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 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 5:06 AM   
 By:   Hurdy Gurdy   (Member)

This is gonna be hard.
I absolutely LOVE the music of Pino Donaggio.
Always have, since discovering his scores from early Brian DePalma and Joe Dante films, most via classic Varese Sarabande LPs.
His combination of that singer/songwriter gift for melody and hooks, allied to his classical training AND an adherence to a certain Bernard Herrmann style and structure...simplicity his thriller and tension writing.
And also a willingness to break from the classical norm, incorporating various other music styles, from pop and synth to jazz-like moods.
There aren't many Donaggio scores I don't like, so choosing 5 is no easy task.
But, I'll give it a go (and hopefully you will too).

One I could never leave out is CARRIE, the first LP I bought by him, after seeing and loving the film.
An absolute masterpiece of heart-breaking beauty and terrifying suspense...taking the already brilliant film up a few more notches.
And it started the legendary DePalma-Donaggio relationship that still continues.
I remember getting the TOURIST TRAP LP first (before seeing the film) and thinking WTF as that Main Title played out around my bedroom and I stared at the horrifying (but brilliant) artwork on the LP cover.
Just an incredible off-kilter piece of scoring.
Then the absolutely gorgeous Love Theme...followed by some classic thriller writing...and then the creepy as f**k Mannequins music, a combination of erotic ecstasy and terrifying horror music all in one.
DRESSED TO KILL is another classic score for Brian DePalma. Full of elegant classy scoring, playful moments of lightness and fantastic stalking/chopping terror music...AND THAT Museum cue.
Gotta Love BdeP for allowing his composers to really take over and shine in his films.
Another BdeP score would make my 5 (that's 3 in the 5).
BLOW OUT is an absolute classic film and score for me.
Donaggio's music really adds to the drama and pathos of the whole thing, from the gentle/simple Love Theme for Jack & Sally (no, this isn't THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS) to the operatic extended climax through the Liberty Bell parade and the devastating finale. Absolute 5 STAR stuff.
Those 4 are easy.
Picking number 5 is REALLY HARD.
There are so many others I adore.
BODY DOUBLE, if only for that amazing Telescope tune. I know normal people who have commented on how great that piece of music is.
DON'T LOOK NOW, for its creepiness and sad beauty and also its significance in Donaggio's career.
But I think the last slot would have to go to DON CAMILLO for the very thing I love about Pino Donaggio.
That eclectic nature of his scores.
This one has elements of pop, synth and Catholic church music alongside his trademark orchestral beauty and lightness of touch. Just sublime.
And those 5 don't contain one of my absolute favourite individual cues by Pino...Chiesa Cattolica from I Banchieri Di Dio (The Bankers Of God)...pure bliss to me.
But anyway...that's enough from me...let's hear your Pino Donaggio Faves...and why.

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 5:24 AM   
 By:   Prince Damian   (Member)

As I'm not as big a fan, as you, kEv ,my summary will be less elaborate. So-

1. Zelly and me- coz it's lovely and either the first Pino score or first Pino cd I bought. I think.
2.La Monaca di Monza- love the choral writing and it's different than Ennio's.
3.Catacombs- again love the choral stuff.
4. Hercules - you may recall I like Italian muscle man cheese. And this film is 10 kilos worth. The music is lively, jaunty, new(er) take on the oldies.
5.Corruzione Al Palazzo di giustizia- I love the Italian police films and this Pino's spin on a favourite.

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 5:49 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Don't Look Now (1973)

Zelly and Me (1981)

Blow Out (1981)

Body Double (1984)

Hercules (1984)

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 6:08 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

Antonio guerriero di Dio
Dressed to Kill

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 6:36 AM   
 By:   Mark   (Member)

1.The Barbarians. I guess it must just be me that loves this score
2. Piranha
3. Mysteries of the Black Jungle
4. The Howling
5. China 9 Liberty 37

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 6:58 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

Carrie is surely in my top ten scores by anybody, of all time. So that's a big one.

Dressed to Kill is one of the only scores I ever bought "film-unseen," by mail order from Starlog. And I liked it.

Beyond that, I'm not familiar with what I'm missing.

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 8:07 AM   
 By:   First Breath   (Member)

This theme is wonderful:



 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I've met the man, and I've heard bit and pieces over the years, but so far haven't had that one BIG walkthrough of his career to have total overview. It's been on my to do list for a long, long time. But from what I have, CARRIE wins. Then maybe DRESSED TO KILL, DOMINO, THE ORDER and PASSION.

I had the DEJA VU/GOING BANANAS/ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE triple score CD several years ago, but I believe I either sold or traded it with another FSM member in the early 2000s; name escapes me at the moment. I've had a few other Donaggios too, that for one reason or another have left my collection.

Those, as well as other Donaggio scores, will need to be reassessed soon.

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 9:19 AM   
 By:   Timothy J. Phlaps   (Member)

There's an interview with Donaggio where he says that he couldn't say no to a director who owned fifty of his scores. I'm up to sixty six, so I'm hoping I can get a feature off the ground while he's still working.

A lot of my favourites have already been mentioned, but I'll add HOME MOVIES and NERO VENEZIANO as well.

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 9:33 AM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

Great writeup HG! I hadnt even heard of JENATSCH before. Listening to a suite now - very nice.

1. Piranha - gravitated towards this theme when I was young, still my favorite of his
2. Carrie - great main theme of course, I always loved the dark chapel vibe for when the house is collapsing at the end.
3. China 9 Liberty 37 - once again really great theme, I found myself reaching for this one a lot in college to bring up my spirits.
4. Dressed To Kill - love the extended museum cue particularly
5. Nero Veneziano - all the things I love about Pino are here - wish the CD was mastered better

I also second the praise for Hercules and The Barbarians. Lots of fun

I have most of his score releases (except for Jenatsch apparently!) and enjoy them all. Except maybe Tchin Tchin - I recall hating that one lol

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 11:45 AM   
 By:   DS   (Member)

1. Carrie
2. Tourist Trap
3. Dressed to Kill
4. The Howling
5. Raising Cain / Blow Out

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 12:13 PM   
 By:   spook   (Member)

Tricky this but…
1. DRESSED TO KILL….. just amazing score. That ‘Museum’ track is just musical brilliance the way it builds, and his own take on the ‘Psycho’ style…magic!
2. BLOW OUT … that main theme… still brings a tear to my eye.
3. TOURIST TRAP…..Had the LP long before i ever saw the film and found it all so insanely catchy.
4. CRAWLSPACE…..There’s just something about this…. Perfect for the twisted wee film.
5. Can’t believe Im not going to say The Howling but he did a film ( which ive never seen) called DEMON IN MY VIEW which i find myself often going back to so..that one.
— (Honourable mention….. have to get it in somewhere..DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK)

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 12:14 PM   
 By:   Tobias   (Member)

There's an interview with Donaggio where he says that he couldn't say no to a director who owned fifty of his scores. I'm up to sixty six, so I'm hoping I can get a feature off the ground while he's still working.

A lot of my favourites have already been mentioned, but I'll add HOME MOVIES and NERO VENEZIANO as well.

I only own 7 soundtracks of his...and I like all of them (more or less). So which ones do I own you may ask?
I have these ones:
Appointment With Death
The Howling
Never Talk To Strangers (unfortunately only 3 score cuts)
The Order (my favorite of them all)
Raising Cain (my first Donaggio soundtrack purchase)
Seed Of Chucky
and Un Delitto Poco Comune and my copy of that is signed by the director (actually the story behind this purchase is that I knew I was going to meet Ruggero Deodato but had nothing by him....and then over at Screenarchives where I usually buys my soundtracks I happened to see that they had this so I ordered it just for Deodator to sign it).

Ofcourse I do have lots of compilation albums where his music appears on so I do have more music by him but those are the only soundtracks so far.

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 12:54 PM   
 By:   Timothy J. Phlaps   (Member)

So which ones do I own you may ask?

I guess it's actually 64 since the Japanese BLOW OUT is an LP rip I downloaded and DOMINO is digital release.

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 1:23 PM   
 By:   Michael_McMahan   (Member)

In case you are interested in Milano Palermo Il Ritorno, which I didn't see in your collection, I see it's currently pretty cheap on Amazon ($7.99!)

 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 6:13 PM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

Excellent post K! Knew I'd eventually chime.

Donaggio is very important to me, thanks to the VHS era. So here goes....

BODY DOUBLE - I still hold this in my top faves, since most of the first half is just score & image. It was nice to hear 'Telescope ' in a pivotal moment in AIR, last year.

THE HOWLING - I saw this around 10 on tele and besides loving the film, something about this one really got to me. Really varied score and Perfect use of that grand, Gothic organ.

DRESSED TO KILL - Classic "romantic suspense" and more memorable set pieces where DePalma let's Pino drive.

CARRIE - Almost begrudgingly adding this since everyone has, but what can I say. I play it often, it's a perfect score in the film (School in Flames and the Herrmann Murder nods aside). The right way to do horror.

TOURIST TRAP - Mybe not even one of his best works, but again - played to death over the years and it's very effective in the creepy film.

Honorable Next 5:
Deja Vu
Dont Look Now
Raising Cain

Essential Album:
Donaggio/DePalma on Milan - you MUST get the French issue, not the US one, for what's included, despite losing two Raising Cain tracks (not re-recorded, just album tracks), and an extremely powerful reading of 'The Museum' from DtoK. Actually it's so good, might make the NYC album recording tough to go back to...


 Posted:   Jan 25, 2024 - 6:17 PM   
 By:   GoblinScore   (Member)

1.The Barbarians. I guess it must just be me that loves this score
2. Piranha
3. Mysteries of the Black Jungle
4. The Howling
5. China 9 Liberty 37

Nope, I'm in too Mark. I love The Barbarians. The sound mix on the cd alone is just ear candy. Just love it, even Ruby Dawn.
Ahhhhhwooooo!!!(the head swinging bit, Roger F. even references on the cd liner notes).

 Posted:   Jan 26, 2024 - 2:00 AM   
 By:   Hurdy Gurdy   (Member)

Thanks for the replies folks.
Enjoyed reading them.
Cool collage Tim.
Although there are about 5 on there I don't have (including Cosi Fan Tuti/Senza & La Buca) there are quite a few more I do have (some are nice CD boots like JENATSCH, HOTEL COLONIAL, OVER THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE expanded) making me think my Pino collection must number 70 odd (I will have to check the cave). I also have a lovely CDR of the INDIO LP produced by a friend.
A couple missing from your list I would recommend are IL MIO WEST and MYSTERIES OF THE DARK JUNGLE (I misteri della giungla nera). The SISSI TV series score CD is really nice as well.
Oh, and BARBARIANS is a LOTTA fun.

 Posted:   Jan 26, 2024 - 2:48 AM   
 By:   Hurdy Gurdy   (Member)

I have that Japanese BLOW OUT LP too, but never sought a CD transfer of it once the actual BLOW OUT score was released on CD (by Prometheus then Intrada).
Although I've since got rid of my LP collection, I did keep hold of a few, purely for nostalgic purposes (my first JW's STAR WARS/SUPERMAN double LPS with lovely colour inserts, CE3K, JAWS, THE REIVERS and ST-TMP, plus any that still might be LP only...e.g NO MERCY by Alan Silvestri).
That BLOW OUT LP is a keeper. Lovely packaging and that colour fold out liner/booklet with nice stills from the film.
Plus, I imagine it's worth a few bob...especially these days.

 Posted:   Jan 26, 2024 - 2:51 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Although I've since got rid of my LP collection,

You did WHAT?!? Was that before the new LP craze?

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