Edda Dell'Orso

Voice: Edda Dell'Orso

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Edda Dell'Orso is best known as the haunting, oft-high-pitched voice heard on numerous Ennio Morricone soundtracks. Indeed, more than half of the 21 tracks on this anthology are taken from Morricone-scored films. But it's more of a Dell'Orso compilation than a Morricone one, as it also includes selections written by four other composers for Italian films, the material encompassing the years 1967-1982 (though just three of the cuts postdate 1972). In a world where too many reissues are hyped as thrillingly unclassifiable, this Dell'Orso collection is the real deal. There are elements of horror movie soundtracks, European easy listening late-'60s/early-'70s lounge music, operatic classical music, exotica, and almost pornographically explicit sexual innuendo, several of these genres sometimes (though by no means always) bumping heads within the same song. The constant is Dell'Orso's uniquely eerie voice, distinguished not only by its otherworldly range (especially at the high end), but also by her almost exclusive use of wordless phrasing. That helps get around any language barrier inherent in listening to Italian music, of course. But more importantly, it conveys a wide palette of emotions, from the funereally grim and space-age modernism to the out-and-out kinky. There are, as a matter of curiosity, three songs here with actual lyrics, but those relatively conventional outings are far outshone by the mystery of her lyric-free musings. It should be noted that this, like the 2005 CD compilation Dream Within a Dream...The Incredible Voice of Edda Dell'Orso, does not feature any of her contributions to Morricone's famous Spaghetti western soundtracks A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, or Once Upon a Time in the West. But like that 2005 compilation, it's a highly recommended sampling of her other work, both for its idiosyncratic vocal majesty and the equally idiosyncratic mix of pop and experimental qualities in the material.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:36
2 2:58
3 6:34
4 2:29
5 2:58
6 3:10
7 4:13
9 3:30
10 3:02
11 4:30
12 0:57
13 2:06
14 3:43
15 2:32
16 9:15
17 1:54
18 2:45
19 3:05
20 1:56
21 3:36
blue highlight denotes track pick