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Author Topic: FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE CD REVIEW  (Read 14410 times)
the stranger
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« on: April 12, 2003, 11:47:05 AM »

FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE ENNIO MORRICONE GDM2038 Running Time 45.31

Ennio Morricone, a name which will always raise a smile, not only among the Eastwood loyalists, but also among serious collectors of movie scores. For a few Dollars More (1965) has seen many reincarnations since it's debut release back on the United Artists label. It's among many of those titles that has been sadly neglected, both in it's quality, and in terms of available music, it's quantity. That was until now.

Over a period of many patient years I had amassed a total of 8 tracks: Sixty Seconds to what?, Aces High, The Watcher  Watched, Vice of Killing, The Musical Pocket Watch, The Showdown, Goodbye Colonel and For a Few Dollars More.

GDM's new release generously consists of 22 tracks, this Expanded and Remastered CD has without doubt, become the Ultimate Collectors Edition. Extremely Limited to 1000 copies, it's a disc set to become highly collectable in the future.

The Packaging is stunning, GDM stuck to the established European art for it's front cover design, adjusting only the background to a blood red sky, used to striking effect. To the back is a blow up of the famous timepiece revealing the doomed sister of the Colonel, not only a reminder of it's importance in terms of story, but also of it's influence within this fine score. Contained within the CD booklet are Liner notes by John Mansell along side the films main cast and credits. The center spread consists of 6 beautiful colour stills, turning the page reveals a further 6 stills, very nicely designed. On the back page, GDM has included 5 examples of original artwork including German, Italian and a rare Japanese design. A sign that GDM has put this CD together with the fan very much in mind, a rare occurrence these days.
The clear case housing the CD, also reveals a film blow up of Clint's reaction while spotting trouble in the saloon mirror during the poker game sequence.

And so to the music.
I'll keep this review as tight as possible, as opposed to a track by track account. All of the previously released tracks retain their original titles, in Italian, while the new material is simply listed (in Italian) as Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu (seg 7, seg 8, seg 9 etc).
As Lionel Woodman, executive producer for Hillside CD, explained to me, "A lot of the original recordings are now lost"
So in fairness, I guess this seemed like the sensible approach when it came to naming the tracks.
3 or 4 of the tracks contain some of the films effects, probably taken from a very clean sounding M & E (music and effects track) rather then the films final mix. What was apparent on listening to these few particular tracks, was how well these sounds were firmly kept to the rear and how clearly the music was prominently to the fore, clarity and balance of these tracks, are in my opinion, very well produced.
Interestingly, I thought I detected some very subtle echo added to certain cues, resulting in a new refreshing sound, while not detracting from the elements of the original recordings, the result does not harm the tracks at all.

Track 1 was a pleasant surprise, the films original opening and title music, the striking of a match, the cocking of a gun and the inevitable gun shot, with a superbly extended echo prior to the main title striking through the speakers. I have to say, I was stunned at the quality of these recordings. Alessandro Alessandroni's classic whistling lament is as clear and as sharp as I have ever heard. The films gunshots that continue to obliterate the films opening titles, remain clearly to the rear of the recording.

Track 2 is in fact an error, described on the track listing as new music, it is actually the previously released "Carillon" or "The Musical pocket Watch". On the track listing "Carillon" is identified as track 14, which, at first, could be mistaken for "Carillon", also starting with the delicate sound of the watch, until a heavy piano and choir are introduced to the track, a great cue, which could be an alternate unused version? A minor error which does not detract from the outweighed brilliance of this disc. I asked Lionel Woodman about this error, and he confirmed he knew of the error, which occurred during production in Italy.

On comparing the previously released tracks, I'm convinced that "The Watcher Watched" (Osservatori Osservati) is an alternate take, the razor sharp recording reveals what almost sounds like an underlining drum roll and listen for the loud snap, which almost serves as a cue for the menacing brass section, again, another nice surprise.

All other previously released tracks sound identical, apart of course for the vastly superior quality. Track 16 is a great example of simplicity, yet, is still very important to the score. Starting with the gentle tones of Indio's watch, we are treated for the first time to Indio's drug induced flashback sequence and Morricone's eerie accompaniment, before we are brought safely back to the comforting chimes of the watch. Track 12 is a similar mix except this time, before we enter Indio's flashback cue, we have the isolated and menacing pounding of the bell, as Indio reveals that he has known all along that Clint's character is a bounty hunter...

For a few Dollars more, which I can honestly say, I've played a few times in the past ;)  has, in my opinion, never sounded so good.
Alessandrini's guitar is given new life, Morricone's Choir (I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni) sound both vibrant and fresh.
Nicola Culasso's Trumpet sounds glorious, practically punching through the speakers.
And if all this was not enough?
Tracks 21 and 22 are a couple of incredibly rare treats. Included here are the Two vocal versions of the main title, originally released in the 60's. I seem to recall reading about these tracks, but I was never able to track them down. Sung by Maurizio Graf, Track 21 (Occhio per Occhio) is the original Italian version in Mono, while Track 22 (Eye for an Eye) is the Original English version in Stereo. I could not think of a better way to finish off this Collectors Edition? GDM have worked to the highest possible standards and produced something rather spectacular. Considering the limed availability of the source material, I would struggle to see how they could have done any better?

As I said, extremely limited to 1000 copies, when I spoke to Lionel last, his UK stock is already down to just 150 discs!
An excellent job, and essential listening for every Eastwood fan.



Hillside CD Productions can be contacted at lionel.woodman@talk21.com Discs are priced at £16.00 + £1.00 p/p.

Lionel has since informed me that the release of THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY has been postponed and no new date has been announced. I'll keep all members informed of any news as soon as I know more.
-Stranger- :)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2003, 01:58:13 PM by the stranger » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2003, 12:27:37 PM »

Wow Stranger, thanks for that great review!

Can the CD only be purchased through that e-mail address?  ???  Why is the release limited to only 1,000 copies?  I want one! :)
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the stranger
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2003, 12:35:32 PM »

Hi Bruv,
Hillside told be that a number has been sent to the US, I guess to soundtrack specialists?
You often find that these releases are strictly ltd,
I can't tell you why though? ? ???
If you struggle to find it, let me know, I'll do some sniffing around.
-Stranger-
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2003, 01:43:14 PM »

Stranger, is that your review?  
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the stranger
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2003, 03:23:14 PM »

Hi KC,
yes, is there an error, where have I gone wrong?
-Stranger-
« Last Edit: July 28, 2003, 06:03:40 AM by the stranger » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2003, 04:16:58 PM »

Nowhere, great job!  :D

It's just that we don't often get full-fledged reviews (of anything) by our members here.   8)
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the stranger
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2003, 04:21:32 PM »

 :-* Thanks KC, Glad you enjoyed it.
-Stranger-
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ralphiel
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2003, 09:27:40 PM »

You can get the cd at http://www.screenarchives.com.
Hello stranger. Thank you for the review of this cd. I have 2 copies. Is the track listing in exact order of the movie? I knew track 2 was not right.
Please do not tell me the GBU 60 minutes of never before  heard music has been pushed back. Why? DO you have any additional info and possibly a track listing of this forthcoming gem. Thanks. How about an estimated release date. The cover is on hillsides website.
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the stranger
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« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2003, 11:00:43 AM »

Hi ralphiel
That's a good Question, and I'm sorry to say I didn't take the film order into account :-[
So I can't answer that.
Yes, GBU has been postponed, I was told by Lionel Woodman that the reasons were far too complicated, and that no new date has been released.
Yes, the front cover can be seen on the Hillside CD web site, and it's far better, in my opinion, than the 2001 release.



No track listing available yet, as far as I am aware.
-Stranger-
« Last Edit: April 13, 2003, 01:59:33 PM by the stranger » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2003, 01:58:25 PM »

Thanks, Stranger for bringing this discussion up.  I ordered the CD from the SAE site.  Thanks also to ralphiel for finding that website.

Can't wait to hear it.  ;D
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« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2003, 01:33:05 PM »

Does anyone know if the content of the new GBU disc will be any different from the "complete original motion picture soundtrack" GDM  release from 2001?  

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« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2003, 05:49:26 PM »

Iwas told by a reliable source that it is all new music that was composed for the GBU but was never used.Also, there are two tracks that are on last years Western grafitti soundtrack with Edda DEll orsos beautiful harmonies in a new take of story of a soldier. This is a major factor and I sure hope that this will be released. The cues could hold clues to deleted scenes since most of us know that a four hour print did exist at one time. This to me is more important than the for a few dollars more release although I did enjoy that purchase immensely. Please-Hillside, RELEASE IT! ??? from a thirty five year old lover of this classic :)  :D
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the stranger
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« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2003, 11:31:02 AM »

Hi ralphiel
Yep, you are correct, there is in fact 60 minutes of previously unreleased music, with 2 previously released tracks, that's from Lionel at Hillside CDs.
-Stranger-
Don't worry, it is going to be released, simply postponed at this time. :'(
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2003, 11:52:16 AM »

Got my copy today from Screen Archives and am extremely pleased.  The sound is certainly a huge upgrade from what I had previously.  Are there any plans for a release of this kind covering "Fistful of Dollars?"
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2003, 02:16:21 PM »


My copy arrived today and am listening to it as I write this .

It is very well done and a must .

buy it .


Philo .
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the stranger
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2003, 02:54:03 PM »

Philo, please contact me either by Phone or e-mail, in your own time my friend, thanks.
-Stranger-
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2003, 12:14:13 PM »

Hi all,
Just as an update on this new CD, I spoke to Lionel last week, he is very happy with the reception the CD has had.
If anyone has plans to add this CD to their collection, and still not got around to ordering it, Lionel's stock in the U.K. is now down to only 15 Copies  :o so I thought I'd better pass this information on, in the event that any of our members intend to buy it.
I did ask if there were any plans for a similar treatment on A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, he said although there are no plans at present, it's certainly worth considering, and not ruled out, depending of course, on what material is still available.
Regarding THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY EXTENDED SCORE, don't expect anything yet for at least 6 months min'.
-Stranger-
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