Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fistful of Morricone

While Ennio Morricone did receive an honorary Oscar, honoring his work for over 400 film scores, the presentation of his work left a lot to be desired. This slight had me feeling the (obsessive) need to go back and chronologize songs from all his movies that I could find (ie. digitally avaiable.)

As a result, I present to you this playlist of his work from nearly one hundred films.

Playlist: Ennio Morricone

So what got me all hot and bothered about the Oscar presentation? First was the medley of songs they chose, and in particular, the instrumentation. For many of Morricone's scores, the instrumentation and production were just as important as the music written. This is especially true of his early work for Sergio Leone westerns, specifically "the man with no name" trilogy of spaghetti westerns featuring Clint Eastwood: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. For each of these he put to work his childhood friend Alessandro Alessandroni, who was a talented whistler as well as musician. Morricone also famously infused rock into the sound, in particular the twangy guitar dipped in reverb. Combine that with his addition of a Flamenco trumpet to the mix and the sound of the Western would be forever altered. I don't necessarily blame Academy Awards musical director Willam Ross (where was Bill Conti this year?) as it's a huge undertaking, trying to encompass all that is Morricone with a traditional orchestra.

The next offense came when Celine Dion came out and butchered "Deborah's Theme" from Once Upon a Time in America (rechristened as "I Knew I Loved You.") This is a new version of the song, complete with lyrics and production from Quincy Jones. It's for the compilation that just came out last week called We All Love Ennio Morricone, which thankfully features a diverse group of artists, including Metallica doing The Good, the Bad and the Ugly's "The Ecstasy Of Gold" (which they often open their live shows with,) and Roger Waters singing "Lost Boys Calling" from The Legend of 1900. It's an up and down collection, and is mostly saved by Morricone's own participation on many of the songs.

For Morricone, the past eight or so years has been littered with works that have gone straight to video, films that should've gone straight to video (Mission to Mars) and a lot of television. Betwen the honorary oscar, the tribute album, and the paltry work of late, the time is ripe for a comeback, and there are two movies coming up that are thankfully setting up Morricone for just that. The first is the prequel to Brian DePalma's successful The Untouchables (titled The Untouchables: Capone Rising,) which reunites Morricone and DePalma together again. The second is the very ambitious WWII picture Leningrad, which again reunites him with a favorite director in Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso, Malena.) This was the project that Sergeo Leone was rumored to be working on when he died in 1989, and was supposed to feature Robert DeNiro, continuing their work together following Once Upon a Time in America.

So while we (and the Academy) look back on the legend, there appears to be plenty to look forward to as well.

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2 comments:

drake leLane said...

Ennio Morricone

1. "Penso A Te" - I Malamondo (1964)
2. "A Fistful Of Dollars" - Per un pugno di dollari aka A Fistful Of Dollars (1964)
3. "Slalom I" - Slalom (1965)
4. "The Slaughter" - Una Pistola per Ringo aka A Gun for Ringo (1965)
5. "For A Few Dollars More" - Per qualche dollaro in più aka For a Few Dollars More (1965)
6. "The Vice Of Killing" - Per qualche dollaro in più aka For a Few Dollars More (1965)
7. "Sepolta Viva Un Fiume Di Dollari" - Un Fiume di dollari aka River of Dollars (1966)
8. "Navajo Joe" - Navajo Joe aka A Dollar a Head (1966)
9. "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly" - aka Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo (1966)
10. "The Ecstasy Of Gold" - Il Buono, il brutto, il cattivo aka The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
11. "Titoli Di Testa (La Caccia)" - La Resa dei conti aka The Big Gundown (1966)
12. "Ardenne's Theme Marcia" - Dalle Ardenne all'inferno aka Dirty Heroes (1967)
13. "Faccia A Faccia" - aka Face to Face (1967)
14. "L'Arena" - Il Mercenario aka The Mercenary (1968)
15. "Eat It (Tema)" - Mangiala aka Eat it (1968)
16. "Comandamenti Per Un Gangster" - Comandamenti Per Un Gangster (1968)
17. "Gli Intoccabili" - Gli Intoccabili aka Machine Gun McCain (1968)
18. "Once upon a time in the west" - C'era una volta il West aka Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
19. "Galileo" - Galileo (1969)
20. "Metti, Una Sera A Cena" - Metti, Una Sera A Cena aka One Night at Dinner (1969)
21. "H2S (Theme)" - H2S (1969)
22. "Il Clan Dei Siciliani" - Il Clan Dei Sicilians aka The Sicilian Clan (1969)
23. "Metello" - (1970) Metello
24. "Uccidete Il Vitello Grasso" - Uccidete Il Vitello Grasso e Arrostitelo (1970)
25. "Indagine Su Un Cittadino Al Di Sopra Di Ogni Sospetto" - aka Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)
26. "La Moglie Piu' Bella" - La Moglie Piu' Bella aka The Most Beautiful Wife (1970)
27. "Senza Possibilita' D'uscita" - I Cannabali aka The Year of the Cannibals (1970)
28. "Quando Le Donne Avevano La Cod"a - aka When Women Had Tails (1970)
29. "Forza G (Quella Donna)" - Forza G aka Winged Devils (1971)
30. "Incontro" - (1971)
31. "The Lizard" - Lucertola con la pelle di donna aka Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971)
32. "La Tarantola Dal Ventre Nero" - aka Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971)
33. "Giù La Testa" - Giu La Testa aka Duck, You Sucker (1971)
34. "Come Maddalena" - Maddalena (1971)
35. "Titoli" - 4 Mosche Di Velluto Grigioaka aka Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971)
36. "La Cosa Buffa" - La Cosa Buffa (1972)
37. "Lei Se Ne More" - Lei Se Ne More (1972)
38. "Mio Caro Assassino" - Mio Caro Assassino aka My Dear Killer (1972)
39. "What Have You Done To Solange?" - Cosa avete fatto a Solange? (1972)
40. "Encounter" - Il Maestro e Margherita aka The Master And Margarita (1972)
41. "Sonny" - J. and S.: storia criminale del far west aka J & S: Criminal Story of an Outlaw Couple (1972)
42. "Deeply In The Monster" - Sbatti il mostro in prima pagina aka Slap the Monster on Page One (1972)
43. "Libera, Amore Mio" - Libera, Amore Mio (1973)
44. "Dies Irae" - Il Sorriso Del Grande Tentatore aka The Devil Is a Woman (1974)
45. "Mussolini: Ultimo atto" - aka The Last Days of Mussolini (1974)
46. "Sesso In Confessionale" - Sesso In Confessionale(1974)
47. "The Infernal Trio" - aka Le Trio infernal (1974)
48. "Accadde A Venezia" - Fatti di gente perbene aka Drama of the Rich (1974)
49. "Macchie Solari" - Macchie Solari aka Autopsy (1975)
50. "Divina Creatura" - Divina Creatura aka The Divine Nymph (1975)
51. "Per le antiche scale" - Per le antiche scale aka Down the Ancient Stairs (1975)
52. "Per Amore" - Per Amore aka For Love (1976)
53. "La Donna Della Domenica" - La Donna Della Domenica aka The Sunday Woman (1976)
54. "L'eredità Ferramonti" - L'eredità Ferramonti aka The Inheritance (1976)
55. "Il deserto dei Tartari" - Il deserto dei Tartari aka The Desert of the Tartars (1976)
56. "Profondamente Nel Mostra (1a Partie)" - Il Mostro (1977)
57. "Il Prefetto Di Ferro" - Il Prefetto Di Ferro aka The Iron Prefect (1977)
58. "Holocaust" - Holocaust 2000 aka Rain of Fire (1977)
59. "L'Immoralità" - L'Immoralità (1978)
60. "Il Gatto" - Il Gatto aka The Cat (1978)
61. "Terraza" - Il Gatto aka The Cat (1978)
62. "Cosi' Come Sei" - Cosi' Come Sei(1978)
63. "La Gabbia Dei Matti" - La Cage aux folles aka Birds of a Feather (1978)
64. "Una Tenera Moglie" - Il Giocattolo (1979)
65. "Il Prato" - aka The Meadow (1979)
66. "Un Sacco Bello" - aka Fun Is Beautiful (1980)
67. "Citta' Viva" - Il Bandito dagli occhi azzurri aka The Blue-Eyed Bandit (1980)
68. "Dedicace" - La Banquiere aka The Woman Banker (1980)
69. "Citazione Western" - La Cage aux folles II (1980)
70. "Alfonsina Delle Camelie" - La Storia vera della signora dalle camelie aka The True Story of Camille (1980)
71. "Marcetta Popolare" - Bianco, rosso e Verdone (1981)
72. "Chi Mai" - "The Life and Times of David Lloyd George" TV series (1981)
73. "Estasi Del Miracolo" - Occhio alla penna aka Buddy Goes West (1981)
74. "Marcia In La" - Espion Leve Toi(1982)
75. "Marco Polo" - "Marco Polo" TV Mini Series (1982)
76. "The Thing" - aka John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)
77. "Deborah's theme" - Once upon a time in America aka C'era una volta in America (1984)
78. "On Earth As It Is In Heaven" - The Mission (1986)
79. "Romanza Quartiere" - Quartiere (1987)
80. "Miriam And Philip" - "The Secret Of The Sahara" aka "Il Segreto del Sahara" TV Mini Series (1987)
81. "The Untouchables Main Theme" - The Untouchables (1987)
82. "Rampage" - Rampage (1988)
83. "Cinema paradiso" - aka Nuovo cinema Paradiso (1988)
84. "Casualties Of War (Theme)" - Casualties of War (1989)
85. "Viaggio" - Stanno tutti bene aka Everybody's Fine (1990)
86. "My Dear Dr. Grasler" - Mio caro dottor Gräsler aka The Bachelor (1991)
87. "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!" - aka ¡Átame! (1990)
88. "La Domenica Specialmente" - La Domenica Specialmente aka Especially on Sunday (1991)
89. "Bugsy (Theme)" - Bugsy (1991)
90. "Jonah Who Lived In The Whale" - Jona che visse nella balena aka Jonah Who Lived In The Whale (1993)
91. "In The Line Of Fire" - (1993)
92. "Il Lungo Silenzio" - Il Lungo Silenzio aka The Long Silence (1993)
93. "Ricordare" - Una Pura formalità aka A Pure Formality (1994)
94. "Delitto Italiano" - Pasolini, un delitto italiano aka Pasolini, an Italian Crime (1995)
95. "Ninfa Plebea" - aka The Nymph (1996)
96. "La Storia Dei Magi Randagi" - I Magi randagi aka We Free Kings (1996)
97. "La Sindrome Di Stendha" - aka The Stendhal Syndrome (1996)
98. "La Lupa" - La Lupa (1996)
99. "U-Turn" - U-Turn (1997)
100. "Lolita" - Lolita (1997)
101. "Lost Boys Calling" - Leggenda del pianista sull'oceano aka The Legend of 1900 (1998)
102. "Bulworth, Part 1" - Bulworth (1998)
103. "Ecstasy Of Mars" - Mission to Mars (2000)
104. "Malèna" (Main theme) - Malèna (2000)

J Shifty said...

Again, I am late to chime in, but agree. I have to give Senore Morricone credit for hogging USA airwaves in his native language, not caring whether Mister Eastwood would know how or bother to translate for him or not. All through that montage I kept waiting for some bad Morricone jams, and just kept hearing limp orchestral snippets, and not a single signature 'boing' noise or moody string echo.