- Composed by Francesco de Masi
- Kronos Records / 2012 / 35:57
A 1984 Italian-made action film, Mad Dog stars Ethan Wayne (son of John) as a man who goes on the run after being falsely imprisoned, trying to find those who set him up. Director Fabrizio de Angelis made dozens of these films during the 1980s and 90s, finding popularity in his homeland. The music was provided by the veteran Italian composer Francesco de Masi, who worked on a number of spaghetti westerns from the early 1960s onwards, and of course a host of films in other genres too. In fact, his score for this film frequently resembles music from the western genre, though it has more in common with the wide-open-spaces music found in American westerns than the quirky brilliance in Italian ones.
The lovely main theme, “Horses and Prairies”, features a really nice harmonica solo; the frequent presence of guitar elsewhere also helps conjure images of men with broad grins on horseback gently travelling across the plains with hot Texan sun beating down. The folksy “Walking with Harmonica” pushes the easygoing charm to the limit, a really lovely piece. The secondary theme, heard for full orchestra in “Escape to the Lake”, is also very appealing, and also consistent with a conventional Hollywood scoring approach. The action music is highly enjoyable – wild trumpet solos, dynamic support from electric guitars, energetic percussion – “Wild Animal” is a particular highlight, later “My Last Way” sounds like slo-mo shootout music and is also very good. This is a very enjoyable album, made for pure and simple entertainment, and this 2012 release on Kronos Records marks the first time it’s been on CD. Well worth looking into. *** 1/2