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Goblin - Profondo Rosso [Aka: Deep Red]  (OST) CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.91 | 170 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars GOBLIN was and still is one of the most unique bands ever to emerge from the 1970s Italian progressive rock scene and not only that but also has remained one of the most enduring and successful of the entire era due to their almost ubiquitous presence as composers for the fruitful Italian horror movie soundtrack scene. The band's origins date back to 1972 Rome when Claudio Simonetti (keyboards) and Massimo Moranto (guitars) started a band called Oliver with Fabio Pignatelli (bass) however the trio would go through a few lineup changes and emerge from the turbulence as the group Cherry Five which they would record one eponymously titled album that was released in 1975. The band well could have continued under this moniker had it not been for fate intervening.

The tale is an interesting one and all starts out when Italian film director, producer and screenwriter Dario Argento was crafting his project PROFONDO RUSSO (Deep Red), a horror film about a pianist who turns investigator concerning a series of murders executed by a mysterious miscreant who wears black leather gloves. So film noire. The original composer of choice was Italy's own jazz pianist, composer and conductor Giorgio Gaslini however Argento was unsatisfied with the composer's works in relation to the effect he desired that would fit in with his vision. After trying and failing to entice the super popular English band Pink Floyd to write the score, he turned his gaze back to his home land and that's when he discovered the likes of Cherry Five who would soon rename themselves GOBLIN and launched a very unusual career as they would become Italy's premiere horror flick soundtrack composers.

The PROFUNDO RUSSO soundtrack is also unusual in that despite Gaslini having been sacked from the project still ended up receiving credit for the the entire score with GOBLIN listed as mere performers. Three of Gaslini's works were reworked by GOBLIN but the rest is a GOBLIN musical creation from start to finish. This faux pas has since been rectified after the initial releases. Gaslini is also listed as orchestral score and conductor on the original release. At this point in the GOBLIN world, the band consisted of four members: Massimo Morante (guitar), Claudio Simonetti (keyboards), Fabio Pignatelli (bass) and Water Martino (drums) who would soon be replaced by Agostino Marangolo who performed drums on "Death Dies" and would gain permanent membership into the club of all things GOBLIN.

PROFONDO RUSSO established an overall sound and feel unlike any other and with the success of the film launched GOBLIN into the spotlight as one of Italy's most beloved soundtrack composers. Sounding nothing like the previous Cherry Five that preceded, GOBLIN created a unique mix of progressive heavy rock in the vein of King Crimson mixed with elements of jazz, classical, blues and electronic keyboard wizardry. The tracks exuded an instantly addictive quality with repetitive keyboard arpeggios augmenting a rather simple extended blues scale with jazzy drumming and an extra stellar funky bass performance. While the keyboards are more likely to provide an atmospheric presence, in the case of GOBLIN, they were the main actors while the guitar was implemented to create complex harmonic counterpoints over the overall melodic theme. The result of the unorthodox setting was that GOBLIN stood out like a sore thumb and found the perfect musical formula to launch their successful soundtrack album career.

The album was totally instrumental and all the better for it since it evokes a creepy keyboard driven freneticism that creates a unique tension unlike anything experience in Anglocentric soundtracks which more often than not resort to classical constructs. GOBLIN perfectly concocted a jazzy rock driven funky groove that utilized both progressive rock and blues scales to get the job done. This soundtrack was only the beginning of a lengthy and lucrative career but GOBLIN scored a perfect sound accompaniment for a horror flick. While i have yet to experience these sounds in tandem with the flick it was designed for, as a stand alone series of tracks that evoke the emotional responses to the subject matter at hand, GOBLIN hit a home run in my book. PROFONDO RUSSO perfectly examples a more contemporary and sophisticated approach to eking out the desired dreadful shock and awe that the 70s was ushering in. A stroke of luck indeed that Argento chose GOBLIN but the luck was equally in Argento's court for having found them.

BUYER BEWARE!!!! For those not overly familiar with this album, you may accidentally do exactly what did and that is purchase the re-recorded version of this album that goes under the moniker Claudio Simonetti's GOBLIN which was released in 2015. While i'm not complaining that i made this mistake, i was initially irritated beyond belief because the album cover is practically the same and the GOBLIN moniker stands proud with the tiny print of Claudio Simonetti above it. While it may seem obvious that it is a modern version, it is not obvious that only four tracks were re-recorded and four other tracks are remixes of other tracks with the title track appearing three times. A devious trick indeed although in this case both albums are excellent musical experiences. I dislike the misleading approach though so if you want to purchase the original version of this album, look very closely to make sure that it contains the original track listing and doesn't have the Simonetti name attached.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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