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The Stringbeat Years

The Stringbeat Years cover2

Now available!

The Stringbeat Years: Songs accompanied by John Barry

Coming soon, a 4-CD box-set comprising of 144 tracks, a 24-page booklet (replete with period photographs and comprehensive notes) and including ten bonus tracks (among them the CD debut of the first ever cover version of a John Barry instrumental composition).

Featuring – for the first time – the film versions of ‘Mix me a Person’, ‘The Time has Come’, and ‘What a Whopper’ (slightly shortened). There’s also an unique opportunity to hear the original version of ‘Ah, Poor Little Baby’, making its premiere appearance on CD.


post-free in the UK
Europe £4.25
Japan  £5.60
USA    £5.75
Aus/NZ £6.65

The box-set is limited to 500 copies and is only £16.99 post-free in the UK, so don’t miss out!
It will only be available direct from this website!

So pre-order now!

Let us know if you aren't able to do this and we'll work out another way. 



Rare pictures of John Barry show up

Friday, 23 July 2010 14:26

The latest 007 magazine from Graham Rye features two pictures of John Barry: one has JB with Lionel Bart, Harry Saltzman and Albert R. Broccoli and in the other he is with Lionel Bart and Ian Fleming at a party at Pinewood celebrating From Russia With Love.

Promise Her Anything

Monday, 19 July 2010 14:25

Was the film "Promise Her Anything" (1965) a rejected John Barry score?

by Geoff Leonard

The current edition of INSITE, the quarterly magazine from International network of Somewhere in Time enthusiasts, has reprinted Jon Burlingame's 75th birthday tribute originally published in Variety.

It is the magazine's lead story.

Johnny Worth told them to stuff it

Monday, 12 July 2010 14:24

By Johnny Worth (added by Geoff Leonard)
I have an interesting story re John Barry. Adam Faith was doing a film with Jane Wyman and that awful British actor with the comic plummy voice.* The film was called Mix me a Person.

The producer was a a guy called Sergei Nolbandov and he worked for or ran a company called Vic Films.

I had written the title-song, which John had arranged - also an instrumental piece to be used during a car chase called "One double zero".   I was producing these tracks in the studio and suffered constant interruption from a fellow in the control room who I didn't know from Adam (joke) - so I told him to please shut up or kindly leave the stage - which he did!

When I arrived home my wife said Vic Films have been on the phone. Apparently there was a guy in the studio in charge of their music department named Muir Mathieson and he was very impressed with the way you handled everything. They want you to write the score for the movie.

I said "how much?" and they said £150!  I told them to stuff it so they asked John Barry to do it instead. That was virtually the start of his movie career.

* he means Anne Baxter & Donald Sinden.

It's an interesting anecdote though possibly not entirely accurate. JB receives only a "songs arranged by" credit for this film while Muir Mathieson is "musical advisor".  Nobody is credited for writing the score, such as it is.

Mr Moses LP lined up in '60s?

Friday, 14 May 2010 14:23

 by Ian McDonald
"Tony Palmer, head of A&R at EMI UA in the mid 60's had this (a Mr. Moses LP, ed.) all lined up. It even got a listing in the 'Gramaphone' Catalogue (!!). I actually saw the front sleeve proof when I visited their offices in Manchester Square. Alas, it never saw light of day, but surely those tapes are somewhere in the EMI vaults. It was never listed for a US release... Probably around 40 mins or so."

Keith Calnan
New Dulux advert on ITV has Midnight Cowboy as backing track

Paul McCartney in an interview with Paul Gambaccini, December 1978:

(transcribed by Gareth Bramley)
" I was asked to write Diamonds Are Forever. Somebody I knew was connected with the Bond thing and said 'would you like to do a song' and I said 'Yeah!!!! (straight away, you know, YEAH!!!)

I couldn't do that one coz I think it was John Barry and they had it all sewn up anyway, so maybe (you can do) the next one. "

A Man Alone - the lyrics

Sunday, 07 March 2010 13:19

"A Man Alone"

David Butterworth submits:

"A Man Alone" - vocal: Pat Boone
From (sic.) "The Ipcress File"
DOT 16808 - 45rpm - 2:27

He keeps his heart in hiding,
his feelings are in disguise.
He may not seem exciting,
but danger is in his eyes.

No love may try to trap him
or capture him in his spell.
No love can ever hold him,
for he knows intrigue too well.

This is a silent stranger,
his destiny is unknown.
He plays the game of danger,
and this is a man alone.


--J.Barry / R. Tillison / Russell T. Lesslie

Thanks to Alan More for the scan of the single


Website gives as date "ca. December 1965 poss. Hollywood, CA – Pat Boone"

It would seem as though people just added lyrics. The publisher would have given permission, though.
As an aside, Leslie Bricusse said *he* wrote an Ipcress song. Which was not used.


The Criminal

Friday, 05 March 2010 13:19

A report recently circulated that director Joseph Losey heard John Barry's brassy score for Beat Girl, and wanted him for The Criminal (1960), but Barry turned down the gig because he was working on the Peter Sellers Never Let Go movie at the time.

We cannot confirm or deny this but it is on record that Barry & Losey were to work together on the original aborted musical of Brighton Rock in 1964, and eventually did work together on Boom! (1968) so the story could well be true.

Whispers about "The Horse Whisperer"

Wednesday, 03 February 2010 13:18

Ian Macdonald contributed a fascinating piece to the Barry Yahoo group:

I have just been viewing the 'Filmnotgraphy' section of the website. I note with interest that it is thought that JB wrote and recorded a full score for this movie, so, for what it is worth, I thought I would contribute my knowledge of what actually happened and why Barry left the film.

As some of you may know I was fortunate to attend the last 2 days recording sessions for 'Swept from the Sea' (aka Amy Foster) in march 1997 at Abbey Road.  At the end of the last day JB thanked the ECO for their hard work and announced to them that he would be doing the score to Redford's movie and that he would be working with them in October of that year when the score would probably be recorded.

On JB's return home he worked on some 'demo's recorded them in a small NY studio and arranged to meet Redford.

My information is that there were three themes in all which RR did not like. Evidently he accused Barry of not understanding his film's intentions and trying to make it into a pastiche of Born Free and encouraged Barry to be more dramatic and 'cut the thematic crap'.

JB was evidently and understandably upset at Redford's comments and an intense discussion (being polite) broke out. It ended with Barry sweeping up his work and storming out of the meeting. Evidently from that day to this they have not spoken and both went out of their way to avoid each other when dining at the same NY Restaurant a few weeks later.

As I think is widely known 'Meadow of Delight & Sadness' (from the 'Beyondness' Album) was one of the pieces originally written for this movie. The other 2 pieces I am not sure about, but I have it on good authority - from the man who acted as 'fixer' for his work with the ECO - that Barry DID NOT get to the stage of writing or recording a full score for this film.

I think I am right in saying (please correct me if I am wrong) that this was the only piece from that intended score to reach the 'Beyondness' Album, so maybe, some time in the future the other two will surface....................or maybe they already have in some other form (Playing by Heart, Echoes, Ten Tenors albums?)........who knows?



Prior to Ian's post, there has been a number of stories and theories about what happened to the music. Here's a selection:

Someone was recently asking me about recording sessions for The Horse Whisperer, forgotten whom. Anyway, I asked Nic Raine and he said it wasn't recorded apart from initial demos of the main cues, which is Barry's usual method. But 'Goodbye Lover' apparently was, though it's not entirely clear whether it was rejected or if Barry simply refused to re-score some parts after many changes to the film were made. (N.B. since then Wayne Kramer has confirmed he has heard the full recorded score to Goodbye Lover.)



I do think that sometimes he's his own worst enemy: it was only two years ago when he was scoring The Horse Whisperer, a film that would have put him right back on the map, and probably won him yet another Oscar - and yet, rather than do what he was employed to do, and give the director what he wanted, he stubbornly refused, and hasn't even sniffed a quality project ever since. That they only disagreed over the scoring of one scene, and Barry refused to budge, is such a pity, and really quite stupid when you think about it.



My first question was about the music for "The Horse Whisperer" being used for "TBOT" I asked if this was a rumour could he scotch it or confirm it was true. He said it was true that music was from "THW" and that the music was personal to him. Then, proceeded to damn the film saying that the original novel was superb and that the horse dies at the end in the book but for some strange reason Robert Redford insisted the horse survive. He said the film was mostly made up of shots of Redford from this angle and that angle, smiling now, frowning now, etc. Afterwards his wife said 'Now you know the whole truth' and JB went 'Shh!' and shook my hand.



I think most people on this site do not understand is that John Barry when he accepted the job of writing the score to the Horse Whisperer, John saw the rough cut of the movie, Robert Redford and John Barry talked about where music cues would go. Off John went and 3 to 4 weeks later in "piano" form John played 5 to 6 themes and cues for Robert Redford. Mr. Redford didn't like what he heard cuz he has paper stuck in his ears, and John Barry not compromising his position and off they went into two different direction.

"Samantha's Mom"


I've always thought that 2 or 3 themes from Horse would be the maximum (on TBOT), though apparently at the concert Richard Kraft was indicating to people which tracks were from Horse and it was 3 or 4 of them. Make that 'allegedly' in case Richard is looking in!


Page 84 of 90

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Windmill Publications

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Specialising in book publications and CD releases about John Barry and our book "Hit ans Miss: The Story of The John Barry Seven.

PIA website

Have a look at our old "Play It Again" label website here.

Play It Again Records CD catalogue offered the discerning listener a wide choice of digitally re-mastered recordings from film and television, and rare collections of work from the likes of Don Black and Ron Grainer.


Geoff Leonard writes CD booklet notes, articles, and occasionally books, in partnership with Pete Walker. You can read more about this here:

Contact the JB site

If you wish to send an email, for example with content for the website, please contact Geoff Leonard:

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Bristol, UK

Geoff (owner) and Ruud (webmaster) have been running the John Barry website since June 18, 2001.

This website is not endorsed by the composer's family.
Use of copyrighted materials and logos are for promotional purposes only.

All files on this website are for personal use only and cannot be bought or sold.


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Geoff Leonard writes CD booklet notes, articles, and occasionally books, in partnership with Pete Walker. You can read more about this here:


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A lot more James Bond concerts collected on the link below, I have put them all in this news item. So check it out from there!