The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (2:45)

Cover of The Very Best Of

From The Very Best Of and 38 other releases

“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” is the theme to the 1966 film of the same name, which was directed by Sergio Leone. Included on the film soundtrack as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (main title)”, the instrumental piece was composed by Ennio Morricone, with Bruno Nicolai conducting the orchestra. A cover version by Hugo Montenegro in 1968 was a pop hit in both the U.S. and the U.K.

Ennio Morricone is an Italian composer who has created music for dozens of films. In the 1960s, director Sergio Leone was impressed by a musical arrangement of Morricone’s and asked his former schoolmate to compose music for one of his films, A Fistful of Dollars. This led to a collaboration between the two on future Leone films, some of which came to be referred to as “Spaghetti Westerns”. After a steady percussion beat, the theme to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly begins with a two-note medley resembling the howl of a coyote. Additional sounds follow, some of which symbolize characters and themes from the film. This instrumental composition plays at the beginning of the film. Largely due to the memorable quality of the main theme, the film’s soundtrack peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and it stayed on this chart for over a year.

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