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A new Quentin Tarantino film is upon the horizon, and it comes with an original score, the first time for Tarantino. And who else could he choose for such a prestigious first time than the maestro himself, Ennio Morricone! The early US history period setting is sure to bring out the best in Morricone’s sweeping arrangements. CD or double LP on Decca.


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REVIEWS

The Hateful Eight - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Ennio Morricone
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8/10 Robin Staff review, 05 January 2016

Quentin Tarantino goes from zero to a hundred real quick here: having never before commissioned a score for one of his patiently grotesque films, he’s gone straight to Ennio Morricone to break the spell. That’s a pretty uncompromising move from a dude who once used a Stealers Wheel song, I guess, but Tarantino’s in a Western frame of mind now -- he needs a Western legend. The main difference between ‘Django Unchained’ and ‘Hateful 8’, without having watched the latter, is that we’re trading in a Rick Ross jam for satanic, string-arranged classicism.

It’s kind of awesome to see Morricone -- a dude whose older scores lie consistently dormant on our shelves ‘til someone snaps them up -- serving up a new score, and his follow-up to 2013’s ‘The Best Offer’ is a pantomimic work of art. With horns billowing through the back of the opening salvo and staccato strings stabbing like ice, he sets us up for a sleuthing exercise in macabre. Adorning the record with gorgeously placed vocal chants, panted in baritone, and adding to the decour propulsive shuffled percussion and numbingly repetitive melodies, one feels a writhing, violent tension ready to be stabbed to the heart with a climax. In typical Norman soundtrack form, I haven’t seen the film, but Phil describes it as two hours of very good waiting and forty minutes of Real Tarantino Shit. Sounds good; sounds good, too.

I could listen to Morricone’s ear-shaking score swirl around with horrifying abandon all day, but as always, you’ve gotta resent the way Tarantino configures his scores for audio release: I don’t want to hear dialogue from the film quietly peeking its way around the corner of a furious string arrangement, and now that he’s gone full-on with the score, I could do without hearing the White Stripes at all -- keep Third Man to Third Man and I’ll listen to this gorgeous, terrifying piece of music all day.


10/10 Spin The Black Rega Customer review, 22nd January 2016

I was well awaiting this for sometime, I'm a big fan of Tarantino and own all his films on Blu ray and all the soundtracks on vinyl bar Death Proof.

Though something made it even more special not only was it going to be QT's first properly scored film as he normally uses existing music but it was also going to be the legendary composer Ennio Morriconie. Morriconie most famous for providing classic Spaghetti Western scores and also the masterful score to Sergio Leone's gangster masterpiece Once Upon A Time in America, one of my all time favourite film scores.

Tarantino feeling that he had come to that moment that he trusted a composer to provide the music to one of his films and as he said his all time favourite composer full stop. While the Hateful Eight is a western like the directors previous film Django Unchained, incidentally EM provided some new music for that film, obviously a precursor to finally scoring a QT film, something that Tarantino had wanted to do with his last two films but the star hadn't aligned to make it possible.

This music actually has more in common with other Morricone scores not from the genre, the opening terrific brooding title theme recalls the opening title theme to Brian De Palma's Untouchable that the composer provided back in 1987. The rest of the theme is quite ominous and full of tension but nonetheless impressive for it.

I've seen the film and while I didn't think it one of the directors best, this score is undoubtedly the highlight of the piece. There is a feeling that if QT had gone down his usual route of using existing scores and pop songs as usual, the Hateful Eight would have indeed been missing something. The film is pretty much building it's dread from the opening and Morriconie's involvement is key to that.

Due to time constraints the composer used some cues from his score for John Carpenter's The Thing which aren't included here but there is enough new material here to justify a purchase. We also get some contributions from The White Stripes and Roy Orbison which are more traditional of the directors approach to the music as well as Jennifer Jason Leigh singing a song in the film and the usual dialogue samples, although it is Ennio's score that dominates.

A nice gate-fold sleeve presentation using the UK poster for the film, with some film and production stills contained on the inside as well as a poster. A download code would have been nice but we can't have everything. As usual with all new and second hand purchases I put the two disc through my Record Doctor V cleaning machine. The playback on my Rega Planar RP3 for the majority of the time was clear and gave a good presentation with plenty of detail. I don't how this compares to the U.S Third Man pressing but I'm more than impressed with this version and thoroughly recommend this superb piece of music.


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