Chris' Soundtrack Corner has scored again with another one of their latest releases, the score to an obscure 1974 crime/drama titled A Pugni Nudi, a.k.a. With Bare Fists.
The film itself served as one of only two directorial credits for Marcello Zeani, and details the exploits of boxer who ends up mixed up with fixed fights and the Italian underworld. Zeani hired the famed composer Franco Bixio-of the equally renowned recording trio of Bixio-Frizzi-Tempera alongside fellow Italian maestros Fabio Frizzi and Vince Tempera-to write the film's score, a funky yet moving selection of cues conducted by Bixio's scoring partner Tempera.
Experienced fans of Italian film scores know full well of Bixio's penchant for hard hitting urban doses of funk, soul and groove and the maestro does indeed deliver those goods here on A Pugni Nudi, yet the score itself actually balances out these bass 'n break driven sections against a swelling backdrop of Barry White-inspired strings. This dynamic is the real selling point here for Bixio's score, as his composed music sees no problem shifting gears from sentimental piano sections ("Where They Reform You," "A Human Outlook") to grooving scene connecting sequences ("Underworld") in the blink of an eye.
It's the track "Dog's Hearth" which is probably the most familiar to Italian poliziotteschi fans, as the track has made appearances on a number of genre cinema compilations over the years, it's musical complexities and odd time signatures making it an instantly recognizable piece. The whole score is worth investigating however, and Chris' Soundtrack Corner has done a great job reissuing the original Cinevox LP with four previously unreleased mixes and alternate versions to create what is the definitive release of A Pugni Nudi to date.
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