Ennio Morricone – Escalation

I spent yesterday in London touring Universities but managed to slip away long enough to nip to Berwick street and have a root through the basement of Sister Ray. I could, had I had the money, spent £1000 and still left there feeling there were just a couple more albums I could have picked up, but I don’t have that sort of money so I had to be picky. My first choice, from what was quite a large Morricone section, was the soundtrack to the 1968 film Escalation. It’s a re-release from Dagored and this one is one of the yellow clear vinyl versions limited to 500 copies. As you can see in the picture below:

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Dagored have this to say:

In 1968 the Maestro Morricone was at the height of his career scoring Sergio Leone’s classic “Once Upon a Time in the West”. For the soundtrack of Roberto Faenza’s cult debut movie ESCALATION, set in swinging London, 1968, Morricone teams up with fellow composer Bruno Nicolai and the vocalizations of Alessandro Alessandroni’s “Cantori Moderni”, making this one of his least minimal soundtracks.

Containing the legendary tune DIES IRAE PSICHEDELICO , this is one of the most essential Morricone soundtracks of all- time.

It’s certainly a beautiful object and though I haven’t seen the film, but will, I expect it to be really rather odd based on the soundtrack, which is equally beautiful and bonkers.

Here, courtesy of youtube, are a few of the tracks from it:

Album Tracklist:

Escalation
Dies Irae Psichedelico
Collage N. 1
Luca’s Sound
Senza Respiro
Luca
Casa Londra
Matrimonio
Collage N. 2
Carillon Erotico
Primo Rito
Secondo Rito
Funerale Nero

The soundtrack has all of the classic Moriccone traits, from harpsichord to wordless vocals (and some with words, shouty mad words, in Italian, probabaly), and they  work brilliantly.  With films this old it’s often possible to stream them for free online but I haven’t found anything yet, not even a clip, so I may have to try and find a dvd of it from somewhere.

I also nipped across the road to Reckless Records, which is, for the most part, used vinyl, but after a brief flick through the racks I didn’t see anything that I really fancied. There may have been a few things but it was organised in such a way that I couldn’t easily go to the sections I wanted.

Next time i’m in the area I’ll have to give it a little more time.

8 Comments

  1. cincinnatibabyhead

    Just watched ‘For a Few Dollars More’ (again) and was reminded of how much I dig Morricone. The whistling in the theme music is great. Very cool pick up on ‘Escalation’. Cool vinyl. (I have a few of those colored LPs from way back). Listening to it as I type. Yup that sounds good. Have you checked out John Zorn’s ‘The Big Gundown’ ? His covers of Ennio’s work? Very good. Will be back to look at more of your stuff.

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  2. verian

    I’m slowly picking up Morricone albums when I see them, but there are so many, over 500 I read somewhere. I saw him a few months ago and it was wonderful. He did some tracks from a film I hadn’t heard of called ‘The Red Tent’ which I managed to get a copy of, it’s brilliant. I never cease to be surprised by his output.

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  3. cincinnatibabyhead

    That’s crazy. Over 500 titles. ‘The Red Tent ‘ is on the list. That endorsement by you might bump it up to be watched soon. If you listen to the Zorn stuff, I’d be interested in your take. Sometimes it gets sketchy when people cover others music. I think Zorn brings a lot of respect and inspiration to it.

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  4. verian

    I just listened to his version of Chi Mai, which I originally thought, years ago, had been written for the TV series on David Lloyd George, turns out that was its fourth use (originally Maddelena 1971). I liked it although, to me, it sounded as though it was a track taken from The Twin Peaks soundtrack, which is no bad thing, but it makes for an odd listen as all I could think of was the little dancing man who spoke backwards! I’ll check out some others.

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  5. cincinnatibabyhead

    Getting a bit of an education here. How is that ‘David Lloyd George’ Series? ‘Blue Velvet’ is due for another watch. Amazing how fast you can access music these days. It took me months to track down ‘The Big Gundown”. Maybe that’s why i like it so much. The effort I put in.

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  6. verian

    It was a long time ago so I don’t know how it’s held up over time, but back then I thought it was really good. The BBC made it and they are good at that sort of thing. I just looked it up, 1981. I know what you mean about something that takes effort to get holding more value, I have awhole list of things in my head that I’m looking for, some that I really don’t expect to find which I have been keeping an eye out for years, and when they do show up at a record fair it’s marvellous.

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  7. cincinnatibabyhead

    I’m going to check it out for sure. Just watched the original ‘Tinker, Tailor…” was not disappointed. Have ‘A Perfect Spy’ ready to go. Heard ‘River’ is good. ‘The Killing’ out of Denmark was good. Anyways , good hunting for more Ennio. I’m sure we’ll chat again. Thanks for the tips. CB ps I found an album years ago ‘Fripp, Giles and Giles’. Man was I happy. So I know that feeling.

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