John Barry, the man most responsible for "the James Bond sound" and, consequently, the entire "spy sound" that took its lead from his queues, is 74 today. Barry was born on November 3, 1933, in York, England. He scored eleven James Bond films: From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With the Golden Gun, Moonraker, Octopussy, A View To A Kill and The Living Daylights. Other estimable contributions to the spy soundscape include the superb Ipcress File, The Quiller Memorandum, The Tamarind Seed, Raise the Titanic!, Enigma and the memorable themes for such TV series as The Persuaders! and The Adventurer. Sadly, 2001's Enigma remains his last film score to date, spy or otherwise. He's been attached to several high-profile projects since then (including The Incredibles, which ended up with a fantastic Barry tribute score by Alias composer Michael Giacchino), but none of them have come to fruition. Here's hoping he creates another fantastic score in the near future!
The long-awaited new book on the composer, John Barry: The Man With the Midas Touch, by noted Barry experts Geoff Leonard, Pete Walker and Gareth Bramley, is supposed to be out sometime this fall, though past release dates have come and gone. Whenever it finally materializes, I'm sure it will be worth the wait.