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About Italian Soundtracks

Well, there is a lot to say about Italian soundtracks and it is not easy to decide where to start. Of course we all love this distinctive style of composing and scoring established in Italy from the late 50ies on and praising the wonderful composers of this era (one of the prime examples, Maestro Piero Umiliani died recently in February 2001) is another task, but I want to start with fact information about

Italian OST vinyls (of course I also plan to write abstracts on each label and each of the Cam series and other OST-series to be posted some time in summer on this site, but doing this requires more time than I have just right now):

Italian soundtracks are among the most collectible OST vinyl releases world wide (in my opinion they are the most collectible ones) for various reasons. One reason, that can easily verified on this site, is the FANTASTIC cover artwork most of these LPs feature. The Italian labels (esp the Cam and the Ariete label) put much thought and a great knowledge of (or feel for) style into the cover art of their soundtrack LPs, which is a very surprising fact indeed, since these LPs had extremely low print runs. A fellow once told me that law (in the 60ies) required Italian labels to do at least 300 copies of each recording, and this number is exactly the minimum print run, which was also used by a couple of labels (esp PEGASO and OMICRON LPs were issued in print runs of 300 copies only and are of course impossible to find nowadays). The next very common figure is a print run of 500 copies, which was used by RCA Italiana in the late 50ies and early 60ies and which print run is also mentioned on the back cover in the right lower corner (or left lower corner) of their waxings, were one can find the date of issue and the figure "1000" on the back cover indicating a print run of 1000 copies only.

For the early CineVox label (CinVox MDF 33/1 to around /35) a print run of 500 copies is known and the same 500 copies print run was used for all the PARADE LPs. For the Cam label it is unknown how many copies of each score were manufactured, but it is safe to say that most likely the early Cam Cms-series did only feature 500 copies per recording, whereas the Cam Mag and early Cam Sag LPs might have been issued in 1000 copies per recording.

In any case, whatever the print runs were, they were extremely small and nevertheless an incredible amount of love and care has gone into designing such great record covers and every time I look at certain covers I am surprised, how much care and visual invention was needed and used and available to produce such wonderful visual art.

Unfortunately nowadays, sometimes more than 40 years later, it is practically near-to-impossible to find great copies of these recordings.

The second reason for loving Italian soundtracks is of course the music itself, which is contained in these lovely black grooves. However, I will not start to write about the different styles of composing and the individual composers, since this is info I am going to give which each recording I will describe here.

The third reason why Italian soundtrack LPs are so collectible is of course their great pressing quality. Compared to the pressing quality of many US soundtrack LPs of the 60ies (a wonderful exception to the surface-noise-rule is COLGEMS, maybe the US label with the best pressing quality), Italian soundtracks have a very minimal surface-noise level and if handled with care and not listened to with earphones you will hear practically nothing (only Japanese pressings are still better, but some RCA SP LPs have absolutely the same no-noise level as Japanese vinyls).

Well, enough said and I am running out of time, so stay tuned and visit this site once in a while and I hope you will enjoy your time with


© Wolfgang Jahn, 2001-2008 | Last update: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 16:21:26 GMT
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