Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Vocalion release SA-CD of Classic Montenegro Album

Music from A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More & The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968)

There aren’t too many people I know amongst the soundtrack community who don’t enjoy the recordings of Hugo Montenegro. Whilst he was an accomplished composer in his own right (Lady in Cement 1968, The Ambushers 1967 and The Wrecking Crew 1968) he is perhaps remembered more for his unique arrangements – usually of other composers’ music. Vocalion’s new CD treats us to not one, but two of his great albums. Love Theme from The Godfather (1972)/Music from A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More & The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1968) (CDLK 4595) provides the listener with arguably his very best work. Back in 1972, RCA released Love Theme from The Godfather as a quadraphonic LP (APDI-0001). Vocalion have reissued both albums here on CD in the SA-CD format and therefore retaining its multi-channel format (this CD is also Stereo compatible). Love Theme from The Godfather is an album of varied styles containing a mixture of both film music and popular tunes of the time. Ranging from Lennon & McCartney’s Norwegian Wood to Mancini’s Baby Elephant Walk, the content is diverse and eclectic – but all comes together in a quirky and highly enjoyable way. Music from A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More & The Good, the Bad and the Ugly has largely attained widespread recognition over the decades. An extremely popular album, soundtrack collectors continue to hold their vinyl as cherished possessions. Naturally, a completely remastered version of that album is also extremely welcome. Michael J. Dutton has done a fabulous job in providing a crisp freshness to these classic recordings and it appears to be perfectly justified in releasing this twofer by way of a Hybrid CD. Frankly, they have never sounded so good. As well as including the massive single chart hit The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, the album also includes the single cut for Hang ‘em high – Clint Eastwood’s first American western made upon his return from Europe after completing Sergio Leone’s Dollar trilogy. It’s perhaps a little disappointing that no new liner notes were produced for this release; instead there is a straight reproduction of the original album notes. Considering the versatility and calibre of Montenegro’s work, it would have been nice to include some form of appreciation of his career in music. However, the proof here is solidly in the music itself, and on that basis, it’s a winner in every respect. 

Order your CD HERE

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