Tag Archives: Various Artists



One of the reasons that I decided to set up Movie Music Italiana or Movie Music International as it is known now, was because of my love of film music from other countries outside of my native England. I hope as the blog/web site has developed and evolved I have been able to bring reviews and news of film scores from many different lands and keep you informed about new composers and films. I recently came across quite by accident a handful of scores from Turkish movies, obviously with the music being created by composers from that country. One score in particular caught my attention and that was WHITE ANGEL or BEYAZ MELEK, to give movie its original title. The music in this case is the work of two composers, Yildiray Gurgen and Mahsun Kirmizigul (who is also a writer and actor), they are assisted by other composers and artistes along the way, however, the music flows and it is as if it is the work of one individual rather than five of six separate creators. The score for BEYAZ MELEK is a varied one and for the most part is symphonic, it contains some beautiful melodies and its fair share of darker and somewhat sinister or apprehensive moments. On the first listen I was struck by not only the scores richness but also by its commanding and powerful presence which is achieved by the use of strings and brass that are supported and embellished by urgent sounding choral accompaniment at times. There is also a fragile and intimate side to this work with solo piano performing a lilting and haunting set of themes that are emotive and deliciously simple, but at the same time so effective and ultimately affecting. One of the tracks on the score that instantly got my attention was track number 3, EL, which employs solo piano, that acts an introduction to a full working of the exquisitely sensitive theme by the string section of the orchestra that is punctuated by solo trumpet and subtle use of woodwind that in turn are embellished by the faint use of timpani which briefly adds a martial sound to the proceedings. The composer responsible for this wonderfully lyrical piece is Tevfik Kulak, but to be honest if you were not aware of the composer, one could be forgiven for assuming it was either Thomas Newman or Rachel Portman one was listening to. The remainder of the score is also a richly rewarding listening experience and contains a few dialogue cues but these also contain music so it is well worth listening, this is a score that is uplifting and highly emotional, and one I would recommend highly. Please check it out.


CDX1001This has got to be one of the better compilations of Italian film music that has been issued in recent years. It’s a bright bouncy and rhythm filled collection of themes and outstanding tracks from Italian movies of the 1960 thru to the 1980,s. Written and performed by many of the Italian film music industries top composers and musicians. In many ways similar to the I SOGNI DELLA MUSICA series(WHICH SHOULD BE RE-ISSUED) that was also produced by BEAT. CINECOCKTAIL is sumptuously packaged with so many interesting notes by the likes of Franco De Gemini, Francesco De Masi, Enzo G Castellari and Daniele De Gemini and eye arresting art work, this will be a popular collection amongst long term devotees of Italian movie music and a great introduction to any collector that per chance might be oblivious to the great music that has been written to the many productions that hail from Cinecitta. Disc one contains 20 tracks which are the work of composers such as DE MASI, DE ANGELIS, PREGADIO, PLENZIO, ORTOLANI, CIPRIANI,UMILIANI, MORRICONE, PIOVANI, ALESSANDRONI and FRANCO DE GEMINI. If you are a novice in collecting Italian movie music then I suggest that you rush out straight away and purchase this collection, its easy listening, lounge type tracks are certainly infectious ad uplifting, in fact it’s a compact disc that one could put on repeat and just listen to all day.


It showcases also the unique and distinct sound of IL CANTORI MODERNI. The collection also features some unreleased tracks, for example YOU CAN DO A LOT WITH SEVEN WOMEN, the full version is included here, because when the original LP was issued there was not sufficient room to this. The tracks are taken from movies such as LA GATTA IN CALORE, PAPAYA ISLAND, IL MEDICO LA STUDENTESSA, UNA SULU ALTRA, MARCIA TRIONFALE, LA POLIZIA INCRIMINA LA LEGGE ASSOLVE and IL MOSTRO to name a handful.   This collection just manages to capture and convey to the listener the original and inimitable sound that is Italian film music, fresh, vibrant and above all original. The second disc is equally as entertaining, but more up-tempo, as far as I can make out it is a remix CD, the themes of Pregadio, being reworked and re-mixed by Daniele De Gemini, Paolo Scotti etc, this is an entertaining listen, produced well and a great companion disc to CD number one, my preference out of the three tracks on disc two was track number three entitled FUNKY CHOPPER it reminded me a little of the style of Robbie Rivera slightly funky house, one to put on and do some fancy foot work to, (on your own of course).  I cannot recommend this collection enough, watch out for Volume 2.


51Fu1TD0GCL._SX450_Following hot on the heels of CINECOCKTAIL, BEAT records have issued another compilation which is after the same style as the aforementioned release. CINECOCKTAIL – the second chance, is however in my opinion a better and more varied collection of themes and cues. Described as a jazzy and funky listening experience it is a fulfilling and highly enjoyable anthology of the wonderful music from Italian cinema that adorned the movies that were released during the 1960,s and 1970,s. This collection is most certainly more of a jazz orientated compilation than its predecessor, it possesses a sound that is easy going yet interesting, with cues included by composers such as Roberto Pregadio, Romano Mussolini, Francesco de Masi, Armando Trovaioli, Berto Pisano, S.M. Romitelli and G. & M. De Angelis, this can only be a collection that every self respecting Italian film music fan will just have to own. Many of the tracks are taken from film scores that will probably already be familiar to listeners, for example the playful cheeky and slightly risqué theme from SESSO MATTO, the groovy sound of FUNKY DISCO SOUL from YETI-GIGANTE DEL 20 SECOLO and the excellent ROMA VIOLENTA. But then we are treated to a number of tracks that have not been released until now, for example TIC NERVOSO both instrumental and vocal versions from DOVE VAI SE IL VIZIETTO NON CE L’HAI by Berto Pisano, which I personally think captures the entire mood of this wonderful compilation, its jazzy, funky and upbeat, a foot tapping, hip shaking, ass shaking cue that just don’t let up, makes one want to get out the white suit, teardrop collar shirt and medallion and strut your stuff around the room,(if of course I had any of those).


It’s a slice of retro that is still trendy. So overall a fantastic collection of cues, which will be played again and again. Disc two is a collection of jazzy re-mixes courtesy of Francesco Santucci, which are executed well and come across brilliantly. One knows that they are re-mixes of original tracks with a little bit of a funky kick, but they still retain the sound and flavour that can only be from the 60,s and 70,s. This is a must have compact disc, as always art work is striking and also the booklet contains informative notes.

Spaghetti western encyclopedia vol 1.


A collection of Italian western themes and songs, well more than a collection it was THE COLLECTION or at least it was probably the most extensive collection of music from spaghetti westerns at the time of its release, its kind of funny looking back at this set as when I first got it I used to think when listening through wow, this is a great theme or a brilliant song, wouldn’t it be fantastic to have the complete score from this movie or at least a few more cues from this score. Well 16 years on many of the tracks featured are available on compact discs that contain the full scores; we certainly have come a long way in that time. But this 4 volumes set still holds a certain fascination for collectors and is still as fresh and wonderful to listen to now over a decade and a half later. A number of the tracks featured were originally put together on a double LP set on the seven seas label called THE BEST OF THE BLOODY WESTERNS, again another classic release from Japan which was in a gatefold edition with some great pictures and stills from the movies included. I think the appeal of the SPAGHETTI WESTERN ENCYCLOPEDIA was and still is the all round variety it contains, there are numerous songs performed in English and also Italian, instrumental tracks from scores and classic Italian western themes from the leading Maestros who worked within the genre. In fact nothing as ambitious has been released or made available commercially since. Remember this was at the same time as CAM first announced their own SOUNDTRACK ENCYCLOPEDIA series, which began with items such as CORRI UOMO CORRI, A MAN A HORSE AND A GUN, THE PRICE OF POWER and MINNESOTA CLAY. Each disc in the SPAGHETTI WESTERN set is packed with what we now call classic western music and between the four discs we are treated to no less than 94 cues of music and songs. I would not say that the discs are compiled in any particular order in the way of release date etc, but whoever compiled them obviously had a good knowledge of the genre and the music and also was very conscious of what collectors really wanted. The variety and mix of styles is commendable and makes for an entertaining and thrilling listening experience.

Volume one launches with the instrumental version of A GRINGO LIKE ME from Morricone’s first western score GUNFIGHT AT RED SANDS(1963-CAM), we all know this in effect started Morricone’s involvement with the spaghetti western, but was before the real spaghetti western sound had been formulated by the Maestro. It is in fact a rather clichéd and Americanised sounding theme, and the movie itself was something of a concoction of Italian and American takes on the western, or at least an Italian take on an American made western resembling something that was more like an American made B movie as opposed to a European production. Morricone in HIGH NOON or GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL mode producing something that sounded more like Tiomkin or Newman. Track 2 on disc one is completely the opposite it is the archetypal trumpet theme from 1000 DOLLARI SUL NERO (1967-CAM) by the highly gifted trumpet player and composer Michele Lacerenza this for me is the epitome of what a spaghetti theme should be, the flawless trumpet solo flows like gently running stream over a background of castanets, organ and what I am sure is a mandolin that support and embellish Lacerenza’s gracious and stirringly beautiful trumpet performance. Track 3 is the first vocal on the collection, from TEMPO DI MASSACRO (1966-CETRA) Sergio Endrigo provides us with an energetic vocal performance entitled BACK HOME SOMEDAY sung in English this is one of the great Spaghetti vocals. And a score that I have to say deserves a full release and sadly has not yet received one. Tracks 4 and 5 are both taken from Piero Piccioni’s MINNESOTA CLAY (1964-CAM), directed by Sergio Corbucci this was also an example of the early Italian western, released in the same year as A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS this had Cameron Mitchell in the title role, Piccioni’s score leaned more towards the conventional sound of the western soundtrack, no choir, whistling or shall we say original orchestration present. 100.000 DOLLARI PER RINGO (1966-GEMELLI) is represented next, the title song, RINGO DOVE VAI? penned by Bruno Nicolai and performed by Bobby Solo is certainly a worthy addition to the Italian western score canon. As is track number 7, “The Lanky Gunman” from PER IL GUSTO DI UCCIDERE(1965), great guitar playing and a highly original rendition of the song by the composer Nico Fidenco, THE LANKY GUNMAN AIMS AT YOUR REWARD, TONIGHT HE RODE IN TOWN SO I AM TOLD, AND WHEN YOU MEET YOUR BOUND TO DIE, classic stuff. Track 8 is an instrumental version of the theme, but the sound on this is rather inferior, maybe taken from the film and it also contains gunshots, still a great theme though.

Two tracks from ADIOS GRINGO (1965) the first being the instrumental version by Benedetto Ghiglia which is a low key affair for harmonica, electric guitar and Spanish guitar, this is followed by the song from the soundtrack performed by Fred Bongusto who also co wrote this with Locatelli, something I noticed with this was the instrumental version was published by CAM but the vocals rights were the property of fonit? The great Francesco De Masi is represented next on track 11, with his stirring and powerful theme for SETTE WINCHESTER PER UN MASSACRO (1966-GDM). Track 12 thru till 14 are from Luis Baclov’s SUGAR COLT (1968-GDM), this contains one of the most endearing Spaghetti western themes I have ever heard and the composer makes excellent use of orchestra combined with male voice and a little squeak or trill that punctuates the proceedings on the opening cue. TRE PISTOLE CONTRO CESARE (1967-parade) is up next the title song is performed by the ever energetic Don Powell, with Marcello Giombini’s excellent orchestral backing forging onward in galloping mode complete with choir, racing snares, whistle and electric guitar, this is outstanding. Track 18 is from LA SPIETATA COLT DEL GRINGO (1966-CAM) the vocal A MAN MUST FIGHT is performed by the sadly missed Peter Tevis with a superb orchestral arrangement by Francesco De Masi. Another classic vocal comes next in the running order Gino sings the Italian version of QUEL GIORNO VERRA from UN FIUME DI DOLLARI or THE HILLS RUN RED (1966), this is followed by the theme from the movie , which is probably one of Morricone’s most neglected and forgotten spaghetti works. Carlo Savina and Don Powell collaborate on the following track, POCCHI DOLLARI PER DJANGO (1966-PARADE), Savina’s almost fanfare like brass heralding a fast paced and entertaining instrumental that is the background for Powell’s exuberant vocal in which he sings of A LAWLESS TOWN THAT HAS GONE ASTRAY, AND A MAN WHO LAYS COLD ON THE SAND. Stelvio Cipriani pitches in for the first time on the collection with 2 tracks from his BOUNTY KILLER (1966-CAM) soundtrack, which include the main title theme and also the excellent composition entitled SENTENZA DI MORTE. Marcello Giombini makes another appearance on track 22 with his vocal version of BALLATA PER UN PISTOLERO (1967-CAM) that is performed by Peppino Gagliardi. Track 23 and 24 both hail from LO VOGLIO MORTO (1968-CAM) composer Nico Fidenco was often asked to compose a score in the style of Morricone when writing for westerns, in this particular case he certainly is influenced by Morricone, but at the same time produced an original and haunting soundtrack that was filled with rich themes and scattered with musical motifs and trademarks that are now so readily associated with the spaghetti western. Harmonica, solo trumpet, choir and racing snares all feature within these two entertaining pieces, “Galloppata Tragica” and “Clayton Ballade”.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (and Other Jungle Movies)

Creature from the Black Lagoon
Creature from the Black Lagoon

Since the appearance of the Classic Film Music series conducted by Charles Gerhardt on the RCA red seal label, many vintage film scores have received the reconstruction and re-recorded treatment. This practice has had its gems but also a number of works which have not been exactly brilliant. I am glad to say this collection from Monstrous Movie Music in the States is going to be one of the the gems. This is one of the most faithful re-recordings that I have heard in a long while. The collection boasts some 49 cues, which are taken predominately from the scores to CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE. These are composed by a collection of revered and respected composers of the golden age of Hollywood horror. Hans J. SalterHerman Stein, Milton Rosen, Robert Emmet Dolan, David Snell, Danielle Amifitheatrof, Herbert Stothart, Sol Levy, Irving Gertz and Henry Mancini. The credits read like a Who’s Who in film music composition. Continue reading Creature from the Black Lagoon (and Other Jungle Movies)