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For A Few Dollars More - Ennio Morricone - Soundtrack

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Genre: Soundtrack / Artist: Ennio Morricone / Audio CD released 2004-03-29 at Bmg

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      19.08.2007 15:51
      Very helpful



      Mo' money, mo' money! And a watch to boot.

      With Sergio Leone quite unexpectedly finding himself with a hit on his hands after directing Per un Pugno di Dollari in 1964, it was not unexpected that he would quickly follow this with another film set in the same genre. Having already created such an iconic image of Clint Eastwood as the quiet loner out to fend for himself and nobody else, it wasn’t hard to get him to resprise the role for the so-called sequel in Per Qualche Dollaro in Più (For a Few Dollars More) where Eastwood would pretty much remain the same as he was in the first film right down to his clothing and cigars, only changing his name to Monco from the previous film’s “Joe”. Here Eastwood plays a young and tough bounty hunter out to catch the marihuana-smoking madman/gunslinger El Indio (Gian Maria Volonte, who had already played the main baddie Ramon in the previous film) who had just escaped from prison. On his quest Monco is joined by another bounty hunter, the specialist Colonel Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef in his first major starring role) who is older and more experienced, and has a weapons arsenal to match any required situation. These two somewhat reluctantly join forces and go after Indio with dollar signs flashing in their eyes (and in the case of the Colonel, something a bit more personal too). With more money to use, Leone really started to develop his style whose origins branched back to A Fistful of Dollars and everything is upped to more grandiose levels of operatic epicness, fine tuning the trademarks that were to make him famous.

      Also returning with Leone was composer Ennio Morricone who was again closely involved with the making of the film. And just as Leone upped his antes for this film, so did Morricone step up the score to an even more grandiose level, developing several of the ideas he had come up with in Fistful to provide a more confident musical language in this follow-up film. As was usual with Leone, he considered sound to provide almost half the content of a movie and For a Few Dollars More shows his first attempts at making the music itself part of the narrative, instead of remaining just a detached accompaniment sounding from the heavens. This manifests itself from the very beginning as an unseen man shoots another person riding a horse further off in the valley while whistling and humming a small tune to himself. Despite not really being a part of the score proper, the music and sounds are often interlinked together to provide accents or to compliment each other as in the following main title sequence where the music is constantly punched through with gunshots as it was in the previous film as well. The title music itself is not really much different to the opening music from A Fistful of Dollars, the overall structure remaining pretty much identical while the details are elaborated and made larger. Also, as it was the case in the previous film and will be again in the following film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the main titles introduce the two signature instruments for the two main characters, the jaw harp for Colonel Mortimer and the flute trill for Monco. Otherwise all the familiar elements are there from the grunting male choir of I Cantori Moderni (this time sounding almost incomprehensible), the whistling and electric guitar of Alessandro Alessandroni, and the galloping drum rhythms.

      But the greater new innovation for the Leone western was to truly insert the music for the narrative as something that helped drive the actual plot forward. This took the form of the chiming pocket watch that Indio used as a count down in his duels, the haunting melody of which goes through the film like a spectre of something hidden in the subtext, underneath the actual on-screen action. This music first appears in a veiled form when Indio is springed from jail and makes it’s first real mark in the cue “Chapel Shootout” where Indio exacts revenge on the man who sent him to jail originally. The music actually gets quite a lot of varied exposure in the film even outside the actual chiming of the watch as in the aforementioned Chapel shootout sequence where a monstrously powerful church organ suddenly rumbles out to add the sense of religious ritualism to the scene (interspersed with Indio’s signature with a strumming guitar), or during the conversation Indio and Mortimer have in El Paso, the music slyly hinting at a greater connection with the two men, and finally during the final duel between Indio and Mortimer (“La Resa dei Conti”), where the music is given to the trumpet, to perform it as a traditional Mexican funeral dirge with the familiar mariachi rhythms, another idea taken straight from the previous film’s musical language. In the cue “Addio Colonello” the theme is given its final outing as a sort of traditional and nostalgic send off to the old honor bound gunslinger of the Colonel where the chimes mingle with soaring strings and a full adult choir for a magnificent two minutes of music. On a slightly different note the score is also considerably more suspenseful than outright actiony. Cues like “Osservatori Osservati,” “Discovered” and “Il Colpo” provide quite a lot of suspenseful and atonal writing that again is not the most exciting in the world, while a notable exception comes in the cue “Il Vizio di Uccidere” that is operatically soaring and adds the vocal talents of soprano Edda dell’Orso for the first time in a Morricone score for a fantastic one shot for a sweeping sense of epic scale.

      The album situation is not exactly the best it can be. For years the score was played as the B side to A Fistful of Dollars, the original album containing around 17 minutes of music in 1965. This album also included special album edits of some of the music, the most notable being the final duel scene that mixed in the organ music from the previous chapel duel with the funeral dirge of the last scenes. Totalling eight tracks on the whole, the album is still widely available as the music has never been out of print, though the 17 minute running time may not really sound that appealing. In 2003, the Italian GDM label, however, released an expanded edition of the soundtrack and added 14 tracks to the previously released cues. However, there is a big snag about this album, namely the original master tapes are apparently lost, badly deteriorated or destroyed, meaning that the album content features straight rips from the For a Few Dollars More DVD and some tracks contain sound effects as a result. As the liner notes don’t explain what the actual situation is, I can only guess from where some of the unreleased tracks have actually originated from (the CD track names themselves state some vague mentions of “probably lifted from the DVD”), while the pre-existing album tracks have been cleaned perhaps a little too much to add some noticeable jingling in the background due to over-noise reduction. The album ends with two versions of a song “Occhio per Occhio” (“Eye for an Eye”) that is sung by Maurizio Graf in both Italian and English and based on the Carillon theme. I have to say the lyrics are pretty silly, particularly in the English version, thus making these more interesting as novely items, but not much else. A further hindrance to this expanded edition is also the fact that it is now completely out of print and very, very hard to find (I only managed to track one down from a speciality store in Germany for €34,95), so unless you are a serious fanatic of the film or Morricone’s music, the original album may be the better one for you to chase after which sells at £5 on Amazon.uk.

      So as a whole, For a Few Dollars More is a fantastic score, but is badly represented on album. Even the expanded release is still missing a few notable cues like Indio’s addressing his disciples in the chapel, the conversation of Indio and Mortimer and the actual film version of the final duel. Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that any such definitive album will ever be possible to make, leaving the score as the only lost treasure in the annals of Leone’s Morricone scores.

      Original album
      1. La Resa Dei Conti (3:05)
      2. Osservatori Osservati (2:00)
      3. Il Vizio d’Uccidere (2:23)
      4. Il Colpo (2:20)
      5. Addio Colonello (1:43)
      6. Per Qualche Dollaro in Più (2:49)
      7. Poker d’Assi (1:15)
      8. Carillon (1:10)

      Expanded 2003 album
      1. Per Qualche Dollaro in Più* (3:46)
      2. Watch Chimes (1:09)
      3. Per Qualche Dollaro in Più (2:49)
      4. Osservatori Osservati (2:01)
      5. Poker d’Assi (1:18)
      6. Prison Break* (2:37)
      7. Discovered* (0:42)
      8. Chapel Shootout* (2:12)
      9. Mortimer & the Chest* (2:21)
      10. Slim Murdered* (1:12)
      11. La Resa Dei Conti (3:04)
      12. Indio & Nino* (1:54)
      13. The Wild One* (1:16)
      14. Carillon* (1:11)
      15. Il Vizion di Uccidere (2:24)
      16. Indio’s Flashback* (2:06)
      17. Il Colpo (2:22)
      18. To El Paso* (0:49)
      19. Watch Chimes 2* (1:08)
      20. Addio Colonello (1:43)
      21. Occhio per Occhio (Italian version)* (2:59)
      22. Eye for an Eye (English version)* (3:01)

      * previously unreleased

      Music Composed and Orchestrated by Ennio Morricone
      Conducted by Ennio Morricone & Bruno Nicolai
      Choir: I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni
      Whistle and Guitar: Alessandro Alessandroni
      Soprano: Edda dell’Orso
      Trumpet: Nicola Culasso
      1965 / BMG, 2004 (LC 00316)
      GDM Music, 2003 (GDM 2038)

      © berlioz, 2007


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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 La Resa Dei Conti
      2 Osservatori Osservati
      3 II Vizio D’uccidere
      4 II Colpo
      5 Addio Colonnello
      6 Per Qualche Dollaro In Piú
      7 Poker D’Assi
      8 Carillon

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