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John Barry: The Man with the Midas Touch [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Don Black , Terry Walstrom , Geoff Leonard , Pete Walker , Gareth Bramley , Tracy John , Ruud Rozemeyer , Jessi King
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: 19.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

31 Oct 2008
.John Barry, far and away Britain s best-known film and popular composer, has made not one but four outstanding contributions to the international music scene. For rock 'n roll fans, The John Barry Seven were pioneers of the emerging British music scene in the 1950s, while his distinctive pizzicato string arrangements for Adam Faith s pre-Beatles successes like What Do You Want? are part of pop music history. Chart aficionados point to commercial successes like Hit and Miss for TV s Juke Box Jury and The Persuaders. But, for millions of film-goers, Barry s greatest achievements, apart from the memorable James Bond film themes and scores, have been the Oscar-winning scores for Born Free, The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances with Wolves. In John Barry The Man With The Midas Touch, this 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 experience, but also on conversations with Barry himself and people who have known him since his formative years as performer, producer, arranger and writer. More than 300 photographs (120 colour and 180 black and white) celebrate John Barry s entire career, including many never previously published. The most detailed and complete discography yet compiled is another feature of the book, making it an essential reference for enthusiasts and music historians

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Redcliffe Press Ltd; 1st edition (31 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904537774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904537779
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 18.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol, England in 1947, one of four children to Margaret and Harold Leonard. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.

He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.

He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.

Product Description


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, Mojo, May, 2009.

This invaluable tome charts Barry's career with accuracy and features the most complete discography of his music ever assembled.
--Classic FM Magazine, April, 2009


The book is a treat for any soundtrack nut.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
In 1998, Geoff Leonard, Pete Walker and Gareth Bramley wrote `John Barry, A Life in Music'. That sold out long ago. Ten years later they have published the follow up `John Barry, The Man With The Midas Touch'. The new book is not just a second edition of the first, with a few corrections. It is a major rewrite with a significant amount of new material including photographs.

John Barry has had a career in music spanning more than 50 years. Born in York in 1933 his father ran a chain of cinemas across the north of England and his mother was a classically trained pianist. From his time in the army as part of a music regiment during the early 50s, through to forming one of the leading pre Beatles pop groups, The John Barry Seven, and on to scoring numerous films both in the UK and US including eleven of the James Bond series, `The Black Hole', `Out Of Africa', `Somewhere In Time' and `The Lion In Winter'.

Barry has composed some of the most outstanding music of the last half century. On the way he picked up four Oscars for best score and one for best song. Further, he has written five stage musicals and a number of TV themes including `The Persuaders', conducted concerts of his work at the Royal Albert Hall in London and released albums of non soundtrack work He also composed for many TV commercials particularly in the 1960s including one for `Sunsilk' shampoo that would later be released as the B side to `The Persuaders' and become the encore to his concerts. In 1988 he nearly died when he suffered an allergic reaction to a health food drink which ruptured his oesophagus. However he triumphantly returned in 1990 to compose one of his greatest scores `Dances With Wolves' and pick up his fifth Oscar.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible book! 18 Nov 2008
This must be one of the best books of its kind I have ever read. The detail is incredible, the most minor of record releases is covered and the book is full of intriguing photos and documents, such as the programme from the concert where John Barry worked with Adam Faith for the first time, and the transcript of a famous shampoo advert adorned by his music.

Barry's career is given a thorough working over in chronological order and this makes dipping into the book not only easy but also a pleasure, when the occasion arises. Everything I expected from the book is there but more besides, including Barry's own take on some of the films he's worked on and comments from his collaborators.

Outstanding value and recommended without reservation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! 20 Nov 2008
This is a real labour of love. A must-have for any fans of this legendary genius of film-composing. Incredible bibliography, great photos and marvellous text. Don't delay!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book and a fabulous story 3 Jan 2009
By Andrew
This is the best book of its kind I have ever read. The detail is amazing and though the discography is rightly highly rated by others, the real strength of the book lies in the story of John Barry himself, particularly in the early days when he was still aiming to be a film composer.
In a time where the classical composers have been those composing film scores, we should consider ourselves fortunate to have a contemporary account of one of the greatest composers.
Barry afficionados certainly won't be disappointed but the book also serves as an essential reference for all students of music and no music section of any library and university can claim to be complete without a copy of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A biography of rare quality 22 Dec 2008
A fully comprehensive biography, written by three men who are passionate about their subject, with many rare photographs, and, best of all, a superb discography the like of which I have never seen compiled for any other artist.
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