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Soundtrack review: Lone wolf McQuade (Francesco de Masi, 1983)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Lone wolf McQuade (Francesco de Masi, 1983)


If Chuck Norris was born in a cabin built by him, my love for movies has a first brick laid by Chuck Norris.  This is the first movie I ever saw or, better said, I ever caught a glimpse of. “Lone wolf McQuade” really is one of my earliest memories. I just remember the first house I lived in with my parents and this movie playing on TV…I have its first scene and some of the others imprinted in my memory right there with the playground of my kindergarten or the color of the beds inside.
The score was composed by Francesco De Masi. Even though De Masi was one of the very few composers who actually started writing spaghetti western scores before Ennio Morricone, therefore developing his own distinct style, the score for “Lone Wolf McQuade” borrows a lot from the Maestro’s works. From the whistling that first appears on “Main titles” to the harmonica that ends the movie, passing through quite a few motifs heard before in scores like “Once upon a time in the west” for example, one can recognize Morricone’s influence in this score.
These borrowed parts though only make a good score even better. I can go as far as saying that “Lone Wolf” is my favorite non Morricone western score. The main theme, which recurs in a few different versions, is solid and catchy. “Lola and McQuade” can sit right up there with my favorite Morricone/ Edda del Orso tracks, “Observation of life” is a wonderful combination between an old school 40s romantic film cue and the immortal western harmonica. This cue is my favorite from the score; it’s a proper Western hero theme song, powerful, intense and unforgiving.
The score ends with two epic cues, “The final conflict” and “End credits” very suited for the battle between the two larger than life characters of Chuck Norris and David Carradine. This was the first “final fight” I ever saw, and although I’ve seen hundreds more since then, I’ll never forget it…
“Lone wolf McQuade” is one of the more memorable western scores. It does borrow a lot from Morricone’s works, but it’s hard to find a score in that genre that doesn’t…It’s a more than enjoyable listen and it has a high sentimental value for me.
My ratings:
Cue rating: 77 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 43 / 58
Album excellence: 74%
Cues to listen to:
Main Titles
Observation Of Life
Jefe  Loses Teeth
Guns And Super Chargers
Lola’s Theme
A Meeting With Snow
Lola And McQuade
It’s OK , Kid
Lola Comforts McQuade
I’m Going To Miss You , Honey
The Big Conflict
The Final Conflict
Lone Wolf End Credits

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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