A Hillside release from a few years ago now is a score by the esteemed composer Angelo Francesco Lavagnino, DIO NON PAGA IL SABATO (KILL THE WICKED) (GDM 4131), Lavagnino contributed many scores to the genre of the Spaghetti western, and his work within this genre is at times overlooked by collectors. Although the composer did not employ the sound and style that we associate with the Italian western that often within his soundtracks, they were and still are worthy and interesting additions to the genres musical heritage. KILL THE WICKED is in my very humble opinion a well constructed and up to a point original work, but maybe this would have been better represented on a compilation highlighting the scores stand out cues, which to be honest number a mere handful. I first heard the title song by Roberto Matano, entitled THE PRICE OF GOLD on CAM,s WEST 1 long playing record many years ago, and immediately loved it, and was anticipating a score that would follow the style of the song, unfortunately this is not the case, it is instead a rather low key and downbeat affair with the exception of say three maybe four cues including the song, ok the composer is limited to what he can write in the way of action tracks or upbeat cues if the film does not call for it, but this for me is a lack lustre and rather mediocre listening experience. The score does contain a number of references to past Lavagnino scores, TODAY ITS YOU TOMORROW ME etc, stock instrumentation is present, ie harmonica, whistler, snares, organ, guitar etc, but they are not given sufficient time or room to breathe or be fully developed, with the exception of track two, but even this is somewhat subdued, so by the time I got to track number 8 I was becoming impatient for the work to step up a gear or maybe three. There is a glimmer of light on the final track SFIDA MORTALE, which opens with a solo whistler, but this gleam of hope soon disappears as the track becomes dull and rather ordinary reverting to a more low key affair and one that I would refer to as instantly forgettable. So a rather disappointing release, however I will say that again production values are high and presentation is very good, no notes. Which would have been nice as the film was not exactly an runaway success at the box office. Presented well by Hillside, with a colourful front cover, there seems to be a general consensus among collectors of Italian or European film music that if a score from a western got a release then they would buy it no matter what, in these days of economic uncertainty, I would say that we have to think carefully about what we are buying.
DIO NON PAGA IL SABATO