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  • Composed by John Barry
  • Varese Sarabande CD Club VCL 0309 1090 / 2009 / 78:56

In 1996 I bought a Silva Screen compilation album – “The Classic John Barry”.  Of course I was familiar with some of his work, but barely anything outside Bond – and it was probably that album that changed me from being a casual film music fan into a real freak.  One track in particular stood out – as you may have guessed from me telling this story in this particular review, it was Hanover Street.  Its ravishing, romantic theme is simply resplendent; you could picture the dashing hero, the comely wench in his arms, the adventure, the romance.  I had never even heard of the film (and to this day haven’t seen it) but felt I knew an awful lot about it just by listening to its main theme.  (That’s what film music used to be like!)  It has never lost its allure and I could never grow tired of hearing it in all its glory.

As it turns out, that’s a good thing when listening to this album, the first time the score for Hanover Street has been released in any format (apart from that five minute bundle of joy from Silva).  As can sometimes be the case, Barry bases almost his whole score on that wonderful theme – sometimes in a much darker fashion, but it’s always there.  He throws in some Star Crash-like action music (believe it or not!) to add a bit of variety, but without the main theme, this score would be nothing.  And I am tempted to say that now I’ve heard almost 80 minutes of music from Hanover Street on this album, I’m not sure I’m any better off than I was when I only had five minutes on that compilation.  In fact, I just did say it. ***

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  1. Alex Cope (Reply) on Saturday 12 September, 2009 at 17:39

    I was floored by Barry’s theme in “The Bombing.” I was bored by it 50 minutes later.

  2. thomas (Reply) on Wednesday 16 September, 2009 at 22:49

    haha, im a huge JB fan also, but i to agree with Alex’s comment here and James’ review, it is a “somewhat” repetitve score.