Monday, January 05, 2009


Recent repeated viewings of Thunderball (a big thanks to Paul for giving me the remastered DVD for Christmas) have led me to two conclusions: 1) I'm probably going to spend much of this week writing about James Bond pictures (again), and 2) John Barry is an absolute genius.

Barry, of course, is revered for his Bond scores, as well as his ultra-romantic scores for Somewhere In Time and Out Of Africa, but I've been spending plenty of time on the Interweb exploring his pre-film scoring days as the leader of the instrumental combo The John Barry Seven. So I found this gem, an instrumental piece called Zapata, which sounds for all the world like it came from one of Ennio Morricone's Western scores. But it predates those, and was apparently an admitted influence on Morricone. Since Morricone has always loomed far higher in my personal pantheon than Barry, the very existence of this work is forcing me to do some reevaluating.

In any event, this piece kicks ass.