Tag Archives: Nico Fidenco



Released in 1967, BANDIDOS is a fairly good Italian western, it holds ones 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 films 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.

Maestro Egisto Macchi.
Maestro Egisto Macchi.

The soundtrack was originally available on LP on the Cometa label many years ago and soon became deleted and rare, in 2011 the soundtrack was issued on compact disc but this too has become something of a rarity and a holy grail for Italian western soundtrack collectors. Macchi has provided us with an excellent work and I think I am correct when I say it is his own foray into the western genre, it is a score that supports and underlines the films action and at times basically props up some of the less interesting sequences.


The score is somewhat overwhelming in places and the music actually takes over and I have to say that at times I found myself listening to the score rather than watching the images on screen which is a bad thing I suppose as it’s the job of the music to enhance the images not detract the audiences attention away from them, but if there are cases of the music in films being more interesting than the actual movie, then BANDIDOS is one of them. The score has a very Hispanic or Mexican sound to it, not in the Mariachi sense but in its deep patriotic and proud persona. The maestro fusing this style with the highly volatile and raw sound of the Italian western to create a wonderfully exhilarating and entertaining soundtrack.

gruppo improvvisazione.
gruppo improvvisazione.

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. This is a very desirable soundtrack and for any Italian western aficionado is an essential purchase.



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.


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.



Released in 1966 and directed by Tonino Valerii, PER IL GUSTO DI UCCIDERE (the taste of killing) was an action packed Spaghetti western that contained a storyline that involved a bounty hunter who preferred to do things a little different, Hank Fellows (Craig Hill) watched various robberies on banks and stagecoaches and instead of intervening he would track the robbers to their hideout and then dispatch them thus getting the bounty for them and also recovering the stolen booty which he returned to the rightful owners for a big pay out. When fellows encounters a bandit Guy Kenneback the job becomes more personal as Kenneback was responsible for the death of Fellows brother. The musical score is the work of Nico Fidenco, this composer was particularly active during the 1960,s and worked on many westerns that were seen as B movie features but still added much to the reputation of the spaghetti western genre. Fidenco was at times hired because composers such as Morricone and Nicolai were not available and his sound is not dissimilar to that of the two Maestro,s mainly due to his connections with Alessandro Alessandroni and his IL CANTORI MODERNI, Fidenco started his musical career as a singer and would often record cover versions of famous film songs, he would also perform on his own soundtracks which he does on THE TASTE OF KILLING contributing the vocals for THE YANKEE FELLOW a vocal that is reprised later in the score as THE LANKY FELLOW by the Wilder Brothers. The score is conducted by Willy Brezza who also wrote a number of film scores and too was a singer, Fidenco would also utilise the conducting skills of Giacamo Dell Orso, on a number of his scores this talented composer and arranger would not only direct but at times would actually compose sections of the scores for Fidenco. THE TASTE OF KILLING is in many ways a typical spaghetti western score, the instrumentation containing soaring trumpet solos, racing snares, electric guitar solos, chorale work and galloping percussion. The track THE LANKY GUNMAN as it was then titled was issued on the double LP set THE BEST OF THE BLOODY WESTERNS which was on the Japanese seven seas label, it then re-appeared in a slightly different arrangement on the King records four CD set THE SPAGHETTI WESTERN ENCYCLOPEDIA and on a handful of other compilations before the score was released in its complete form on the GDM/HILLSIDE label in 2010, the recording included 12 cues in stereo and a further 23 in mono which were taken directly from the film score. Presented well by Hillside unfortunately devoid of notes, but containing various examples of the publicity posters for the movie within its eight page booklet and an eye catching front cover this is a soundtrack worth adding to your collection, sound is surprisingly clear and crisp. Recommended.


  Released on BEAT records. notes are a mixture of original and also edited notes.

BEAT records art work for soundtrack release.

Beat Records proudly presents the fourth volume of music from the BLACK EMANUELLE series, EMANUELLE AROUND THE WORLD (aka Black Emanuelle au tour du monde, Confessions of Emanuelle, Emanuelle – Alle Luste dieser Welt, The Degradation of Emanuelle) was directed in 1977 by well known filmmaker Joe D’Amato and starred the dazzling Laura Gemser in the title role. The movie is enriched by the performances of Ivan Rassimov, Karin Schubert, Don Powell and George Eastman who’s combined efforts add much to the realism and entertainment value of the picture. Because of censorship laws, two versions of the film were shot, the softer and slightly less erotic version being released in Italy, the harder more pornographic version being produced for the remainder of Europe and other foreign countries. The latter contained a number of extra scenes, which were interpreted by Marina Frajese and Rick Martino. The movie was also banned in a handful of countries and at times when screened was heavily edited in others. The famous reporter Emanuelle (Gemser) is always looking for new scoops, so she agrees to meet Cora (Schubert) a colleague that is preparing an article concerning violence against women at a hotel. But Emanuelle falls prey to a rape attempt whilst at the hotel, but thankfully is rescued by Malcolm Robertson (Rassimov) who is the president of an aid-committee that assists third world countries. Emanuelle and Robertson become friends and decide they want to spend time together, but realise that they cannot because of their respective careers. Soon after her friendship with Robertson, Emanuelle flies to India in order to meet a Guru (Eastman) that claims to have found the secret of infinitive sexual pleasure. After a sexual relationship, Emanuelle realises that the Guru is a fake and abandons him. Still in India, Emanuelle makes the acquaintance of Mary. After a lesbian encounter with her she is told a harrowing story about violence inflicted upon women. Along with Cora she decides to go to Rome where a violent gang is kidnapping foreign girls in order to sell them in oriental countries. Emanuelle masquerades as a tourist with two friends of Mary and is lured into a trap and kidnapped by the gang. The women are saved by a friend of Emanuelle and thanks to him the gang is convicted. In the meantime Cora is first menaced and than brutally beaten and raped by people that tell to her to stop her investigations. Emanuelle who at times still meets with Robertson goes to Hong Kong with Cara in order to search for Ilse Braun who is one of the gang leaders. After some time Emanuelle and Cora succeed in uncovering the truth about the women-trade and with the help of a young Emir are successful in having the Prime Minister arrested who it transpires is the head of the entire operation.

Nico Fidenco.

Back in New York, Emanuelle acknowledges that even there, illegal trade in women is being carried out with important people involved . Eventually Emanuelle exposes all of these people and ensures that they are arrested and put behind bars. Finally she sails off on a boat with Robertson. Emanuelle’s erotic adventures have on many occasions been highlighted and ingratiated by the wonderful haunting themes and infectious up beat compositions of Maestro Nico Fidenco. This the fourth chapter in the series was filmed in many locations throughout the world, these included the eternal city of Rome, the bustling and exotic province of Hong Kong, the mysterious country of India and the larger than life metropolis of New York. The composer drew much of his inspiration for the score to EMANUELLE AROUND THE WORLD, from these glamorous and colourful locations and of course the sensual and beautiful form of the movies central character.

In 1977 Beat records released selections from the soundtrack for the first time. These were on a 45rpm single record (Beat BTF103), and also on 33rpm long playing album with 10 tracks (BEAT LPF 039). In 1993 there was a Japanese release of the soundtrack which was on compact disc for the first time (Wave WWCP 7225). Various selections of Fidenco’s music made appearances on a handful of compilations, which were released on both compact disc and vinyl (Dagored RED 101-1/101-2) There was in addition to these releases a CD bonus disc which was issued as part of a 3 DVD box by Severin entitled “Black Emanuelle’s Box Vol.1”.

Emanuelle Around the World
Emanuelle Around the World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For this brand new de-luxe edition of the soundtrack, BEAT were able to utilise the original stereo masters, these yielded a great deal of unreleased music, in total 23 new tracks which make the length of this new compact disc a staggering 76 minutes and 53 seconds, a running time that will be much appreciated by fans of the composer. The score is orchestrated and directed by Giacomo Dell’Orso, the husband of Edda, who has collaborated with Fidenco on numerous occasions, and is also a long time friend of the composer.
Fidenco’s exotic and pulsating music envelops the listener creating an atmosphere that is totally sensual, the composer produced music that fuses lounge styles and psychedelic influences that are intertwined with romantically laced interludes. Many of the cues are variations on the scores principal theme “A picture of love”, which is the sweet and touching love theme vocalized by Edda Dell Orso. The creativity and originality achieved by Maestro Fidenco never seems to evaporate, each time he manages to re-invent himself, thus remaining fresh and vibrant providing perfect enhancements and musical support for each motion picture within the series. His music is a flawless accompaniment to each and every scene, but at the same time has the ability to entertain and delight away from the images it was originally fashioned for. This compact disc will be listened to again and again and will bring great satisfaction each time. It is an important release and stands as a monument to the work of Maestro Fidenco and a lasting memento of inventive and entertaining cinema that was produced in Italy, and appreciated around the entire world.

Uno Di Piu All’Inferno.



Released in 1968, this spaghetti western starred, George Hilton, Paolo Gozlino and Claudie Lange. Directed by Giovanni Fago it tells the story of a gunfighter Johnny King played by Hilton, who becomes embroiled in a number of dangerous yet comedic situations that include a saloon brawl when dressed as a woman, a jail break, a farcical but successful bank robbery and fighting off land speculators, and all this in the first half of the movie. The tone and atmosphere of the storyline darkens and alters somewhat after this when Hiltons character finds out his friend and former guardian a Pastor has been murdered by the land speculators, the film then changes from a light comedy buddy movie into a full blown tale of revenge. An entertaining film and one that did not receive the praise it deserved at the time of its release. The score by Nico Fidenco is one of the most entertaining Spaghetti scores I have heard, excerpts from it were originally issued on a CAM LP (MAG 10.016) back in 1968, along with musical excerpts from two other Fidenco western scores, I WANT HIM DEAD and TO THE LAST DROP OF BLOOD. The LP was and still is one of my most treasured possessions and I am so grateful to Hillside and Lionel Woodman for re-releasing this classic Italian soundtrack onto compact disc. The disc opens with the title song from the movie FORGIVE AND NOT FORGET performed by Gianni Davoli, who is backed by Nora Orlandi,s choir and a whistler who is not credited, it’s a typical spaghetti western song complete with electric guitar rift and a foot tapping pop orientated backing. Track number 2, GUN STRIP MINUETTO, contains harpsichord and a sultry sounding female vocal courtesy of Edda Dell Orso, and as the title suggests is a minuet of sort if a little tongue in cheek. Track number 3, is for me one of the highlights of the soundtrack, ATTESA E MISTERO combines woods and harpsichord which are embellished by organ and shimmering cymbals at its outset, it then steps up-tempo into a riding track, with low key horn carrying the central melody backed by effect use of choir and a guitar strumming keeping the tempo steady.
Track 4, GUN STRIP SHAKE is another incarnation of the films central theme Forgive and not forget, Fidenco utilising low sounding woodwinds and subtly placed slightly discordant sounding harpsichord to create a somewhat threatening atmosphere, but this effect is short lived and soon changes to become a typical Fidenco sounding composition, with lighter sounding woods backed by a fairly up-tempo track, created with strumming guitar and carried along by the use of percussion and strings. Track 7, CAVALCATA, is an impressive cue, an infectious sounding solo trumpet being performed over the top of a mariachi type composition interspersed with electric guitar gets my attention every time. Track number 8, AMORE NEL WEST, is a low key and haunting composition, performed on guitar with a delicately placed choir providing the backing, again the central theme is present but Fidenco this time has arranged it in a very similar style to that of Nicolai, in the slow versions of the CORRI UOMO CORRI theme. The compact disc contains 13 tracks, 10 of which have never been issued before. The disc is presented superbly with stunning art work and an 8 page liner which includes a reproduction of the films original poster. The sound quality is also extremely good, this is in my opinion a must have for spaghetti western fans, an essential purchase, but hurry it’s a limited edition.