composer's ambition

Collaborators reflect on John Barry
Scores continue to move filmmakers

John Barry invented the spy movie score
Unique arrangements ushered in a new genre

Related links:
John Barry at the Songwriters Hall of Fame
John Barry at the Internet Movie Database
John Barry at The Danish Filmmusic Society (DFS)
Biography of John Barry
Official Somewhere In Time Website
Filmtracks' Tribute to John Barry
John Barry: A Life in Music
John Barry discography at

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This blog is for fans of classic giant monsters and monster-fighters from the movies, TV, and comics -- including King Kong, Godzilla, Gamera, Mothra, Rodan, King Ghidorah, Mechagodzilla, Dogora, Johnny Sokko and Giant Robot, Ultraman, Fin Fang Foom, Titano, The Host, and more. We also salute the classic genre and special effects films of Toho Studios Universal Studios, Hammer Films, not to mention the Frankenstein Monster, Count Dracula, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, giant robots, sci-fi, manga, and anime.