Various Artists – Spaghetti Western Vol.1 (1995)

Posted by on January 22, 2013as

spBesides 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.

mp3 192 kbps | 126 MB | UL

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