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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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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.

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.

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John Barry related Events or Concerts

Submit your Event or Concert, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We will not be responsible for any errors or inaccuracies.

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!

Q The Music Show - James Bond Tribute Band
Live James Bond Concerts

Sun 6th May 18
New Victoria Hall, Woking
with Caroline Munro (The Spy Who Loved Me)

The Music of BondThe Music of Bond
Royal Albert Hall
Wednesday 19 September 2018
Starts: 7:30pm


Presented by Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace). Over fifty years of timeless James Bond themes from all your favourite 007 films.

Hits from Goldfinger, Licence to Kill, Casino Royale, Skyfall, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, Spectre, From Russia with Love to name just a few, all sung by outstanding vocalists Alison Jiear and Matthew Ford.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Gareth Hudson Conductor
Alison Jiear Vocalist
Matthew Ford Vocalist

James Bond fans are in for a treat in January 2019, as renowned Band, the popular Q The Music Show, are putting on a special concert - performing all the music from Moonraker on

26th January 2019

at the

Wycombe Swan Concert Hall,
High Wycombe,
United Kingdom.

You can back the project and buy tickets here

They are drafting in professional musicians from London to create a 100-piece Orchestra and Choir to recreate all of John Barry’s iconic cues from the 1979 film. As there is only around 50 minutes of music in the film, they will perform the best of the James Bond songs in the second half in true Q The Music style, but with full orchestra.

Because of the nature of this concert, and the huge costs involved, they are crowd funding it, so tickets have to be purchased by 6th May this year for the concert to go ahead on Saturday 26th January 2019.

Q The Music Show are popular with James Bond fans all around the World thanks to their dedicated and authentic versions of the music and were chosen to perform at Sir Roger Moore’s Memorial Event at Pinewood Studios in October last year. The concert will be compered by Bond girls Madeline Smith and Caroline Munro, who have been working with Q The Music this year on their theatre tour of the UK.

The concert will not be available to buy on recording after the show, and the Moonraker score has never been performed live, so this is a unique opportunity for fans to see it. If the project is a success, Q The Music plan to go on a do a different Barry/Bond score each year.

You can back the project and buy tickets here

*Please note, this is a music only performance – no images or footage from the film will be shown, and Q The Music are not associated with EON, Danjaq LLC, or the James Bond Films in any way.

Warren Ringham
Q The Music Show - James Bond Tribute Band
The London Showband - Party & Covers Band