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Topics - john mansell

on: May 26, 2012, 05:14:33 pm 1 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / quella sporca storia nel west...review...

QUELLA SPORCA STORIA NEL WEST.
(THE DIRTIEST STORY OF THE WEST)
MUSIC COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED BY FRANCESCO DE MASI
BEAT RECORDS (ITALIA) CDCR97.
RUNNING TIME 51 MINS 18 SECS
RATING *****
REVIEW JOHN MANSELL © 2012.
 
Now here is a real gem of a spaghetti western soundtrack, it features a great title song performed by Maurizio Graf, the artistry of Alessandro Alessandroni as a choral director co-composer and guitarist, the distinct sound of il Cantori Moderni, the unmistakable talent of Franco D Gemini and of course the originality and the musical prowess of Maestro Francesco De Masi. Released in 1968 this is one of the many spaghetti westerns that were popular with audiences around the world during the 1960,s thru to the mid to late 1980,s.Francesco De Masi had a unique style and sound when working on any type of movie, but for me it was the western genre in particular where the composer excelled. His scores for westerns such as ARIZONA COLT, 7 DOLLARI SUL ROSSO, KILL THEM ALL AND COME BACK ALONE,SARTANA NON PERDONA and QUELLA SPORCA STORIA NEL WEST to name but a few all contain musical elements that are essentially akin to the Italian western sound but also have alongside them and fused within them a style that evokes the Hollywood produced western recalling scores such as, HIGH NOON, THE BRAVADOS,THE TIN STAR etc etc, De Masi not only utilized the typical  expansive Americana sound of the western as envisaged by composers such as Toimkin, Newman and Bernstein but he also stamped upon each project the inimitable sound of the Spaghetti western and further embellished this sound with a style and inventiveness that was all his own. The compact disc opens with FIND A MAN, (tema di Johnny) performed by vocalist Maurizio Graf, this performers distinct vocalising was utilized by many composers in Italy and he worked on numerous western soundtracks. Maybe I am being a little over the top here, when I say I think that this is possibly the best song written for an Italian western as it no only has great lyrics by Audrey Stanton and A.Alessandroni and an outstanding performance by Graf, but it also contains a fantastic jangling guitar riff courtesy of Alessandroni and a melodic and infectious musical backing, that consists of organ, percussion, piano and lavish sounding strings.  FIND A MAN WHO NEVER KILLED NOT EVEN FOR THE LOVE OF GOLD, FIND A MAN WHO NEVER LIED AND OFFER HIM YOUR SOUL, FIND A MAN WHO NEVER  STOLE FROM ANY MAN A WOMANS LOVE, FIND A MAN WHO NEVER LIED AND NEVER LET HIM GO. How can this not be a winning formula for a western song.
 
 
 
I think more than any other De Masi western score this one include some wonderful choral work which can be heard in cues such as IN MEMORIA (track 3) and JOHNNY SULLA CROCE (track 16), it also a score that has a number of stand out track, the composer crating secondary themes that in truth because of their strength and quality would easily act as main titles for other assignments. Track 11 for example IL VILLAGGIO DI SANTANA is a great action piece that contains driving percussion uplifting and forthright Mexican flavoured strings, strumming guitars, proud sounding horns, whips and xylophone. All of these elements combine to create something that is anthem like and stirring in its overall sound, again the composer fuses both Italian styles with that of a more conventional western sound, the end result is something that is not only original but pleasing and rewarding for the listener. The soundtrack was issued previously on a CAM LP back in 1968, then CAM re-issued the score in 1995 paired with 7 DOLLARI SUL ROSSO but there were no extra cues included and it was a re-issue of the LP tracks. This edition contains all of those tracks  1-19 on the disc, plus we are treated to a further 8 cues, which are alternate takes on a handful of the previous tracks. Sound quality is outstanding and the presentation is handled nicely with many stills from the movie and informative notes by Filippo De Masi the composers son. This is the 7th compact disc to be issued by BEAT records in the Francesco de Masi western score series and as I write this review an eighth is due to be announced. It shows us just how many great scores were penned by this Maestro of many talents and also how underrated he was outside of his native Italy.  This is a score that should be in any self respecting film music connoisseurs collection.   

on: April 01, 2012, 10:16:45 pm 2 Beat Records community - English message boards / Main board / BEAT

 want to just say, that in my opinion BEAT records have always been and will I hope always bee straight with people, and also are one of the most open record labels that releases film music. Why am I saying this  because I saw a post on another board that was less than nice about BEAT  it was from an idiot to be honest and I wanted to say if you have seen this I hope that you are as disgusted as I am,  have had dealings with the individual who dared to utter these remarks before and thank god i am no longer any thing to do with HIM. BEAT have been brilliant as far as I am concerned  and yes Daniele admits he doe not go on forums etc   that often  but if he spent all his time on boards and  forums  we would not get all these wonderful scores released, Daniele  the label is awesome and you and your family are magnificent... sorry if i am going on   but i needed to say something.  long live BEAT..... :D ;) :) ;D

on: September 24, 2011, 11:13:43 pm 3 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / beat soundtracks licensed to chris's soundtrack corner...

IL CONSIGLIORI
MUSIC BY RIZ ORTOLANI
CHRIS’S SOUNDTRACK CORNER.CSC009.
RUNNING TIME 44 mins 41 secs.
RATING ****
REVIEW BY JOHN MANSELL.

Composer Riz Ortolani has been associated with numerous European/Italian and also American made movies. His style of composition lends itself well particularly to the genre of the romantic variety, but also he has penned a number of films scores that are certainly hard hitting for movies such as THE VALACHI PAPERS, DAY OF ANGER, THE GLORY GUYS, DAYS OF FURY, THE 7TH DAWN, THE Mc KENZIE BREAK,BATTLE FOR ANZIO and THE HUNTING PARTY to name a handful of examples. The composers career began in 1954 with LA VACANZE DEL SOR CLEMENTE but it was not until 1962 that Ortolani was thrust into the limelight with his score and also the haunting and popular theme for MONDO CANE entitled MORE. Ortolani was one of the very few Italian or European composers from the silver age of film music that managed to work outside of his native Italy and become successful.  He was called upon by numerous directors and filmmakers to enhance their films with his beguiling and attractive themes and although at times his scores were a little sparing in quantity the composer made up for this in the quality department. IL CONSIGLIORI (1973) aka COUNSELOR AT CRIME was directed by Alberto de Martino (Blazing Magnum) and starred Heavy weight American actor Martin Balsam  who played a ruthless San Francisco mob boss Don Maggadino and popular Italian actor Tomas Milian who is Maggadino‘s lawyer or Consigliori. The movie is a prime example of Italy’s Poliziotti genre and contains a couple of terrific car chases and some great visuals of San Francisco and also Sicily. Ortolani fashioned a score that works on a number of levels and includes a particularly relaxing and haunting central theme (Tomas Theme) which is in many ways similar to his main theme for THE VALACHI PAPERS, the composer utilising to great effect the string section of the orchestra to create a simple yet enduring and bittersweet sound that has now become associated with the Maestro. The theme can be heard throughout the score, but it surfaces in varying arrangements or as part of another cue creating a continuity to the work. The composer also employs a more laid back lounge or jazz influenced style within the work which for the most part is low key and basically could be used as a background to a dinner party but none the less these interludes are pleasant and also welcomed. Then there is the more dramatic and slightly atonal style that the composer adds to the mix as in Track number 2, THE ADVISOR which begins in an almost sinister style but then launches into an upbeat pop led piece. Again this is a composition that is repeated at various stages of the score. 
One particular cue that I think stands out is track number 11,PUPI SICILIANI, and although it is downbeat and even mournful to a degree it also posses an lilting and near romantic attraction to it. This is an interesting release and one that I know will be welcomed by Euro Score collectors, packaged well with informative notes.  :D

on: January 23, 2011, 06:06:38 pm 4 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / coming soon titles

Wow, some really nice scores coming from BEAT soon, Marchetti and Micalizzi too, the Marchetti is excellent, and the Micalizzi,s are also brilliant,   looking forward to them all.... :D

on: July 11, 2010, 07:00:25 pm 5 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / latest releases or coming soon

BEAT are certainly standing out as a record company with the announcement of De Masi and Alessandronis  LESBO a good score  should all have a copy asap,,, also the marchetti release is simply a MUST HAVE guys,  go and place your order NOW  the themes are hard hitting and highly infectious   order it   get a copy  i urge you    :o

on: July 04, 2010, 08:41:34 am 6 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / movie music italiano

hi i just re started this group on yahoo     http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MOVIEMUSICITALIANO

on: June 26, 2010, 06:06:03 pm 7 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / giuliano sorgini

any one know anything about this composer i have living dead at manchester morgue on lp and also a lp transfer,  were any of his other scores issued at all  ???????????  maybe daniele might have some masters lying around somewhere ??????

on: June 26, 2010, 09:24:59 am 8 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / getting to know each other

thought it might be an idea for anyone who wants to  to post details of when they started collecting   what their first soundtrack was etc etc   

on: June 21, 2010, 10:02:35 pm 9 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / felice de stefano

watched a movie the other night on sky tv  the movies for men channel   it was DONT WAIT DJANGO SHOOT,,,, the movie was ok, but the score by felice de stefano was excellent, trumpet, guitar, in fact everything a good italian western score should be  music publisher was P.A ?  also   dug out an old cdr compilation which contained a handful of tracks from five for vengeance  at least i think thats the title of the movie, again great stuff from felice de stefano,,, these were issued on a ep record i think,  would be nice to see some of this composers music released commercialy on cd,   john m :o

on: June 12, 2010, 10:31:06 pm 10 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / theater of blood by michael j lewis

THEATER OF BLOOD :o
MUSIC COMPOSED AND CONDUCTED BY MICHAEL J LEWIS
LA LA LAND RECORDS (USA) LLL CD 1138
RUNNING TIME 53 MINS 14 SECS.
RATING *****   REVIEW BY JOHN MANSELL
At last an official commercial release of this wonderful score by Welsh born composer Michael J Lewis. The composer himself issued a promotional Compact disc of the music from this British comedy horror a few years ago. Which became deleted fairly swiftly and also became a rare and very hard to find item. Collectors will therefore welcome this release with open arms. I will say if you are one of the very few collectors of soundtracks that maybe have not heard this score, then you are in for a treat, and in a way I envy you for being about to discover this now classic work for the first time. As with the majority of Michael J Lewis’s works for the cinema THEATER OF BLOOD contains not only highly dramatically passages that fit the events occurring up on the screen like the proverbial glove  but it also contains some of the most alluring and elegant melodies that I have had the privilege to hear since I began collecting film music in nineteen hundred and something or other. The movie itself was an entertaining jaunt and one which I went more than once to see at the cinema. Vincent Price was his normal over the top self, hammy and  glorious in every way playing a spurned thespian who had been treated badly, or so he thought by critics etc. The cast list was like a who’s who from British cinema, Ian Hendry, Diana Rigg, Harry Andrews, Jack Hawkins, Robert Morley, Michael Hordern, Dennis Price and Coral Browne producing marvelous performances all of  which were underlined, enhanced and complimented by the composers surging yet unobtrusive score. I am certain that this particular issue of the soundtrack has better sound quality, although saying this the promo version also hard pretty sharp and crisp sound. As is the norm with La La Land releases the compact disc is presented very well, the CD booklet containing numerous stills from the movie and some excellent liner notes from the renowned film music word-smith Randall D Larson. Which are informative and interesting.  The composers haunting  theme for Edwina manifests itself on a number of occasions within the score, Lewis adding little nuances or arranging the composition in a different fashion so it remains fresh, vibrant and above all else melodic.This central theme is in many ways similar to the composers principal melody for THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT, Lewis masterfully employs strings, recorders and flutes with underlying harpsichord flourishes which at times bring a touch of grace to the already elegant sound of the work. The theme itself is a simple one, but is also an endearing and obviously an enduring one. I cannot recommend this release enough, and I hope that maybe more Michael J Lewis will be considered for commercial release. He is a sadly underrated and unjustly under utilized composer, who’s music for Film, Television and Theater should be heard by all.   

on: June 09, 2010, 08:12:28 pm 11 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / TASTE OF KILLING AND BURY THEM DEEP OPENING SEQUENCE

These two films have the same opening sequence, in fact same first 10 mins or so, weird, if you have them or get a chance to see both  compare them   maybe i was seeing things ????????/  by the way   taste of killing should get a full soundtrack release   Nico Fidenco,s music is wonderful....

on: June 09, 2010, 08:10:13 pm 12 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / gUNMEN OF THE AVE MARIA/FORGOTTEN PISTOLERO

I was wondering, after seeing this movie the other day again, there is so much music in the film that is not on the cd, would anyone be aware if more music was available for release  john m.

on: June 09, 2010, 08:02:12 pm 13 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / SHOUT AT THE DEVIL

At last this score is going to to get a cd release,  Maurice jarres score is epic, and the movie too is a great watch, lee marvin paired with roger Moore is genius,,,,, another quartet release, also coming  charge of light brigade and hornets nest    :D

on: June 05, 2010, 06:34:03 pm 14 Beat Records community - English message boards / Original Soundtracks / quartet/singular---Who can kill a child/-the house that screamed review

WHO CAN KILL A CHILD/THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED.
MUSIC BY WALDO DE LOS RIOS.
SINGULAR SOUNDTRACKS (SPAIN)
RUNNING TIME :
DISC ONE 67 MINS 08 SECS. DISC TWO 73 MINS 45 SECS.
RATING ****½
REVIEW JOHN MANSELL. © 2010.

The score for this 1974 Spanish horror movie is one that was certainly ahead of its time musically, composer Waldo De los Rios fashioned a multi faceted score which contains many innovative and highly inventive moments. De Los Rios uses children’s voices to create an atmosphere that is wholly chilling in the same way in which Jerry Goldsmith used them in POLTERGEIST. Right from the offset the composer sets an uneasy and somewhat ominous and unsettling tone with the utilisation of a lone child’s voice which hums sweetly a simple but unnerving little ditty, that is not dissimilar to Christoper Komeda’s ROSEMARYS BABY theme. The cue is short lived but certainly grabs ones attention, the lone voice being joined at the tracks conclusion by children laughing which itself even sounds nerve-jangling. This theme does raise its head again during the work, and is most effective when performed on a barrel organ effect that is supported by an off key sounding music box at times enhanced by lumbering brass. Track 2 is also short lived, and is a brief but again effective extended musical stab of sorts that is made up from strings with threatening sounding woods and subdued but effective use of brass. In fact the first three tracks on the compact disc are short in their duration, but are perfect stage setters for the remainder of the score. Track 4, NIGHT TALK is the love theme from the score and is delicately performed on harp and underlying strings which both act as a background to a keyboard performing the central theme. This is repeated and expanded upon in track number 5, De Los Rios giving the love theme composition a full work out with rich sounding strings, synthesiser, brass and percussion, it is a light airy and haunting piece which I suppose is in a style that one could compare to that of Henry Mancini. The score for WHO CAN KILL A CHILD has no less than 54 tracks, but many of these are but seconds long, by this I mean some are under 30 seconds in length, nonetheless when combined they are unsettling components which collectively create a harrowing and at times down right scary work, that is undoubtedly original, atmospheric and above all entertaining, one finds oneself listening to half heard sounds that are used as background to the main content of the tracks, that are like whispers just audible, but long enough and loud enough to attract ones attention. 

The composer also wrote a number of fast paced almost manic sounding cues, where brass, strings, xylophone, booming and driving percussion and shrill woods create a tormenting and tense atmosphere. Plus there are cues such as track number 29, SLOW DEATH FROM THE INTERIOR, which is a fusion of symphonic, chorale, solo voice or shouts and synthetic sounds, listen to this in a dark room alone and see how long it is before you shut it off and turn the lights up. Waldo Del Los Rios was a composer of worth, and sadly overlooked as a composer of film music, so I am pleased that Singular Soundtracks have unearthed and released some of his film scores for collectors to savour. Because once savoured I am confident the collectors will be wanting more of this music-smiths wares. This double compact disc also contains music from another Spanish horror THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED, again De Los Rios, conjures up an atmosphere of mayhem and terror, the score is performed in the main by strings and brass with woods and the occasional music box effect or chimes being brought into the proceedings with brief female voice interludes. These just add more chills to the work and enhance and embellish certain motifs and phrases within the score, to say that either score is superior would be wrong, as each work stands on its own merits. Track 29, END TITLE is an impressive piece and comes complete with a blood curdling scream that heralds a sumptuous string led theme which is not only dramatic but also romantic, resembling something one would expect to hear in a tale of Edgar Allan Poe that has been scored by Les Baxter or a tale of horror with a soundtrack penned by Michael J Lewis. There is also a slightly more upbeat version of the theme Track number 30, THE HOUSE THAT SCREAMED which is almost a pop/easy listening version of the piece, pleasant and rich sounding strings amble along backed by drums and harpsichord until its crescendo which is topped off by a mad sounding half scream half laugh, great stuff.  This is a compact disc well worth getting, and one that will bring enjoyment and torment to its listener. Packaged wonderfully, with eye arresting art work, informative and in depth notes,  sound quality is essentially good, although on the second score it can be a little dull at times, but saying this I am of the opinion that Singular worked hard to achieve this standard, as we all know master tapes are more or less tossed to one side and literally left to rot in dark and dank cellars.  Let us be grateful for labels such as this unearthing gems for our delectation. This is a must have an essential purchase. recommended.  JM.     :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o

on: September 05, 2009, 04:33:36 pm 15 Beat Records community - English message boards / Main board / new group

new group  at www.italianwestern.com
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