The Deep/John Barry

October 26, 2010


It isn’t often that John Barry would be your second choice for a composer but that is exactly what happened for the Peter Yates directed film The Deep starring Robert Shaw, Nick Nolte, and Jacqueline Bisset. John Williams, the first choice, refused because of his commitment to Star Wars. The Peter Benchley film proved to be a huge box office success as well as the Casablanca (NBLP 7060) LP which wasn’t an OST but a blockbuster vehicle for Donna Summer who sang the hit “Down Deep Inside.” What the LP did offer was a 24+ minute ballet suite arranged by John Barry especially for the album. The LP along with OST on two track mono is included in this 3000 limited edition CD which has already sold out from the distributor Intrada. Don’t let the mono discourage you on this one either as the sound is just fine. This was a release a lot of people were waiting for.


Having owned the LP, I was quite taken with the “Return to Sea-2033 A.D.” ballet/suite and wore out that particular track. While it can’t be called classical it did have a feel of a concert piece and I often wondered how a ballet would perform it. A symphony orchestra would definitely want the material reorchestrated but my mind can envision a lovely dance to this score. I had little or no interest in the rest of the LP but welcomed the release of the OST material having wanted to hear much more than the 24 minute suite. The rest of the LP release gives you two vocal versions of Donna Summer as well as a forgettable “Disco Calypso” cue, a forerunner to our rap material of today. I suspect that much of this material is for much younger ears. These are just not tracks I’m interested in, nothing wrong with them at all. Just can’t get into the moaning and groaning of Donna Summer.


The OST begins with Barry at his best, a lush romantic arrangement designed to put love in your eyes as only John can do. This theme is repeated throughout the score in various emotional styles and arrangements. I could do without the disco beat version but this was the popular style at the time. Don’t expect any loud brass fanfares, pounding percussion or fff passages from Barry because even the tension situations in the film are well toned down at least underscore wise. His material never takes away from the visual part of the film merely enhances what you’re seeing. “Final Eel Attack” is about as loud as you’ll hear on this CD. John makes extremely effective use of the oboe to achieve a melancholy mood along with the bass strings. To compare his underwater music sequences to what Herrmann did in Beneath the Twelve Mile Reef is quite the contrast. Yet the air bubbles, the ballet motion, and that eerie feeling of something being right around the corner are all there.


This is definitely a CD that should be a part of your collection. A quick Google revealed that there are still some distributors who have stock. A wonderful example of the genius of John Barry. Recommended.


Track listing:



Disc/Cassette 1


1.       First Discovery (Main Title) (03:55)

2.       More Discovery (03:02)

3.       The Coin / The Vial / The Chase (03:27)

4.       Your Ship Is Dead / Here You’ll Need This / Second Dive / Eel Attack (08:56)

5.       Voo Doo (01:48)

6.       Tower / Helpless (01:30)

7.       Three Key Lock / All Yours (03:43)

8.       Soft Kisses / Dive Preparations (03:01)

9.       Third Dive (05:32)

10.     Trouble (03:03)

11.     Shark Bait (Original Version) / Coffin Discovers / Death Grip (04:34)

12.     Kevin Dead / Goodbye Coffin (03:09)

13.     After Explosion (04:46)

14.     Final Dive / Final Eel Attack / End Credits (07:54)





Disc/Cassette 2


1.       Return to the Sea – 2033 A.D. (24:01)

A Ballet Based On The Score From The Motion Picture “The Deep”

2.       Theme From “The Deep” (Down, Deep Inside) (04:24)

Performed by Donna Summer

3.       Theme from “The Deep” (04:33)

4.       Disco Calypso / Beckett (07:29)

5.       Theme from “The Deep” (Down, Deep Inside) – A Love Song (04:01)

Performed by Donna Summer





Total Duration: 01:42:48




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: