The Oscar-winning creative Ennio Morricone was a figure who had a truly unparalleled career in his field and is rightly considered to be one of the most celebrated composers of all time, one whose influence transcended genres with New Order citing the late Italian as inspiration for their timeless classic ‘Blue Monday’.
Morricone, who has scored no fewer than 500 films during his prolific and highly impressive career, built his reputation by working alongside his iconic countryman Sergio Leone on a number of the director’s pioneering spaghetti western films.
It was in 1966, when working alongside Leone on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, that Morricone would establish himself as one of the all-time greats. His score for the western is still widely considered to be greatest of all time and remains the ever-present example of the perfect collaboration between director and composer.
Arctic Monkeys even sampled the great Morricone’s iconic score on the 1966 film on their epic 2007 track ‘505‘, a number which arrived as the finale on their second album Favourite Worst Nightmare. However, it wasn’t just the Sheffield band who were directly influenced by the Italian composer and New Order have also cited him as an inspiration.
Founding member of the group, Peter Hook, revealed in a BBC documentary that focussed on the band a number of years ago, about how Morricone helped shape his bassline on the seminal ‘Blue Monday’. Hook stated: “To be honest with you, it sounded too good and the order by punctuating it by the drum breaks, keyboard breaks and building up strings etcetera, it started to sound like a song.
Hook then added: The last thing that was put on it musically was the six-string bass guitar, I’d been listening to Ennio Morricone.” The former Joy Division bassist then performed an example of Morricone’s distinct sound on his six-string before saying: “This sounds great on the film, the Clint Eastwood film (For a Few Dollars More) and it sort of stuck in me, it’s one of those riffs that you carry round with you.”
Following the passing of Morricone, Hook took to social media to pen his tribute to the one-of-a-kind composer: “I remember well being blown away by Ennio Morricone’s music on so many films. We would then spend hours trying to get that guitar sound – on Elegia & Sunrise specifically – and of course, he was the inspiration for the Blue Monday bassline. Thank you Ennio & rest in peace.”
Watch footage of Hook speaking about Morricone, below.