Tag Archives: de angelis

ZORRO. (1975).



Released in 1975 and starring Alain Delon and Stanley Baker, ZORRO, was directed by Duccio Tessari and contained a musical score written by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, now this composing duo had made a name for themselves via their rather quirky and pop orientated approach to scoring movies. But their score for ZORRO seemed more dramatic and much more developed which could I suppose have something to do with the involvement of Italian Maestro Gianfranco Plenzio who not only conducted the score but also orchestrated it. The music that the composing siblings provided for the production had a greater depth and also contained much more than we had come to expect from De Angelis, yes there are a number of musical passages and phrases that can only belong to De Angelis, but the majority of the score is a driving and highly adventurous work, As was normal with any De Angelis score for a film there are a couple of songs included which are not that off beat or odd ball, and I say this without being insulting, (remember KEOMA), I rest my case. The score for ZORRO was released on compact disc as part of the CAM SOUNDTRACK ENCYCLOPEDIA, sadly it was a release that initially did not sell that well, but after CAM deleted the release and it became scarce collectors were seeking it everywhere, so a re issue came from Japan which arguably contained far better sound quality, superior art work and more importantly more music. Given the subject matter of the storyline the score obviously leans towards a Spanish/Mexican style and at times reminds one of the quieter moments within Jerry Fielding’s WILD BUNCH score, it has a definite pop infused sound to it with slow guitar solos and light and sultry hacienda songs that evoke a hot summers night spent watching the sun set over the dusty but picturesque desert views. The score is also in my opinion filled with fun compositions that are crammed with energy and although are simple in their makeup are vibrant and linger long in the listeners mind. These are accompanied by fiercely Hispanic sounding cues, that are not only haunting but dramatic, within certain cues I was also reminded of Riz Ortolani’s THE HUNTING PARTY theme, driving strings backed by pulsating percussion and guitar, purveying a sense of urgency and desperation.


Initially the movie was a romantic comedy of sorts, but it did also contain some swordplay and other fight scenes. The theme song sung by Oliver Onions, (G and M De Angelis in disguise) is catchy and somewhat annoying, but this can be said of the majority of the De Angelis songs, the majority of which seem to repeat themselves over and over, until you find yourself reaching for the fast forward button. However, saying this, ZORRO IS BACK is quite short in its duration, so does not really have time to agitate one that much, see what you think.


Zorro Is Back Lyrics
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to flying high la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to flying high la la la la la la Zorro’s back

It’s fun to be
It’s fantasy
He’s so glad
To know the world as Zorro (Zor-ro!)
You know you weren’t the next and run to learn El Zorro
As one good deed
Is all we need
So he’ll be there
And guard our cares oh Zorro (Zor-ro!)
He’ll tell you hang upon
Their necks and run you see

Here’s to living free
Here’s to you and me

Here’s to better times with only one of a kind Zorro
Here’s to living free when you know that your friend is old Zorro
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back

It’s hard to find when all the time
He stand the pain the world is job worth doing (Zor-ro!)
Let any strength he have the proof to make it through
In proof he drawn without a frown
Once he’s there he bears a number of Zorro (Zor-ro!)
You better make your debt to settle your affairs with Zorro

Here’s to being free
Here’s to you and me
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to flying high la la la la la la Zorro’s back
(Key Change)
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to flying high la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to flying high la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to being free la la la la la la Zorro’s back
Here’s to flying high la la la la la la Zorro’s back


The instrumental version of the title song for me anyway is more appealing, the remainder of the score however is entertaining and an enjoyable listening experience, and contains some nice guitar work that is supported by woodwind, and strings giving it a romantic sound and style.
In my ever so humble opinion ZORRO stands next to and equal with the De Angelis western THE CONTINUEING STORY OF TRINITY. One to watch out for on well-known selling sites and available on Spotify.


Directed by Joe d’Amato under the alias of John Shadow CANTERBURY NO 2 or TALES OF CANTERBURY was a rather bawdy, comical and erotic movie. The film was scored by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis who first came to the attention of film music collectors via their score to TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME. Over the years the composing duo have acquired quite a following and are well known for their somewhat unorthodox methods of film scoring, their style definitely being unique and original. De Angelis combine a folk or traditional sound with symphonic flourishes and to a degree it works well, they also have something of a tradition for producing catchy or somewhat unusual songs within their film scores, KEOMA comes to mind as does AFFYON OPPIO and the aforementioned TRINITY IS STILL MY NAME which contained two vocals TRINITY STAND TALL and the haunting REMEMBER, to be fair it is probably these vocals that they are better known for in Europe rather than their orchestral compositions but saying this their symphonic efforts are well crafted and in most cases are fine examples of music from Italian cinema. CANTERBURY NO 2 has never seen a release of any kind so this compact disc on Kronos records is certainly a welcome sight.


It is in my opinion one of the De Angelis brothers better efforts and contains a handful of themes which are heard in various guises throughout the work, the composing duo arranging and orchestrating these to allow them to remain fresh throughout the work. There are a number of musical references within the soundtrack that have certain affiliations to other De Angelis scores and there is also that unusual, quirky and original sound present all the way through the work that we immediately associate with Guido and Maurizio plus two vocals. It is surprising that this soundtrack was not issued at the time of the film being on general release in Italy because the composers were during this period much in demand and also popular among collectors all over Europe. Released as part of the Kronos Gold series this score will I am certain become essential listening for any fan of Italian film music it is entertaining and also theme laden. Presented well by Kronos with vibrant cover art this is certainly one for you.


Released on Kronos Records June 2015.


Guido and Maurizio De Angelis are a composing duo who are synonymous with music for Italian cinema, they have a distinct and instantly recognizable sound and style. They have worked on numerous movies and TV productions and are probably better known for their unique sounding songs rather than their instrumental scores although saying this their orchestral music too posses a certain quirky original persona that is attractive and lends itself well to many of the motion pictures that they have scored. The style which they employ is I suppose a fusion of dramatic sounding flourishes and also a kind of folk orientated more traditional sound. The composing siblings rely upon solo guitar and organ to create the basics of their compositions and add to these strings, percussion and choir. They first came to the film music communities attention when they wrote the score for the comedy spaghetti western THE CONTINUING STORY OF TRINITY. Which was the sequel to the highly successful THEY CALL ME TRINITY which contained a score by Franco Micalizzi and Roberto Pregadio. After the success of their music in the second TRINITY movie De Angelis became much in demand and worked on a plethora of varying genres for both the big and small screen. MAN FROM THE EAST, AFYON OPPIO,LA POLOZIA INCRIMINA, LA LEGGE ASSOLVE, ZORRO,SAVANA VIOLENTA,IL CORSARO NERO,KILLER FISH, TORSO,ROMA VIOLENTA,TEDEUM,EL BOSQUE DE TALLAC, SANDOKAN, PUI FORTE RAGAZZI, WATCH OUT WE’RE MAD,UPPERCUT,DOUBLE TROUBLE, MANNAJA,KEOMA,VALDEZ HORSES and the score contained on this release CANTERBURY N2 (TALES OF CANTERBURY) all benefited from the highly original and innovative compositions of the Brothers De Angelis. Guido and Maurizio were in fact among the most prolific song writers in Italy during the 1970,s and became so in demand that they had to invent a string of alias’s for many of their projects because they did not want to overwhelm the market with scores and music credited to them. The alias that is most familiar is Oliver Onions and a name that regularly appeared upon their soundtracks as featured vocalist. Although the Brothers De Angelis were very active within the music world and released numerous stand alone albums it is probably fair to say that it is their music for cinema that is best known throughout the world, the composers association with the films of Bud Spencer and Terence Hill is well known with their composition DUNE BUGGY from one of these comedies reaching the top of the charts in Europe.

During the late 1970,s they also provided an alternative theme for the television series THE RETURN OF THE SAINT which starred British actor Ian Ogilvy, the song TAKING IT EASY appeared on the European versions of the show but was not used in the UK or the United States. They also provided the scores for many animated series such as ASHITA NO JOE, GALAXY EXPRESS 999, BOBOBOBS, AROUND THE WORLD WITH WILLY FOG and most famously the infectious opening theme and scores for DOGTANIAN AND THE THREE MUSKEHOUNDS.
In 2007 the Brothers returned to the stage to give their first concert in 25 Years which was held at the Lucca Comics Festival. Their music is still much in demand but more recently in the way of samples and has been heard in the movie FASTER (Goodbye my Friend) and BOTTLE ROCKET in which we can hear ZORRO IS BACK which is taken from the 1975 production of ZORRO. The music for CANTERBURY N2-NEW ROMANCES OF THE 300 can be termed as typical De Angelis material, but there is a lot more to this soundtrack thematically than many of the other scores that De Angelis provided. The soundtrack is a collection of five central themes, TITOLO, OSURITA, AMORE, PACE, ALLEGRO and TEMA MEDIEVALE which are in the first instance introduced and then is reprised and expanded upon, being presented in varying guises and given a fresh and vibrant appeal via clever and at times quite eccentric and unusual orchestration. The score also contains two songs which are sung in Italian and are soothing and subdued compared with other De Angelis compositions. The central theme is a striking piece which utilises female solo voice and choir that are underlined by use of a solitary beating drum, and a sprinkling of harpsichord and organ, the choral work almost certainly being Nora Orlandi’s 4 + 4 Coro who worked with De Angelis on many occasions. The composers also make effective use of rather calming harpsichord within the score and combine this with guitar and woodwind to achieve a sound and style that is perfectly in keeping with the storyline and images that are unfolding on screen. Also at times banjo, recorder and percussion is introduced and choir and organ are well placed to achieve maximum effect. In fact in places one can hear small references to past De Angelis scores such as THE CONTINUING STORY OF TRINITY. Guido and Maurizio De Angelis were born in ROCCA DI PAPA near Rome Guido on December 22nd 1944 and Maurizio on February 22nd 1947. Their musical careers started in the early part of 1963 after successfully releasing an album of their music, soon after this they were asked to become arrangers for the RCA ITALIANA label, which consequently led them to become even more successful releasing numerous albums and performing songs as well as arranging music.

CANTERBURY NO 2 -NEW ROMANCES OF THE 300 (THE TALES OF CANTERBURY) was released in 1973, a bawdy, erotic comedy directed by Joe D’Amato under the name of John Shadow. The writer Chaucer accompanied by escort Knight quick become caught in bad weather they take refuge at an inn and because of the weather conditions along with other pilgrims making the journey to Canterbury are unable to continue on their way, so they sit and talk and tell stories. Director D’Amato (birth name-Aristide Massaccesi) is considered to be Italy’s most prolific film maker with over 200 motion pictures to his credit. Not only a director, but an actor, cinematographer, producer, screen writer and editor. During his career in the motion picture industry he worked on every genre imaginable and even combined genres to create new types of movies. Born in Rome on December 15th 1936, he was also credited for filming the first Italian made pornographic movie and has been connected with cult movies such as BLACK EMANNUELE,BEYOND THE DARKNESS and RED BLOOD. He died in Rome on January 23rd 1999.

John Mansell. Movie music International.(IFMCA). 2015.


afyon_oppio_CSC003 This soundtrack was always one of my favourites from the 1970,s, I think mainly because it was so different and had to it a quite raw or unpolished sound, the cover art was also simple but attractive an outstretched hand reaching across the white Cinevox album cover towards a poppy seed head devoid of its red petals and sliced open. The De Angelis Brothers are well know figures within Italian film music collecting circles and I have to say not always for being composers of pretty little tone poems or lush and lavish themes, they produced a number of scores for Italian and French productions during the 1970,s thru to the 1980,s and although they were certainly original when it came to construction, style and sound I would not say that they were Oscar material in any way. The brothers began to play music and also write songs etc in the 1960,s and were soon given a recording contract by RCA in Italy. Guido the elder sibling began to work in film scoring or providing music for films as early as 1961,when he worked steadily on Spanish productions, he first collaborated with Maurizio on film music in 1971 when they jointly penned the now classic spaghetti western soundtrack for THEY STILL CALL ME TRINITY after the success of the score for this popular comedy western Guido and Maurizio De Angelis remained busy and also gainfully employed scoring movies that were fairly successful at the box office within Italy and also gained some recognition in Germany and France mainly due to the composing duos association with films that featured Terence Hill and Bud Spencer. They also worked on numerous genres of film  and each time came up with something that worked or was at least outstanding and on most occasions quirky and unique for what ever reason. The violent western KEOMA for example contained a serviceable spaghetti western score and to a degree contained many of that musical genres trademarks, but it was the rather outlandish and at times grating vocals within the score that gained De Angelis the attention for their work on the picture, personally I am not a fan of the score and for me the picture would have been served better by a more conventional spaghetti western sound, if there is indeed such a thing. AFYON OPPIO is in genre terms completely removed from the Spaghetti sage brush sagas that were produced in abundance, although its director film maker Fernando Baldi is quite a master at creating entertaining movies in many genres, his spaghetti western BLINDMAN is such one example and although the movie at the time of its release was slated by fans of the genre and critics alike it has since become something of a cult movie.

AFYON OPPIO or THE SICILIAN CONNECTION as it was alternatively entitled deals with the issues and permutations of drugs and the deadly business of illegal drug dealing, it is a credible and entertaining crime thriller and the directors utilizes a number of exotic and attractive locations to tell his story. The score opens with a trademark De Angelis vocal, a gravely sounding voice which performs lyrics that are fairly legible accompanied by a solo guitar that strums with organ underlining and augmenting the performance, then to this mix is added percussion and then the distinct choir of Nora Orlandi, the vocal performance is credited to Oliver Onions which is an alias for Guido and Maurizio and has been a brand for want of a better word that has become popular amongst the many fans of the composing twosome. The theme although rather oddball and at times musically disjointed is still an entertaining and also an interesting listen, it is one of those themes that gets right inside the listeners head and is something that days later one finds yourself humming or singing. The vocals incidentally are the work of long time De Angelis collaborator Susan Duncan Smith, and if you think you recognise the name then you should if you follow British politics because she is the sister of U.K. Parliamentary Minister Ian Duncan Smith. The theme minus the vocals can be heard at other points within the score and as an instrumental I for one think it works better, in particular within the cue ARRIVO A NEW YORK (track 10) where the composers combine guitar and harmonica with a slightly upbeat backing provided by the tapping of a tambourine adding punctuation and support. The theme also re-emerges in AFYON OPPIO (INST) TRACK NUMBER 5, again guitar and organ are utilized with percussion, fuzzy sounding woodwind and choir giving the piece substance and a real sense of melody that has about it a folk jazz vibe. Track number 6, also is a variation of this central theme CAMPI DI PAPAVERI is a plaintive and subdued flute solo which relays an atmosphere that is fragile and filled with a feeling of melancholy and solitude. Track number 7, IL PICCIOTTI is a traditional sounding Sicilian piece and tracks 8 and 9 are also written in the same style adding a touch of authenticity to the proceedings. Overall this is a score that will be welcomed by many but equally could be a soundtrack that will not impress other fans of Italian film music. Packaged well  by Chris’s Soundtrack Corner, with nice original art work and stills from the movie.

…E poi lo chiamarono Il Magnifico-aka. MAN FROM THE EAST.


Originally released on LP in 1972, this is an expanded and complete version of the soundtrack and in my opinion has to be one of the best scores by the brothers De Angelis. Normally their music for westerns is something of an acquired taste, KEOMA and MANNAJA being prime example.  MAN FROM THE EAST, is i have to say slightly more diluted and more or less conforms with the norms of an Italian western score,if indeed there are any norms within this genre and its musical scores. The work contains some really lovely melodies that are orchestrated marvelously and contain a fusion of styles that cross over from Italian to Hollywood western,in other words it has in places a rawness that we associate with the Italian produced western,but it also has within its boundaries a sound that is more akin to the American produced movies that were so popular in the 1950,s and early 1960,s, They still however make effective use of that sort of bluesy slide guitar sound, but the string and wind arrangements are definitely more accomplished and broader than in many of their other works for the spaghetti western genre. I would say that this a slightly more sharp and melodious version of THEY STILL CALL ME TRINITY which of course is one of De Angelis landmark soundtracks. The score also contains some rather effective and well performed banjo interludes, as in cue six, ‘Arrivo In Treno’, and its title song  ‘Don’t Lose Control’ is an appealing composition which is performed on three occasions by vocalist Gene Roman, who has worked with the composers on many soundtracks.

The choral performances on the score are by Nora Orlandi, who again has been a close associate and collaborators of this composing duo on a number of soundtracks.  So all in all a worthwhile release, that I am sure will be returned to many times after the initial listen. Good sound quality also, which again is due to the work put in by Professor Roberto Zamori, nice cover art and full cast list and film credits are included inside the liner cover. Take a chance on this even if you have not exactly been over joyed with the De Angelis sound before and I think that you will be pleasantly surprised.