Saturday, August 27, 2005

The John Barry Seven: Long John (Capitol F 4212))

Long before John Barry achieved lasting fame as a composer of film scores ("Midnight Cowboy" and many, many James Bond films (such as "Goldfinger") among his many credits), he was rocking out in his own swingin' combo, pumping out hits in Britain. This item here from 1959 is one of the Seven's very few (only?) releases here in the states and quite a rolicking piece it is.

I'm referring, of course, to "Long John." The other side, called "Snap 'n' Whistle" is kind of innocuous, but if you're in the mood for a solid instrumental, "Long John" is your ticket. In fact, it opens with a drum-roll sounding like a train going at full speed. And with that, the band is off to full rocking, with twangy guitar, thumping bass and a double horn riff that completely swings out. We get that train-like drum roll a couple more times and a couple of key changes, but not once do we lose an ounce of energy. The rockin' continues right up to the end when all the musicians stop to a dead halt. What a rush!

Oh, by the way, one of Barry's earliest scores is for a 1960 British juvenile delinquency film called "Beat Girl." Apparently, the theme song to that is only available as part of an EP shared with Adam Faith, one of the film's stars. From what I understand, it's a big collector's item. Guess that's another one to add to the "Holy Grail" list. We'll see.

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