Bond Composer John Barry Passes Away At Age 77
In Hollywood, typically we only recognize actors, directors and screenwriters. In our minds, those are the people that make or break films, but in reality, the creative process is filled with dozens of minds that either improve or curse the final product with their own contributions. From editors to cinematographers to casting agents, many of the unsung heroes quietly go about their work without the publicity they deserve. We may not go see a film based on who wrote the score, but when we're confronted with a great one, we take notice. Composer John Barry wrote a lot of great ones, and he died today at the age of 77.
He won Academy Awards for Born Free, Dances With Wolves, Out Of Africa and The Lion In Winter. A few years back, he was made a fellow by BAFTA. His score for Midnight Cowboy continues to inspire future generations of composers, but for the rest of us, it will always be his brilliant work on the James Bond films that we'll remember. In total, he contributed to 11 of James Bond's best. He was the principal arranger on the 1962 Bond theme song, and after that he went on to score everything from Goldfinger to You Only Live Twice.
Here's what current Bond composer David Arnold had to say about his fallen predecessor in Deadline: “He was the reason why I got into film music. It's a profound loss for everyone. He was gruff and forthright and hilarious. But it's the musical legacy that's astonishing. The music he wrote often transcended the film he wrote it for. James Bond would have been far less cool without John Barry holding his hand.”
Cinema Blend's thoughts go out to John Barry's family.
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