Morricone, who scored over 500 films, most famously Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns, died last week following complications from a fall.
One of his best-known compositions ‘The Ecstasy Of Gold’, from the soundtrack to The Good The Bad And The Ugly, has been used by Metallica as their intro music since 1983.
Writing on Metallica’s Instagram, Hetfield said: “The day we first played ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ as our new intro in 1983 it was magic! It has become apart [sic] 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.”
In a seperate post, Metallica said: “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.”
Morricone’s death sparked tributes from across the worlds of music and film, with the likes of Portishead, New Order and Edgar Wright paying homage to the composer.
Meanwhile, Hans Zimmer has paid tribute to his fellow composer, saying: “Ennio taught me that the simplest, purest and honest melody is the hardest to write. That it’s not supposed to be easy, that it’s a profound mission we are on that we must take seriously and humbly when we write music.”