Thursday, January 27, 2011

Forgotten Music Thursday: John Barry - Themependium (2007)

With a career spanning over 5 decades, John Barry has made a name for himself as one of the most in demand film score composers-- perhaps only second to John Williams. 

Included in this exceptional box set are not only Barry's more well known works for the Bond films (including the signature theme) but also material from his Oscar winning scores for Born Free, Out of Africa, The Lion In Winter, & Dances With Wolves. 

The set is rounded out by a handful of some of Barry's lesser known works including TV themes and material from his scores for Raise the Titanic (easily the best part of this Golden Razzie winner of a bomb), Somewhere In Time (the hauntingly beautiful theme that yanks on the heartstrings and some might argue is more memorable than the film) not to mention material from Day of the Locusts, Body Heat, Frances, Peggy Sue Got Married and many more.  For fans of film scores this is a must have as Barry's  scores were so brilliant they at times were even superior to the films he was scoring (Raise the Titanic and Frances are cases in point).

While it could be argued that much of the material on this box set is well known (the Bond themes in particular) much of it is not.  And pulled from the context of the movies and shows the music is taken from, much of the "forgotten" and even some of the more well known gems are what stand out the most as they are strong enough to stand on their own even without the films they are from as a frame of reference. 

There's a distinct and haunting beauty to much of Barry's work.  Considering the length, scope, and breadth of Barry's career a single CD collection would not do him justice.  This box set is an excellent place to start delving into Barry's extensive body of work and could conceivably inspire the listener to delve deeper into some of the full scores that are merely hinted at in this set.

Related Links
John Barry (wikipedia)
John Barry - The Man With the Midas Touch


George said...

I'm ordering this Right Now! Thanks for the heads-up!

Jessica D'Amico (JeDa) said...


Perplexio said...

George: As much as I love the sweeping epics of John Williams, John Barry's work hits me harder. While I enjoy listening to Williams, I actually find myself "feeling" Barry's work more, if that makes sense. I hope you enjoy this set as much as I have.

Jessica: Thanks!

music obsessive said...

About time someone gave this guy some publicity. Always loved his work, especially 'You Only Live Twice' which gives me goosebumps just to think of it.

TAD said...

Plex: You don't mention if the box includes Barry's heroic instrumental theme from HOWARD THE DUCK! Seriously, it's great, rousing, heroic, memorable stuff, & separate from the movie (which is actually pretty funny, I thot) it's probably a real killer! I promise I'm being serious here. Please advise....