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  • faccia_facciaComposed by Ennio Morricone
  • Screen Trax CDST 337 / 2001 / 50:10

Sergio Sollima’s 1967 western Faccia a Faccia (or Face to Face) was his second collaboration with Ennio Morricone (following the brilliant The Big Gundown a year before).  Morricone, as you may have heard, was not too bad when it came to these westerns. There are two main themes here, both typical Morricone western pieces.  The titular main theme is an explosive affair, neither as outlandish nor as memorable as his more iconic themes for films in this genre, but hugely enjoyable all the same, particularly when Edda dell’Orso joins in, as she does during some of its appearances.  The other is a softer piece, often called “Involuzione” on the album and seemingly a theme for the main character, played by Tomas Milian.  Again, it’s not as memorable as the classics, but again it’s pretty enjoyable in its own right.  A third theme, “Disperata Nostalgia”, is a beautiful, wistful guitar theme, but appears frustratingly fleetingly (twice, each time lasting less than a minute).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll moan about the album, which is awful.  This version here, which I own, has 31 tracks spread over its 50 minutes, presented presumably in film order.  There is almost endless repetition, frequently successive tracks are pretty much indistinguishable (there are ten tracks called “Faccia a Faccia”), and as a listening experience, it just doesn’t work – I much preferred the original 30-minute album.  (Frighteningly, there has since been an even longer album released!)  So the best thing to do is probably to simply program the original album running order from this and enjoy the vastly superior sound.  It’s easily a four-star listening experience then; as it stands, the album is probably a two-star listening experience, so I will enter the numbers two and four into my complicated star rating averaging algorithm and see what comes out.  ***

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  1. Costas Chrysanthakopoulos (Reply) on Friday 31 March, 2017 at 04:38

    How come you haven’t reviewed the I CRUDELI score yet James??! One of Morricone’s best western scores of that year, full of atonal and experimental music and two highly popular, elegiac themes of his career, I CRUDELI & UN MONUMENTO, the latter made known by Tarantino in a pivotal scene of his DJANGO UNCHAINED.