Various Artists

My Delicious Spaghetti Western

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In the 1960s, Italian filmmakers reinvented the Western genre by adding a gritty starkness and the occasional bit of surrealism that resulted in the birth of a new genre dubbed the spaghetti Western. One of the most distinctive features of these movies were their soundtracks, which added rock & roll elements like bass and heavily-reverbed electric guitar to their orchestral sweep to create a sound that was grand and punchy all at once. This unique sound received a fitting and well-deserved tribute in 1998 with the release of the compilation My Delicious Spaghetti Western. It contains a generous selection of tracks that illustrate the stylistic hallmarks and hard-hitting effectiveness of the spaghetti Western genre. Good examples include "Gli Fumavano Le Colt...Lo Chiamavano Camposanto (Pt. 1)," which allows a whistler to take the lead over a restless backdrop of staccato strings and Gregorian-chanting voices, and "Fargo's Gang," which plays off a mournful, flamenco-style acoustic guitar lead against an atmospheric orchestral backdrop with a beat. However, My Delicious Spaghetti Western runs into some problems with its selection of tracks. The first problem is that its selection is drawn entirely from a handful of little-known obscurities like Buckaroo and Il Segno Del Coyote instead of internationally-known films like Django and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The second and biggest problem with My Delicious Spaghetti Western is that it contains no tracks by the undisputed king of the spaghetti Western soundtrack, Ennio Morricone. Despite these selection problems, My Delicious Spaghetti Western works as a vivid portrait of the spaghetti Western's musical style and benefits from a track-to-track consistency that makes it easy to listen to all the way through. While it isn't a comprehensive compilation of the style of music, My Delicious Spaghetti Western is both a solid introduction to this kind of music and a guaranteed hit for spaghetti Western enthusiasts.

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