Volume 3 in this desirable and now quite rare collection is another thoughtfully compiled volume and contains real classic material. It opens with Nora Orlandi’s instrumental version of “Basta Cosi” from 100.000 DOLLARI PER UN MASSACRO (1967-via radio), I say instrumental because there was also a vocal version in the movie played over the films end credits if my memory serves me correct and even though the score has been issued twice on compact disc the song still has not made an appearance, which proves that even when scores eventually do get a release record companies do still hold tracks back or omit them from the release. Orlandi scored a handful of western scores and each one was original and appealing in its own right, her style is at times akin to the school of De Masi and Lacerenza. She began her career as a singer then moved onto providing choral support for composers on films scores and songs via her singing group 4×4 working extensively with Guido and Maurizio De Angelis and on many occasions with Fidenco, Cipriani, Poitevin and many others.
At one time early on in her career she formed a singing group with Alessandro Alessandroni but both artists went their separate ways. The two tracks included here are fairly typical examples of her composing skills and style, both comprising of the stock sounds now associated with the Italian western score, trumpet and choir being paramount in the proceedings. WANTED (1967-CAM) by Gianni Ferrio is next in the running order, with lyrics by Giovanni Danell and a vocal performance by Il Cantori Moderni. “When Your Wanted It’s A Test Not To Run, Remember Keep A Hand On Your, Your Wanted Yes Your Wanted, When Your Wanted Where The Hell Can You Go, They’ll Find You Searching High Searching Low”. This is a powerful vocal and has some equally potent backing music. The second cue from this score is “Vivo O Morto” (alive or dead) which is a fast tempo cue in which Ferrio seems to throw everything in including racing snares, trumpet, strings and electric guitar. Listening to this track makes one wonder why Gianni Ferrio did not become better known out side of his native Italy. Track 5 is the beautiful and soaring central theme from IL GRANDE DUELLO music composed by Luis Enriquez Baclov, in this cue the composer utilises harmonica to begin the composition punctuated by sparse use of guitar which is joined by subtle placing of harpsichord and slow and subdued percussion, add to this swelling strings and choir and a flawless soaring vocal by Edda and you have the recipe for sheer excellence, it does not get much better than this.
On seeing the movie quite recently I was a little disappointed to see that the composer was not credited and also there was some type of hillbilly hoe down music tracked over some of the scenes, Baclov’s music was present but in a watered down form as if it had been just edited into the movie as opposed to actually being scored to the action. Track 6 is taken from ALL’ULTIMO SANGUE (1966-CAM), music is the work of Nico Fidenco, this successful composer started his career as a singer and became immensely popular in Italy during the late 1950s and early 1960s, Fidenco told me in interview he became involved in scoring movies because he often used to sing theme songs and decided that maybe this was something he would like to do, he also said that although the ideas for the music came from himself, it was actually Giacamo Del Orso who orchestrated it and scored it to the films, I think what he was saying that he was essentially in the early part of his career what is known in film music as a hummer. With Dell Orso applying the necessary skill as a composer/conductor and arranger to convert these ideas into actual music. Fidenco was quite open about this practise and gave full credit to dell Orso. The track representing ALL’ULTIMO SANGUE is entitled “Chaleco”, a haunting and quite up tempo composition, again trumpet and choir being utilised throughout. Tracks 7 and 8 are taken from UCCIDI O MUORI (1968-CAM) Music comes from veteran Italian composer Carlo Rustichelli. Rustichelli worked on numerous movies both inside of Italy and away from Cinecitta, his approach to scoring westerns I would say in most cases was of a more classical one, in this case however the composer employed a fusion of styles, on one hand it is grandiose and leans towards the American style of western scoring, but on the other he put to good use solo trumpet, organ and guitar all of which are trademarks of the spaghetti western score. The first selection here is a vocal entitled “I Must Go”, this is definitely Spaghetti meets HIGH NOON, that can be detected in the lyrics. “When Injustice Has Been Done, Men Must Fight And Never Run, When Injustice Has Been Done One Forgets To Love, Though I Love You I Must Go, Leaving You At Home I Know, Please Don’t Hate Me Don’t Forsake Me, Time Has Come I Must Go”. The second selection is the title track from the movie and is more spaghetti, Rustichelli creating a full blooded and rich sounding theme which begins with stirring trumpet that segues into a guitar solo and use of organ and strings, probably one of the composers best western themes.
Tracks 9 and 10 are taken from QUELLA SPORCA STORIA NEL WEST (1968-CAM). The first is the title song, vocal courtesy of Maurizio Graf, with that now familiar and infectious opening guitar rift brilliantly performed by Alessandro Alessandroni who also collaborated with composer Francesco De Masi on the lyrics. The second offering from the score IN MEMORIA is for the best part all choral and performed flawlessly by Il Cantori Moderni. The remainder of the disc features some prime examples of Italian western scoring, including Carlo Pes at his infectious best with the theme from PROFESSIONISTI PER UNA MASSACRO, Bruno Nicolai’s ESPANTO EN EL CORAZON from CORRI UOMO CORRI performed by Tomas Milian, Morricone’s GUI LA TESTA, Baclov’s THE PRICE OF POWER and selections from Romitelli’s SPARA GRINGO SPARA, De Masi’s AMMAZZALI TUTTI E TORNA SOLO, Morricone’s TEPEPA and strangely enough Rustichelli’s MAN, PRIDE AND VENGEANCE which was not actually a western, but was thought by many to be.