Ennio Morricone

Butterfly [Original Motion Picture Soundrack]

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Matt Cimber's 1981 feature film Butterfly is remembered -- if at all -- mainly as the movie in which blonde bombshell Pia Zadora achieved a clothes-off stage on the silver screen for the first time. Many of those who had come to see it mainly for that, and little else, left grumbling about what a horrendous movie they had just endured. Suffice it is to say most of those ticket holders probably didn't notice that Cimber had gone to the trouble to acquire the talents of Ennio Morricone for the soundtrack music, flying to Italy with a rough cut of the film just to make this possible. Morricone composed some stylish and classy, if not particularly distinctive or memorable, music for Butterfly and sent Cimber on his way. This is what is contained on Dagored's Butterfly; it is far from being the best movie Morricone worked on and, conversely, is far from being his best score. Very far.

There are at least two things seriously wrong with this Dagored CD; first of all it doesn't list the identity of the singers, though one is obviously Zadora and the other possibly Stuart Whitman, nor does it tell which of the 11 tracks the singers appear on. But a far worse problem is the distortion on this CD; it is on the whole CD, not just a track or two, and it's particularly pronounced in full orchestral selections. It results in a grainy, blown-out sound for what was initially a very high-tech production; it's hard to say whether the original tape sounds like that owing to deterioration, or if the distortion was somehow introduced in the digital remixing or mastering process and nobody caught it. But it's there, and it sounds terrible.

There was an LP soundtrack to Butterfly, and if memory serves it sounded fine and had a much nicer album jacket than the cheap, flimsy digipak that houses this CD. As time went on, Zadora emerged into a singer of standards of some credibility, and some of her fans might want this just to hear her earliest singing effort outside of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians; don't bother. She did better later, and the distortion will likely drive you crazier than the original movie did. Dagored has done much to make available many fine Italian soundtracks; this one is a total misfire, not to mention sub-standard.

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