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Soundtrack review: Goldfinger (John Barry – 1964)

Composer of the month Franchises James Bond franchise John Barry month

Soundtrack review: Goldfinger (John Barry – 1964)



The third James Bod movie, “Goldfinger”, is still regarded as one of the best ever. The introduction of Bond’s gadgets, the wits of the movie….a dead girl covered all in gold and the memorable villain made this a classic. John Barry’s score rose to the challenge and even after 50 years it is still fresh and exciting. John Barry month continues with one of his best.

This score is exciting from start to finish. The main theme blends perfectly with other cues because John Barry uses different arrangements of it throughout the score. There are also subtle inserts like the sound of metal chimes in moments when gold shines on screen. The action tracks are thrilling and powerful. Brass dominates “Goldfinger” and rightfully so, since gold and metal are the main themes of the movie.

The music in a nonstop dance between themes and moods. There’s nothing superficial or generic about “Goldfinger”, every note it carefully places right where it needs to be. The instruments play their own movie, with heroes, villains and a touch of romance. The end of the score, made of three cues “Dawn raid on Fort Knox”, “The arrival of the bomb and countdown” and “Death of Goldfinger” make for a gripping listening experience. Tension is high in the music the dialogue of the instruments feels like a very entertaining heavyweight fight. When everything is over, melody takes over again for the end titles, and the exciting crescendo of the jazzy main theme is an excellent farewell for a brilliant composition.

John Barry’s “Goldfinger” is a score I always gladly come back to. I play it every now and then and immerse myself in the wonderful motifs crafted by a music alchemist.

Cue rating: 82 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 25 / 31

Album excellence: 81%




Alpine Drive – Auric’s Factor

Bond Back In Action Again

Golfinger (Instrumental Version)

Dawn Raid On Fort Knox

The Arrival Of The Bomb And Count Down

The Death Of Goldfinger – End Titles

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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