SCREAMING THEMES, SHOOTOUTS AND STARED ARIAS.

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The Italian or spaghetti western has whether we like it or not had a profound influence upon cinema as a whole. Many contemporary movies have taken the key stock attributes of the Spaghetti western genre and converted them to fit the scenarios of thrillers, horror movies and even sci fi and adventure films. It is a genre of film that although not loved by all has a style and a presentation that is recognised instantly even if it is disguised in a movie or TV drama in other genres. The music for the Italian produced western played a major role in the development and the structure of the movies within the genre, and although it was Ennio Morricone who along with film maker Sergio Leone created what we now know as the spaghetti western sound, there were numerous other composers and performers that also contributed to the ongoing fashioning and development of the original sound that Maestro Morricone put in place on the soundtrack of A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS. I thought it would be an idea to look at the key musical works within the spaghetti western genre. This will not be all Morricone, far from it as I am of the opinion that many of the scores by other composers although inspired by Morricone are at times more inventive, because of the budgets involved and also because of the quality of the music that was produced at times for movies that were less than memorable some examples of soundtracks I will look at are I admit rather lacking and there are also others that one often thinks of as a little ridiculous in their style and overall sound, nevertheless they all contributed to the sound and style of music that we associate with the genre and were examples of film scoring that we had never been heard before, and also a sound that is still today instantly recognisable and in use as in mimicked within many types of films. I am not going to go into lengthy explanations of how the genre came into being, or indeed focus for any time on the plots stars or directors, this is a subject that we have already covered here at MMI, no it’s the soundtracks which were often Good, sometimes Bad and could be Ugly that we will discuss and maybe you as collectors might not have been aware of them and seek them out if they are available.

KEOA

So, I think the most unusual approach to scoring a western might have been undertaken by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, when they scored KEOMA, a violent western that starred Franco Nero, the movie was overall a good western, but the quirkiness of the score in my opinion was verging upon the unlistenable. The composers decided to make use of vocals on the score, but the vocals were off beat and slightly eccentric. In the hands of another composer the score for KEOMA would have probably taken on a more conventional sound if there is such a thing as a conventional sounding Italian western score. With the De Angelis brothers however, it broke new musical ground, but was not popular with all who heard it. I think it is probably my least favourite Italian western score, simply because of the songs, or at least the style of the performance of the songs. One critic described the vocals as grating, while another likened the female vocals to something like Buffy Saint Marie on acid. The vocal performances were courtesy of Sybil and Guy and the descriptions by the critics of their vocalising is a pretty fair one.

 

continuavano a chiamarlo

The music for KEOMA was a far cry from De Angelis score for the 1971 movie THEY STILL CALL ME TRINITY, a comedy western which was released some five years previous. KEOMA was savage, angry, and unforgiving, which matched the mood of the central character, but still became off putting when watching the movie, because the audience was trying to catch what the vocalists were saying. The musical output of Guido and Maurizio De Angelis was filled with a quirky sound which was effective within the films they worked on and for most of the time was an entertaining listening experience away from the movie. KEOMA however was for me not a great experience, with the score I think being the last on my list of spaghetti western soundtracks to be played. It is shall we say an acquired taste, and leave it there. It was not just Guido and Maurizio De Angelis that had a strange way of approaching and scoring westerns, Carlo Rustichelli for example, had a habit of including circus music in a number of his western scores, which was also at times a little puzzling. And although a great many of the composers scores were epic in their sound, he produced a handful that if you listened to them without being told they were western scores would assume they were from comedies of movies involving clowns and trapeze acts.

But to something positive in the genre, and to composer Gianni Ferrio, SENTENCE OF DEATH, again not the most conventional of scores even for a spaghetti western, the composer employing jazz influences throughout alongside percussive elements and Mexican sounding guitar solos to create a good score, but a slightly confusing one for any listener who had not seen the movie. Breathy woods accompany steamy sounding saxophone and double bass in sleazy sounding cues, that would not be out of place in any Giallo or cop picture. The song THE LAST GAME performed by Neville Cameron, is odd in itself, the intro spoken rather than sung, with Ferrio underlining and punctuating with a laid back jazz backing, and gradually building to a crescendo of sorts with the vocalist hitting the top notes and solo trumpet combining with organ and percussion to create an interesting combination and sound. One could never accuse Ferrio of being part of what was to be known as the school of Italian film music, he very rarely utilised a whistler, and his style was unique and I think because of this he stood out even more. I have to admit buying the soundtrack to SENTENCE OF DEATH because it had such a cool cover, but after a few listens I began to appreciate the soundtrack and also to engage with the style of the composer, which made me want to hear more of the same. Probably not the best example of the spaghetti western sound, but a worthy addition to any collection.

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Another Spaghetti western score which I think can referred to as a classic example of Italian film scoring is SPARA GRINGO SPARA, The music is by the seasoned composer Sante Maria Romitelli, who provided us with a score that just bursts with energy and vibrant original musical content. It boasts a number of up tempo almost beat/pop tracks which are entertaining, foot tapping stuff. The score also includes a number of tracks that can be categorised as dramatic, symphonic and near operatic, like many scores for westerns which were produced in Italy during the 1960s and 1970s the soundtrack features performances on electric guitar, harpsichord, trumpet and organ, which are either as solo instruments or as a combination of all of these. SPARA GRINGO SPARA is a soundtrack that is made up of themes for the films principal characters.

SPARA

For example TEMA DI STARK (track number 7) is a powerhouse of a cue, it begins with an organ motif which is joined and eventually overwhelmed by strings and brass, this then leads into an electric guitar solo, backed up by organ and vibes, the track develops into a full blown version of the theme for Stark, which is carried along by the string section with organ and guitar making entrances along the way, certainly stirring and inspiring stuff. There are also a handful of compositions on the soundtrack that can be described as suspense cues, not musical or thematic, but nevertheless go to make up an interesting part of this score.

Bandidos_MK704

Released in 1967, BANDIDOS is a good Italian western, it holds one’s attention via its original storyline but like most Italian produced westerns does have its lulls and lows as far as the story is concerned. One of the film’s most appealing attributes has to be the musical score by composer Egisto Macchi who fashioned a haunting and theme laden soundtrack, the stock instrumentation and sounds of the spaghetti western are present throughout, the composer relying upon solo trumpet performances, choral support, female voice, harpsichord, organ, jaws harp, bass guitar, percussion, dramatic strings, electric guitar, harmonica, sporadic trills from the woodwind section, racing snare drums that are punctuated by manic sounding brass stabs and vocals courtesy of Nico Fidenco, who I personally think had an input into the score as well as performing the songs, I say this because there are certain sounds or quirks of orchestration within the soundtrack that are distinctively Fidenco, the use of timpani, woodwind, choir and also soaring trumpet solos are stunning and at times rival the work of Lacarenza and Morricone, the overall combination of instrumentation however have to them a sound and style that just says to me Fidenco. Macchi was born in Grosseto Italy on August 4th 1928 he worked in many areas and genres of music, these included, film scores, classical, avant-garde, musique concrete and he contributed many compositions to music libraries. He began composing in 1953 and was not only a gifted composer but a proficient conductor/arranger plus he played violin and piano. After creating and founding The Musical Theatre of Rome with Domenico Guaccero, Macchi established Studio R7 in 1967, which was an experimental electronic music laboratory. In the same year the composer joined Gruppo di improvvisazione di nuova consonantal, which was an avant-garde improvisation group to which he recruited composer Ennio Morricone who was a long-time friend of his. During his career the composer worked on approx: 20 motion pictures, he passed away on August 8th 1992 aged 64.

 

RINGO TEX

It is unbelievable just how many Spaghetti western scores have been released in recent years thanks to labels such as HILLSIDE,GDM,DIGIT MOVIES etc etc. Hillside seem to have slowed in their release programme but I am sure that Mr Woodman and Professor Roberto Zamori will be back with something that is very special, meanwhile lets look back to 2008 when GDM/Hillside released the Nico Fidenco soundtrack for the 1966 production RINGO IL TEXANO or THE TEXICAN as it was re-titled for releases outside of Italy. The movie was a fair example of the Euro western because it was filmed in Spain and I suppose really was a combination of the style of the Italian or Euro western and also the more traditional Hollywood or American made B western movie.
Director Lesley Selendar an American was credited as being one of the most prolific western feature makers with 107 titles accredited to his name, he worked on TV shows also including the popular LARAMIE (43 Episodes), THE TALL MAN and DANIEL BOONE and feature films such as ARIZONA BUSHWHAKERS, FORT UTAH, THE LONE RANGER AND THE CITY OF GOLD and TOMAHAWK TRAIL to name but a few. The star of the movie Audie Murphy was I must admit a little out of place as the central character Jess Carlin, the actor seeming awkward in certain scenes but saying this Murphy was a veteran of Hollywood sage brush tales and was in the end an asset to the production attracting many of his fans to the movie. The villain of the piece Luke Starr was played by another American actor Broderick Crawford with Diana Lorys as Kit o Neal the love interest and two genre favourites Aldo Sambrell and Antonio Casas in tow. Murphy’s character has decided to hang up his guns and settle down in Mexico but after receiving news that his Brother who is a newspaper owner has been murdered he decides its time to strap his pistols back on and head back into the States to find the killer. The soundtrack was originally released on the RCA label on a long playing record, paired with another score by composer Nico Fidenco IN THE SHADOW OF THE COLT which itself was given a full score release in 2007 by GDM. Fidenco was a composer that simply shone when scoring westerns, his style just seemed to lend itself to these quirky and entertaining pieces of cinema. The composer very often providing a soundtrack that combined dramatic elements with catchy pop orientated material, he would create haunting and stirring themes that never failed to grab the attention of the watching audience and thus also attracting the attention of film music connoisseurs at the same time. How the collaboration between the director and composer came about I am not entirely sure, but I am glad it happened.

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Fidenco created an upbeat and tuneful soundtrack for the movie and as per usual enlisted the assistance of Alessandroni and his excellent Il Cantori Moderni as well as providing the vocals himself for the film’s title song. Fidenco wrote a haunting opening theme for the film which is heard as a vocal and later in the proceedings is given quite a meaty sounding orchestral work out complete with bold sounding horns, brass flourishes and upbeat percussion that are all brought together by choir and strings. The CD contains 11 tracks which are taken from the original LP release which are stereo mixes. Then there are a further 21 cues taken from the actual film score which are in mono. This for me ranks alongside other Fidenco scores such as ONE MORE FOR HELL, TO THE LAST DROP OF BLOOD, LO VOGLIO MORTE and JOHN IL BASTARDO all of which are excellent examples of scoring.

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Talking of excellent examples of Italian western scores how about a classic one. Originally released in 1967 on a CAM LP record which also included tracks on the B side from THE BELLE STARR STORY with music by Charles Dumont, this Cipriani spaghetti western score has to be one of the most popular and well known non-Morricone western scores from the 1960s. The theme was covered by numerous artists worldwide including the likes of LeRoy Holmes, Geoff Love and Henry Mancini – the latter held Cipriani’s composition in high esteem and was a composer who Cipriani said was an inspiration to him. A MAN A HORSE AND A GUN was also one of the first soundtracks to be re-issued by CAM as part of their Soundtrack Encyclopaedia series (CSE 102). But sadly, the recording was slightly flawed and was of a very short running duration; the original CD release running for just 23 mins 40 seconds. CAM did re-issue the score again with a few extra tracks and included it on a disc with tracks from two other westerns scored by Cipriani, THE BOUNTY KILLER and NEVADA. So it has been available before but not in such a complete version. This latest edition is, as far as we are aware, the entire score which was originally a project that CAM were contemplating at the time of the film’s release and is made up of tracks from a mock-up LP as well as cues from the film’s soundtrack. It contains 11 previously released cues and a further 11 released for the first time, billed as bonus tracks – although, in saying this, the central theme from the score is repeated a few times but in differing arrangements. The sound achieved by Hillside/GDM is amazing and all tracks are in full stereo apart from track 22, which is a mono mix of an alternate version of the central theme. Presentation is also very well done, with the original LP cover being utilized and a number of attractive and colourful stills and publicity posters from the film decorating the disc booklet. The score by Cipriani is, in every sense of the word, a “CLASSIC” and it is this soundtrack along with examples from the same period by Ennio Morricone, Gianni Ferrio, Bruno Nicolai, Francesco De Masi and Nico Fidenco that set the standard and also created the precedence and style that was to become the iconic spaghetti western “SOUND”.

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The CD opens with the now familiar and dare I say famous theme, “Un Uomo un Cavallo una Pistola”. Spanish guitar punctuated by subdued bass electric guitar open the cue and usher in shrill but melodic woodwind, establishing the main body of the theme. Strident, forceful strings add momentum and increase the composition’s tempi. The strings are then joined by racing snares, bells and eventually an electric guitar which takes on the role established by the woods and continues to pick out Cipriani’s infectious theme. Trumpet is added to create a wonderful rich and exuberant sound depicting the man and the horse riding at speed. The tempo then alters drastically as the composer introduces a slower and more romantic arrangement of the central theme. Woodwind again with low brass and strings are combined with a laid-back percussion supporting them. Again, the tempi changes and becomes fast paced but only very briefly, bringing the cue to its conclusion as it fades.
Track 2, “Una Canzone per la Luna”, is the secondary theme for the score, and in many ways evokes memories of Morricone’s “Goodbye Colonel” cue from A FEW DOLLARS MORE. Subdued percussion, bells and martial timpani are interspersed with electric bass and piano creating an almost bolero sound, which has the central phrasing of the theme performed by woodwind and also at times passed to solo trumpet which is slow and mournful in its overall sound, supported by sparse use of electric organ. Track 3, “Faccia a Terra”, is one of the highlights of the score; driving percussion, punctuated by whip sounds act as background to a striking and memorable trumpet solo which itself is embellished by the use of a rasping voice which creates a stunning and highly original effect. I am also glad to say that, on this version of the score, the re-mastering has been done wonderfully because on the original CD release there was a slight imperfection that was very noticeable on this particular track, which has now been remedied. Overall, this soundtrack is a rewarding listen and one of the Italian western genres greatest non-Morricone scores.

 

Black Killer
Black Killer

The first Italian western score I ever heard by composer Daniele Patucchi was DEAF SMITH AND JOHNNY EARS or LOS AMIGOS as it was called in Italy. I remember thinking that the music was not pure Spaghetti in its style and overall sound but was a fusion of that type of scoring together with a more conventional approach which harkened back to the days of the traditional western according to Hollywood. BLACK KILLER was released in 1971, two years before LOS AMIGOS and although the master tapes of the score were the property of CAM Dischi in Rome, the soundtrack never got a release on LP records at the time of the film’s release – which is surprising because the composer’s DEAF SMITH AND JOHNNY EARS did and was even issued in the UK on EMI records. This had to be something to do with Anthony Quinn and Franco Nero being in the aforementioned movie and BLACK KILLER starring Klaus Kinski who was little known in the UK at that time.

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Patucchi’s score for BLACK KILLER was a little more spaghetti sounding than LOS AMIGOS as it contained a number of references to the then already established sound of the Italian produced western; the composer utilizing a rasping electronic sound and instrumentation which clearly had connections with scores by other composers from the genre, i.e. banjo played in unison with a saloon type piano, fiddle (which is reminiscent of Morricone’s FIVE MAN ARMY), Spanish guitar solos and a fairly light and up-tempo central theme which again is reminiscent of the style employed by Morricone in films such as BANDA J AND S.

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There are several darker and sinister, dramatic interludes within the score, where Patucchi calls upon electric bass guitar, percussion and tense sounding woods to create a taught and edgy atmosphere. Plus, we hear cues that are variations on the core theme; the composer orchestrating and arranging these so that they remain fresh and vibrant on each outing. Harpsichord, guitar and Celeste are utilised throughout to create some nice low-key moments which can be considered romantic in their overall sound. This is demonstrated in track seven, which includes all of the instrumentation I have already mentioned plus lush strings. In track nine, percussion together with bass guitar, underlined with woodwind provide a tense mood; the tension building further with the introduction of electric guitar stabs and noises which – whilst not exactly musical – add much to the composition. A score that grows on you and one that is sadly overlooked.

 

Quella sporca storia nel west
Quella sporca storia nel west

Next we have a gem of a score from the genre of the Spaghetti western. QUELLA SPORCA STORIA NEL WEST, features a great title song performed by Maurizio Graf, the artistry of Alessandro Alessandroni as a choral director co-composer and guitarist, the distinct sound of il Cantori Moderni, the unmistakable talent of Franco D Gemini and of course the originality and the musical prowess of Maestro Francesco De Masi. Released in 1968 this is one of the many spaghetti westerns which were popular with audiences around the world during the 1960s through to the mid to late 1980s. Francesco De Masi had a unique style and sound when working on any type of movie but for me it was the western genre in particular where the composer excelled. His scores for westerns such as ARIZONA COLT, 7 DOLLARI SUL ROSSO, KILL THEM ALL AND COME BACK ALONE, and SARTANA NON PERDONA, to name but a few, all contain musical elements which are essentially akin to the Italian western sound but alongside them and fused within them have a style that evokes the Hollywood produced western scores such as HIGH NOON, THE BRAVADOS, THE TIN STAR etc., etc. De Masi not only utilized the typical expansive Americana sound of the western as envisaged by composers such as Tiomkin, Newman and Bernstein but he also stamped upon each project the inimitable sound of the Spaghetti western and further embellished this sound with a style and inventiveness that was all his own. The CD opens with “Find a Man” (Tema di Johnny) performed by vocalist Maurizio Graf. This performer’s distinct vocalising was utilized by many composers in Italy and he worked on numerous western soundtracks.

 

Maybe I am being a little over the top here, when I say I think that this is possibly the best song written for an Italian western, as it not only has great lyrics by Audrey Stanton and A. Alessandroni and an outstanding performance by Graf, but it also contains a fantastic jangling guitar riff courtesy of Alessandroni and a melodic and infectious musical backing consisting of organ, percussion, piano and lavish sounding strings;

“Find a Man Who Never Killed Not Even For the Love of Gold,
Find a Man Who Never Lied and Offer Him Your Soul,
Find a Man Who Never Stole From Any Man a Woman’s Love,
Find a Man Who Never Lied and Never Let Him Go”.

How can this not be a winning formula for a western song.
More than any other De Masi western score this includes some wonderful choral work which can be heard in cues such as “In Memoria” (track 3) and “Johnny Sulla Croce (track 16). It’s also a score that has a number of standout tracks – the composer creating secondary themes which because of their strength and quality could easily act as main titles for other assignments. For example, track 11 “Il Villaggio di Santana” is a great action piece containing driving percussion, uplifting and forthright Mexican flavoured strings, strumming guitars, proud sounding horns, whips and xylophone. All of these elements combine to create something anthem like and stirring in its overall sound. The composer fuses both Italian styles with that of a more conventional western sound and the end result is not only original but pleasing and rewarding for the listener. The soundtrack was issued previously on a CAM LP back in 1968. CAM re-issued the score in 1995 paired it with 7 DOLLARI SUL ROSSO but there were no extra cues included and it was a re-issue of the LP tracks. This edition contains all of those tracks 1-19 on the disc, plus we are treated to a further 8 cues, which are alternate takes on a handful of the previous tracks. Sound quality is outstanding, and the presentation is handled nicely with many stills from the movie and informative notes by Filippo De Masi the composer’s son. This was the seventh CD to be issued by BEAT records in the Francesco de Masi western score series.

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The Italian made western was a popular genre with cinema goers, and in the UK I know that many examples of these movies were often shown as B features alongside movies that were produced in the UK and the U.S. THE BIG GUNDOWN for example was the support feature to THE WRECKING CREW and A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL was shown as the second feature to a variety of main programmes. In the 1970,s both A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE were shown on the same programme, and DEATH RIDES A HORSE was shown prior to the main feature in many picture houses, cinema audiences whether they liked it or not were always able to get an ample fix of spaghetti.

BRAVADOS GOLD 1

In 1969, a movie that was shown as a B feature was GOLD OF THE BRAVADOS, a movie which had a limited distribution and also a very short run at cinemas, the production was scored by Luis Bacalov. For some reason this is a soundtrack that is rarely spoken of, I don’t understand why as I count it as one of the composers better scores for the western genre as in it does not re-use any themes from the composers other soundtracks, many collectors had in fact encountered music from the movie without knowing it on Bacalov’s compilation album PAESAGGI which had been released on General music in 1972, the compilation featuring the central theme form the score, the actual soundtrack for GOLD OF THE BRAVADOS did not receive a release until 1995, when it was featured alongside another Bacalov western score for the comedy LA PIU’ GRANDE RAPINA DEL WEST, on a GDM compact disc, this was a very limited edition that had been produced by Hillside CD production and distributed by GDM with each release individually numbered.

BRAVADOS GOLD

The track that was a familiar one to collectors was ADIOS TIERRA MIA, which opens the score it is a typical sounding Bacalov composition, purveyed wonderfully by woods, whistler, solo trumpet, strings and harpsichord, it is in my opinion one of the composers most accomplished themes for a western at least, and rivals the grandeur and the melodic content of IL GRANDE DUELLO (1972). It is certainly a case of the music being far superior to the film it was written for in the case of GOLD OF THE BRAVADOS, the score has an almost epic sound at times and oozes Hispanic and South American colours, which is something that Bacalov also achieved on his soundtrack for A MAN CALLED NOON.

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One of the most entertaining Spaghetti western scores in my opinion is Marcello Giombini’s SABATA which was released in 1969, the soundtrack is filled with vibrant themes and has to it an abundance of energy that underlines the action and also acts as musical punchlines to many of the scenarios in the movie. The score is essentially made up of a handful of principal themes, some of which are integral to the films storyline and are identifiable with the films central characters, the most prominent and noticeable being the theme for BANJO, the composer taking the opportunity to interweave his theme for the character into key scenes which he is featured in, thus the audience become accustomed to hearing the theme either on the score or in the context of a scene where the character Banjo is playing the instrument.

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The soundtrack also featured the bouncy and infectious theme for SABATA and themes for the villains. It is in a word STUNNING and also a wonderful and masterful piece of scoring by Giombini. The soundtrack LP was issued in the 1970’s on a Japanese import, which was on the U.A. label, there was also a single released in the UK and Italy which featured SABATA theme on the A side and BANJO on the B side. Again, released on U.A. records.

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The soundtrack was issued onto CD by Hillside CD productions and GDM in 2001 paired with RETURN OF SABATA, again scored by Giombini in 1971, the sequel was not such an entertaining movie and the score too lacked the stature and inventiveness of the original, but it was a bonus to have both scores on one Compact Disc. The soundtracks have been re-issued separately onto compact disc in recent years, but my opinion is that the original GDM/Hillside release is still the one to have.

 

bounty

Staying with the SABATA series, and to the second movie in the trilogy, ADIOS SABATA, THE BOUNTY HUNTERS or INDIO BLACK. Was released in 1970, and because Lee Van Cleef was not available to take on the role he was substituted with Yul Brynner who’s interpretation of the SABATA character was the opposite of Van Cleef. The movie although enjoyable was mainly played for laughs and gimmicky stunts which worked well or in most cases fell a little flat. The score was by Bruno Nicolai, who many had heard of via his associating with Ennio Morricone when he acted as the composer’s musical director on numerous scores. Nicolai had written the music for a number of westerns, but ADIOS SABATA is one of his best, although at times it does verge upon being a direct imitation of the work of Morricone, with strange noises, grunts, chants and whistles being utilised throughout. The score was released for the first time onto compact disc by Hillside cd production in 2001, the release being distributed by GDM. Again, the score received a re-issue a few years later, but again like the other SABATA scores the Hillside/GDM release has the edge over the others.

belle
Finally, I going to head for an unreleased score, well when I say unreleased it has not received an expanded Compact disc release, it was however released onto LP by CAM records and also on a single on the same label and is a title I mentioned earlier in this article. THE BELLE STARR STORY was a double soundtrack release it being the A side to A MAN A HORSE AND A GUN, the film which was released in 1968, was met with mixed reactions, but all in all was a good movie and probably the pre-cursor for films such as HANNIE CAULDER.

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The score is by French composer Charles Dumont, the soundtrack LP opens with a fanfare of sorts that introduces a vocal entitled NO TIME FOR LOVE, which is something the main character of the movie identifies with. The vocal is performed by the movies star Elsa Martinelli, who delivers a suitably sultry and sensual vocal. Dumont penned the music for the song as well as the score and the lyrics were provided by Andre Salvat and Norman Newell. The music for the song is sparse whilst the vocals are being performed, and comprises of woods, bass guitar and a subtle Spanish guitar, until the vocal or first part of it at least comes to an end, and then Dumont enters the fray with a galloping and quick paced piece that is performed by timpani, percussion and horns with strings supporting. This comes to an abrupt end as the vocal is again re-introduced this time with a more elaborate support of strings giving it a more romantic feel and atmosphere. Track two, is an instrumental version of the song and the composer employs dramatic strings to open the cue, but these are then tailed off and amore lush and sumptuous rendition of the song is performed by soaring strings which themselves fade and lead into a delicate and quiet guitar solo. Track three is WESTERN CASINO, which is self-explanatory, and this is where the saloon piano piece comes into the work, Dumont providing a jaunty, honky-tonk saloon sound via the at times off kilter piano that is backed and punctuated by strummed banjo. THRILLING PER UNA STELLA is the title of track number four, Dumont, switching to a more dramatic musical style, with electric bass, percussion, brass and bongos, combining to create a taught and apprehensive sound, that is quite reminiscent of Cipriani’s A MAN A HORSE AND A GUN, the track builds with the composer adding strings that seem to envelope and carry the remainder of the instrumentation, bringing the track to a close. Track five, is a guitar version of the central theme and is entitled BELLE STARR GUITAR. Which is brief but effective, the final track is BELLE STARR, in which Dumont creates a suitably western sounding riding cue, with brass, strumming guitars, electric bass punctuations and rumbling percussion. A short but interesting and entertaining soundtrack, that sadly was at the time of its release ignored by many.

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