Ennio Morricone

Artist Playlists

About Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone is one of the most successful and revolutionary film composers of all time. ∙ Between 1961 and 2016, Morricone composed roughly 500 scores and classical pieces—practically one a month. ∙ While studying music at Rome’s Conservatory of Santa Cecilia, starting at age 12, he played trumpet in jazz bands to support himself. ∙ He became famous for his scores to Sergio Leone’s “Spaghetti Westerns” A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which were produced for $2 million total and grossed $280 million worldwide. ∙ Starting with A Fistful of Dollars, he embedded his scores with coyote howls, whip cracks, and other visceral sound effects, revolutionizing music for Westerns. ∙ Working exclusively in his native Rome, he composed at his desk in pencil, frequently working not from a rough cut of a film but from just a script. ∙ Morricone didn’t win an Academy Award for Best Original Score until 2015, for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight—eight years after he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Oscar. ∙ He was nominated for seven Grammy Awards, winning four, and his score for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. ∙ The Ramones used his most recognizable song, “The Ecstasy of Gold”—from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly—as the closing music for their shows, and Metallica blasted it over the PA before taking the stage. ∙ Morricone sold more than 70 million records worldwide during his career—3 million of them in the US. ∙ He continued composing until just months before his death on July 6, 2020, at age 91.

Rome, Italy
November 10, 1928