LA POLIZIA ACCUSA; IL SERVIZIO SEGRETO UCCIDE.

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Composer Luciano Michelini, is really not that well represented when it comes to CD releases. I have always found his music very attractive and remember discovering him way back in the dim and distance past when I accidentally stumbled over his score to IL DECAMERONE NERO on the RCA label, ever since that delightful accident I have looked out for anything by this composer. The music for this crime/police thriller is in my humble opinion possible one of the composers best scores, and rates alongside soundtracks such as THE SICILIAN CLAN and 7 GOLDEN MEN. It contains a hard hitting main theme that is driven along by urgent sounding strings which are interspersed and punctuated by a just as aggressive sounding piano solo that is very reminiscent of the style and sound employed by Vladimir Cosma for THE AFFAIR OF THE CRAZY COP. It’s an infectious and powerful theme which re-occurs throughout the score in numerous guises and arrangements, but it is a piece that one never tires of as Michelini manages to keep it fresh vibrant and interesting on each outing. There is also a secondary theme which appears throughout the scores running time, this is a much lighter more easy going sounding affair that again utilises piano to a degree which is enhanced by the subtle support of the string section and a delicate touch of woodwind, the composition is a haunting one that is filled with romanticism which verges on the melancholy. Of course no score to a thriller or crime caper would be complete without the obligatory action or atonal cue and yes there are also a number of these included, the orchestration of these by Michelini is very interesting and even though they are at times not melodic there is something about them that is attractive, making the listener want to listen just to see if there is a smattering of a melody or maybe a reprise of one of the central themes, more often than not Michelini does not disappoint and one finds one self at one point immersed in an action cue or a tense atonal track to end up listening to something that is highly entertaining and melodic.

The score is performed in the main by the string section, although there are plenty of cues that take on a martial sounding with percussion. Snare drums etc taking the lead which are giving support to brass and woodwind sections. Track 10 is for me one of the scores highlights, urgent strings taking the lead with up-tempo percussion driving the track along whilst brass punctuate the piece with short bursts that are accompanied by dark sounding but hard nosed piano playing. Track 10 too is a delight, another variation of the secondary theme but this time more up beat, where Michelini brings the harpsichord into its own as a support for the string section. Things go even more up tempo in track number 24, as bongo lead percussion forms the background for a twangy sounding SHAFT-Like electric guitar which picks out an almost rock/disco theme. Indeed this is a wonderful example of the music of composer Luciano Michelini, and also a great example of Italian film scoring sounds and techniques. As always the CD is packaged and presented to the normal high standards that we have come to expect from Digit movies, it is a CD that you must have in your collection, because if you miss out on it you will certainly regret it.

ANNA, QUEL PARTICOLARE PIACERE

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There are a few words I could use and will use to describe this particular score, hard edged, delicious, wonderful, uplifting and also beautiful. I am amazed it took a record company so long to release this onto CD. Luciano Michelini is in my humble opinion one of the most underrated composer to come out of Italy; he has been responsible for numerous soundtracks that are far superior to the movies for which they were written. ANNA, QUEL PARTICOLARE PIACERE is certainly no exception to that rule, the composer has created a virtual smorgasbord of themes that are dramatic, romantic, poignant and just down right entertaining and haunting. Edda Dell Orso is a welcomed participant on this score, her soaring and unique vocals creating a fantastic listening experience for any one who has the good fortune to own this compact disc. Originally issued on a RCA LP (RCA SP 8049) back in 1973, this theme fest of a soundtrack did not seem to interest collectors until after it was long deleted, and now with this expanded CD release collectors would be stupid not to snap it up, it is everything that an Italian film music collector could want for, a text book score that is brimming to overflowing with some of the best compositions I have been privileged enough to hear for a long while, strings, piano, woods and a big band sound on some cues all come together to form a well written, masterfully orchestrated and balanced work. At times Michelini’s score puts me in mind of some of Franco Micalizzi’s work for the cinema, its easy listening and also romantically laced but at the same time hard hitting, upbeat and funky, with lots of the trademarks that we associate with cop thrillers from Cinecitta. Edda’s voice performed in unison with strings on track number 6, “La Giostra Dei Pensieri” is in a word stunning, and I would buy the CD for this track alone. Recommended? Yes it certainly is. This is a limited edition, and has an availability of just 500, with no plans to re-press, so go get it.

NAPOLI VIOLENTA.

napoli_violenta_cdcr79More infectious,disco infused groove from the ever amazing vaults of BEAT records, this upbeat and funky sounding score from the pen of Franco Micalizzi is one that will be savoured and replayed by many a collector. NAPOLI VIOLENTA the soundtrack has never been issued before as an entire recording, and when one takes a listen to this score its hard to believe that no one thought to release it until now, it is a prime example of the buoyant and effervescent sound that many Italian composers employed to support and enhance these Police/thriller stories. Micalizzi seemed t be able to do this with consummate ease and is certainly a master of this type of scoring. The Maestro combines styles that are jazz driven alongside orchestral and instrumental cues which are both dramatic and romantic, add to this another dimension of styles that are at times almost disco orientated with a hint of the big band sound and there you have it, an unlikely mixture you may think, but a mix that works and one which is utilised to great effect within the movie. Plus it stands on its own away from the picture and remains just as hard hitting and entertaining. There are two vocals on the soundtrack one of which is performed courtesy of the Bulldogs, the group who also performed the songs for Fidenco on BLACK EMMANUELE, Track number 6 A MAN BEFORE YOUR TIME is a catchy little number that I am sure once heard will just go around in ones head for days. There is also a great vocal performance from singer RAOUL on track number 3 TIRA’A REZZA OJ PISCATORE, which was a very pleasant surprise. This is a soundtrack that any self respecting Italian film music connoisseur should have, so what are you waiting for. Get online and buy it.

NATI CON LA CAMICIA.

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Yet another Franco Micalizzi score released onto CD, its about time that this great composer was better represented on disc. This fast paced mad cap romp is basically a follow on from the early Trinity movies the only difference is guns are replaced by martial arts and horses and wagons are replaced by cars and trucks etc. Doug (Bud Spencer) and Rosco (Terence Hill) find themselves being chased here and there, in fact everywhere by the Police after a number of situations that have occurred and escalated out of hand. After a while the duo are mistaken for agents connected with the CIA and are given an assignment which involves them infiltrating a dangerous organisation. Their job is to bring down the head of the organisation who is set on upsetting everyone and everything that is considered the norm. The pair embark on their mission and eventually emerge triumphant over the forces of evil. So a pretty madcap and chaotic plot with numerous fights, chases and more than the odd dangerous situation cropping up, but I suppose one should expect this sort of thing with Spencer and Hill involved. The equally quirky and fast paced musical score is a perfect match for the antics of Doug and Rosco and composer Micalizzi once again demonstrates his ability to feel at home within any genre of film. The compact disc begins with a vocal, IN THE MIDDLE OF THAT TROUBLE AGAIN is a pop orientated country track which is something that is not dissimilar to vocals that the De Angelis Bros might serve up on a soundtrack, it’s a catchy little ditty written and performed by A.D. Meakin. Track 2 SPIES AND GUYS for me anyway conjures up an aire of mystery and even maybe gives a gentle nod in the direction of James Bond music at its outset, but midway the mood and sound of the track changes and it segues into an up beat jolly sounding cue which is performed on sax that is accompanied and supported by tambourine drums and keyboards. Track three CARIBBEAN WOMEN is a easy going cue that conjures up the images of laying back in the sunshine watching the girls go by. Track 4 GO FOR IT THEME is the instrumental version of the opening song and bounds along with lots of energy the composer again creating an atmosphere of ease. FIGHTING AT THE BURGER BAR is up next and Micalizzi returns to an almost country and western sound for this composition, employing piano, guitar percussion and fiddles which are in true ho-down mood.
Track 6 is a version of the SPIES AND GUYS theme which we heard previously in track 2, this version however is slightly more hard nosed and up beat with more prominence given to electric guitar at the beginning, but again this 007 type start is overtaken by the less serious and jolly saxophone composition. Track 7 SHINING DAY is a delightful very laid back track, performed on keyboards with a medium paced percussion backing that is itself embellished by the use of layered strings, this is typical of the sound and style created by the composer on numerous movie scores and is one of the highlights of this particular soundtrack. As the compact disc progresses we are treated to differing versions of the central themes and it is a credit to Micalizzi that he manages to keep these fresh and interesting throughout. Track 14 is a reprise of the opening vocal but slightly shorter in duration. Again BEAT have packaged and presented the Disc impressively with eye arresting art work and informative notes, a great addition to their catalogue, so dare I say it GO FOR IT-GO GET IT.

NON C E’ DUE SENZA QUATTRO.

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Lots of quirky and infectious themes fill this soundtrack CD. The musical style of composer Franco Micalizzi is well suited to the comic capers of Hill and Spencer in this light comedy thriller. The opening track, WHATS GOING ON IN BRAZIL opens the proceedings with a South American electro sounding samba backing that enhances a pleasant and easy going vocal. The composer continues throughout the work in a very similar fashion, samba tempos and sounds are scattered throughout the score, these are at times funky and groovy sounding compositions and at other times even almost fairground sounding, as in track number 3 THE FLYING CAROUSEL. Micalizzi in my opinion is masterly at combining the light and almost easy listening sound with that of elements that are slightly harder and more dramatic and this score is no exception, the composer creates a soft almost relaxing atmosphere in many of the cues i.e.; track number 5 A GUY WITH IT’S PRETTY GIRLS. That brings together flute, guitar and laid back percussion complete with brushed and shimmering cymbals and little musical punctuations by choir. I would say that this cue is probably one of the highlights of the soundtrack, it is a sound that is not only typical and easily associated with the Italian film score but also a style that is certainly connected with Micalizzi as he utilises within many of his film scores. Track 6 is a jazz band version of the central theme, The DOUBLE TROUBLE theme is repeated five times within the compact disc’s running time, and each time Micalizzi presents it in a different style or arrangement, thus keeping it vibrant and bright each time it is heard in Track 8 for example we hear the theme in a samba arrangement. Plus there is a boss nova version and then an instrumental version of the title song. If you are looking for a score that is grandiose and full of dramatic content, I would have to say you are looking in the wrong place here, this is a fun and foot tapping work, that will have you either whistling or humming along to it as you play it, another good rhythmic and entertaining release from the BEAT vaults, and I am sure there are many many more to come.