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Ennio Morricone RIP: 13 Artists And Writers On Their Favourite Morricone Compositions
Patrick Clarke , July 6th, 2020 13:51

As news breaks that the prolific and acclaimed composer Ennio Morricone has sadly died at the age of 91, we compile a Baker's Dozen of artists and writers on their favourite work by Il Maestro, from Jane Weaver and Blanck Mass to Årabrot and Rachel Zeffira


tQ’s David McKenna on Se Telefonando

Lyrics-wise there's little in 'Se Telefonando' to leave you sobbing. A brief description of a nocturnal seaside encounter, before fickle Mina - considered the Italian pop voice of the 20th century - ponders the many ways she might dump her new beau if she had the guts. So the line "our love grew too quickly" might make you wonder whether she's more scared of his feelings or hers, but what counts here is the sheer dynamic intensity of both song and voice. The best 60s big ballads can be terrifyingly intense, vertiginous (take also The Righteous Brothers' hair-raising rendition of 'Ebb Tide') - they bring you to the precipice and leave you with tears streaming down your cheeks and your stomach turned over, awestruck and fearful before the sublime. I'm terrible on rollercoasters, to be honest, but a sick ride like 'Se Telefonando' is one I'm happy to take repeatedly. A pretty intro, one verse, brief bridging section and then WHAM! BIG CHORUS! ONLY CHORUS IN FACT! FOR THE REST OF THE SONG! It's Ennio Morricone who's responsible for the music, who designed it as a platform for Mina to demonstrate her prowess; the melody line, which anticipates his theme for 'The Mission', yanks you up and down the scale and through hugely dramatic key changes. It throws you around like a rag-doll, you're a puppet on a string. That chorus could last an eternity but, before you know it, 'Se Telefonando' is through with you. Maybe just one more time round...