Sunday 19 July 2020

La-La Land release the 50th Anniversary double CD for Ennio Morricone’s Two Mules for Sister Sara

It was just as La-La Land were polishing the final elements of their celebratory, 50th Anniversary release of Two Mules for Sister Sara (LLLCD1526), that news began to filter through regarding the sad passing of Ennio Morricone. So it is only right therefore, that this release now stands as a lasting tribute to both his memory and musical legacy. 
Released as part of the label’s Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection, Two Mules for Sister Sara finally gets the treatment it has so long deserved. The title had always been a frustrating journey for both Eastwood and Morricone fans alike. It made its first appearance on LP (Kapp KRS 5512) in the U.S. in 1970 as it did in the UK (MCA-U.K. MKPS 2013) in a very nice photo sleeve that has since become something of a collectable. Its CD history is slightly more of a shady affair. It made an appearance on CD around 1994 as part of a twofer out of Italy, where it was paired up with Morricone’s Days of Heaven (1978). Appearing on Italy’s Legend label (Legend CD 16), the release and its legitimacy has always remained questionable. The soundtrack (and its lack of any form of CD release) elevated its interest to collectors and often made it a very popular candidate for any number of unofficial releases. There was very little doubt; Two Mules for Sister Sara needed to be addressed in some form of official capacity.

Enter La-La Land with their deluxe release of Morricone’s original motion picture score starring Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine, and directed by Don Siegel, marks the world premiere of the original film version of the late maestro’s score. Orchestra, organ, guitar and beautiful choral elements meld in strikingly original fashion, expertly heightening, enriching and propelling the film’s varied tones, which weave drama, comedy, history and action against a Mexican western backdrop.

Disc One of this presentation showcases the full film score for the very first time, including material that went unused in the picture and an incredible 37 minutes of previously unreleased music – sourced from three-and-six-track Universal Studios vault elements. 
Disc Two serves up the original 1970 Kapp/MCA soundtrack album (as above), newly remastered from the original ¼’’ analogue element provided by Universal Music Group. It’s a smart move by La-La Land, not only seeking out this neglected gem in all of its glory, but in also remastering the original album version, it certainly serves as the ultimate collective and maintains that everything is collated and presented under the one roof. 

The audio quality is of the highest order. Sharp, dynamic and so fresh to the ear – there are some particularly nice lamented, trumpet dirges that almost transcend you back to the heady heights of Morricone’s A Fistful of Dollars score. Hearing them here for the first time in isolation is both wondrous and inspiring. Dramatic strings in tracks such as ‘Trestle’ or subtle touches of beauty in cues like ‘Sara's a Sister’, really elevate this soundtrack up into an entirely new level of class, it’s practically a lost masterpiece rediscovered.
Produced, mixed, edited and mastered by Mike Matessino, this special limited edition of 3000 units features exclusive liner notes written by journalist/author Jon Burlingame and sharp art direction by Dan Goldwasser. 

Director Don Siegel once said, “The music is among the most original and unusual ever written for a film. As far as I was concerned, Morricone was a genius.” How can we argue with that? 
Miss this one at your peril.  Check it out HERE  Our very special thanks to Matt Verboys, La-La Land Records

1 comment:

Gringo-Gert said...

Wonderful release - better than expected - "The Film Score" CD is SO interesting! Only did your in 2018 suggested interview-discs with Eastwood not find way to these 2-CD-s, BUT, as I understand it, they will be included on the new KINO LORBER STUDIO CLASSICS BluRay release of the movie, to be released in october 2020, so hopefully the company will release it available to ALL regions, so that we also in Europe can enjoy this great movie in deluxe-quality.

Gert Michelsen,