Ennio Morricone

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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A major influence on Western scores right into the nineties, Morricone's music utilizes quite a remarkable array of musical tools. There's a traditional element of Western underscore, with a brassy feel to it, but this is joined throughout by thundering percussion that includes a lot of bells, various arrangements of voices, clanging acoustic and electric guitars, and even a prepared piano. Aside from the famous title track with its Shadows influences, there's a lot here to recommend this particular score -- there are moments of intense drama and incredible beauty that are rarely heard in motion picture underscore, giving the work a classical feel. A cover of the title track provided Hugo Montenegro with a major British hit. [In 2004 Capitol released an expanded and re-mastered edition that re-integrates nine tracks that were omitted upon the album's initial release.]

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