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Game Music of the Day: Red Dead Revolver

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.


May 20, 2010

 

Game: Red Dead Revolver

Song: Lo chiamavano King (aka His Name was King)

Composer: Luis Bacalov

     
Above: Lo chiamavano King from Red Dead Revolver

This week's release of Red Dead Redemption has put us on something of a Western kick lately, and with good reason: it's an amazing game. As amazing as it is, however, there's one thing from its predecessor, Red Dead Revolver, that we really miss: the soundtrack. While it wasn't heavily advertised at the time, one of the original Red Dead's coolest features was that its music was licensed from old spaghetti-western and exploitation films. And while we don't normally cover licensed tunes in this feature, the game had such a uniquely badass sound - and used such relatively obscure tracks - that we think we can get away with it, just this once.

At the centerpiece of the game was its awesome opening theme, which immediately set the game's grim-yet-ridiculous tone and gave us dramatic introductions to every major character.

As it turns out, the Red Dead Revolver theme is also the opening theme to a 1971 Italian western called Lo chiamavano King (translated as "His Name was King"), which starred Klaus Kinski. And being a theme, there are several versions of it floating around, one of which even has vocals. In RDR, it was joined by music lifted from nearly 30 different films (not all of them westerns), all of which we assume were hand-picked by Rockstar for their memorable awesomeness, like this theme from Suor Omicidi (translated as "Killer Nun"), composed by Alessandro Alessandroni.


Above: Ignore what the title splash says, it's wrong

Great as the music was, though, there's one piece that we're a little sad didn't make the cut, even though it was featured in one of the first trailers for the game (back when it was still a Capcom project): the theme from "Vamos a Matar, Companeros!," a 1970 film with a kickass trailer of its own and a title that translates to "let's go kill, companions!," making its Ennio Morricone-composed theme song a perfect (if somewhat shrill) accompaniment to every action game ever.

 


Game music of the day: Castle of Dragon 
Title-screen theme by Shotaro Sasaki. Turn your speakers down a little for this one - it starts out shrieky

 

Game music of the day: Super Adventure Island
Chillaxin' beats from Yuzo Koshiro

 

Game music of the day: Silent Hill 2
Theme of Laura by Akira Yamaoka

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16 comments

  • JMYoda - July 24, 2010 7:54 p.m.

    Your missing the OTHER theme from Red Dead Revolver, used in the TV spots, a trailer and in the game. "Ballata Per Un Pistolero (from "Il Pistolero Dell'Ave Maria" known in the USA as "The Forgotten Pistolero" - a pretty good Spaghetti Western from 1969 that had some influence on the games plot. The music in that track is so good it's a shock it's not Ennio Morricone but instead Franco Micalizzi and Roberto Pregadio emulating him. I lament that they didn't used the licensed music again for "Redemption" So when I play I listen to a mix of "Revolvers" soundtrack (which was tough to track down) along with a mix of Ennio Morricone's best work and western songs by Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash. I'm a HUGE Western buff (thanks to my Dad) and as I've gotten older I've gotten to be really fond of Spaghetti Westerns. I've collected over 150 Spaghetti Westerns, the majority of which are in the public domain so they show up in lousy prints on compilation DVDs. I recently found a great site - http://www.spaghetti-western.net/ that has helped me track down highly regarded Spaghetti Westerns I'm missing. I do want to add that while the original "Red Dead Revolver" was strictly a comic book homage to Spaghetti Westerns, "Red Dead Redemption" is more realistic and inclusive. It owes as much to the John Wayne/John Ford type of western as it does to Clint Eastwood/Sergio Leone. Since I'm a die-hard fan of both kinds of westerns, I'm thrilled. "Red Dead Redemption" is a classic and has surpassed GTA4 as my favorite 360 game. Oh and I bought my dad a copy and he loves it. (He's 68 and a gamer!) He says it makes him feel like he's a kid playing cowboy again like back in the 50s when he'd see the old westerns on TV and "at the picture show" and then play cowboy with his friends. So screw Rockstar haters. This game is great for everyone old enough to handle the mature content. -Yoda
  • TooSpliced - May 24, 2010 4:26 a.m.

    Omg Red Dead Revolver was my fav game when i had a ps2
  • philipshaw - May 21, 2010 9:31 a.m.

    This was a great game and the soundtrack was equally as good
  • CombatCat120 - May 21, 2010 7:49 a.m.

    Ah Rockstar. They can make everything better with music, whether licensed or original reCAPTCHA: Prisons front LOL
  • garfunkling - May 21, 2010 4:52 a.m.

    love this kinda music. sure is feeling Firefly in here.
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 21, 2010 1:31 a.m.

    Apparently, Mikel has killed Brett and taken over the GMotD. A moment of silence for Brett Elston - Animal Crossing enthusiast and ex-Toys 'r' Us employee.
  • Schuultz - May 21, 2010 12:43 a.m.

    Thanks a lot! Also, this article alone has managed to revive my love for the god o' Italo-Westerns. I remember always watching them with my family Sunday afternoon. I've spent the last hour or so simply YouTue-ing all kinds of trailers for them! Great article.
  • lovinmyps3 - May 21, 2010 12:42 a.m.

    Pretty awesome! Reminds me of Kill Bill. Very spaghetti western! reCAPTCHA: prostitution usual
  • ChuckB - May 21, 2010 12:41 a.m.

    If RDR does become a big hit, I hope Capcom will put force a spiritual successor to their Red Dead Revolver.
  • GamesRadarMikelReparaz - May 21, 2010 12:13 a.m.

    @Schuultz: Well, grooveshark.com has it available for listening, although that's really more of a free music streaming service than a download site.
  • spawny0908 - May 21, 2010 12:13 a.m.

    Lo chiamavano King is my favorite track from Red Dead Revolver
  • NdIGiTy - May 20, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    Great choices from a great soundtrack. I'm personally partial towards some of the tracks composed by Bruno Nicolai, especially a few from "A Bullet for a Stranger".
  • Schuultz - May 20, 2010 11:41 p.m.

    Mikel, do you know where one could download the theme by Ennio Morricone? (Preferably legally, of course)
  • sleepy92ismypsn - May 20, 2010 11:11 p.m.

    Red Dead Redemption is amazing. I went to the game store to buy it and decided to get Red Dead Revolver. I can't wait to play it but right now i'm enjoying the sequel too much.
  • mgkyo666 - May 20, 2010 11:03 p.m.

    *was!
  • mgkyo666 - May 20, 2010 11 p.m.

    Thank you so much Mikel! After picking up Redemption I Really wanted to know what the opening theme for Revolver was'n

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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