Composer of the month John Barry month

Soundtrack review: Night games (John Barry – 1980)

 

“Composer of the month” is about discovering the works of a specific composer even if they aren’t famous or popular. “John Barry month” provides me with an opportunity to go through some of his more obscure releases, such as the double bill “Game of death / Night games”. The first one was an unfinished Bruce Lee while the second one is some sort of French erotic thriller.

I will say it again…it makes no difference for John Barry what the subject of the movie is. He will just deliver a wonderful score that we can all enjoy. “Night games” is another orchestral wonder from him. “Descent into decadence” has nothing decadent or depressing in it. He makes everything seem beautiful and sensitive, he turns everything into art. “The wet spot” is a beautiful theme, haunting and melodic. I get lost in this score and just enjoy the music.

“Night games” has something that sets it apart: the choral parts. John Barry chose to express the eroticism of the story by having wordless female vocal inserts in almost every cue. With that and a couple of tangos, this score has enough thematic content to satisfy everyone. I am very happy I discovered this lost gem because it cemented my conviction that except maybe Ennio Morricone, John Barry is the composer who can do no wrong. Everything he touches turns into a sweeping composition.

Regardless of the on screen story, John Barry’s music tells a different and more satisfying one. I don’t care what happens in “Night games”. I am just adding another few more cues to my imaginary list of beautiful melodic pieces I could randomly listen to when I want to relax.

Cue rating: 97 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 30

Album excellence: 90%

Highlights:

Descent Into Decadance

The Wet Spot

Water Sports / The Dominatrix’s Waltz

Phantom of the Orgasm

Afterplay

About the author

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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