Various Artists

Spaghetti Westerns, Vol. 1

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AllMusic Review by

Besides Ennio Morricone's Legendary Italian Westerns compilation, this is easily the most essential audio document of the spaghetti western genre. The two CDs include no less than 67 cuts, spanning the years 1966-1981, going heaviest on the late '60s and early '70s; about half of the tracks have never been released anywhere, let alone in the U.S. If you like this peculiar and fascinating style, you'll find this essential: it has excerpts from well over a dozen films that are virtually unknown (as are the composers) to non-aficionados. The weird trademarks of this music -- galloping rhythms, tear-jerkingly sad melodies, overwrought melodramatic vocals, low twangy guitars, indescribably oddball orchestral flourishes of mariachi trumpets, lonesome harmonicas, tinny organs -- are often present. But be cautioned that this is not in the same league as the work done in the style by the master, Ennio Morricone (who has only one selection on this compilation). Some of the cuts are cheesy without much redeeming musical value. Others are linked to the genre only by virtue of their inclusion in an Italian Western soundtrack; some sound like more-or-less typical adventure soundtrack music, some sound more like Hollywood western fare than spaghetti western dishes, and some even verge close to folky singer/songwriter territory. Overall, though, it's a valuable and fun package, with some explanatory notes about the films and composers.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
01:34 Amazon
2
02:54 Amazon
3
01:34 Amazon
4
02:34 Amazon
5
01:38 Amazon
6
02:13 Amazon
7 01:59 Amazon
8 01:23 Amazon
9
02:38 Amazon
10
02:38 Amazon
11 02:57 Amazon
12 03:31 Amazon
13 02:24 Amazon
14 01:03 Amazon
15 02:04 Amazon
16 01:42 Amazon
17 01:40 Amazon
18 01:44 Amazon
19 02:12 Amazon
20 04:40 Amazon
21 02:06 Amazon
22 01:52 Amazon
23 01:41 Amazon
24 01:52 Amazon
25 02:00 Amazon
26 02:03 Amazon
27 03:23 Amazon
28 01:37 Amazon
29 02:22 Amazon
30 02:08 Amazon
31 01:10 Amazon
32 03:56 Amazon
33 04:06 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:51 Amazon
2 02:51 Amazon
3 02:51 Amazon
4 02:38 Amazon
5 01:20 Amazon
6 02:05 Amazon
7 02:28 Amazon
8 02:53 Amazon
9 02:00 Amazon
10 01:51 Amazon
11 01:35 Amazon
12 03:01 Amazon
13 02:16 Amazon
14 02:15 Amazon
15 01:51 Amazon
16 01:54 Amazon
17 01:54 Amazon
18 02:38 Amazon
19 02:58 Amazon
20 01:03 Amazon
21 01:33 Amazon
22 02:16 Amazon
23 04:35 Amazon
24 02:53 Amazon
25 02:28 Amazon
26 01:32 Amazon
27 01:23 Amazon
28 01:58 Amazon
29 01:12 Amazon
30 03:42 Amazon
31 01:28 Amazon
32 02:39 Amazon
33 02:11 Amazon
34 02:50 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick