Part of our on-going series Notebook Soundtrack Mixes.
Forever on the edge of one's seat, giallo is the provider of all the glamorous and hallucinatory emotions. The film genre and its musical sister is somewhat a crown jewel when it comes to detailed niches, sub-genres, and die hard fans. Original LP records from the giallo genre can cost a hefty sum and the blossoming vinyl reissuing industry (an exciting addition over recent decades) proves how enduring the genre and its sub-genres are.
This giallo bonanza comes in just shy of two hours and you will find both influential and cherished moments and secluded moments on the sidelines. That, for me, showcases its textures and ultimately what a fun, trippy genre it is. The work of the masters is in full swing, beloved composers such as Bruno Nicolai, Nora Orlandi, Riz Ortolani, and Goblin all have turns. And of course, the master Ennio Morricone plays a leading role, a chance to celebrate the life of the Italian maestro who passed away earlier this week, aged 91.
Hardcore giallo experts (of which there are many) may take me to task on the use of Pino Donaggio’s Dressed to Kill (1980) and Goblin’s Suspiria (1977), as there is dispute of the exact timeline for films being within the genre and subsequently tearing away into new forms of the movement. But for me, these are the gems that exploded into contemporary mainstream consciousness and are somewhat gateway films for many to find their way inside the bloody heart of giallo, to ponder over the seduction and wit of its music. The inclusion of two tracks by Broadcast is a special hats off to a favorite band and their expert reuimagining of a giallo score for Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio (2012). Likewise Dario Argento’s Phenomena (1985) is somewhat of a hybrid, and Bill Wyman and Terry Taylor’s track “Valley”—a favorite of mine both inside and outside of soundtrack music—could not be excluded for all its gorgeous proggy, hypnotic glory. It’s a piece that I always find myself coming back to and I often wonder what a dream it would have been if the duo had produced more tracks along those lines for Argento. The same thought process is behind the inclusion of scores such as Francesco De Masi’s The Case of the New York Ripper (1982), as jazz moves into funk and electronic territory. As the Riz Ortolani-produced “Your Yellow Pyjama” by Amanda Lear flounces around in its sexy, femme mantra taking us right back to seventies subversion, you feel as though you’re there smoking a cigarette inside a giallo picture, as she whispers each brilliant verse. The vast underlying currents of the genre are all there. Lounge, jazz, and free jazz, experimental electronica, rock and psychedelia, classical and more. Terror, desire and blood red fear pulsate with funky rhythms and struts.
1. Goblin and Giorgio Gaslini, Deep Red (1975), "Mad Puppet's Laugh (Opening Intro)"
2. Nora Orlandi, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971), "The Pleasure of Pleasure"
3. Goblin, Deep Red (1975), "Wild Session" (1971)
4. Bruno Nicolai, The Case of The Bloody Iris (1972), "Pursuited / Jennifer's Recall"
5. Ennio Morricone, The Black Belly Of The Tarantula (1971), "Spirale Misteriosa"
6. Riz Ortolani, Web of The Spider (1971), "Tema D'Amore"
7. Riz Ortolani, Web of The Spider (1971), "Non Si Sevizia Un Paperino (Seq. 5)"
8. Excerpt - The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) (edit)
9. Goblin and Giorgio Gaslini, Deep Red (1975), "School at Night (Lullaby - Instrumental version)"
10. Goblin, Tenebre (1982), "Gemini"
11. Ennio Morricone, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970), "Silenzio nel Caos #2"
12. Ennio Morricone, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin (1971), "Giorno Di Notte"
13. Amanda Lear, The Girl in the Yellow Pyjamas (1977), "Your Yellow Pyjama"
14. Goblin, Deep Red (1975), "Gianna"
15. Carlo Rustichelli, Blood and Black Lace (1964), "Atelier (Titoli)"
16. Piero Umilani, Five Dolls For An August Moon (1970), "Cinque Bambole Rosa (Organo E Ritmi)"
17. Pino Donaggio, Dressed To Kill (1980), "The Erotic Story"
18. Ennio Morricone, The Black Belly of the Tarantula (1971), "Ragnatela"
19. Amedeo Tommasi, The House with Laughing Windows (1976), "Titoli"
20. Nora Orlandi, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1971), "Shakin' With Edwige"
21. Ennio Morricone, A Lizard In A Woman's Skin (1971), "Notte Di Giorno"
22. Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli & Massimo Morant, Tenebre (1982), "Slow Circus (film version suite)"
23. Fabio Frizzi, The Psychic (1977), "Tracce Sul Muro"
24. Excerpt - Your Vice Is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) (edit)
25. Goblin, Suspiria (1977) - Narration (edit)
26. Goblin, Suspiria (1977), "Black Forest"
27. Nora Orlandi, The Sweet Body of Deborah (1968), "L'Imprevisto"
28. Bruno Maderna, Death Laid An Egg (1968), "Guaiaba"
29. Bill Wyman & Terry Taylor, Phenomena (1985), "Valley"
30. Francesco De Masi, The New York Ripper (1982), "Waiting For the Killer"
31. Francesco De Masi, The New York Ripper (1982), "New York One More Day"
32. Excerpt - Dressed To Kill (1980) (edit)
33. Piero Umilani, Five Dolls For An August Moon (1970), "Danza Jazz"
34. Bruno Nicolai, The Case Of The Bloody Iris (1972), "Fashion Photographer / Night Club Show"
35. Ennio Morricone, Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971), "Main Title"
36. Goblin, Deep Red (1975), "Mad Puppet"
37. Nora Orlandi, The Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (1:51:27), "The Strange Vice Climax"
38. Broadcast, Berberian Sound Studio (2012), "Monica’s Burial (Under the Junipers)"
39. Bruno Maderna, Death Laid An Egg (1968), "Sex Revolution On Campus"
40. Broadcast, Berberian Sound Studio (2012), "Teresa’s Song (Sorrow)"