Bond composer John Barry passes away


The Oscar-winning composer John Barry, best known for his work on such films as the James Bond series, Born Free and Out of Africa, died of a heart attack yesterday in New York, aged 77 (1933 – 2011).

Barry first made his name with his arrangement of Monty Norman’s James Bond theme and went on to score twelve films in the series, with his work alongside Shirley Bassey producing the iconic signature songs to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever and Moonraker.

Outside Bond, Barry won Oscars for his score (and original song) for Born Free (1967), plus work on The Lion In Winter (1969), Out Of Africa (1986) and Dances With Wolves (1991). Among his other accolades were a Grammy, two BAFTAs (including the 2005 Fellowship Award) and induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1998.

On a personal note, Barry’s work on the Bond films was the soundtrack to my childhood (and adolescence, and adulthood) and I, among many, will always consider him among the greatest of cinematic composers.

He is survived by his wife Laurie, four children and five grandchildren. A selection of his greatest works follows the jump.

RIP John Barry (1933 – 2011)


Goldfinger Opening Title Sequence

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

Diamonds Are Forever

Born Free

Out of Africa