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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many hidden Gems
A very good 4 CD compilation of John Barry on the Silva Screen Record label, covering both famous and more rare themes.

These are more recent recordings, featuring the City of Prague Royal Philharmonic, with Nic Raine at the helm.

The sound quality, musicianship and production are all excellent. The arrangements are based on the original scores and...
Published on 25 Jan 2009 by IW

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105 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful
They are all here, by that I mean all of JB`s best, but there is a hitch, they are not performed by the maestro himself.
This is a bit of a rip off if you ask me, but having said that, Nic Raine manages the covers well and it has to be said are fairly true to the originals, it`s just that Barry's "magic" is missing, and it's noticable.
Published on 20 Nov 2003 by Willow


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61 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many hidden Gems, 25 Jan 2009
By 
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
A very good 4 CD compilation of John Barry on the Silva Screen Record label, covering both famous and more rare themes.

These are more recent recordings, featuring the City of Prague Royal Philharmonic, with Nic Raine at the helm.

The sound quality, musicianship and production are all excellent. The arrangements are based on the original scores and remain true to those arrangements.

In addition to the big titles, there are many hidden gems to be found here. Some of these are not very easily found elsewhere, that is unless of course you spend a small fortune on all of the
original soundtrack recordings - and that's if you can find them! For that reason alone it's an essential purchase for John Barry fans out there.

It's true that on a small proportion of Barry's late 60's/early 70's material featured here, the ambience of the originals is not quite captured.
The original theme from The Persuaders, for example, with its muddy synthesized bass line, was more akin to a pop record of it's day - with various over dubbing of the cimbalom and kantele to create a unique sound. It would be very difficult to reproduce this sound exactly in today's recording environment without the original musicians, analogue equipment and acoustics of the original recording studio. It's a similar story with pieces like the The Ipcress File and the Knack: although the arrangements are authentic, there a little too smooth and polite compared with the more gutsy originals. If you're are after Barry's late 60s sound then I would recommend buying "Themeology: The Best Of John Barry".

This aside, I would still thoroughly recommend this CD. Overall the orchestral pieces here are very good, the recordings are dynamic with many fine renditions of Barry's Film themes. I've always preferred the orchestrated versions of Barry's music over the vocal ones, for me they are far more stirring and harmonically richer. Many of these interpretations don't disappoint and do capture the essence of John Barry. This compilation and the versions contained within are akin to John Barry's "Moviola" 1 & 2 CDs (released in the 90's) and "The Best of John Barry: Film and TV Themes" (versions released with Polydor in the 70's), where John Barry himself conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra through some of his repertoire. I'm not sure all of these CDs are still available anymore, so if you like the orchestral versions of Barry's music and cannot track all of these down then this CD is definitely worth considering. Likewise if you want to discover a little more about John Barry beyond Bond and don't want to break the bank, I would strongly recommend this collection.

You'll certainly discover some lesser known Barry melodies that are difficult to track down on CD elsewhere. I have a pretty decent Barry collection but there were tracks here that I had never before come across on CD at the time of purchase. Some of these are melodically stronger than some of Barry's more recent solo offerings on the Decca label - "The Beyondness Of Things" and "Eternal Echoes" - though both of these do have the odd hidden gem. Of course, this is not an entirely comprehensive collection but it doesn't claim to be that - incidentally neither is the recently released "Themependium" on the Sony/BMG label. Out of all the John Barry CDs I have bought, this is easily the best value for money - it's reduced in price considerably since too. There's just so much material on offer here and at a good price, that it has to come with a strong recommendation. Silva Screen Records also have to be credited with kick starting a resurgence of John Barry releases - it's just a shame that the sound quality of some of these release don't match the sound quality found on this collection, i.e., some haven't been re-mastered.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why you might consider this box set., 19 May 2008
By 
Levy "Mod" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
The reason why this box set is worthwhile is not all the movies represented here have had their soundtracks released on CD. Since Silva Screen's extensive Barry project began, FSM has released 'Born Free', 'Deadfall', 'Aice's Adventures In Wonderland', 'The Appointment', 'King Kong' & 'Monte Walsh' & Intrada has released 'Mary Queen Of Scots. However the original soundtracks for 'Robin & Marian', 'Walkabout', 'The Deep' & 'Raise The Titanic' remain unreleased so until FSM (or someone like them) steps forward, these versions are the only way you or I will hear them. Imporant to note too is that these versions found on this box set are faithfull to the original scores and not Barry's own re-recordings which he made in the 70's for polydor. A decent summary can be found on Polydors 1981 release 'The Best Of John Barry: Films & TV Themes'. Not every Prague version works, 'The Ipcress File' is just plain wrong as is 'The Persuaders' but 'Zulu' improves on the original. The Bond versions are utterly redundant since most of these scores have been re-mastered and in some cases extended. So, in summation, until Barry's entire catalogue is made available, these recordings serve a place in your collection.
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105 of 110 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be careful, 20 Nov 2003
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
They are all here, by that I mean all of JB`s best, but there is a hitch, they are not performed by the maestro himself.
This is a bit of a rip off if you ask me, but having said that, Nic Raine manages the covers well and it has to be said are fairly true to the originals, it`s just that Barry's "magic" is missing, and it's noticable.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top John Barry music in one collection, 9 Aug 2001
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
John Barry is truly, in the words of composer David Arnold, the master of the (filmmusic) genre. Any doubts one might have that John Barry actually can't write ALL kinds of music is totally ripped away with this collection. In four CD:s Silva Screen gives to us some splendid music, and the collection, not very expensive either, is really rekommended for everyone who likes film music.
Some Bondmusic is represented here, but not too much. I have all the Bond soundtracks, but few of Barry's other work. This collection makes you wanna start collecting every record the man ever has produced.
All of the four CD:s are over 60 minutes long, and the packaging is very nice.
There is of course many highlights on a collection with four records...here is some of them: (music from the following films, as listed on the packaging)
Disc 1:
Zulu
The Ipcress File
The Knack
Disc 2:
The Wind and the Lion
The Last Valley
The Persuaders
The Dove
Disc 3:
Raise the Titanic
Disc 4:
High Road to China
Dances With Wolves
The Specialist
And on all of the records: the Bond music!
To all of you who likes film music, with Barry fans in particular of course, buy this collection now. You can't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Collection of Movie Music, 3 Jan 2008
By 
Dr. Miles Oglethorpe (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
This was never intended to replace the actual movie soundtracks for which John Barry wrote the music. On the other hand, by creating an orchestrial arrangement, the CDs emphasise the extraordinarily high quality of the melodies Barry has written over the eyears, and are superb pieces of music in their own right. A truly remarkable and very large music collection.
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50 of 58 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Definitely not the originals, 30 Oct 2004
By 
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
This stuff may have been played by a perfectly competant orchestra but WHY? The recordings completely loose the feel of the originals. For example, the moodiness of the Persuaders theme is completely lost as the original Mandolin (I assume) is replaced by something electronic.
Why when the original and superior recordings clearly still exist is an album of 'covers' required? - best to avoid!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Secondary Market Set, 27 July 2012
By 
Michael Watson "skirrow22" (Halifax, England) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
I'm glad I bought this boxed set but I'm also glad it was in the secondary market; I would have been disappointed otherwise. For the price I paid, I got all the memories of some great theme tunes and soundtracks for which I was searching but the overall perception is that it's all a bit iffy - not quite kosher, not quite what I remembered. Still, for playing in the car stuck on the motorway, it's money well spent.

John Barry's scores are just brilliant, evocative and how many times do they so beautifully match the film or the advert or whatever? The moment the music begins, pictures are created in one's mind of the film the music represents. Which is exactly why I bought the set. Now, having done so, I think I will search out the original soundtracks of those I really do want to hear played as they were played originally. I may need to start saving up.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT the real McCoy, 6 Nov 2003
By 
E. Heel (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
If you're looking for a compilation of ORIGINAL recordings, this collection is NOT for you. All the tracks were recorded with The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the Crouch End Festival Chorus. Although these may be perfectly competent and professional artists, I was looking for the recordings that were actually used in the films or television programmes, so I was disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JOHN BARRY - NO.1 FILM MUSIC COMPOSER, 4 Feb 2009
This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
ANYONE WHO LOVES BOND ,OR ANY OTHER JOHN BARRY MOVIE THEME , SHOULD BUY THIS , I HAVE LOVED JOHN BARRY'S MUSIC SINCE I SAW BORN FREE AND THE EARLY BOND FILMS , AND HAVE MOST OF HIS ALBUMS , I COULD LISTEN TO HIS MUSIC ALL DAY , AND NEVER GET TIRED OF HEARING THEM . ALL HIS BEST THEMES ARE ON THIS BOXED SET . GO BUY IT , YOU WON'T REGRET IT - TRUST ME.................
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STOP WHINING, 4 Mar 2011
By 
Christopher Anthony John "Anglobud" (Onteniente, Spain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: John Barry - The Collection - 40 Years of Film Music (Audio CD)
This is an absolute no brainer. Beautifully played and recorded hours of this amazing composer's music, (not forgetting the absolute bargain price for FOUR discs). Simply do not understand those reviewers whining on about the performances not being conducted by JB himself. Buy it, sit back and enjoy.
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