John Barry, Legendary Film Music Composer, Dead at 77

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Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 9:56 AM

click to enlarge John Barry (with then-wife Jane Birkin) - DAVID BAILEY
  • David Bailey
  • John Barry (with then-wife Jane Birkin)

Oscar-winning composer for James Bond films, John Barry died today. He was 77. As the man behind the sound of the swinging Sixties 007 era and beyond, he presented the big band extravaganzas for the Bond films. He won Oscars for his work on Dances with Wolves, Out of Africa, and Born Free, but he will be best known for his opening themes for the Bonds (though, famously, NOT for the James Bond theme itself, credited to Monty Norman). Over the 12 films he scored, he saw four different Bonds: Sean Connery, George Lazenby(?!), Timothy Dalton, and Roger Moore. He also enlisted Nancy Sinatra, A-Ha, Duran Duran, Tom Jones and the amazing Shirley Bassey for these iconic theme songs. They just don't make 'em like they used to. So for a look back at John Barry's work, we present all of John Barry's opening songs for James Bond films.

12. Dr. No

Year: 1962

Facts: There have been disputes as to who actually wrote the iconic James Bond theme. Some have alleged that Barry not Monty Norman was behind it all.

11. Octopussy

Year: 1983

Featuring: Rita Coolidge

10. Thunderball

Year: 1965

Featuring: Tom Jones

Facts: Johnny Cash wrote a theme song for the film that was never used.

9. Moonraker

Year: 1979

Featuring: Shirley Bassey

8. The Living Daylights

Year: 1987

Featuring: Norwegian popsters, A-Ha

7. Man with the Golden Gun

Year: 1974

Featuring: Scottish popstar Lulu

6. A View to Kill

Year: 1985

Featuring: Duran Duran

5. You Only Live Twice

Year: 1967

Featuring: Nancy Sinatra

4. From Russia With Love

Year: 1963

Featuring: Matt Monro

3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Year: 1969

Facts: Barry also wrote "We Have All the Time in the World" featuring Louis Armstrong for the film. The theme song was also the first time a Moog synth was used on a soundtrack.

2. Diamonds Are Forever

Year: 1971

Featuring: Shirley Bassey

1. Gold Finger

Year: 1964

Featuring: Shirley Bassey

Which one is your favorite?

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