ALMOST THERE | ISSUE FOUR
Ride ’em, cowboy!
The soundtrack to a Spaghetti Western that does not exist.
No. 2: Marden Hill, ‘The Execution of Emperor Maximillian’.
The second instalment of my soundtrack for an imaginary Spaghetti Western is taken from Marden Hill’s first album, Cadaquéz. Sadly I have not been able to find out anything of note about Marden Hill. Indeed the only thing I know for sure about this ‘artifactual pop art group’ (and no, I don’t know what that means, either) is that they were closely associated with the legendary independent label él records.
él was founded in 1984 by Mike Alway, a veteran of the indie label scene, and specialised in quirky whimsical pop, much of which seemed to be inspired by sixties movie and TV theme tunes. One music critic described él as “a world where The Avengers’ John Steed seems to be creative controller and where Emma Peel works in the A&R department.” And when you listen to the music by the likes of The King of Luxembourg, Louis Philippe, The Mayfair Charm School and The Would-be-Goods, you can see where he was coming from. Despite releasing some high quality music the label was too specialised to be a commercial success and by 1988 had fizzled out. It has since been revived under the umbrella of Cherry Red records and much of its back catalogue is still available on CD.
Japanese film poster for A Fist Full of Dollars.
The intro to The Execution of Emperor Maximillian always reminds me of a certain scene from For a Few Dollars More. It’s probably meant to.
Click on the Dansette to listen to
The Execution of Emperor Maximillian