The expansive and comprehensive re-issue and release of classic Italian movie soundtracks continues on the ever industrious Digit Movies label. IL CORSARO NERO (BLACKIE THE PIRATE) is a swashbuckler that paired the acting talents of Terence hill and Bud Spencer. As always this unstoppable acting duo turn out some interesting and entertaining performances, and swap the familiar surroundings of the old American west for seascapes and tall ships in this tale of treasure, pirates and adventure. The character of the Black Pirate was created by writer Emilio Salgari and the story has been committed to celluloid a number of times, in fact the first version was produced in 1920, when a silent version of the story was directed by filmmaker Vitale De Stefano. Other versions include Allmeto Palermi’s take on the subject in 1937 and also Sergio Sollima’s popular 1976 movie. This particular edition which is considered to be the best was directed by Vincent Thomas in 1971, and contains a suitably riotous and infectious sounding score by composer Gino Peguri. The music has been issued before on an RCA LP, in 1971, this is now a very rare item, and is hard to find. The theme was also issued on a single 45rpm record, but again is also very difficult to locate. The compact disc re-issue not only contains the music from the LP and single, but also has 15 additional never before released cues 9 of which are in stereo, the remaining 6 being in mono. The score is a varied collection of thematic material, which includes, light sounding compositions, as in track number 1 NEL MAR DEI CARAIBI, period pieces, which are demonstrated in cues number 2, GLI AMORE DI ISABELLA and track 17 ISABELLA A CORTE. Hispanic laced numbers as in tracks number 4 POSADA DE MARIA and 11 IL VICERE DI SPAGNA, it also holds a number of melodic and dramatic musical encounters, the most prominent in the dramatic stakes being cue number 7 ALL’ARREMBAGGIO Add to this the march type composition that the composer has penned the best example being CORO DEI CORSARI and the various arrangements of the movies main title song ORZA QUI POGGIA performed by vocalist Paolo Ferrara, along with the instrumental versions of the cue and it all adds up to a extremely good listen. I will say that the song does sound better sung in Italian as the English lyrics are somewhat clichéd. I must admit to being a little apprehensive about this score at first, probably because of the genre of movie more than anything else, but as soon as one begins to listen to it, one instinctively knows that it is a soundtrack of worth. I am in no doubt that this will become a firm favourite with collectors, and for those of us who have heard it before, this re-issue will just rekindle the interest in the score. As usual the packaging provided by Digitmovies is second to none, and the sound quality is excellent. Another wonderful score brought back to life by the unstoppable Italian soundtrack specialist.

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