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‘If you think in terms of the ’60s as a time of revolution in England, it was music led; the Beatles led with rock ‘n’ roll and John Barry led with film music.’- Michael Caine
• John Barry is easily the most celebrated British film composer; the winner of five Oscars, he created the James Bond scores and – taking the period up to the early seventies alone – was also the genius behind the music for such singular films as Beat Girl, Zulu, The Ipcress File, Born Free, The Wrong Box, The Quiller Memorandum, Deadfall, The Lion in Winter, Midnight Cowboy and Walkabout. Indeed, he can claim to have made the film soundtrack album an art in its own right with Beat Girl having been the first such LP to have been released in Britain.
• The John Barry Seven were formed in 1957. An important (mostly) instrumental aggregation. Barry, with the particular aid of the group’s inventive guitarist, Vic Flick, created impressive musical motifs for both the landmark British teen exploitation picture, Beat Girl and The James Bond Theme which featured either over the opening titles or end credits of numerous Bond films from Dr No onwards; a blazing arrangement of Monty Norman’s tune which would come to be regarded as one of the most identifiable call-signs of the era.
• Barry’s early musical style – that marriage of twang guitar and pizzicato strings – was defined by such numbers as his arrangement for Adam Faith’s What do You Want, released at the tail end of 1959 (and therefore enjoying the distinction of being the first really big hit of the 1960s) and the Seven’s own Hit and Miss, the indelible tune that was the theme of the popular nationwide pop music panel show, Juke Box Jury. Barry’s themes for Bond are at once ominous and curiously playful; famously evoking a sophisticated world of mystery, travel and sex.
• This edition is an anthology of John Barry’s music for film, television and radio, spanning the first half of the 1960s. The set comprises many historic recordings by the Seven, performances of Barry arrangements and compositions by Adam Faith and Bert Weedon, and within the Plays 007 album, originally released by Ember in 1964, fine alternate versions of themes from From Russia With Love, Elizabeth Taylor In London and Born Free.