I have fond memories of I MALAMONDO-AKA FUNNY WORLD,A long time ago back in the 1970,s I was browsing in a local Woolworths, and there were literally hundreds of LP records in racks going for around 50p each, this was just after decimalization in the UK so that was around 10 old shillings, I skipped through picked a few out and then came across this LP with a weird cover art, I MALAMONDO, ummm I thought, never seen this before, music by Ennio Morricone
, ok thanks a lot, off I trotted very happy to the cash out, and I was even happier when I got home and listened to it.
It has since that day been a firm favourite of mine, I was pleased when CAM re-issued it onto compact disc, but recently Hillside re-issued the score again with extra music. I MALAMONDO is for me the ultimate 1960’s Morricone soundtrack, it has within it the typical style of the Maestro and also posses a luxurious and easy listening quality, that conjures up thoughts of hot sunny days in Rome taking in the sights and enjoying the Italian pace of life. This mad cap documentary was released in 1964, so just after Morricone had begun to establish himself with his first DOLLAR score for Sergio Leone, the film looks at young people all over the world and the weird, strange and sometimes hilarious things that they get up to. Morricone provided the movie with a wonderfully varied score and managed to cram just about every style into it. On the American EPIC records release there was even a dreamy sounding vocal of the title track FUNNY WORLD with crooner Ken Coleman do the honours. This track however must have been for the benefit of American buyers only as the song did not appear on any other release of the soundtrack. This latest edition of the score to be issued on to compact disc includes tracks in both mono and stereo, the first 19 cues representing the original album release and these are in stereo, the remaining bonus material a further seven cues are in mono, to be honest I am not that bothered about stereo or mono, as the mono recordings from the 1960,s I have always thought were excellent and contained a rich and full sound,(well they sounded good on my dansette). With a soundtrack such as I MALAMONDO it is difficult to actually pick out any tracks that one can call stand out cues, for the simple reason that every single one stands. As I have said the score contains many styles and Morricone treats us to wonderful jazz infused compositions, off the wall pop orientated pieces, modern sounding fast paced percussion led sections and amusing and highly entertaining tracks which delight and surprise, we also have bossa nova beats, romantic sounding interludes and wonderfully performed chorale passages. When you take a close listen to I MALAMONDO one can hear the sounds that Morricone would utilize in many of his later scores, for example track number,17,LA CITY, could easily be mistaken for a track from NAVAJO JOE, and track 19,SOSPESI NEL CIELO is a pre cursor for many of the themes that he penned utilizing the extraordinary voice of Edda Dell Orso. One of my favourite cues on the soundtrack has always been TWIST DELLE ZITELLE, and here in stereo I must say its glorious, its one of those cues you are going to either love or hate, with mad barking, Hammond organ, and timpani setting down an up-tempo beat that gets faster as the track progress’s add to this a female choir “hip hippping” in the background, with duck calls going off here and there, well just listen to it and you will know what I mean. This latest re-issue of I MALAMONDO is certainly the best, it has great sound wonderful graphics and extra music, what more could you want, so what you waiting for, go and get it..
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Addio, Fratello Crudele
, The Dark Side of Light