Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone Happening - Acid Sides of the Maestro

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The scanty liner notes of this compilation of cuts from 1968-1973 Ennio Morricone soundtracks (save a couple from 1977) rather misleadingly term it "a psychedelic montage." Much of this is not exactly psychedelic, at least if you think of Morricone psychedelia in terms of genuinely way-out tracks like "Il Giardino Delle Delizie" or the weirder moments of the Danger Diabolik soundtrack. It's still a satisfying collection of 25 tracks from Morricone's arguable prime, much of them not easy to come by on CD anthologies. And a lot of it is imaginatively strange, like the combination of tribal drums and church-from-hell organs on Burn's "Quemada Secondo" and the fire-licking choral vocals of "Studi Per un Finale (Secondo)" from the same source. Some of the other stuff is more meditative and whimsically evocative, even occasionally suggestive of '60s swinging Europe lounge sounds -- not that there's anything wrong with that, just that it's not quite as strikingly odd. Groovy go-go organ sounds, haunting wordless spectral vocals, cherry circus-like riffs, and weird dissonant blends of twangs and pops are also heard, so the "psychedelic" element is more in the kaleidoscopic range than in any unrelenting weirdness in the music itself. Stranger than all-get-out, though, is the nine-minute "Erotico Mistico" (from Maddalena), where funereal organ, a rolling drum pattern reminiscent of Ringo Starr's brief solo in the Beatles' "The End," and Gregorian male vocals back Edda Dell'Orso's extremely orgiastic, if soft and subtle, moans and sighs. It's the highlight of this anthology, recommended for those looking to deepen their Morricone collections, despite its wavering and uncertain focus.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Barbablu', film score
1 4:00
2 3:28
3 1:16
Queimada, film score
4 4:07
5 1:57
Giù la testa (Duck, You Sucker), film score (aka "A Fistful of Dynamite")
6 2:27
Crescete e moltiplicatevi, film score
7 0:32
8 0:21
9 1:48
10 0:49
Il Gatto, film score
11 2:44
12 2:59
La Cosa Buffa, film score
13 1:53
14 1:46
15 0:58
16 1:14
17 1:32
Metti una sera a cena, film score
18 3:08
19 3:22
L' Alibi, film score
20 1:39
Maddalena, film score
21 9:49
Forza 'G', film score
22 1:35
Maddalena, film score
23 9:48
Scusi, Facciamo l'Amore?, film score
24 1:01
Le Foto proibite di una signora per bene, film score
25 3:50
blue highlight denotes track pick