Just for the record: Lots of good, a little bad and hardly any ...

Lifestyle

Just for the record: Lots of good, a little bad and hardly any ugly

A fortnightly review of music on vinyl

Andrew Donaldson

He is widely regarded as one of the most prolific and original composers of the 20th century, a man who has drawn from such diverse idioms as rock, classical, jazz, avant-garde and traditional folk in his work. While his peers regard him as one of the most important contemporary artists of the modern era, the rest of us know Ennio Morricone as the man who put together the strangled cries, muffled drum beats, reverb-drenched guitars, haunting whistles and cracked whips that make up the theme tune for Sergio Leone’s Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo (The Good, the Bad & The Ugly), the film that turned Clint Eastwood into a global icon.

The pioneering music that Morricone wrote for the “spaghetti Westerns”, films like Once Upon A Time In The West, A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, A Pistol for Ringo, The Return of Ringo and many more, certainly helped the genre muscle its way into mainstream cinema and influence Hollywood in the 1960s and early 1970s.

Morricone, of course, composed so much more than Western soundtracks, and he struck a commercial peak that lasted from the 1980s to the 2000s, with acclaimed scores for The Mission, The Untouchables, Bugsy and Cinema Paradiso, among others. He was still working in his late 80s, and picked up a Golden Globe and Academy Award for best original score for Quentin Tarantino’s 2015 Western, The Hateful Eight. He has also dozens of classical works...

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