My friends were buying the latest by The Beatles, The Stones, The Dave Clark Five. But my very first record album purchase was in 1965, John Barry’s soundtrack of Thunderball. His music has stayed with me ever since. No one else quite captures the pang of late night melancholy, of unrequited love. You can hear it in obvious choices such as Frances or Out of Africa, as well as some unexpected ones like Moonraker and The Legend of the Lone Ranger. Lately I’ve been watching (and re-watching) and falling in love with the film Playing By Heart (1998), a multilayered study of romantic souls struggling to find the right words, played by an exceptional cast: Gillian Anderson, Madeleine Stowe, Gena Rowlands, Sean Connery, Jon Stewart, Dennis Quaid, Ryan Phillippe, and a very fine and beautiful and lovely and effervescent Angelina Jolie. There are two soundtracks to the film, one with the pop tunes used as background filler, the other Barry’s instrumental compositions with welcome trumpet work by Chris Botti. Buy the latter. It’s slightly repetitious, but few other contemporary composers feel 2am bourbon and cigarette blues as acutely as Barry. His music enhances the film immeasurably, reminding me of a time when soundtracks had their own aura and composers ‘dressed’ a picture with melody, sounds you could remember and hum or whistle weeks after seeing the movie, an art that has sadly skidded into extinction.