Tag Archives: hillside

RINGO IL TEXANO-THE TEXICAN.

R-1798091-1244024698.jpeg

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.

nico-fidenco

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 films 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. If you have not managed to add this compact disc to your collection then its about time you did, Recommended.

JOHNNY ORO/RINGO AND HIS GOLDEN PISTOL.

8018163041350

Released in 1966,RINGO AND HIS GOLDEN PISTOL or JOHNNY ORO to give it the original Italian title, was directed by Sergio Corbucci. The main protagonist and also the character in the title was played by actor Mark Damon, the movie was re-tilted simply to cash in on the success of the RINGO movies which had been directed by Duccio Tessari and starred iconic Italian western actor Giuliano Gemma. The plot focuses upon a bounty hunter Johnny Oro who kills for money and treats his way of life as a business so much so that he refuses to take his golden gun out of its holster unless he is assured he will make money for doing so. He decides to let a man (Juanito Perez) live because he sees no reason to end his life if there is no price on his head; this proves to be something that the bounty hunter will later on regret. After killing the mans brothers who do have a bounty on them Perez swears vengeance and forms an alliance with a local tribe of Indians who aid him in a battle against the town and also the sheriff who are protecting the bounty hunter. The musical score is the work of Italian Maestro Carlo Savina, who of course will be a familiar name to collectors acquainted not only with the Italian western but with Italian film music overall, Savina composed numerous film scores for a plethora of genres and also acted as conductor on a handful of scores for Miklos Rozsa and Nino Rota. In fact Savina was credited as the composer of the score for EL CID on Italian prints of the movie back in the early 1960,s. Of course we know this is no so as Rozsa is the true composer of the work. Savina was quite active in the Italian or Spaghetti western genre and penned some of the most memorable scores for some of the lesser known movies. His COMIN AT YA soundtrack for example still remains one of the genres most haunting and popular non Morricone score. JOHNNY OROIS A TYPICAL Italian western score, but when I say typical I do not say this because it is mediocre or indeed predictable, it is typical simply because it contains many of the standard sounds that are nowadays so readily associated with the spaghetti score. Solo trumpet, whistling, solo harmonica electric and classical guitar and echoing percussive passages. In many ways the style that Savina employed was not that dissimilar from Francesco De Masi when he worked on westerns, the sound achieved being a fusion of the Hollywood western soundtrack with brass flourishes and also thrilling and melodic strings that were integrated with the more inventive and original sounds of the spaghetti western. JOHNNY ORO contains numerous themes and relies mainly upon the distinctive whistling of Alessandro Alessandroni to accompany the central character there are also strong trumpet cues within the score that simply oozes class and charisma. This release also includes Italian and English versions of the title song performed by Il Cantori Moderni. This is certainly one of the best Italian western scores written, and listening to it now nearly 50 years after its composition it still grabs ones attention and remains original and fresh. Released on the GDM/Hillside series it is one that you should own. nice clear sound and attractive art work with a number of colour stills and various reproductions of the poster for the movie inside the liner.

http://www.hillsidecd.co.uk/store/#!/JOHNNY-ORO/p/37517336

http://wn.com/ringo_and_his_golden_pistol

DIO NON PAGA IL SABATO

R-150-2327972-1277221492

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.