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.