Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy 75th, John Barry!

Birthday greetings to composer extraordinaire John Barry, who turns 75 today! Although he has written music for a variety of media, he is best known for his lush, epic, often melancholic film scores, five of which nabbed him Oscars: 1966's Born Free (for which he was awarded both "Best Score" and "Best Song"); The Lion in Winter (1968); Out of Africa (1985); and Dances With Wolves (1990).

He has also scored the likes of Zulu (1964), The Ipcress File (1965), Midnight Cowboy (1969), Somewhere In Time (1980), Body Heat (1981), Hammett (1982), Chaplin (1992), and Mercury Rising (1998) -- not to mention, a record eleven James Bond 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 SoundtrackCollector.com
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