Music Friday: ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ With Ennio Morricone

Welcome to Music Friday, when we bring you wonderful songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today we have one of the most famous musical compositions in the history of cinema: “The Ecstasy of Gold” by Ennio Morricone.

This work is part of Morricone’s brilliant score for the 1966 film, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” and movie buffs may remember how it added drama to the climactic scene when Tuco (Eli Wallach) is frantically searching a massive dustbowl cemetery for the grave that holds $200,000 in gold coins. The movie starred Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Wallach in the title roles.

Critics have called Morricone’s “The Ecstasy of Gold” one of the most triumphant, ecstatic and uplifting pieces of music you’ll ever have the good fortune to hear.

Incidentally, our younger readers may recognize “The Ecstacy of Gold” as the stirring music behind the opening credits of 2006’s “Jackass 2,” where Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Bam Margera and the misfit crew are shot in slow motion as they are being chased by bulls.

The original movie soundtrack to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” was unusual because the instrumental compositions contained the sound of gunfire, whistling and yodeling. The breakthrough soundtrack was a commercial and critical success, topping out at No. 4 on the Billboard pop album chart.

We hope you enjoy “The Ecstasy of Gold” – an amazing song that, despite having no lyrics, is performed by a huge chorus and backed by a full orchestra. Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy!

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