Jun 14, 2009

Piero Umiliani: 5 Bambole per la Luna d'Agosto / La Morte Bussa Due Volte

Today is sunday, so what could be more pleasant than a fluffy soundtrack. the great Piero Umiliani produced these groovy scores in '69 and '71. Both are for sexy thrillers, but the mood on these soundtracks is decidedly light and easy going, not suspenseful or tense. Spies, detectives, and sexy dolls.

5 Bambole per la Luna d'Agosto (5 Dolls for an August Moon) is the score for an uncharacteristically easy going Mario Bava murder mystery. It's kind of a "10 Little Indians" for the swinging 60s set, taking place in an ultra modern beach house on a private island. There's a lot of cocktail swilling party games and carefree infidelity, and -- oh yeah -- some timely murders. The movie, despite its collection of dead bodies, is a rather light affair, thanks particularly to Umliani's breezy, beat driven score. It's easily one of his best. It's been said that the movie is a half-hearted Bava film. The film's score, however, is whole-heartedly Umiliani. Dolly Beats, Hammond organ, piano, flute, vibes, jazz guitar and rolling bass predominate the arrangements.

La Morte Bussa Due Volte (Death Knocks Twice) is even more laid back. The beats receive fuller orchestration with strings, horns and brilliant wordless female vocals (courtesy of I Cantori Moderni di Alessandroni). Again, the film is suspenseful, yet the score avoids suspense in favor of ballads, like the enchanting "Un Posto Per Un Addio 2" (better on my point of view than the hit english version) and pulsing Latin dance numbers, most notably "Bob E Hellen" which, along with "Danza Citar Free" from 5 Bambole.
Both scores are highly recommended for fans of Umiliani and of groovy soundtracks in general.
Quite rare or insanely expensive, so here it is: here and here