Ennio Morricone, the Oscar-winning composer of "The Ecstasy Of Gold", the song from the classic film "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly" which has been opening METALLICA live shows since 1983, has died. He was 91.
According to Morricone's longtime lawyer, the composer died early Monday in a Rome hospital of complications following a fall, in which he broke a leg.
In response to the news, METALLICA wrote on social media: "R.I.P. Ennio Morricone, Your career was legendary, your compositions were timeless. Thank you for setting the mood for so many of our shows since 1983."
METALLICA frontman James Hetfield added in a separate post: "The day we first played 'The Ecstasy Of Gold' as our new intro in 1983 it was magic! It has become apart of our blood flow, deep breathing, fist bumping, prayers and band huddle pre-show ritual ever since. I have sang that melody thousands of times to warm up my throat before hitting the stage. Thank you Ennio for pumping us up, being a big part of our inspiration, and a bonding between band, crew, and fan. I will forever think of you as part of the METALLICA family. R.I.P. Maestro Morricone."
Back in the mid-1980s, Hetfield explained why he and his bandmates chose "The Ecstasy Of Gold" as their intro music.
He said: "Originally we had a really dreadful tape as our intro. Just the sound of a heart with the beat getting faster. Rubbish. Then our manager at the time came up with the idea of replacing it with 'The Ecstasy Of Gold'. And from the first time we used it, something happened. It just set us up for the night, and got the fans excited."
METALLICA eventually recorded a metalized cover version of "The Ecstasy Of Gold" for inclusion on a tribute to Morricone, also featuring some of the greatest names from the worlds of contemporary pop, rock, jazz, and classical music. It was released in February 2007 via Sony Classical.
METALLICA played "The Ecstasy Of Gold" live for the first time ever in July 2009 at the Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark.
R.I.P. Ennio Morricone
Your career was legendary, your compositions were timeless. Thank you for setting the mood for so many of our shows since 1983.
The day we first played “The Ecstasy of Gold” as our new intro in 1983 it was magic! It has become apart of our blood...