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AD OGNI COSTO / MENAGE ALL'ITALIANA
Absurd comedy scores. Cheesy, tacky - I love them!
The first rule of writing music for comedies is that however absurd the on-screen action may be, the music must be deadly serious. Right? Well, if you count a series of screeching noises, cheesy flute solos, ridiculous songs, inspired electric guitar riffs and ludicrously over-the-top classical violin pieces as deadly serious - yes!
But Ennio Morricone is not one to stick to convention. Today he is best known for writing serious scores like The Legend of 1900 and Mission to Mars, but back in the 60s this was certainly not the case. Then, he was equally fond of trying to write the most absurd music that anyone ever had. And he probably succeeded. The most surprising thing about it all is how well it works - he throws in the most bizarre noises and vocalisations, both acoustic and synthetic, but everything ties together surprisingly well.
For many years, Ad Ogni Costo and Menage all'Italiana were collectors' dreams, surviving only as rare LPs, but in 1999 RCA did the world a favour by releasing these two scores on one CD. Thank God they did! I'm not normally a huge fan of Morricone's more pop-based scores, but these are an enormous exception. They are both just so ridiculous that, even though the final result is hardly The Mission, it's clear that so much work has gone into producing them and getting them done so precisely as they have been, you still can't help but be impressed.
Not everybody's cup of tea, then; but certainly my cup of tea!
Total Time 63:57
RCA OST 146
Ad Ogni Costo
Artwork copyright (c) 1999 BMG Ricordi; review copyright (c) 2000 James Southall.