Forgotify is a service that randomly selects a song from Spotify that has never been played. I don’t know about you, but I am positively vibrating with excitement.
Once a song is listened to, it is removed from Forgotify’s ranks. Some nay-sayers and people who hate fun have suggested that someday Forgotify will run out of material, but I say, “NO! NEVER!” There are always more of us musicians uploading tunes to Spotify in a desperate attempt at fame and glory. This weekly column will (probably) traverse every genre of music, including the good, the bad, and the hilarious.
This week, I rolled the Forgotify dice and I discovered:
“…e così divennero i 3 supermen del West, seq 3,” by Roberto Pregadio
Let’s make use of my (very) limited Italian: “The 3 Supermen of the West.”
(You can listen to this piece here.)
On first listen, this piece of instrumental music seems to pull from multiple musical genres. I heard rhythms ripped from funk, instrumentation reminiscent of mariachi music (that really brassy, clear trumpet tone is not only delicious, but cultural), and at some points, like at 0:34, I heard a xylophone, which was frequently used in some early jazz and in cartoons.
As if the piece hadn’t already established itself as whimsical, at 1:45 horse clopping is present, along with more of a spaghetti western vibe. This almost sounds like the intro to a terrible 1970s sitcom about cowboys from the city or something.
As it turns out, “The 3 Supermen of the West” is a film from 1973 about three superheroes who get a hold of a time machine and get stuck in the wild west. Excellent. You can take a look at this YouTube montage to get an idea of this film:
An Italian scientist invents a time machine, and the FBI wants in on the deal. They send an agent with two other FBI friends, and they travel to see Pearl Harbor and the Normandy landing, and call back to Kansas in 1867. They travel to the wild west, where a “space criminal” named Navajo Joe (excuse me one moment):
Where was I? Where this “space criminal” steals their time machine so they can’t return to their present time. They then meet a woman who helps them to get back to 1973, and they take her with them because she’s pretty and stuff. The inventor then destroys his invention, and I guess he didn’t make notes of his discoveries because that’s the end of time travel.
This movie came out the same year as “Blazing Saddles,” which somehow makes a lot of sense. I find it amusing that Americans were forever filming westerns in Italy to save on production costs, and here we have superheroes, a staple of American comics, in the wild west….also filmed in Italy. It’s like a meta-spaghetti western.
The composer, Roberto Pregadio, was best known for music from “The Forgotten Pistolero,” a spaghetti western that featured whistling in the film score, which enjoyed a resurgence with inclusion in an episode of SpongeBob Squarepants and several episodes of Ren and Stimpy.
Well, there you have it. I somehow feel like no subsequent weeks will match up to this one: An Italian film about American FBI superheroes getting trapped in the wild west, accompanied by slapstick and ridiculous music. I mean, what could possibly follow that? Tune in next week to find out!