7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Themependium - John Barry,
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This review is from: Themependium (Audio CD)
Firstly, Sony BMG should have hired Geoff Leonard (author of The Man With The Midas Touch & the sleeve notes) to compile the box because it's quite evident that Sony themselves had no idea what they were doing. Quite frankly it's an untter shambles.
The use of songs instead of the music is unforgivable. The use of a song - 'Are You In There' by Andy Williams that wasn't even featured on 'The King Kong' soundtrack is an insult to both JB and his fans.
Evidently, Sony BMG took the easy option wherever possible and relied on the recordings they had in their catalogue. The fact that they own Columbia gave them access to 3 LPs of JB's re-recordings which unsurprisingly they've used wherever possible. As Barry never re-recorded 'Peggy Sue Got Married'or 'Jagged Edge' they were left with no choice but to licence them from Varese. Another disgrace is the sound quality on some of these recordings: 'Mary Queen Of Scots' sounds like it was sourced from a bootleg. It in fact derives from 'Moviola' - recorded in 1992 on the Epic label which Sony by the way owns yet the compilers chose to source it from the LP, not a mint LP you understand but a well worn one. Odder still is that the other tracks which derive from 'Moviola' do not suffer the same fate. It's bonkers!
I'm also at a loss to understand the statement 'First Ever Complete Collection Of Original Recordings'. Complete? In what way is this complete when 'Robin & Marian', 'Night Games', 'Game Of Death', 'Swept From The Sea', 'Petulia' etc etc are no where to be found. As regards original well yes they are original but not in the way most music fans understand the term when buying CDs. The sticker should read 'Contains music from the original soundtracks and re-recordings conducted by John Barry during his career as well as recordings made by The Prague Philharmonic'.
Most of the tracks here are readily available elsewhere, but to Sony's credit they have included a handful of tracks that have never been comped and are only available on out of print albums. One track 'Barbara's Theme', which was the b-side to 'A Man Alone', has never, to my knowledge, appeared on either LP or CD.
Despite my misgivings, and you must understand that I have almost everything that JB recorded, the music is superb. And if you were to buy just one JB comp then let it be this one. It is unquestionably the most comprehensive as it includes music from every period of JB's career. And not only that he's conducting 99% of it.
My star rating is based on the quality of the product and not on the music which is a 5.