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Italian Soundtracks by Label >> RCA


The RCA 10.000-series

Although - contrary to the C.A.M.-label - RCAs non-commercial soundtrack-series, the RCA SP 8000-series, is better known than all other RCA soundtrack-releases, RCA did in fact entertain a few other soundtrack-series´ as well! At the same time the RCA SP-series was launched RCA Italiana started the RCA PML-series (some releases also feature the prefix LPM) with its first release being Renzo Rosselinis highly acclaimed score "Viva l ´Italia" in a print run of 500 copies only.

Over the following years around a dozen more scores were released, most of them jazz-scores, most of them in 1000 copies only print-runs. However, the releases did not show any distinctive pattern like the RCA SP-series and also the numbering was incoherent and as infrequent as the releases ere spread among other RCA-waxings (in fact the "void" numbers were RCAs main business: non soundtrack-stuff!). The following less than two pages show all th RCA-releases that I am aware of, but I can not say if this representation is anywhere complete since RCAs back-catalogue from the 60ies is - due to its infrequent releases and due to RCAs lack in using marketing tools - moreless lost to oblivion (or how else could anybody become aware of such an obscure but nice 500-copies release as "Settimo parallelo"?). Therefore I especially encourage everybody to share any available info with this sites community by sending e-mails regarding other existing RCA soundtrack-on-vinyl releases!

The most sought-after item from this series is clearly the Piero Umiliani/Chet Baker-collaboration "SMOG", which - issued in a 1000 copies print-run - is practically impossible to find. Thanks God it was re-issued on vinyl (!) in the later 90ies, an issue, which is still findable for reasonable amounts, although as well out of print and soon destined to become a rarity itself (so grab it while it´s still around!). This item is closely followed by the - in my humble opinion - even better jazz-waxing "Paradiso dell´uomo", which was released about a year later and musically accompanied a so-called "mondo"-movie on Japan (Japan as peoples paradise). One of the best jazz-soundtracks of all time! On the other side of the rarity-scale is "Mondo die notte #1", which is admittedly the easiest to find from all the commercial RCA-releases (showing no print-run informationon the back cover), since the movie has been a big box-office success in the earyl 60ies, but ... this non-fold-out-release could well be an "immediate re-issues" cashing in o the movies box office success! Although relatively easy to find in comparison to the other commercial RCA-releases, also this item is a top rarity and VERY much in demand due to its fantastic jazz-grooves and great vocals by top-singer Lydia McDonald! And what makes collectors life even more difficult: I dare to say no M/M copies of this score did survive the test of time! Although I have seen several copies by now, none of them was in better than NM/NM condition, since this waxing was very popular and everybody who owned it was likely to play it frequently (with early 60ies phonographs ... puhhhhh). And that´s not the end: As hinted above, this nice waxing might in fact be an "immediate" (=same year) "re-"issue, because a completely reliable source informed me of the existence of a F/O-version he once owned. Assuming that this info is accurate (I have no reason to doubt it), RCA could well have done a F/O-print run of 500 copies (or less!) first and then re-released another 1000 copies without a F/O-cover or maybe they did both versions at the same time, like they did with Umilianis et al. "Bocaccio ´70" - not yet but soon on this site (there´s an impossible-to-find F/O-version existing and a 1000 copy print run with a "normal" cover).

Another piece of trivia info worth mentioning is that all these releases were in fact high-priced "luxery"-items (as well as all the later RCA soundtrack-releases)! Today one would call them limited collectors editions, but in the 60ies it was just normal for RCA to sell them high priced. How do I know that? Well, RCA was - as well as CAM on its MAG and SAG-series - so kind to print the sales price on the waxings back-cover, which sales price was - already in the 60ies - 2.700 Italian Lire as opposed to CAMs late 60ies/early 70ies price-tag of 1.900 Italian Lire. So in fact RCAs soundtrack-releases were in fact 50%+ more expensive than CAMs releases from 5 to 10 years later!! 2.700 Italian Lire was a "helluva" (smile) lot of money those days and that´s another reason for its low regular sales figures and another reason why RCA did only release very few soundtrack LPs on a commercial basis! Their price was (too) high, the sales figures therefore low and the release numbers dwindling ... the perfect environment for a later ultra-rarity status!

As far as production values are concerned, the pressing quality on heavy vinyl was great, but not as top as the one used for the non-commercial SP 8000-series. The covers were manufactured from strong cardboard as the RCA SP-series releases were, but their commercial counterparts´ covers were unfortunately not laminated. Overall, RCA did invest less care in its commercial releases than in its non-commercial ones! Noble, but not a wise business-decidion!

Last but not least and in fact out of context I have to mention Piccionis follow-up score to the "Mondo di notte" follow-up movie "Mondo di notte #2"! For reasons unknown today this score was not released on RCA Italiana anymore, but on the even scarcer Karim-label. Again a true jazz-masterpiece and an item VERY seldomly seen anywhere. Funnily enough, part # 3 of this series was again released on another label, this time as part of the C.A.M. Cms.-30.000-series and now scored - again with a very jazzy touch - by top composer Riz Ortolani! Again, a grab it when you can-item! In case you´re curious what the term "mondo" does in fact mean, in other words: which genre it describes ... entries on individual Italian movie-genres such as "mondo", "(Italo-)western", "giallo", "horror", etc. ... are planned for 2003!

If you have any questions, that have been left unanswered (and I am sure there are some ...), please do not hesitate to drop me a line e-mail! I answer all questions as fast as possible, plan to collect them and want to put them into a FAQ-section (which is planned for 2003!). The same goes of course, if you have any info or items for sale or trade available!!

AVAILABLE items (visually graded: cover/record; play-graded upon request):

RCA PML 10394: I tre volti        (Piero Piccioni), M-/M-      
Please note: of all the listed items I have only one spare copy available; wants-lists welcomed (trade preferred!).

Il giudizio universale  RCA PML 10295  196   
Paradiso dell´uomo  RCA PML 10xxx  196  Umiliani 
Smog  RCA PML 103xx  196  Umiliani 
Settimo parallelo  RCA PML 10327  196   
Viva l´Italia  RCA LPM 10088  195  Rosselini 
America paese di dio  RCA LPM 10172  1966  Trovajoli 
America di notte  RCA PML 10xxx  196  Giombini 
Al cinema con Armando Trovajoli  RCA PML 10388  196   
I tre volti  RCA PML 10394  196  Piccioni 
Little Rita nel west  RCA PML 10427  196  Poitevin 
Mondo di notte #1  RCA LPM-10078  195  Piccioni 
Mondo di notte #2  Karim KRLP 1001  196  Piccioni 

© Wolfgang Jahn, 2001-2011 | Last update: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 17:41:34 GMT
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