Agente Speciale LK (1967)

Bruno Nicolai
1999, Dagored CD Re-issue

Agente Speciale LK, or Lucky The Inscrutable as I call it, is a strange little film that was directed by Jess Franco, and released in 1967. Just mentioning Franco’s name either conjures up fear or perverse delight. But generally, Franco’s films, despite what you may think of their content, usually had pretty good soundtracks. This one is composed by Bruno Nicolai.

The film itself is a weird hybrid of comic book and spy movies. It stars Ray Danton as ‘Lucky The Inscrutable’, a super hero – spy who wears superman style costume with a large ‘L’ on his chest. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the soundtrack is light hearted and pop oriented – albeit sixties Italian pop, rather than cool spy jazz. It includes some sixties choral singing – Light ‘Bub-adubba-das’ lilt over the top during action sequences – and deep ‘Bum, Bums’ resonate in the title song. The style is more like Hugo Montenegro (Matt Helm phase) than Nicolai’s sometimes partner, Ennio Morricone.

I must admit when I saw the film, I didn’t think the music was that bad at all (hence, why I bought the album), but as a listening experience on it’s own without visuals, I was fairly disappointed. It is quite cheesy in places. But it does take the smorgasbord approach. Unlike some soundtracks which keep repeating the same theme over and over again, here each track is very different. If you don’t like one, you may like the next.

The standout track for me, is ‘Lopagan Island’ which is a jaunty calypso style number with Edda Dell’Orso’s soprano voice warbling over the top. The CD is almost worth it, for this track alone (only it is too short). Who is Edda Dell’Orso I hear you ask? Thanks to her collaborations with Ennio Morricone, on the soundtracks to Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, she is often referred to as ‘The Voice Of Italian Cinema’. You might not know her name, but anyone who has listened to The Good, the Bad & The Ugly or Once Upon A Time In The West soundtracks, will recognise her voice.

The tracks are:
1. Lucky Theme Song
2. Carnival Fanfare & Party
3. Group Therapy
4. Lucky & Cleopatra/Circus Fight
5. Secret Reunion “Lucky Theme”
6. Lucky In Rome
7. Lovely, But Dangerous
8. Spy Chase
9. Parachute Down/Mission Danger/Patrol Pursuit
10. Funny Trains
11. Lucky & Yaka Love Theme
12. Escape & Last Goodbye
13. Lopagan Island
14. Bossa For Lucky/Showgirl Dance
15. Lucky Tango/Lucky & Madame Linda
16. L.K. Shake
17. Gold Glasses/Escape From The Base/Death Of Goldglasses
18. End Titles Lucky Theme Song
19. The Lucky Suite

As each track is so different it is hard to classify or compare this album to something else. On the whole, I find it a bit abrasive. It isn’t smooth ‘lounge music’. If you are a fan of Eurospy soundtracks (and you’ve got spare cash to throw away) if you see it, buy it. It’s worth a listen, and I am sure one of the tracks will grab your attention, but I wouldn’t spend hours searching the net for a seller.

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