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The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra

John Barry was one of the best-known composers of soundtrack music of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, but his career carried him through a multitude of music genres and styles. He was best-known in film in connection with his work on the James Bond pictures, but Barry was also the holder of five Academy Awards, none of them for the Bond movies. Born Free (for which he won Oscars for Best Score and Best Song), The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa, and Dances with Wolves are hardly unknown films or scores. Additionally, from 1957 until the early '60s as leader of the John Barry Seven, Barry was one of the best-known figures in popular music and early rock & roll in England. Born in York, England, on November 3, 1933, John Barry was the son of a small movie theater chain owner and a former concert pianist. He showed an avid interest in music as a boy and initially studied piano, although he switched to the trumpet in his teens. After spending much of his boyhood steeped in classical music, he discovered jazz -- his idol was Harry James and his favorite music was made by Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, and the Dorsey Brothers.

Barry studied piano and composition with the music master of York Minster Cathedral, Dr. Francis Jackson, and had a deep interest in arranging. Growing up around his father's movie theater business, Barry was always cognizant of the power and influence of the cinema, but it was a specific film, A Song to Remember, dealing with the life of Frédéric Chopin, that first demonstrated to him the power of music in movies and got him interested in the field. He also credits Max Steiner's score for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Anton Karas' music for The Third Man as favorite film scores from his early life. Barry played with a local jazz band in his mid-teens, and was lucky enough to get himself assigned to a musical unit in the British Army when he was called up for National Service at age 18. During his two years of Army service, he tried his hand at arranging, and he later enhanced his skills by taking a correspondence course offered by Bill Russo, one of Stan Kenton's arrangers. Once he was back in civilian life, Barry offered his arrangements to some of the top bandleaders in England, among them Ted Heath, Jack Parnell, and Johnny Dankworth. Dankworth actually used two of them, and at Parnell's suggestion, Barry started his own band. The result was John Barry & the Seven, later known as the John Barry Seven. He moved the group to London in 1957 and approached Jack Good, the producer of British television's top music showcase The Six-Five Special, but was turned down for the show. After a few weeks and some successful live engagements including a gig as the backing band for Tommy Steele, the show's producers changed their minds and the John Barry Seven made it onto The Six-Five Special. The group became immensely popular from their appearances on the program, and Barry was the star, not only playing trumpet but also handling the vocal chores. By this time, the rock & roll boom was going full swing, and his singing frequently required Barry to do his best Elvis- or Carl Perkins-style vocalizing.

It was out of their appearances on the program that they were signed to EMI's Parlophone Records label. The group's next big gig was as one of the resident house bands for Good's new program, Oh Boy!, which was a showcase for many of the most dynamic young rock & roll singers coming up in England, including Cliff Richard. It was from there that Barry moved on to become music director for Drum Beat, a dramatic program starring a young singer/actor named Adam Faith. From 1959 until 1962, he and Faith were an unbeatable combination, both onscreen and in the recording studio, releasing a string of major British hits through the Parlophone label. During this period, Barry also arranged and led the accompaniment for numerous other EMI recording artists, including Desmond Lane, the England Sisters, and Bill and Bret Landis. The John Barry Seven also enjoyed hits of their own, including "Hit or Miss" and a version of the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run." They were known for their unusual sound, owing to their bold yet precise playing and their heavy use of electric piano and other relatively uncommon instruments (this in a time when the electric bass was barely tolerated). They were among the star instrumental acts of the day and, surprisingly, cut albums for EMI's Columbia Records, which was already the home of the Shadows, the group's biggest rivals.

In 1960, Barry was also invited to write his first film score, for the juvenile delinquency drama Beat Girl starring Adam Faith. The results were an impressive mix of brass, heavy electric guitar (courtesy of John Barry Seven guitarist Vic Flick), and orchestra. Barry also later devised an entire album, Stringbeat, in which he juxtaposed the group's sound with that of a string orchestra. Barry was involved with numerous projects of all kinds during this period. Although it seems hard to believe in retrospect, at that point, the John Barry Seven were the major rivals to the Shadows, Cliff Richard's backing group, who were known for their instrumental singles. The group started the year with a release called The Cool Mikado, an update of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, but there were far more important milestones in his career that year. Barry was engaged by the producers of a film called Dr. No to write and arrange a finished score from work begun by composer Monty Norman. The film itself was a hit and Barry's work sufficiently impressed the producers, Harry Saltzman and Albert Broccoli, to get him the gig writing the full score for the next movie, and for more than two decades' worth of subsequent James Bond movies up through 1985's A View to a Kill. Several of these featured songs that Barry had co-written, including "Goldfinger," "Thunderball," and "You Only Live Twice," became hits of varying proportions and longevity in their own right for artists such as Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, and Nancy Sinatra. The best of his James Bond songs may be the most unusual, "We Have All the Time in the World" from On Her Majesty's Secret Service, which was sung by Louis Armstrong. If Beat Girl had established Barry's British film credentials, Dr. No and the next two movies in the James Bond series, From Russia with Love and Goldfinger, made Barry's name international.

It was with Born Free, however, that he moved into the front ranks of popular film composers, with the score and the Oscar-winning title song. From then on, he was in a position to score some of the biggest and most daring films being made in England or Hollywood, ranging from the hourlong experimental film Dutchman to high-profile dramas like The Lion in Winter (for which he won his third Oscar). In 1962, the same year he composed the music for the first James Bond movie, Barry also left EMI to join the independent Ember Records label. In addition to doing his own recordings, Barry produced and arranged the music for dozens of Ember artists, including Chad & Jeremy, and also produced such best-selling comedy albums as Fool Britannia, Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse's savage satire of the Profumo scandal that had nearly toppled the British government.

In the midst of his burgeoning film work, Barry found time to make albums of his own on occasion, usually featuring re-recordings of his best movie-related music. In 1999, he also released an album of his classical instrumental-style compositions, The Beyondness of Things. Barry suffered a life-threatening injury at the end of the '80s from which his recovery seemed problematic. He survived with help from a very good physician and one of the first results of this new lease on life was Barry's music for Dances with Wolves, which was one of his most ambitious soundtrack creations ever, filled with complex orchestral parts and sweeping, almost Mahler-like melodic arcs and textures, earning his fifth Oscar in the process. In 1992, he was nominated for a sixth Oscar for his music for Chaplin. In 2001 Barry composed the score for Enigma, in addition to recording a new album of non-soundtrack material, Eternal Echoes. Among Barry's last work was a co-composing credit (with lyricist Don Black) for the song "Our Time Is Now," sung by Shirley Bassey on her 2009 comeback album, The Performance. John Barry died of a heart attack in Glen Cove, NY on January 30, 2011, and although his work in the 21st century had been comparatively sporadic, his wide-ranging career, both critically acclaimed and popular, secured his position as one of the most respected musical figures of the latter half of the 20th century. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Bernard Herrmann: The Essential Film Music Collection

Disc 1
Title: Citizen Kane, Film Score
Title: The Ghost And Mrs. Muir, Film Score
Title: On Dangerous Ground, Film Score (1951)
Title: The Day The Earth Stood Still, Film Score
Title: The Snows Of Kilimanjaro, Film Score
Title: The Trouble With Harry, Film Score
Title: The Man Who Knew Too Much, Film Score
Title: The Naked And The Dead, Film Score
Title: Vertigo, Film Score
Title: Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad, Film Score
Disc 2
Title: North By Northwest, Film Score
Title: The Three Worlds Of Gulliver, Film Score
Title: The Twilight Zone, Series Theme (first Year)
Title: Psycho, Film Score
Title: Mysterious Land, Film Score
Title: Cape Fear, Film Score
Title: Jason And The Argonauts, Film Score
Title: Marnie, Film Score
Title: Torn Curtain, Film Score
Title: Fahrenheit 451, Film Score
Title: Work(s)
Title: Obsession, Film Score
Title: Night Piece, Suite From "Taxi Driver," For Saxophone & Orchestra (arr. By Christopher Palmer)

Track List: John Barry: The Collection

Disc 1
Composer: John Barry
Title: Zulu, Film Score
Title: From Russia With Love, Film Score
Title: Goldfinger, Film Score
Title: The Ipcress File, Film Score
Title: The Knack, Film Score
Title: Mister Moses, Film Score
Title: Thunderball, Film Score
Title: The Wrong Box, Film Score
Title: Born Free, Film Score
Title: The Quiller Memorandum, Film Score
Title: You Only Live Twice, Film Score
Title: The Girl With The Sun In Her Hair (Sunsilk Commercial)
Title: Deadfall, Film Score
Disc 2
Title: The Lion In Winter, Film Score
Title: On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Film Score
Title: Midnight Cowboy, Film Score
Title: The Appointment, Film Score
Title: The Last Valley, Film Score
Title: Walkabout, Film Score
Title: Monte Walsh, Film Score
Title: Diamonds Are Forever, Film Score
Title: The Persuaders, Television Score
Title: Mary Queen Of Scots, Film Score
Title: Man With The Golden Gun, Film Score
Title: The Dove, Film Score
Disc 3
Title: The Tamarind Seed, Film Score
Title: King Kong, Film Score (1976)
Title: Eleanor And Franklin, Television Score
Title: Robin And Marian, Film Score
Title: The Deep, Film Score
Title: Hanover Street, Film Score
Title: Black Hole, Film Score
Title: Moonraker, Film Score
Title: Somewhere In Time, Film Score
Title: Raise The Titanic, Film Score
Title: Body Heat, Film Score
Title: Frances, Film Score
Title: Octopussy, Film Score
Title: The Cotton Club, Film Score
Disc 4
Title: High Road To China, Film Score
Title: A View To A Kill, Film Score
Title: Out Of Africa, Film Score
Title: The Living Daylights, Film Score
Title: Dances With Wolves, Film Score
Title: Chaplin, Film Score
Title: Moviola
Title: Indecent Proposal, Film Score
Title: The Specialist, Film Score
Title: The Scarlet Letter, Film Score
Title: Cry Of The Beloved Country, Film Score
Title: Mercury Rising, Film Score
Composer: Monty Norman
Title: The James Bond Theme, Theme From Film Series

Track List: 2001: Music From The Films Of Stanley Kubrick

Composer: Richard Strauss
Title: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), Tone Poem For Orchestra, Op. 30 (Trv 176)
Composer: Alex North
Title: Spartacus, Film Score
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Title: Suite For Keyboard (Suite De Piece), Vol.2, No.4 In D Minor, Hwv 437
Composer: Sean O'Riada
Title: Women Of Ireland (Mná Na H-Eireann)
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Title: Ode To Joy (An Die Freude)
Composer: Wendy Carlos / Rachel Elkind
Title: The Shining, Film Score (1980)
Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich
Title: Suite For Jazz Orchestra No. 2
Composer: Gerald Fried
Title: Suite From The Early Films Of Stanley Kubrick, For Orchestra
Composer: Bob Harris
Title: Lolita Love Theme (for The Film Lolita, 1962)
Composer: Laurence Reginald Ward ("Laurie") Johnson
Title: Dr. Strangelove, Film Score
Composer: Johann Strauss II
Title: An Der Schönen, Blauen Donau (On The Beautiful, Blue Danube), Waltz For Orchestra (With Chorus Ad Lib), Op. 314 (Rv 314)

Track List: Skating For Gold

Composer: Maurice Ravel
Title: Boléro, Ballet For Orchestra (Or Piano)
Title: Piano Concerto In G Major
Composer: Jules Massenet
Title: Méditation, For Violin & Orchestra (Or Other Arrangement) (From Opera "Thaïs")
Composer: Nino Rota
Title: Romeo And Juliet, Film Score
Composer: Maurice Jarre
Title: Lawrence Of Arabia, Film Score
Composer: Patrick Doyle
Title: Sense & Sensibility, Film Score
Title: Much Ado About Nothing, Film Score
Composer: Thomas Newman
Title: Little Women, Film Score
Composer: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Title: The Swan Lake, Ballet, Op. 20
Composer: Vangelis
Title: 1492: Conquest Of Paradise, Film Score
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Title: La Forza Del Destino, Opera
Composer: Richard Strauss
Title: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zoroaster), Tone Poem For Orchestra, Op. 30 (Trv 176)
Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Title: First Knight, Film Score
Composer: Randy Edelman
Title: Dragonheart, Film Score
Composer: Sergey Prokofiev
Title: Romeo And Juliet, Ballet In 4 Acts, Op. 64
Composer: Erik Satie
Title: Gymnopedie For Piano No. 1

Track List: The Essential Harry Potter Film Music Collection

Disc 1
Composer: John Williams (Composer)
Title: Harry Potter And The Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone, Film Score
Title: Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, Film Score
Title: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, Film Score
Disc 2
Composer: Patrick Doyle
Title: Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Film Score
Composer: Nicholas Hooper
Title: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Film Score
Composer: John Williams (Composer)
Title: Harry Potter And The Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone, Film Score


Report as inappropriate
Shane (aka Call of the Faraway Hills) - City of Prague Philharmonic from The Magnificent Westerns set: Great theme, beautifully interpreted and thanks for reminding me of the movie and the wonderful Alan Ladd and the menacing Jack Palance.
Report as inappropriate
The Big Country - The City of Prague Philharmonic (Off The Magnificent Westerns album): Each time I hear a track off this album I keep being surprised that it's a European Orchestra playing with such feeling that one imagines they must have had a secret Western heritage of their own.
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Harry Potter forever. Potter head. Music is great!!
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The good, the bad & The ugly - City of Prague Philharmonic (from The Magnificent Westerns album); It may not be Hugo Montenegro's version, but it's damn good anyway..
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I dooooooooo!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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"Love your songs" really
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The almost eerie and also equally haunting nature of "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," is similar to the alternate "Bonanza" instrumental I am so desperate to find! One can hear that piece, if you watch I believe it is "The Retro" channel. They bring "Bonanza" episodes, using that version of the theme song.
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I am attempting to find the haunting instrumental "Bonanza" theme song,used for a period of time. The individual who wrote the theme we all know, also wrote that piece. It has a very soft sound & used a harmonica in areas of the piece. Very haunting!
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What Jay-Z song interpolates the latter portion of this song?
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Where's John Wayne?
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Can I give this one two thumbs up?
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I can just imagine the movie playing out in my head! Amazing!
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My favorite Harry potter film is the goblet of fire
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the ecstasy of gold is awesome I love it
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bruce.charle s w o r t h
The score for The Big Country is by Jerome Moross, not John Barry
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The Dick Panthers are better.
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Western melodies
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Love Harry potter
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John Williams is the best composer of all time! (In my opinion)
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Just Beautiful...
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John Barry's been one of a kind. So wish he was still with us. thx
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Great music specially Harry potter tho I'm not much of a fan
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Good song, but how does it fit in a Rush / Dream Theatre channel?
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Dodger is right bad a** video
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I'm playing a few tunes from Harry Potter: Prisoner of Azkaban in my band! It's so fun!
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Watch the video of the recording session on Utube. It's great.
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