Ennio Morricone is one of the most prolific film soundtrack composers there are. He has given the original score for more films than ……well; I don’t think he has kept account of all of them himself. Here, on this compilation, Virgin Records have just included the most famous, the most iconic soundtracks that Morricone composed, and the most musically sound too, or so I
The problem that many film music composers face is that they have to mould their style to fit the needs of the movie. This is in stark contrast to a normal rock band who can decide everything according to their own whims and fancies. Therefore, most film composers’ end up creating a lot of fluff music that wouldn’t be worth hearing other than while watching the film itself. On this compilation though, there is a clear effort to include pieces that display Morricone’s influences and his ability to create a memorable sound to their limit. It is quite clear that this man was very talented and had a wide palette. Here is a very musically educated man, with influences ranging from classical music, to jazz, avant-garde, and of course, the monster you cannot escape, rock’n’roll. This compilation is a very enjoyable ride, to cut a long story short, or as The Clash put it, to Cut the Crap.
Morricone was lucky to work with directors who clearly believed that music was an essential part of the whole experience and formed a factor in building up the emotion, suspense, etc. Sergio Leone was one such director, in the business of making what are now known as Spaghetti Westerns. If you have seen the Dollars Trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly) you will know how essential the soundtrack was to the film, especially in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, which, by the way, is one of my favorite movies. And almost everyone in this world has heard the iconic, the famous, the breathtaking kick ass soundtrack to that film. Oh yes, you have heard it even though you might not have seen the movie or ever heard of Ennio Morricone or Clint Eastwood (The Man with No Name a.k.a Blondie). You have heard it even though you don’t know the name of the piece. Oh, I assure you. But if had been compiling this compilation, I would also have included “The Ecstasy of Gold” which, if you remember, plays during the famous “wild west gun shootout at 1-2-3” climax. Oh man, you gotta watch that movie. It blows all action flicks out of the ground, it does, it does.
Other than the Dollars Trilogy soundtracks, which are very classy indeed, we have “Chi Mai” which displays the classical influences of Morricone from the film “The Life and Times of David Lloyd George”, then the soundtracks of “Once Upon a Time in the West” which also rock out after a fashion. It would be useless to go on further, but I think this deserves a listen, it is a great collection of songs by a very talented guy. A heart felt salute to Ennio Morricone, this definitely sounds right.