The Five Man Army.

Wasn’t going to do this, by “this” I mean even attempt to review spaghetti western score that has attained the title of being a classic, we all know its going to be a sure fire hit with collectors old and new, the older members of the collecting circle getting a kick out of at last having the complete addition of this soundtrack after so many years, the newer recruits being amazed at the originality and outstanding quality of this now vintage western score. I remember seeing this film way back in my home town at the local Odean, I was blown away by the score, so many trills, shrieks, whistles and shouts in one soundtrack, and the sheer power, savagery and rawness that composer Ennio Morricone had created for what was not really a major movie. Hats off to Film Score Monthly for getting this one out on compact disc, ok we had already had a compact disc of the soundtrack, but a very short one, and in mono, what we have here is the full score with the stereo main title theme and also enhanced tracks giving the effect of stereo for the majority of the remaining cues. The sound straight away is a plus, it does knock spots off the aforementioned shorter original release, but saying this I did notice a few distortions, but nothing major or nothing that spoilt my enjoyment of listening to the disc over and over. I was so pleased that the riding cue was included on track number three this was a highlight of the movie for me as 4 members of the 5 man army ride across the desert to meet up with actor Peter Graves character, The Dutchman. The 4 riders proudly gallop as an upbeat and up-tempo version of the main title is pounded out, trills and shrieks are in plentiful supply as organ ,woods and electric guitar take on the central theme with much vigour supported by rough almost spiteful sounding strings. The release also includes the vocal version of Muerte donde vas? Which was sung by gathered villagers as they waited for members of their village to be executed by government troops. I am also pleased thatBruno Nicolai has received a credit here for his conducting duties, so many soundtracks that are re-released onto CD by Morricone seem to omit this important credit and listening to this score again, I feel personally that Nicolai not only conducted but maybe also had a hand in the composition of some of it too, also credited are
Il Cantori Moderni, Alessandro Alessandroni and Franco De Gemini.

I am not going to go on and on about this release, as so many collectors have probably already purchased it, and to be quite honest, it’s a spaghetti western score by Morricone, hell do I have to spell it out, go and get it NOW !!!! Nicely packed by FSM, lots of stills from the movie, and the cover art is thankfully a reproduction of the original Ariete LP, notes by John bender are informative and so detailed, surely a labour of love for him, and the track by track descriptions by Alexander Kaplan are also extremely good. You got it yet, why not ?

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