Tag Archives: Ennio Morricone

Spaghetti Westerns and Reggae on AllMusic

biggundCD

 

Interesting information about the international popularity of Spaghetti westerns in this review by Mark Deming of “The Big Gundown: Reggae Inspired by Spaghetti Westerns”:

 

While the average American’s perception of reggae music tends to be centered around ganja, good times and Jah, anyone who has seriously studied Jamaican popular culture knows that they value the bad ass above and beyond all else, so it’s no wonder that Italian Westerns from the 1960s and ’70s were a popular item on the island. Violent, amoral and invariably dominated by charismatic anti-heroes (and equally fascinating villains), “spaghetti westerns” were the cinematic bread and butter of the rude boys who dominated the early Jamaican reggae scene, and it’s no mistake that Jimmy Cliff‘s character in The Harder They Come checks out Sergio Corbucci’s classic Django shortly after arriving in Kingston — and flashes back on the flick during his final gun battle with police. No small number of primal reggae tunes were inspired to some degree by the great Italian Westerns, and The Big Gundown collects 26 tracks from the Trojan Records archives which owe a debt of influence to classic spaghetti westerns. While many simply draw their titles from favorite movies, such as “A Taste of Killing” by the Upsetters or “Savage Colt” by the Eldorados, several feature bizarre recitations that mimic and/or pay homage to classic bits of business, most notably “They Call Me Trinity” by Joe Whiteand the Crystalites and Lee Perry‘s “Clint Eastwood.” A few also interpolate bits of classic movie themes, and some sort of award ought to go to Lloyd Charmers‘ amazing “Dollars and Bonds,” which in both music and narrative brings together 007 and The Man With No Name for the first time. Even if you have no interest in European genre cinema, there’s plenty of excellent early reggae on this collection (all cuts were recorded between 1968 and 1972, and remastered with no fear of bass), with the oddball vocal treatments and echoey instrumentals on many tracks pointing to the dawning of dub, which lurked around the corner. Ideal intermission music for your next Sergio Leone Film Festival, and a lot easier to dance to than those Ennio Morricone discs.

 

 

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“FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE – Metal Cover by REDWEST”

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Live Performance “ALESSANDRONI -“Fistful of Dollars/ Death Rides a Horse (live)”

This is a live performance of the themes of “A Fistful of Dollars” and “Death Rides a Horse” by I Cantori Moderni (The Modern Singers), who sang on the soundtracks.

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Great documentary “K. Khan’s ITALIAN CINEMA: The Life & Times of RICHARD HARRISON”

From Youtube description:

Khalid’s Interview with one of the top stars of Italian Spaghetti Westerns, and EuroSpy secret agent and heist films from 1960s-1970s era, Mr. Richard Harrison, of The Invincible Gladiator, 100,000 Dollars for Ringo, Gunfight at Red Sands, and Agent 077: Spies Killed in Beirut [ Secret Agent Fireball ], and many other adventure films made in Europe and Asia.

I don’t know how you can be a cult movie fan and not have a fondness for Richard Harrison (IMBD, SWDB). He was in some hilariously terrible movies like Ninja Terminator, but he was also in a few Spaghetti western classics. This is a cool interview covering his experiences working in Italian during the Western/Spy movie cycle between 1963 and 1975.




If you are interested, here are two of Richard Harrison’s best Spaghetti westerns. Vengeance (My rating: 7.25/10) is a good film in the trippy, ‘acid’ western vein of Death Sentence or Matalo!. Gunfight At Red Sands (My rating: 6.75/10) is one of the best pre-Leone Spaghetti westerns and the first with an Ennio Morricome score. Sure, its a little hokey, but I have always enjoyed it. Supposedly, it had an influence on Leone’s Fistful of Dollars in terms of story.


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Once Upon A Time In The West

Films added to Rating the Eurowesterns pages will generally include a few comments about each. As they are added, I will post these comments to the main blog page along with other content. Below is my rating and comments about the Sergio Leone’s masterpiece, Once Upon A Time In The West.

10 of 10:

Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 1968)

Once Upon A Time In The West is not only the stunning Eurowestern, but it can be viewed as the culmination of the Western genre across all mediums including film, radio, television, and literature. I won’t say too much about the movie but instead will refer you to Christopher Frayling’s great book about Sergio Leone and his films, Something To Do With Death. Using the sweeping, epic style of John Ford, Leone made a metawestern combining the inverted elements from dozens of classic Hollywood westerns. In the sense, this is a movie about movies, a Western about Westerns, or a myth about the making of myths. Few films have ever woven together music and images so flawlessly. It is a masterpiece of cinematic rhetoric and form.

It is interesting to note that The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (GBU) tends to slightly edge out Once Upon A Time In The West in IMDb’s ratings and in the Spaghetti Western Database’s Top 20. Of the two movies, GBU is better loved.

 

 

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