One of the early Morricone westerns, LE PISTOLE NON DISCUTONO (aka. BULLETS DON’T ARGUE) was released in 1964 just a few months before Sergio Leone’s first DOLLAR movie, A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. This Spanish, German and Italian co-production was a western made in Europe and was full of borrowed themes and clichés which had all been used before in Hollywood westerns. The producers even had Pat Garrett as the film’s central character with one of the other principal players taking on the role of a certain Billy Clanton. But in saying this, the movie was not actually a bad one. It was certainly nothing spectacular but at least it was watchable as a sagebrush yarn filled with plenty of riding here and there and lots of action – the star of the film, Rod Cameron, taking on the persona of a Randolph Scott type character. The musical score was by Ennio Morricone. The composer had already written a serviceable score for GUNFIGHT AT REDS SANDS in 1963 and, like that score, the music which he penned for LE PISTOLE NON DISCUTONO was more or less based on what cinema audiences were already accustomed to via Hollywood produced westerns. It is amazing that just a couple of months later the same composer would turn the world of western film scoring on its head with his innovative music for A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. But in LE PISTOLE NON DISCUTONO, there are murmurings of what was to follow in a number of the cues. The opening theme for example, “Lonesome Billy”, is a vocal performed by Peter Tevis who also wrote the lyrics and which contains a whistler (Alessandroni) accompanied by strumming guitars. Now whistling and cowboys sort of go hand in hand and in this particular case Morricone utilizes the whistle as it was employed in Hollywood; a pleasant tuneful whistle that has an almost homely and melancholy sound to it. Track two “Le Pisole Non Discutono”, is the central orchestral theme from the score in which the composer uses to great effect sauntering snare drums supported by strings, creating a background for a mournful sounding horn that performs the haunting theme. The composer adds to the mix more strident strings and additional brass which together create a pleasing and almost laid back composition.
Track Three “Gli Indiani”, is a more urgent affair. Again snares are utilized and punctuated by dark sounding piano which create a tense atmosphere, further embellished and expanded upon when the brass section come into play – again enhanced by strings. These first three sections are the central core of the soundtrack and are heard throughout in various arrangements, either on solo guitar, or are introduced into the remainder of the cues on the soundtrack. One could say this is not really a true 100 percent Spaghetti western score, having been written before the true Italian western sound had been formulated but there are a number of elements and sounds within the score which appeared again in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and subsequent Morricone western soundtracks, i.e. the racing snares, urgent strings, harmonica, whistling, solo Spanish guitar and Mexican flavoured flourishes. There are 14 tracks from the score which are in mono and a further three tracks which are repeats of the main cues in stereo. Presented with great artwork and dazzling sound, this is another wonderful addition to the Hillside/GDM catalogue.