Monday, January 31, 2011

Composer JOHN BARRY dies of heart-attack, aged 77

Composer John Barry, famous for his work on Born Free, Midnight Cowboy and the James Bond films, has died aged 77 of a heart attack.

Born John Barry Prendergast in 1933, the York-born musician first found fame as leader of the John Barry Seven.

His arrangement of Monty Norman's James Bond theme led to him composing scores for 11 films in the series, among them Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.

His work saw him win five Oscars, while he received a Bafta fellowship in 2005.

1 comment:

Simon Hoare said...

RIP John Barry. Not just one of the greatest and most influential film composers ever but actually one of the most influential composers of any music ever. His talent though well recognised was never as widely credited as his achievements merited. Like no other he took classical music, big band and jazz into a sexy pop format most beautifully shown in his Bond themes which are definitive and which the rest of the genre constantly attempts to match up to but quite simply never will. Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Thunderball - the most glamorous music imagineable. But that was only a small part of his work 5 Oscars for other scores/songs and countless other movies whose sound (an vision) defined a large part of the later twentieth century. He had an edge and an ear for both melody and counterpoint as well as a panache which lifted his work to the highest level. That he was never knighted is typical of the lack of vision which successive governments in this country are guilty of but which he certainly did not suffer from. He changed the musical landscape in his genres as much as The Beatles in theirs. A unique individual and from a fan whose life has been completely enriched by his music I would just like to say thank you. Though I didn't know him personally I will miss John Barry but rejoice in the fact that his music will live forever. RIP John you will be sorely missed.