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The Stringbeat Years

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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. 

The Ultimate John Barry

Tuesday, 01 January 2002 14:21

EMI 7243 5 35934 2 1

Geoff Leonard

EMI have just issued yet another John Barry compilation, this time calling it 'The Ultimate John Barry'. Of course it is far from being that, but it is a fairly interesting mix of tracks ranging from the sublime (Cutty Sark) to the ridiculous (Twelfth Street Rag). The full track listing is:

1. Walk Don't Run
2. Beat For Beatniks
3. Blues For Beatniks
4. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White
5. Hit And Miss
6. It Doesn't Matter Anymore
7. Black Stockings
8. Get Lost Jack Frost
9. Blueberry Hill
10. Volare
11. Cutty Sark
12. Keep A Walkin'
13. I'll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time
14. The Stripper
15. The James Bond Theme
16. Diamonds Are Forever - Shirley Bassey
17. Goldfinger - Shirley Bassey
18. Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - Shirley Bassey
19. The Magnificent Seven
20. Midnight Cowboy
21. Never Let Go
22. Unchained Melody
23. Spanish Harlem
24. Twelfth Street Rag

Listening to this compilation brings home just how much Vic Flick contributed to the success of John Barry’s early career.  I haven’t counted, but I reckon his guitar features prominently on two-thirds of these tracks, and is quite probably present on most of the others, too!

When I originally told John EMI was going to release his recording of ‘Unchained Melody’, he told me he had never recorded it!   What he did record was a vocal version by Johnny De Little which he arranged and accompanied.  The latter is included on ‘John Barry – The Hits & The Misses’, and although I’ve not compared the two, it does seem possible that he simply took his orchestral backing track and added a solo saxophone in place of the vocal.

Anyway, as I was looking through the list I saw ‘Keep A Walkin'’ as the 12th track.  I knew the title but only as the 'B' side of a single released by an obscure singer called Tony Rocco, which JB did accompany back in ‘62.  In fact, we included the A-side, ‘Stalemate’, on ‘The Hits & The Misses’.

So, I thought maybe there was an orchestral version of this song available, although as JB didn't write it, that seemed unlikely. On playing it, it *is* the Tony Rocco vocal but according to the credit, EMI appear to think it's a JB7 track!  Maybe it’s not that important but it seems amazing to me that a company like EMI can release a CD like that, and include a wrong track.  Because, I can't see how they could have meant to include it - it sticks out like a sore thumb, amongst the only other vocals – all by Shirley Bassey!!

The booklet has four pages of sleeve notes by Chris White.  They are certainly good enough for a basic guide to John Barry but reveal nothing new to the committed fan.  No photos are included, save for the quite striking images of John on the cover, but remember this is at best a mid-priced release.

Geoff Leonard

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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!