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The great John Barry, one of the titans of film music, has died at the age of 77. He had been in poor health for some time. Condolences to his family and close friends.

Barry is one of the main reasons I fell in love with film music. As I began accumulating soundtrack albums, a large proportion of them were by him – the great Bond scores, the Oscar-winning masterpiece The Lion in Winter, the swinging 60s sound of The Ipcress File and The Knack, the latter-day romantic triumphs like Out of Africa and Somewhere in Time and the score which turned me into a film music fanatic, Dances with Wolves, in my opinion his finest score and one of the top few film scores ever written.

I remember the great concerts he gave in London and Birmingham in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s – and feel privileged to have attended them all. At the first one, as he was introduced onto the stage by his old friend Michael Caine, one of the greatest film music-related nights of my life was about to being.

One of film music’s master melodists, it is a real shame that his career seemed to end somewhat prematurely, as younger filmmakers didn’t understand how great themes and one of film music’s keenest dramatic senses could benefit their films. But what a body of work he left behind for us all to enjoy forever.

Rest in peace.


  1. Mark Wright (Reply) on Monday 31 January, 2011 at 10:40

    It was with the saddest of hearts that I heard the news of the death of John Barry, my musical companion for over 30 years. Barry’s creative influence on the history of cinematic music is both profoundly important
    and a life long lesson to those that aspire to create film scores for movies in the 21st century.
    As a young man, I first saw Barry conduct the Royal Philharmonic at the Filmharmonic Concert, it was not until the Royal Albert Hall
    and Birmingham Symphony Hall concerts in the late 90’s and early 2000’s that Barry had the oppourtunity to absorb the enormity of his fan
    base and the respect garnered from fellow composers and the industry
    he had worked in for over 40 years. The Royal Albert Hall/ECO concert
    was one of the most special evenings of my life. Barry’s music has played an enormous part in my own life, the strains of his melodies
    travelling on the journies around the world I have undertaken, my children has grown up listening to his composistions – his scores never
    far from important moments in my life.
    It is with deepsest condolences that I think of John’s Wife Laurie, Son,
    Jon Patrick and the rest of his Family. My thoughts to are with life long fellow John Barry Fans Graham Sutton and former owners of Movie Boulevard Leeds – Robert & Richard, and fans and associates all around the world. This the saddest, most heartbreaking loss to the world of cinema and to film music composistion – His like will never be heard again – Let the Drumbeat continue to roll