ENNIO MORRICONE A Fistful Of Dollars (1964), For A Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1967) & Once Upon A Time In The West (1969)

Don’t ever become a Morricone collector. I know one… and his life is ruled by the addiction. Ennio Morricone is an amazingly prolific film composer, and while most know him best for his spaghetti western soundtracks for director Sergio Leone (starring Clint Eastwood as The Man With No Name), Morricone has scored hundreds of films throughout the 60s & 70s (continuing to this day) – including a slew of Hollywood blockbusters, from The Thing to The Untouchables. What makes Morricone’s 60s material so fascinating (though, typical of his Italian film scores), is just how weird they are. Listening, it’s neigh impossible to understand the basis for his unique juxtaposition of styles, sounds and effects – incorporating ultra-tremolo guitars, epic chorales, grunts and chants, swirling unidentifiable instrumentation, unhinged percussive attacks and nightmare-like psychedelia. Not to mention… the sheer beauty of some of his quieter melodies. Posted here is just one aspect of his work, the legendary Leone/Morricone/Eastwood “Dollars Trilogy” (A Fistful Of Dollars, A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad & The Ugly), along with the masterpiece of all Italian westerns, Leone’s Once Upon A Time In The West. We’ve got another Morricone collection in the archives (Crimes And Dissonance) that deserves special attention, too. The only bad thing about appreciating Leone & Morricone? I’ve never met a female who could stand any of it. The movies or the music. So… make the basement comfortable, because you’re on your own with this stuff. Track listings in comments. Click HERE for more Morricone.

Per Un Pugno Di Dollari (1964)
(A Fistful Of Dollars)

The first entry into the Leone/Morricone/Eastwood trilogy is not the beginning of Ennio’s madness. He’d been shaking up Italian film scores on his own for a few years already. It took director Sergio Leone to recognize the composer’s relationship to his own vision and meld those sounds with his strikingly original cinematic approach (a fusion of violence… and the jarring mix of extreme close ups and vast, wide-screen expanse).

Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (1965)
(For A Few Dollars More)

It’s funny now to remember that Clint Eastwood couldn’t even get hired for film work, since being typecast in low-budget TV westerns (at a time when movie audiences deemed the genre tired and passe). Which is why he’d leap at the chance to work in Italy. After Fistful‘s modest, but surprising success, a new market had opened and the sequels became inevitable. With budgets being tight, A Few Dollars More borrowed cues from its predecessor and, as with Fistful, the music was written independent of the visuals. Morricone had no idea what would accompany his music.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (1967)
(Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo)

The climax to the Leone/Morricone/Eastwood trilogy is the best of the bunch, both cinematically and musically. With an actual budget to work with, 1967′s The Good, The Bad & The Ugly raised the bar, and the album (and surreal theme music) was so successful it hit Billboard‘s Top Ten. The sounds of marauding gangs and that distinctive banshee wail was some of the strangest stuff ever to gain mass acceptance in the 60s. And, it’s still bizarre to this day.

C’era Una Volta Il West (1969)
(Once Upon A Time In The West)

Sergio Leone’s masterpiece. A film that crawls so deliberately slow that most modern film goers simply don’t have the patience for it. The visual rewards, however, are awesome. You’ll never view wholesome everyman Henry Fonda in the same light again, that’s for sure. The soundtrack boasts a wide variety of themes for numerous characters and includes some of Morricone’s most memorable cues. Since there’s so little dialog (a Leone trademark), it’s the music that drives the narrative. I crack this out at least once a year for both the visuals and the music, though, as mentioned in the intro… it’s a solitary endeavor.

 

12 Comments

  • 1
    Capt. Willard
    October 31, 2010 - 19:56 | Permalink

    Find them HERE.

    A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS
    Titoli (2:58) – On The Streaming Player
    Quasi Morto (1:42)
    Musica Sospesa (1:02)
    Square Dance (1:36)
    Ramon (1:05)
    Consuelo Baxter (1:18)
    Doppi Giochi (1:42)
    Per Un Pugno Di Dollari (1:26)
    Scambio Di Prigionieri (0:55)
    Cavalcata (3:29)
    L’inseguimento (2:25)
    Tortura (9:32)
    Alla Ricerca Dell’evaso (1:22)
    Senza Pieta‘ (2:08)
    La Reazione (2:36)
    Per Un Pugno Di Dollari (#2) (1:49)
    Per Un Pugno DI Dollari (Finale) (1:09)

    FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (3:50)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #2) (1:14)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #3) (2:53)
    Osservatori Osservati (2:05) – On The Streaming Player
    Poker D’assi (1:22)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #6) (2:42)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #7) (0:47)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #8) (2:17)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #9) (2:25)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #10) (1:16)
    La Resa Dei Conti (3:09)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #12) (1:58)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #13) (1:21)
    Carillon (1:11)
    Il Vizio Di Uccidere (2:28)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #16) (2:12)
    Il Colpo (2:26)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #18) (0:54)
    Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu (Sequence #19) (1:16)
    Addio Colonnello (1:46)
    Occhio Per Occhio (Italian Version-Mono) (3:02)
    Eye For An Eye (English Version-Stereo) (3:01)

    THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
    Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo (Main Title) (2:42)
    Il Tramonto (1:16)
    Sentenza (1:42)
    Fuga A Cavallo (1:07) – On The Streaming Player
    Il Ponte Di Corde (1:52)
    Il Forte (2:23)
    Inseguimento (2:25)
    Il Deserto (5:17)
    La Carrozza Dei Fantasmi (2:09)
    La Missione San Antonio (2:15)
    Padre Ramirez (2:37)
    Marcetta (2:53)
    La Storia De Un Soldato (3:54)
    Il Treno Militare (1:25)
    Fine Di Una Spia (1:17)
    Il Bandito Monco (2:46)
    Due Contro Cinque (3:47)
    Marcetta Senza Speranza (1:41)
    Morte Di Un Soldato (3:08)
    L’estasi Dell’oro (3:23)
    Il Triello (Main Title) (5:03)

    ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST
    C’era Una Volta Il West (3:43)
    L’Uomo (1:03)
    Il Grande Massacro (2:40)
    Arrivo Alla Stazione (0:55)
    L’Orchestraccia (2:25)
    L’America Di Jill (2:47)
    Armonica (2:27)
    La Posada N. 1 (1:40) – On The Streaming Player
    Un Letto Troppo Grande (1:32)
    Jill (1:47)
    Frank (1:52)
    Cheyenne (1:16)
    La Posada N. 2 (1:33)
    La Posada N. 3 (1:19)
    Epilogo (1:14)
    Sul Tetto Del Treno (1:19)
    L’Uomo Dell’Armonica (3:30)
    In Una Stanza Con Poca Luce (5:08)
    L’Attentato (4:41)
    Ritorno Al Treno (0:57)
    Morton (1:36)
    Come Una Sentenza (3:08)
    Duello Finale (3:35)
    L’Ultimo Rantolo (1:45)
    Nascita Di Una Citta (4:25)
    Addio A Cheyenne (2:38)
    Finale (4:08)

  • 2
    Anonymous
    November 14, 2010 - 07:29 | Permalink

    Thanks for the Morricone posts, much appreciated!

  • 3
    May 28, 2013 - 13:34 | Permalink

    Non mi capita mai di fare commenti sui blog che leggo, ma in questo caso faccio un’eccezione, perche’ il blog merita davvero e voglio scriverlo a chiare lettere.

  • 5
    jake leg
    February 18, 2014 - 22:53 | Permalink

    Is the link for A Few Dollars More down, or am I just having a problem with the mega nz site. Wouldn’t be my first time not figuring out that site. Thanks.

    • 6
      Willard
      February 18, 2014 - 23:02 | Permalink

      I didn’t download it all the way, but it seems to be functioning OK. The secret to MEGA is getting the right browser. We use Chrome. Others swear by Opera.

  • 7
    jake leg
    February 19, 2014 - 08:36 | Permalink

    Thanks, I’ll give it a shot.

  • 8
    jake leg
    February 21, 2014 - 17:37 | Permalink

    That did it! Thanks much.

    • 9
      Willard
      February 21, 2014 - 18:47 | Permalink

      Thanks for the follow up.

  • 10
    RW
    February 22, 2014 - 17:41 | Permalink

    I can’t believe I’ve never found this site before. This truly is a wormhole since I’m not sure how long I’ve been here. Willard, you are truly doing God’s work.

    • 11
      Willard
      February 22, 2014 - 17:55 | Permalink

      Thanks, have fun.

  • 12
    Zoe May
    April 7, 2014 - 17:50 | Permalink

    Just stumbled upon this, and all I can say is “Wow!”…and “Thanks!”.

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