Well this is certainly a great time to be a collector of quality Italian and European film music.JOE ! CERCATI UN POSTO PER MORIRE aka-FIND A PLACE TO DIE was originally issued on one side of a CAM LP way back in the late 1960’s (MAG10.018). I still have a copy in my collection today, it was paired with Carlo Savina’s western score for JOKO INVOCA DIO ,,,E MUORI aka- VENGEANCE. Ferrio’s score for this Italian produced western is nothing short of stunning, although saying this it is not your traditional spaghetti score, if traditional is the correct wording to utilize when talking about Italian western soundtracks. When I say it’s not traditional I mean Ferrio employs a more Americanized sound within the score, but also combines this more conventional approach with little snippets and musical phrases that can only come from the Italian school of western film music. I cannot recommend this release highly enough, it’s a western, and its Gianni Ferrio so that’s enough isn’t it? But seriously folks, its one to grab a soon as you can because once again it’s a ltd edition, so stocks may not last. Sound quality is for the most excellent, although there is some slight distortion on the title song FIND A PLACE TO DIE and the excellent ERA UNA COWBOY, both performed by Jula de Palma, but saying this both of these were distorted and slightly fuzzy sounding on the original LP when it was issued, so maybe a case of the source tape being a little bit suspect I think, but this kind of distortion was something that seemed to occur a lot on Italian recordings from the 1960,s for some reason.
The productions were not bad but maybe at times the finished product had a sound to it that was as if it had been recorded at a high level thus it was distorted or off the meter in the levels department. The remainder of the CD has excellent sound quality, and the disc is split into two sections, the first 14 cues being taken from the CAM LP recording in mono, and the remainder of the disc containing the score from the film in full stereo. Ferrio,s score is grand in places and at times can be likened to the works of Toimkin and even Steiner as the composer utilizes to great effect the string section and combines these with proud sounding brass and bold percussive elements, solo trumpet is also given prominence on a number of cues and harmonica too is brought into play and takes the lead on several occasions alongside solo Spanish guitar and pensive sounding woods. As with many of Ferrio’s soundtracks there is also present an underlying style that can be likened to jazz or in fact is jazz orientated but in this score this style manifests itself just fleetingly giving way to a more grand and rich sound that is not only memorable but highly inspiring and rewarding. Overall I have to say that this is probably one of the best non-Morricone Italian westerns written. The compact disc is presented wonderfully with numerous colour stills and a great front cover plus various examples of posters for the movie and the original CAM LP jacket art work. If you have the LP in your collection you are still in for a treat with this re-issue, and if you have not heard the score at all well what are you waiting for order it now. As I have said before this is another addition to the Hillside series which is being produced by Lionel Woodman, he has some wonderful titles within the series already and I know there is some stunning stuff to follow, have you ordered it yet.