This is pretty cool: a YouTube channel from Pike Bishop has posted a meticulously created set of re-recordings (done by virtual instruments) of the unreleased cues from Goldfinger, transcribed by ear and very faithfully rendered.
So we’ve got the nightclub music, the stewardess music, the Kentucky music, and the other unreleased bits from this John Barry masterpiece.
(He says, “Don’t mention it.”)
Here they are on YouTube—
There’s a download link for FLAC versions, complete with liner notes:
Because I always get asked...I have NO IDEA about any future Bond CD releases, sorry!
One takeaway for me from this is just how great John Barry’s compositions are. These are very good virtual renderings, but they’re still virtual—and yet Barry’s “voice” comes through, loud and clear.
Barry was really some kind of genius to re-conceive and reinvent film scoring in the early 1960s, with such simplicity but also a constant sense of melody.
It’s really the hardest thing to do in any art form: convey the exact right message with the fewest possible brushstrokes.
And his music is always so charming and memorable.
Why aren’t there more John Barrys? To some extent, it’s self-evident—this was a generational talent.
But there’s also something to be said for being in the right place at the right time. Aesthetics were changing and there was a “lane” that was wide open for him to ride into, with his unique combination of cinematic minimalism, classical tradition and pop–jazz vernacular.
About Goldfinger—I had a college professor who had the most interesting take on this film. He said it’s really like a film noir turned on its head: Bond is the femme fatale who brings ruin to the villains through his undeniable sexuality.
I know people roll their eyes at takes like this—usually because they’re insecure, so chill!
But think about it: Bond spends most of the second half of the film in captivity. He prevails because he seduces a lesbian pilot.
Have a good Sunday!