Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Tributes after composer Barry dies

Oscar-winning composer John Barry, best known for his work on the James Bond films, has died aged 77.

Barry, who grew up in York, wrote scores for films including The Ipcress File, Zulu and Midnight Cowboy but is best known for his long association with 007.

Lyricist Don Black, who co-wrote songs including Born Free and Diamonds Are Forever with Barry, said success never changed him and hailed him as "a wonderful talent".

Sir Tim Rice, who collaborated with Barry on the theme to the 1983 Bond film Octopussy, said he was "a magnificent figure".

Barry was born into a showbusiness family - his mother played the piano and his father owned a string of cinemas.

He credited his early days helping out in the family business as the inspiration for his love of the cinema.

He was made an OBE and was awarded a Bafta fellowship in 2005 in recognition of his work.

Barry's arrangement of Monty Norman's James Bond theme made his name and he wrote songs for many of the suave spy's adventures.

His style, complete with lush strings and grand orchestral movements, was instantly recognisable and influenced stars including Robbie Williams, whose 1998 number one hit Millennium was inspired by the theme to You Only Live Twice.

Black said: "The thing about John that I will always remember was he never changed. He was very much the Yorkshireman whether he was in Beverly Hills or Manhattan."


From Belfast Telegraph