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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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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

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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!

James Bond Concert Spectacular at Buxton Opera House

Buxton Opera House
Water street,
Buxton, Derbyshire, sk17 6xn

Sun 12 Aug


The popular Q The Music Show brings its James Bond Concert Spectacular to Buxton Opera House.

The 13-piece band will be bringing the fabulous and iconic music of James Bond to you in a stunning concert. This show has been a huge success all around the world with its energetic and exciting performance by some of the UK’s leading musicians.

Featuring all the songs from the 007 movies, you can hear the greats like Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Skyfall, Thunderball, Live And Let Die, Goldeneye and Licence To Kill amongst all the others. With top musicians and an informative and highly amusing compere, this show has everything you could want for a fabulous night out – and one that you will be talking about for years to come. Formed in 2004, Q The Music Show have established a worldwide reputation for their authentic covers, orchestral sound and fabulous hair-raising vocalists. The show has been popular abroad at events in Monte Carlo, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Guernsey, Prague and many others.

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

The Bridgewater Hall - Music of John Barry November 2018

The Music of John Barry

Saturday 10 November 7.30pm
The Bridgewater Hall
Lower Mosley Street
Manchester, M2 3WS


Nicholas Dodd conductor
Andrew Collins presenter
Manchester Camerata

John Barry created some of the most memorable and recognisable film scores of the 20th century, such as Midnight Cowboy, Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, Zulu and of course much of the music from the James Bond series; his versatility and originality were peerless. His death in 2011 deprived cinema of a true musical great. This concert pays tribute to his life and music with a carefully selected programme, conducted by Nicholas Dodd, who collaborated closely with the composer on his later films. Nicholas Dodd is regarded as one of the leading conductors and orchestrators of Hollywood film music and is a noted expert on, and performer of John Barry’s music. In fact, every James Bond movie from the last 10 years bears his signature.