In the shadow of Morricone, Bruno Nicolai.
A discreet person, Nicolai (1926 - 1991) is essentially known for being Ennio Morricone's conductor, even though he was also a talented composer who demonstrated his skills throughout a number of film scores, among which quite a few gialli.
"La Coda dello Scorpione" (the case of the scorpion's tail - Sergio Martino - 1971) is one of Bruno Nicolai's very interesting soundtracks, as it's a musical journey into a very diversified mix of styles, from typical italian easy listening to more experimental and intricate tunes.
The main theme in particular is a fantastic musical support for the film's opening scene, where we follow a woman wearing a large red hat in the streets of London, as if we were litterally about to knock on her shoulder. The tune, which I feel was very much ahead of its time, sounds like a crossover between Morricone, Goblin and John Carpenter.
Morricone for the use of what sounds like a harpsichord as the main instrument, the backbone of the music.
Goblin for the scary synthetic sound which blossoms in a sinister way across the score.
And Carpenter for the simplicity, the economy of superfluous effects which gives the melody incredible power and sets up the strong tension within seconds.
Rarely has a soundtrack managed to convey such a strong threatening feeling in such a classy style. Well before Goblin or Carpenter themselves.
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