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It's impossible to imagine Sergio Leone's revolutionary spaghetti westerns without Ennio Morricone's equally revolutionary music: both are truly iconic. However theirs was a uniquely inspired collaboration and Morricone's soundtrack work for other directors was less distinctive, as this CD shows. The absence of anything from his best-known work 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly' is a serious omission and some of the vocal numbers ('A Gringo Like Me', 'Lonesome Billy', 'Angel Face') are downright cheesy, so this can only warrant 4 stars, but given the huge numbers of misleadingly-packaged re-recordings out there, this is still probably the best-value introduction to Morricone's unique originals.
Wer die gute alte Zeit, als Westernfilme 'in' waren kennt und schätzt, findet hier eine gute Auswahl aus unvergessenen Stücken. Hätte mich über noch mehr Auswahl und bessere thematische Abfolge gefreut.
I enjoy the vast majority of songs on this CD and those that I am familiar with sound to me like they are the original songs from the movies. In fact the only thing I want to know is what happened to The Legendary Italian Westerns: The Film Composers Series, Vol. 1? I certainly can't find it here at Amazon. Ennio Morricone was a composer for all types of music, but by far his music for the Spaghetti Westerns was unmatched. It gave it that boost to make it live beyond being a B grade Western to cult status. Clint Eastwood made a name for himself and developed a silent tough squinting cowboy style that has never been beaten and I am sure he is grateful that Morricone wrote the music for his Italian movies. I don't think without the exceptional music they would have been quite as popular.
With a few exceptions with vocals, this is great mood music, and has a unique flavor unlike most instrumental pieces.
Many of the films, and thus the soundtracks, will be unfamiliar to most American audiences, but Morricone's signature spaghetti western style is so potent, one can instantly picture the dusty vistas and hard-bitten gunmen riding the range.
This is an excellent album for Morricone fans and I enjoyed some of the music from the less popular westerns. The songs from the Leone films are still the best and also the ones that are the most familiar. Would of liked a little more detail about the performers but it does tell you who they are so you can find out about them elsewhere. Enjoyable listening and I have some on my computer at work for background there.