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Early in his career, Barri was a staff writer with Dunhill Records. He frequently collaborated with P.F. Sloan and the partners were responsible for the success of The Grass Roots and contributed largely to the band's first album. Barri also wrote and/or produced many other hit songs in the 1960s, including "You Baby" by The Turtles (in collaboration with P.F. Sloan), "A Must to Avoid" by Herman's Hermits and "Secret Agent Man" (in collaboration with P.F. Sloan) by Johnny Rivers. He also co-wrote "Unless You Care", which was recorded by Terry Black and reached #2 in Canada, and "Little Liar", which Black took to #10 in Canada.
After Dunhill was acquired by ABC Records, Barri stayed on in the 1970s as head of Artists & Repertoire (A&R) where he focused on signing and producing new artists, such as Bubblegum Pop group, Bo Donaldson and The Heywoods. He collaborated with songwriters Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter on three albums for the Four Tops, which included the million-selling single "Ain't No Woman, Like The One I Got". He also worked on several critically acclaimed albums by leading blues & soul singer Bobby Bland.
ABC Records was dissolved in 1979, after the label was sold off to MCA. Barri departed to become A&R chief at Warner Bros. Records, where he co-produced John Sebastian's 1976 album Welcome Back and produced Alan O'Day's 1977 #1 single "Undercover Angel". Barri also produced O'Day's follow-up single "Skinny Girls", which went to #1 in Australia. Barri moved in 1982 to Motown Records as vice-president of A&R, producing The Temptations and overseeing big-selling releases by Lionel Richie and Rick James, among others. He also re-worked the company's rich back-catalog, introducing the "Greatest Hits" series, before leaving in 1986.
Spells followed at Capitol Records (as a consultant), Left Bank Management, where he worked with acts including Richard Marx, Meatloaf and Stephanie Mills, and at smooth jazz label, JVC. In 1998, Barri joined Gold Circle Entertainment/Samson Records as a producer and was promoted to senior vice president in 2001.
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