Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Ennio Morricone - The Legendary Italian Westerns (The Film Composers Series, Volume 11)dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a fine collection of original soundtrack music from legendary spaghetti westerns, written and recorded by the master and developer of the genre, Ennio Morricone. Without this man and these priceless classic Italian cowboy dramas, there would be no music like this for surf bands to do today. Some of these are regular parts of set lists, and others are yet to be discovered.
Picks: Guns Don't Argue, The Indians, Overture, Almost Dead, Square Dance, The Chase, The Result, Without Pity, For A Fistful Of Dollars, A Gun For Ringo, Waiting, The Massacre, Angel Face, Sixty Seconds To What?, Aces High, The Watchers Are Being Watched, The Vice Of Killing, The Musical Pocket Watch, The Showdown, Goodbye, Colonel, For A Few Dollars More, Santa Fe Express, Once Upon A Time In The West, Farewell To Cheyenne, Man With A Harmonica, Jill's America

Track by Track Review


Guns Don't Argue dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

This dramatic violin and horn number could be a fine guitar melody. It is a bit over-dramatic in spots, but that could be either remedied in arrangement, or artistically altered to fit. It's picturesque, and well structured.

From Guns Don't Argue.

The Indians dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

This is more of an incidental thing... not very melodic, and I'd guess hard to make into a song. It is very much an ominous fanfare, but not very typically spaghetti western.

From Guns Don't Argue.

Overture dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Whistling accompanied with church bells, occasional grunted words, and guitar. It is a sad western theme set, all compiled from the film, that could be part of a surf set. What a mind this man had.

From A Fistful Of Dollars.

Almost Dead dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Vocal)

Angular piano, kettle drums, funeral flute, reverbed violins, and profound sadness. "Almost Dead" is a very interesting piece. It closes out with a whistled line from "A Fistful Of Dollars" and dissonant western violins.

From A Fistful Of Dollars.

Square Dance dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

A grand promenade is at hand in "Square Dance," a song that seems somewhat Elizabethan in character, but also fits with a 19th century line dance.

From A Fistful Of Dollars.

The Chase dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Fugitive bongos and drama erupt as "The Chase" bursts onto the scene. Big and dangerous.

From A Fistful Of Dollars.

The Result dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

A hand vibratoed harmonica and fiddle play an intriguing song with almost Irish undertones. Dramatic and scenic, with a fluid sense of motion. Very cool.

From A Fistful Of Dollars.

Without Pity dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Sad and scenic like a minor track from Richard Rogers, yet moving and pretty. It's much more a scene piece than a song, though it has its moments.

From A Fistful Of Dollars.

For A Fistful Of Dollars dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Big moody cellos a la Richard Rogers play out behind a sad near-mariachi trumpet. It's precisely the morose emotional sounds of this track that epitomize why the genre is so compelling. Amazing!

From A Fistful Of Dollars.

A Gun For Ringo dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

A fine guitar plays a sad and twangy melody line in front of an orchestral sweep and chorus, but not the way American composers of the day did it, nor like the TV westerns of Al Caiola. Pretty and probably surfable.

From A Gun For Ringo.

Waiting dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Delicate damped guitar plucking creates a metronomic clock behind long soft notes. In some ways, this is kind of Outer Limits (the TV show), and in others the ancient ad for a headache medication. Both annoying and attractive.

From A Gun For Ringo.

The Massacre dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Sad trumpeting and strings rising to create a sense of rebirth from profound sadness. Wait, that's what all spaghetti westerns are about, isn't it?

From A Gun For Ringo.

Angel Face dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Nearly slushy music with a very MOR vocal line about Ringo's card hand. Not more than filmscore music.

From A Gun For Ringo.

Sixty Seconds To What? dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Sad trumpeting and strings rising to create a sense of rebirth from profound sadness. Wait, that's what all spaghetti westerns are about, isn't it?

From For A Few Dollars More.

Aces High dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Vocal)

Solo saloon piano rolls out a whiskey laden tune. It doesn't go anywhere, but then neither does life in a saloon.

From For A Few Dollars More.

The Watchers Are Being Watched dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Eerie distant almost-feedback wails and deep piano notes strike a dramatic blow. Lots of atmospheric chamber reverb on this track. Strictly for scaring the neighbors.

From For A Few Dollars More.

The Vice Of Killing dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

"The Vice Of Killing" is more of a classic spaghetti western, with a guitar and horn melody that's sad and moving. Pretty, if you like crying songs. Then again, once the main body of the piece arrives, it's a galloping track with the requisite pasta edge.

From For A Few Dollars More.

The Musical Pocket Watch dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Tiny bells ring in a farewell to the soldier. Moody and sad.

From For A Few Dollars More.

The Showdown dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Deep reverbed kettle drums and bass grumble, military snare, and loss. Long sustain solo-note horn fanfare, big piano chord drama. It's amazing how effective this is without the visuals of the scene it supported, yet it's not the least bit melodic.

From For A Few Dollars More.

Goodbye, Colonel dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Sad softness of melody and atmosphere portray a loss dealt with, with rising rebirth just off camera.

From For A Few Dollars More.

For A Few Dollars More dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Another very commonly covered song, "For A Few Dollars More" opens with jaws harp and whistling a classic spaghetti western melody. Soon enough, huge reverbed bass drum comes in. The guitar lines here are just so cool. The chants are classic spaghetti, and the rhythm is perfect Italian cowboy fare. This is an exceptional piece of music!

From For A Few Dollars More.

Santa Fe Express dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

The train rolls across a wide country, view from galloping horseback. Chorus and horns, and an exuberant sense of adventure. Orchestral, but very cool in a Rawhide/Bonanza kinda way.

From 7 Guns For The MacGregors.

Once Upon A Time In The West dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Softly rising dry air adventure with a focus on almost religious orchestral music with chorus.

From Once Upon A Time In The West.

Farewell To Cheyenne dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

A horse moseys along a dusty trail with in-sync guitar and banjo, and plucked violin. The requisite whistler appears by verse two. Pretty.

From Once Upon A Time In The West.

Man With A Harmonica dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Dissonant harmonica, almost orca-like, reverbs in the distance to set an eerie mood. Quite a ways from melodic, but very effective scenically. The main riff is carried by a heavy fuzz guitar over the dramatic haunting backtrack. "Man With A Harmonica" is really quite big.

From Once Upon A Time In The West.

Jill's America dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

"Jill's America" is very much like some of the more scenic tracks from the Victory At Sea series. Beautiful and moving, if a little sad.

From Once Upon A Time In The West.