13 June 2008

My Dear Giallo

I was startled to find myself listening to film soundtracks. It was something that had always perplexed me when others did it. For instance, about 6 years ago, I was hitching a ride from some hipster friends of mine to a class assignment for an art history class and they were listening to this really dramatic orchestral music. I asked them what in the Hell they were listening to and I was informed that it was the Gladiator soundtrack. It caused me to start giggling so much that I’m probably lucky that they didn’t just drop me off at the next corner. It struck me so funny because I just assumed that only complete nerds listened to film scores.

So yeah, I never expected this much nerdiness to have manifested itself inside me. But after I started Doomed Moviethon, my horror movie review site, I think it was pretty obvious that there was no turning back. A Giallo is a bloody Italian mystery-thriller from the 1970s and a sub-genre which quickly became my favorite of all the films I had begun collecting. These intensely dated though endearing films feature equal amounts of blood-spilling, black-gloved killers, and boobs. It wasn’t long before the soundtracks began tugging at my dang ear.

The score for a typical Giallo is pretty outrageous. They usually have terrifying and discordant pieces that perfectly accentuate a scene in which a fashion model is being chased through a garishly lit room full of mannequins by a deranged killer. But that isn’t all that a Giallo soundtrack is about. In fact, most of them feature these “hip” tracks with breathy female vocals set to ludicrously cool lounge music. And the last and most important ingredient: at least one painfully schmaltzy “love theme” to top things off.

The most recognizable name in the long list of Giallo soundtrack composers is Ennio Morricone. With nearly 500 film scores to his credit, Morricone is also prolific in his contribution to the infamous genre by lending his talents to dozens of films. Other fantastic composers to watch out for are Stelvio Cipriani, Bruno Nicolai, and Riz Ortolani.

So yes, soundtrack enthusiasts, get your nerd on! I am totally one of you or at the very least, I’m becoming so obsessed with a subgenre that I consider myself geeky beyond reproach. When night falls, you’ll find me out on my patio, smoking a cigar with a couple of hours’ worth of Giallo soundtracks on my iPod. The best is when I start to dreamily look around at my darkened apartment complex and begin to imagine some razor-wielding maniac in high heeled boots lurking around in the shadows.

My Dear Giallo 2 is the third Giallo soundtrack mix I’ve put together and I’m pretty proud of it. I searched for as many selections from soundtracks to films I hadn’t seen before. There are around 8 tracks that come from films that I haven’t managed to see just yet. Hopefully, if my research has paid off, there isn’t any music from a film that strays too far from the restrictions of the genre. If so, I apologize. At the very least, I made sure that all of the music fits together thematically and should put you in a very, very odd mood. The title of each track is a film title so start searching for the films, y’all.

The mixes:

My Dear Giallo 2

My Dear Giallo 1

Giallo Meltdown

Other stuff:

G Is For Giallo (a Giallo article I wrote)

Giallo Meltdown (a Giallo movie marathon I documented)

Giallo Fever (great blog)

Bloody Italiana (another great blog)

Euro Fever (yet another great blog)

Morricone Lover (awesome Ennio Morricone soundtrack blog)

Giallo trailers (warning: include nudity and violence):


mike roman said...

thanks for these mixes - will give them a listen and let u know how i get on. i already downloaded an excellent one somewhere - maybe u know it? - 'mondo giallo' it's called - terrific! anyway, thanks for sharing :)

aocab said...

Thank you so much for posting these! You made a stranger on the internet really happy.

Zer0_II said...

I stumbled across this post while searching for a few rare giallo soundtracks. I look forward to listening to your mixes to see if you have any tracks from albums I don't already have. I wanted to let you know that you can find several rare and out of print giallo soundtracks over on my blog, Digital Meltd0wn @ http://digitalmeltd0wn.blogspot.com

Thank you for taking the time to put these mixes together. Take care.


Serchbcn said...

Great article, and thank you so much for these mixes. I was born in 1980 and spent my childhood watching giallo films on sunday afternoons. All of these memories come back and nostalgia invades me when I listen to soundtracks like these.