John Barry - The Man With The Midas Touch
The book is a treat
for any soundtrack nut.
(Mojo, May, 2009)
The launch of the book, John Barry - The Man with the Midas Touch, on 3rd November 2008, in honour of the composer’s 75th birthday, was a low-key event; so low as to be virtually underground! Had you blinked, you would have missed it and clearly many evidently did! This was certainly not the intention of the publisher or the authors but with scant interest from both bookshops and media alike at the time, it clearly went under the radar of many a film and music aficionado.
No matter, all is not lost if you are only now becoming aware of its existence. If you bought the first book in 1998 and are wondering whether or not to purchase this one, then rest assured it is very much worth the investment. On the other hand, if you buy only one book about John Barry, this should be it. Here are a few facts about JB and the book to convince you.
John Barry is by far and away Britain's most successful and celebrated film composer, responsible for some of the most memorable movie music in cinematic history. Such is his standing within the film industry that he remains the only musician from the UK to have won as many as five Academy Awards (for Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves). His contribution towards creating James Bond's musical persona is now part of film legend; another significant accomplishment in what was a truly extraordinary multi-faceted career. It says something about his brilliance in this genre that in the year of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise, critics and public are still talking about his songs and scores, some 25 years after the last one.
Before his entry into film, Barry was a pioneer of the then fledgling UK pop scene. During the formative years of British rock 'n roll, he led his own band, The John Barry Seven, into the charts as well as masterminding the emergence of singer Adam Faith, whose distinctive string of hit singles - epitomised by 'What Do You Want?' - lit up the pre-Beatle era.
Ever versatile, Barry diversified further to embrace all facets of the media. As well as film, he composed many popular themes for the small screen (among them The Persuaders), wrote for television commercials (who could ever forget his beautiful ‘Sunsilk’ theme?) and took musical theatre by storm with the long running hit, Billy.
It's about time there was a work on our greatest composer, and top marks to everyone involved for getting it so right.
(Record Collector, February 2009)
Published in 2008, ten years after the authors’ first biography, the now deleted John Barry – A Life in Music, John Barry – The Man with the Midas Touch is so much more than an updated version. Endorsed by both Barry himself and foreword writer Don Black, the book contains a new and expanded text, rarely seen photographs, plus a completely updated discography and filmography. It remains the only definitive John Barry biography ever published and is an essential purchase for any of his admirers, or, indeed, for any devotee of pop and film music in general.
John Barry’s astonishing 50-year career is celebrated in all its musical facets. The authors, each one an authority as well as a fan, draw not only on their own knowledge, but also on conversations with Barry himself and with people who knew him over the years as a performer, producer, arranger or writer.
Among almost 200 photographs (more than 60 in colour) celebrating John Barry's entire career, are many that have never been issued before, while others have not been available in any form for a number of years.
Convinced? Don’t wait any longer and buy the book now, before it becomes unavailable. When stocks are exhausted there will be no further print-runs, and no paperback re-issue, so don’t regret not buying a copy for the rest of your life. For the price of not much more than a CD, you can own a book that no Barry fan can afford to be without. Remember the book can be ordered on-line via Amazon.com, Amazon UK, Amazon France, Amazon Germany, or direct from co-writer Gareth Bramley via the John Barry website