Two soundtracks on one compact disc, that is always an attraction, and when they are great scores it is even more of a temptation to purchase it. The two scores in question are WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS and it’s sequel WHEN WOMEN LOST THEIR TAILS. These two prehistoric comedies were popular during the 1970,s, the first WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS was scored by Ennio Morricone and one can only remark that this is Morricone at his best. There is not one track on this score that requires the listener to reach for the skip button on the CD player, it is a score that is brimming with some of the most infectious and vibrantly entertaining music that I have ever come across. The score is bursting with energy and overflowing with many of the trademark sounds and standard writing styles of the Maestro. The choral work which is the work of Alessandro Alessandroni and his excellent IL CANTORI MODERNI is breathtaking and in fact it is this vocalizing that gives the score its wonderful vitality and infectious persona. Eight of the eleven cues from WHEN WOMEN HAD TAILS contains choral accompaniment, the movie which is a kind of comic take on ONE MILLION YEARS BC and a precursor to films like CAVEMAN was successful in a number of European countries as well as its country of origin. An LP record of Morricones soundtrack was available during the 1970,s but this was a bootleg and was soon a very rare and hard to find item. Morricone,s music is wonderful and as well as the stunning choral performances we are treated to must hear cues that include the utilization of cheeky sounding woodwind, seductive harpsichord and the luxurious solo vocals of Edda dell orso. Track number five is a favourite of mine, Morricone parodies the nursery rhyme THREE BLIND MICE, weaving the familiar strains of the song into the framework of the score, this is not just entertaining but also engaging and enchanting. The soundtrack is a triumph of tongue in cheek scoring  and one that is full of numerous WAH, WAH,S a plethora of grunts and an abundance of sighs and over the top vocalizing that is embellished enhanced and ably supported by some highly irreverent orchestration, that includes digaredoo and wooden blocks either announcing or punctuating the proceedings.  The second score is from WHEN WOMEN LOST THEIR TAILS, this was released in 1972,the music which is penned by Bruno Nicolai was never released at the time of the movie being in cinemas, and sat in the CAM archives for many years untouched, although probably not as energetic or thematic as Morricone’s original score this work does have its moments. There are within it a number of references to the original score, but Nicolai as always manages to infuse a degree of originality into the score and places his own musical fingerprint upon proceedings. Nicolai’s score is completely instrumental and contains not choral support, but it still has a zestful and cheeky aura to it. Released as part of the CAM film music encyclopedia series back in 2001,this is a compact disc that should be in every Italian film music fans collection. If you missed it find it and savour a great pairing of soundtracks and some fantastic 70’s film music.


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