To say that this is an exciting and popular score, is something of an understatement. I remember getting the original Varese LP and being impressed with the grand sound that Conti had achieved on this work. Then I saw the movie, which although was a nice piece of fun was not exactly a contender for best picture Oscar. Conti,s score is filled with tough sounding action cues and numerous fanfares and brass filled flourishes that do not fail to make an impact upon the listener, booming percussion and striking use of patriotic and flyaway strings combine to make this one of Conti,s most enjoyable soundtracks. The playing of the Graunke Orchestra of Munich is also an added bonus as they seem to just literally throw themselves into the spirit of things and belt out Conti,s magnificent musical ideas. This release not only contains the original LP version of the score, but also boasts the full soundtrack with some cues that were not utilized within the movie. The first track sets the stage for everything that is to follow perfectly, it prepares us for a powerhouse of a score that although is at times very STAR WARS and HOLST with a scattering of Bernstein in its construction, orchestration and overall sound is I think just different and interesting enough to be appealing to collectors of fine movie music. Conti is at times relentless with his driving compositions as in track 13 ITS THEM/CENTURION ATTACK on CD 1. Swirling strings and rasping brass to the fore this cue is full of energy and forceful motifs that move at a fast and unyielding pace creating the atmosphere of urgency and a sense of danger. I enjoyed re-visiting this score, and by having this work re-released it has rekindled my interest in Conti,s work, when I say re-kindled I don’t think my interest died maybe it was just resting. Within MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE one can hear snippets from other Conti, scores THE RIGHT STUFF for example and even little sections of THE ADVENTURES OF HUCK FINN and NORTH AND SOUTH, Conti in majestic mood is an unstoppable force and an entertaining one too. CD 1 contains 19 cues from the original score, plus another 5 of these spill over onto CD 2, the second disc continuing with another 10 tracks taken from the original LP release, a stunning and highly enjoyable package of music FROM la la land records, with some great notes by Randall D Larson. Recommended.
I would not say that I am a great fan of CHARMED, more like an occasional viewer, I sort of catch episodes here and there but the ones I have watched I have enjoyed, of course being into film and TV music I was conscious that the scores for the shows I had watched were pretty outstanding, and also I did think that they were quite rich and full of thematic material, which is a little rare nowadays for television, by this I mean that budgets at times do restrict what a composer can do as tight budgets obviously limit the amount of players etc that the composer can utilize. When I realized it was the work of J. Peter Robinson it made sense. I first encountered the composer when I purchased his score for THE BELIEVERS way back on a VARESE SARABANDE long playing record, the score was quite percussive if I remember rightly, and there was one great stand out cue which I know I returned to many times. The music that the composer has written for CHARMED is very interesting, it is full of haunting little nuances that kind of chip away at the listener, these come in the form of an enchanting little piece entitled PRU THEME which opens the first disc, performed on guitar with gentle sounding synths giving underlying support throughout and creating an almost unworldly sound that is easy on the ear and also relaxes and soothes, it did for me at least in its opening statement evoke the sound that was achieved on the ALL THE PRETTY HORSES score, a kind of folk or country sound that is embellished by synths to create a haunting and pleasant composition. Track 2 on disc one, SNAKE CHARMED is ever so slightly different from the opening cue, although it does start out as a low key sounding piece that resembles the opening, but the mood of the music alters quite swiftly, and a tense and nervous atmosphere is created by the composer via the utilization of strings and a driving percussion, these are further elevated and heightened by the use of more strident and harsh sounding strings, synths also are added to the mix alongside brass to create a dramatic and fast paced piece, as the cue reaches its climax it melts away and returns to how it began softer sounding strings being used with support from synths. Track number 3,disc one, PRU AND LEO, is a love theme, it includes a version of PRU THEME and the composer expands upon this making it a richer and more fuller sounding piece, plus midway through the composition steps up a gear or so as the tempo is increased and more instrumentation is added to the proceedings, again the composer achieves a country feel with use of solo guitar throughout. Much of Robinson’s score contains synthetic elements, but the composer fuses these with more conventional instrumentation to create some wonderful and effecting compositions, he also creates a number of highly dramatic passages which come complete with choral support as in track number 4,disc one WATER DEMON SUITE which has a running time of nearly 8 minutes, richly dark and threatening in its overall sound this for me is just one of the many highlights of this two disc set. There are also a number of lighter moments within the score, when I say lighter I don’t mean as in romantically laced, although yes there are those too, but there are a number of cues that have a kind of comedic sound to them an air of comedy a whisper of lightheartedness, I think this comes across in Track number 6, disc one DEMON SCHOOL, which opens with piano and moves swiftly into guitar and deliberate sounding pizzicato strings that punctuate proceedings and act as support to synthetic sounding strings. I love the way in which the composer combines synthetic and symphonic and also his use of percussion within the score. To do a track by track review would take an age, there are 68 cues on this two disc release, which runs for approx 145 minutes, all I can say is go out and get it, it is certainly well worth it, a rewarding release which comes packaged to the normal high standards of LA LA LAND RECORDS and also you have an added bonus in the form of Randall Larson’s excellent sleeve notes, recommended.
Released on BEAT RECORDS, in 2011.(DDJ012)
DOVE VAI SE IL VIZIETTO NON CE L’HAI?
Composer Berto Pisano, was born on 13th October 1928, in Cagliari, Sardinia Italy. He was the younger Brother of Franco Pisano who also wrote music for motion pictures and television programmes. In my opinion Berto Pisano belongs to the somewhat sizeable list of Italian composers who worked prolifically in film but never attained the recognition that they truly deserved. Composers such as Pisano regularly scored movies that came out of Italy during the 1960,s thru to the 1980,s, he produced soundtracks of infectious and original sounding music that were often far superior to the films for which they were created. Pisano’s style was very much akin to that of fellow composers, Gianni Marchetti, Stelvio Cipriani, Franco Micalizzi, Nico Fidenco, Piero Piccioni and at times Gianni Ferrio. Who were all very productive and active during the same period. Pisano utilized a pop orientated and upbeat sound for many of the movies that he worked upon and fused this style with more dramatic musical colours and sounds, at times employing seductive, steamy jazz slanted melodies to create scores that not only enhanced and supported the movies well, but also worked on another level and became pieces of music in their own right away from the images that they were originally intended to underline. Pisano worked on numerous movie scores and in recent years has become a firm favourite amongst collectors of European film music and after nearly 40 years is finally being appreciated for his originality as a composer and also for his ability as an orchestrator and arranger to create haunting and lasting melodies. Dove vai se il vizietto non ce l’hai? For example, contains a score that is typical of the composer, buoyant and up tempo compositions lay the foundation for the work and these rhythmic and haunting themes dominate throughout, in fact when one listens to the soundtrack it is probably true to say it is more like listening to tracks from a compilation of easy listening music rather than a film score. But this does not take anything away from the quality of Pisano’s soundtrack, in fact it adds to its already high standard and also makes the listening experience a more enjoyable one.
The score has a distinct sound to it and is written and orchestrated in a style that is more or less the spirit of Italian film music from that particular period, haunting, entertaining, romantic and lyrical with touches of drama and mystery I would say describes Pisano’s music perfectly.
Berto Pisano’s most note worthy credits include, KILLER KID (1967), DJANGO KILLS SOFTLY (1968), KILLER KID (1969), ONE AFTER ANOTHER (1969), KILL (1970), STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER (1975), PATRICK STILL LIVES (1979), MALABIMBA (1979) and BURIAL GROUND (1981) The composer collaborated with numerous artists and musicians during his career, Edda Dell Orso, Alessandro Alessandroni and Oscar Valdambrini amongst them.
Dove vai se il vizietto non ce l’hai? (aka-Where can you go without the little vice ?) has a somewhat complicated storyline, but one which is entertaining in the areas of comedy, drama and scenarios of a sexual nature. Released in 1981, this would certainly never even be considered to be worthy of an Oscar, but it is nevertheless a piece of entertaining and amusing cinema. Directed by Marino Girolami under the pseudonym of Franco Martinelli on this occasion. Girolami was involved in a directing, producing or writing capacity on some seventy movies between 1950 and 1982. ANCHE NEL WEST CER’A UNA VOLTA DIO, ZOMBIE HOLACAUST, DUE RINGOS NEL TEXAS, ROMA VIOLENTA and ITALIA A MANO ARMATA among them. He directed under the nom de plume of Frank Martin, Dario Silvestri, Jean Bastide and Fred Wilson to name but a handful.
On this occasion the director manages to steer the cast through a plethora of escapades and fuses all of the plots components with relevant ease considering just how many things are occurring in this chaotic and madcap tale of drama that is fuelled by both erotic and comedic elements. Two private detectives Diogene Colombo (Renzo Montagnani) and his assistant Aroldo (Alvaro Vitali) are approached by a beautiful and alluring woman, Simona (Paola Senatore). She suspects her husband, Commendatore Cesare (Mario Carotenuto) of being unfaithful.
She engages the two unlikely gumshoes to follow him and keep him under close surveillance to find out if her suspicions have any substance. The pair decide that the best way to get close to their target is to disguise themselves and enter into employment within a household, Diogene becoming a waiter or butler and his assistant who has clear homosexual tendencies, decides to dress as a woman and takes on the duties of a maid named Carlotta. What follows is a series of hilarious situations, crazy chases and also numerous encounters of the erotic and sexual kind, all of which combine to make up a disorderly fast paced movie that although is not overwhelmingly good is also not horrendous. Filled with a cast of beautiful young ladies that include Lory del Santo and Angie Vibeker the movie is easy on the eye and also easy on the mind.