15 Dec 2015

Here’s Why You Know Ennio Morricone

Even If The Name Doesn’t Ring A Bell

Ennio Morricone is going to be gracing The O2 in February, and if you perhaps don’t recognise the name, the likelihood is you’ll most definitely know his work: instantly recognisable, catchy and genuinely unforgettable.

Indeed, if you’re a fan of Westerns, Quentin Tarantino or even Metallica, then the chances are that you’ve come across some of Morricone’s genius…

Okay, enough hinting. If you’re still stumped, Ennio Morricone is arguably one of the most influential composers alive today, scoring over 500 movies and TV series. Known for his versatility, he is famously easy to listen to, as @CalumNorth puts it, ‘If I had to choose only one music artist to listen to for the rest of my life it would hands down be Ennio Morricone – absolutely impeccable.’



The Westerns

Morricone rose to fame in the 1960s, composing music for Italian directors who were creating the popular Western films of the time, including Sergio Leone – creator of the world famous Dollars Trilogy. The iconic and instantly recognisable soundtrack includes elements that are now synonymous with Morricone’s songwriting, and the Western genre in general, including whistling, electric guitars, chanting, yodelling, and brass.


Quentin Tarantino

Fans of Diango Unchained’s colourful and evocative score will be intrigued to learn that Morricone was the genius behind it. Tarantino’s passion for old Westerns has massively influenced his films, and samples of Morricone’s work had appeared in many of his other projects, including Kill Bill. However, it was always a dream of his to have his childhood musical hero bring one of his movies to life – which is why Django Unchained was such a pivotal moment in Tarantino’s career. Although the director is considered to be a genre-bending genius of our time, he’s also notoriously difficult to work with. Morricone stated that he would “never again” work with him, but it was recently announced that after seeing footage from Tarantino’s new project The Hateful Eight, he’s changed his mind and has agreed to pen a completely original score. That must be some footage!



Hundreds of artists have sampled Morricone’s wealth of work, including Jay-Z (Blueprint 2, So Ghetto), Coolio (Change) and Muse (Knights of Cydonia live intro). However, our favourite has to be Metallica, who have used the song The Ecstasy Of Gold (from The Good, The Bad And The Ugly) as the opening theme of their concerts since 1983.

Recently, @mr_omnibus tweeted, ‘knowing that I'll never get to see an Ennio Morricone show ever saddens me quite a lot.’



Okay, well we’ve got good news for you, Mr Omnibus, and also for anyone whose interest has been appropriately piqued by Morricone’s influence on modern musical culture. He’s coming to The O2 in February, with the promise of performing some of his best loved and most iconic pieces. If you’re still not sure you know him yet, maybe the best way is to come and listen to the man himself...