“The Ecstasy of Gold”

“‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ is the title of a song composed by Ennio Morricone and used to great effect in the 1966 Sergio Leone film, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. Over the last 50 years, the song has become something of a classic, used on various occasions for its stirring, rising tempo and triumphant and uplifting energy – from Metallica concerts and sporting events to mainstream TV advertising. ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ is among Morricone’s most famous compositions, and its performance is aided by the amazing voice of Edda Dell’Orso, who is featured in the song’s stirring vocal high notes. The song is played during a famous scene in the film when Tuco – ‘the ugly’ character, played perfectly by Eli Wallach – is frantically searching through a huge Civil War-era graveyard for the name of a gravesite that is said to hold a fortune in gold treasure. Tuco is ‘ecstatic’ to be at the cemetery where the gold is hidden, thus the name of the tune. But actually finding the gravesite where the gold is buried is another story. This ‘frantic search’ scene by Tuco precedes a final climactic standoff and shoot-out when the three main characters in the story converge on the site and vie for the gold. But it is the ‘Ecstacy of Gold’ song, and also the film’s title song, that have had continuing appeal over the years. The film itself has also become something of a classic in the Western genre. In the film, following Tuco’s initial excitement, there comes the climactic showdown scene at the cemetery’s circular plaza (seen in the distance, above photo), when the three main characters appear in a three-way Mexican stand-off and gun battle out over the gold treasure. … More on that outcome and the film’s music a bit later. First, some background on the film’s history and its storyline. The Dollars Trilogy. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly is the third installment in the ‘dollars trilogy,’ as the three films in this Italian western film series are called. A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More were the first and second installments in the series. These films are also known as ‘spaghetti westerns,’ the somewhat derogatory moniker given Italian-made westerns produced during the mid-1960s. …”
The Pop History Dig (Audio)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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