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Years Active:
'50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Ennio Morricone


Ennio Morricone is probably the most famous film composer of the 20th century. He is also one of the most prolific composers working in any medium. No exact figure is available, but he's scored several hundred films over the past several decades, perhaps as many as 500. While these have been in almost every imaginable musical style (and for almost every imaginable kind of movie), he is most identified with the "spaghetti Western" style of soundtracks, which he pioneered when providing the musical backdrop for the films of director Sergio Leone. Morricone's palette is extraordinarily diverse, drawing from classical, jazz, pop, rock, electronic, avant-garde, and Italian music, among other styles. Esteemed by such important figures in modern music as John Zorn (not to mention contemporary directors like Martin Scorsese), he is increasingly placed among not just the finest soundtrack composers, but the most important contemporary composers of any sort.. Morricone began studying music at Rome's Conservatory of Santa Cecilia at the age of 12. Urged to concentrate on composition by his instructors, he supported himself by playing trumpet in jazz bands, and then worked for Italy's national radio network after graduating from the conservatory. He didn't begin scoring films until the early '60s, and didn't begin attracting international notice until he began collaborating with Leone, starting with A Fistful of Dollars in the mid-'60s. (Morricone had previously worked on other Italian Westerns with other directors.)

The spaghetti Westerns only comprised a phase of Morricone's career, but for many his work in this field remains his best and most innovative. Morricone amplified the film's plots and drama through ingenious use of diverse arrangements and instrumentation. Jew's harps, dissonant harmonicas, dancing piccolos, bombastic church organs, eerie whistling, thundering trumpets, oddly sung gunfighter ballads, and ghostly vocal choruses — all became trademarks of the Morricone-Leone productions, then of the spaghetti Western genre as a whole. The influence of rock & roll was felt in the low, ominous twanging guitars, which reflected (intentionally or unintentionally) the sound of contemporary recordings by the Ventures, Duane Eddy, the Shadows, and John Barry. Morricone's most famous composition, the theme to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, made number two in the U.S. when it was covered by Hugo Montenegro.

Even while he was busy with collaborations with Leone, Morricone found time for various other film projects, such as the agitprop classic Battle of Algiers and Burn! By the 1970s, Morricone was winding down his involvement with both Leone and the spaghetti Western, working with numerous other directors all over the world. Grand orchestration and memorable motifs were commonplace in Morricone's work; Warren Beatty, for instance, once told the Los Angeles Times that "there's nobody better than Ennio to create a haunting theme." His scores also began to utilize more contemporary electronic influences, with mixed results.

Age has not slowed Morricone in the least. In fact, the 1980s, '90s, and 2000s saw his commercial success and widespread recognition at an all-time peak. He garnered an Academy Award nomination for The Mission in 1986. He worked for such top directors as Pedro Almodovar, Brian DePalma, Roman Polanski, Mike Nichols, Oliver Stone, and Barry Levinson. Cinema Paradiso is probably the most renowned of his recent scores.

With such an abundance of recordings, collecting Morricone remains a daunting proposition. It's doubtful that anyone will collect all of his soundtracks under one roof; after all, the composer himself doesn't even remember how many films he's worked on. RCA's The Legendary Italian Westerns, Virgin's two Film Music volumes, and Rhino's Anthology are useful collections, and the DRG label has reissued other noteworthy compilations of his work.

Top Albums

1. Magic Christ..
Christmas With Ennio Morricone Music, Ennio Morricone
2. Christmas Wi..
Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone (Remastered), Yo-Yo Ma
3. Yo-Yo Ma Pla..
The Mission, Ennio Morricone
4. The Mission
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Remastered], Ennio Morricone
5. The Good, th..
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Ennio Morricone
6. The Good, th..
Cinema Paradiso (Original Soundtrack Recording), Cinema Paradiso
7. Cinema Parad..
The Legend of 1900 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Ennio Morricone
8. The Legend o..
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Ennio Morricone
9. Nuovo Cinema..
Paradiso, Hayley Westenra
10. Paradiso
C'era una volta il west (Once Upon a Time in the West) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], Ennio Morricone
11. C'era una vo..
Film Music, Ennio Morricone
12. Film Music
Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (The Good, the Bad & the Ugly) [The Complete Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], Ennio Morricone
13. Il buono, il..
50 Movie Themes Hits (Gold Edition), Ennio Morricone
14. 50 Movie The..
Lolita (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture), Ennio Morricone
15. Lolita (Soun..
Love Affair (Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack), Ennio Morricone
16. Love Affair ..
Ennio Morricone Remixes, Vol. 2, Ennio Morricone
17. Ennio Morric..
Per un pugno di dollari (A Fistful of Dollars) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], Ennio Morricone
18. Per un pugno..
Un' ora con (An Hour With) Ennio Morricone, Ennio Morricone
19. Un' ora con ..
Per Qualche Dollaro In Piu' (For a Few Dollars More), Ennio Morricone
20. Per Qualche ..

Top Songs

Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Titles)Good, the Bad and the Ugly2:42$0.99
Ecstasy of Gold - L'estasi Dell&..Good, the Bad and the Ugly3:23$0.99
Ecstasy Of GoldGood, the Bad and the Ugly ..3:23$1.29
LĀ“Estasi DellĀ“Oro (From the Good, ..Ennio Morricone Remixes, Vo..3:22$0.99
Ecstacy of Gold - L'Estasi Dell&..Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cat..3:23$0.99
Mission: Gabriel's OboeYo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morric..3:12$0.99
Gabriel's OboeEssential Yo-Yo Ma3:11$0.99
Trio - Il TrielloGood, the Bad and the Ugly7:14$0.99
For a Few Dollars MoreFor a Few Dollars More (Ori..3:50$0.99
Good, The Bad And The UglyGood, the Bad and the Ugly ..2:42$1.29
Gabriel's OboeMission2:40$1.29
On Earth As It Is In HeavenMission3:50$1.29
Ecstasy of Gold - (From "The Goo..Ennio Morricone: The Ultima..3:23$0.99
Watch Chimes (from "for a Few Do..Christmas With Ennio Morric..1:13$0.99
Irene (from "the Untouchables..Christmas With Ennio Morric..3:37$0.99
Ninna Nanna Per Adulteri - Version 3..Christmas With Ennio Morric..3:49$0.99
Romanza Quartiere (from "Quartie..Christmas With Ennio Morric..3:40$0.99
La Califfa (from "La Califfa - T..Christmas With Ennio Morric..2:37$0.99
Ecstasy of Gold (from "the Good,..Christmas With Ennio Morric..3:23$0.99
Sundown - Il Tramonto (from "the..Sergio Leone and Ennio Morr..1:18$0.99
Watch Chimes (from "for a Few Do..Sergio Leone and Ennio Morr..1:13$0.99
Trio - Il Triello (from "the Goo..Sergio Leone and Ennio Morr..7:14$0.99
Ecstasy of Gold (from "the Good,..Sergio Leone and Ennio Morr..3:23$0.99
Good, The Bad and the Ugly (from ..Sergio Leone and Ennio Morr..2:42$0.99
Chapel Shootout (from "for a Few..Sergio Leone and Ennio Morr..2:16$0.99

Top Music Videos

Morricone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Main Theme), Ennio Morricone
1. Morricone: Th...
Morricone: The Mission, Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
2. Morricone: Th...
Morricone: Once Upon a Time in the West, Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
3. Morricone: On...
Morricone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - The Ecstasy of Gold, Ennio Morricone
4. Morricone: Th...
Morricone: Once Upon a Time in America: I. Deborah's Theme, II. Poverty, III. Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
5. Morricone: On...
Morricone: The Untouchables - Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
6. Morricone: Th...
Morricone: Once Upon a Time in America - Cockeye's Song, Ennio Morricone
7. Morricone: On...
Morricone: The Sicilian Clan, Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
8. Morricone: Th...
Morricone: A fistful of dynamite - Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
9. Morricone: A ...
Morricone: Maddalena - Come Maddalena, Ennio Morricone
10. Morricone: Ma...
Morricone: Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion - Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
11. Morricone: In...
Morricone: H2S - Main Theme, Ennio Morricone
12. Morricone: H2...


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