Tuesday, April 14, 2015

RCA Victor COMPILATION albums 1963 - 1967

Compilation album according to Wikipedia: A compilation album is an album featuring tracks from one or more performers, often culled from a variety of sources, such as singles, extended-plays, demos and out-takes. The tracks are usually collected according to a common characteristic, such as popularity, genre, source or subject matter. When the tracks are all essentially by the same recording artist, a compilation album is often referred to as a retrospective album.

Compilation albums of Italian-hits suddenly became very profitable to multi-nationals like EMI-Odeon, Ricordi that had its productions released through Chantecler and especially RCA Victor that releasead 'Italia Moderna'in mid-1963 and 'Alta Pressione' soon after.

'ITALIA MODERNA' - BBL-133 (1st) -  March 1963 

1. Tutta la gente (Alessandro Blonksteiner-Marcello Gigante-Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco 
2. La brava gente (Carraresi-Endrigo) - Flavio Carraresi
3. Davanti a me (Giorgio Calabrese-Fontana) - Jimmy Fontana
4. Souvenir a Rialto (Tanzi) - Pierfilippi 
5. Un delitto perfetto d'amore (Migliacci-Carraresi) - Flavio Carraresi
6. Quello che è stato è stato (Migliacci-Fontana) - Jimmy Fontana

1. Lejos me voy (Fidenco-Enriquez) - Nico Fidenco 
2. L'ultimo pensiero (Tell her) G.&F.Brooks-P.Thorpe-M.Anthony; v.: Franchi-Abbate) - Flavio Carraresi
3. L'abbraccio (El abrazo) Joaquin Prieto-Sergio Bardotti - Donatella 
4. La ballata del addio (Amoroso) - Pierfilippi 
5. La mia periferia (Calabrese-Carraresi) - Flavio Carraresi 
6. Aria di neve (Endrigo) - Sergio Endrigo 

'Italia Moderna' was the first compilation album released by RCA Victor in Brazil in March 1963 at the very inset of what was called the Italian music invasion spearheaded by Nico Fidenco's 'Legata a un granello di sabbia' a few months earlier. Fidenco's real name was Domenico Colarossi and his 'Tutta la gente' is the only track here that entered the singles's chart in 1963. 

Donatella Moretti's beautiful Joaquin Prieto composition 'L'abbraccio' had a bit air-play and was covered in Portuguese too. Sergio Endrigo's magnificent 'Aria di neve' was first released here but it only had air-play a year later when it was included in Endrigo's 1st LP and EP 'Annamaria'. 

Most of the songs in this album were released in Italy in 1962; one-third of the album belongs to Flavio Carraresi (born 8 April 1930) who started playing drums at a jazz combo, moved on to rock'n'roll with Adriano Celentano and then wrote songs ('La brava gente' with Endrigo and 'La nostra casa' with Sergio Bardotti which was 'Sapore di sale' flip-side). In 1962, Carraresi worked mainly as a singer and producer for RCA Italiana. Maybe that explains why he's got 4 songs included in the compilation.

Adolfo Filippi aka Pierfilippi (born in Luogo di Romagna on 30 April 1938) has 'Souvenir a Rialto' and 'La ballata del addio' his 45 rpm released under the name RCA Victor, which means the American company still had its original name which was soon changed to RCA Italiana. 

Then Jimmy Fontana (born on 13 November 1934) sings the two remaining songs one of which he co-wrote with his pal Gianni Meccia. 

 the original 'Alta Pressione' released in Italy in late 1962. 

ALTA PRESSIONE - PML-10329 (originally pressed in Italy) -  October 1962

1. La partita di pallone (Rossi-Vianello) - Rita Pavone
2. Guarda come dondolo (Rossi-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello
3. Andavo a cento all'ora (Camucia-Dori) - Gianni Morandi
4. The Madison (A.Brown) - I Quattro di Lucca
5. Una donna come te (Rossi-Robifer) - Roby Ferrante
6. Minuetto twist (Rossi-Polito) - Rosy
7. Quel tuo vestito rosso (Mogol-Marcellos Rigual) - The Latins

1. Go Kart Twist (Pilantra-Morricone) - Gianni Morandi
2. Amore Twist (Bovenzi) - Rita Pavone
3. 
La nave talpa (Rossi-Robifer) - Roby Ferrante
4. Bugiarda (Meccia-Fontana) - Gianni Meccia & Jimmy Fontana
5. Psicotwist (Bonicatti-Latessa) - I Metafisici
6. Be-Bop-A-Lula (Davis-Vincent) - I Quattro di Lucca
7. Dinah (Young-Lewis-Akst) - I Flippers 
Brazilian pressed 'Alta Pressione' had the same sleeve but utterly different content. Rita Pavone's 'Amore twist' was the only track common to the 2 albums. 

'ALTA PRESSIONE' - BBL-150 (2nd) - November 1963

1.  Goccia di mare (Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco
2.  Guarda come dondolo (Rossi-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello
3.  Amore twist (Bovenzi) - Rita Pavone
4.  Se le cose stanno così (Ferzeh-Luis Enriquez) - Sergio Endrigo
5.  Ti ho conosciuto (Rossi-Dansavio) - Rosy
6.  Sole, non calare mai (Migliacci-Meccia-Umiliani) - Gianni Meccia

1.  Sapore di sale (Paoli) - Gino Paoli
2.  Se mi perderai (Fidenco-Tassoni-Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco
3.  Abbronzadissima (Rossi-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello
4.  Stringiti alla mia mano (Fidenco-Crusca) - Miranda Martino
5.  Verrà la luna (Migliacci-Meccia-Umiliani) - Gianni Meccia
6.  So long (Rossi-Claudio-Bezzi-Arden) - Rosy

The songs with titles in yellow bold types are the ones that had good air-play in Sao Paulo at the time. The song with title in light-yellow-bold types is my favourite in the album.

'Alta Pressione' was the 2nd Italian-hits-compilation-album released by RCA Victor in Brazil and it was the first to sell beyond their expectations. It was easily put together at RCA's offices in Sao Paulo: producer Henrique Gastaldello would choose from a pile of 45 rpms just flown-in from Rome the ones he thought would be more palatable to Brazilian tastes... melodic songs in which the public didn't have necessarily to understand the lyrics to appreciate them. Six singles would make up an album.

The title and the sleeve would be the same as the one released in Italy earlier in 1963. As Nico Fidenco was the most successful Italian act in Brazil so far he would open the album with 'Goccia di mare' and have 'Se mi perderai' on the other side. Edoardo Vianello, Rosy and Gianni Meccia would have 2 songs each. 'Sapore di sale' would be track 1 on B side plus single tracks from Rita Pavone, Sergio Endrigo and Miranda Martino.

Gino Paoli's beautiful ballad 'Sapore di sale' turned out to be the most popular track having sold a lot of singles too. Edoardo Vianello's 'Abbronzatissima' reached Top 5 too. 'Se le cose stanno così' was B-side to Endrigo's paramount 'Io che amo solo te' that would finish 1964 as the 2nd best-selling single in Brazil.

'Alta Pressione' (High pressure) was actually the title of a RAI-TV youth-oriented programme aired on Saturday evenings from 16 September 1962 to 13 October 1962. As RCA Italiana had a few of their acts like Gianni Morandi, Rosy, Roby Ferrante, I Quattro di Lucca, Edoardo Vianello and new-face Rita Pavone prominently placed in the weekly show they soon released a compilation album bearing the same title. But Brazilians lived on the other side of the Atlantic and had their own reality... so everything was done differently.

My favourite track is doubtless 'Stringiti alla mia mano' an ethereal hymn to ever-lasting love written by Nico Fidenco and sung magnificently by beautiful Miranda Martino. Fidenco had a few very inspiring moments in his song-writing. He must have had some direct line with Heaven, Angels and Arch-angels. Compare 'Stringiti alla mia mano' with 'Ciò che rimane alla fine di un amore' (included in the album 'Gioventù') which Nico wrote and sang himself.

Rosy had both songs included in the Brazilian 'Alta Pressione'

Rosy was pseudonym of Rosanna Negri, born in 1941, who had a few mild hits for RCA Italiana but was probably eclipsed by the sheer force of Rita Pavone when she burst her way into show business in late 1962. Rosy as well as Rita recorded 'Ti ho conosciuto'.  


Gioventù's sleeve was made in Brazil with a Brazilian model instead of using an original imported from Itlay. 

'GIOVENTÙ' - BBL-157 (3rd) - March 1964

1.  Se mi vuoi lasciare (Rosario Leva-Gian Piero Reverberi) - Michele
2.  Non è facile avere 18 anni (Andrea Bernabini) - Rita Pavone
3.  Hud (Elmer Bernstein-Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco (from Martin Ritt's 'Hud' with Paul Newman)
4.  Era d'estate (Sergio Bardotti-Endrigo) - Sergio Endrigo
5.  Domani (Paoli) - Gino Paoli
6.  I Watussi (Rossi-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello

1.  Ciò che rimane alla fine di un amore (Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco
2.  Cosa vuoi da me? (Rosario Leva-Gian Piero Reverberi) - Michele
3.  Son finite le vacanze (Pelleschi-Carlo Rossi) - Rita Pavone
4.  Annamaria (Endrigo) - Sergio Endrigo
5.  O mio Signore (Mogol-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello
6.  Basta chiudere gli occhi (Paoli) - Gino Paoli

'Gioventù' was without a doubt the most popular Italian-compilation album released by RCA Victor during the 1960s. It was released at the peak of the Italian music invasion in mid-1964. It went to #1 at the album's chart remaining there for a few weeks vying with Rita Pavone's 'Meus 18 anos' and RGE's 'O Fino da Bossa', a Bossa Nova album recorded live with various artists at Teatro Paramount in Sao Paulo.

It probably wasn't too difficult for Brazilian producer Henrique Gastaldello to make up 'Gioventù's 12 tracks; just get six 45 rpms from Italy and tell the factory hand to turn them into two long-playing sides.


'Gioventù' (Youth) had the best of the Italian music possible at that period. No wonder most of the songs played on the radio non-stop. My favourite is Nico Fidenco's 'Ciò che rimane alla fine di un amore' for the same reason I chose Fidenco's 'Stringiti alla mia mano' the best track in 'Alta Pressione'. Sergio Endrigo's 'Era d'estate' is another tour-de-force even though 'Annamaria' was much more popular. Gino Paoli's 'Basta chiudere gli occhi' (You only have to close your eyes) is as good and as wistful as can be. Michele's 'Se mi vuoi lasciare' was probably the best selling of all when it was released as a single. Edoardo Vianello's 'O mio Signore' is just like a prayer... a powerful prayer sung with the utmost faith.


'VIA TIBURTINA, KM.12' - BBL-164 (4th) - July 1964

1.  Scrivi (Lady love) Charlie Rich; v.: Rossi - Rita Pavone
2.  Con te sulla spiaggia (Mogol-Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco
3.  Ora che sai (Endrigo-Enriquez) - Sergio Endrigo
4.  In ginocchio da te (Franco Migliacci-Bruno Zambrini) - Gianni Morandi
5.  Lei stà con te (Your other love) Claus Ogerman-Ben Raleigh; v.: Paoli-Bardotti - Gino Paoli
6.  Vieni al mare (Ronnie) Martin; v.: Mogol-Testa - La Cricca

1.  Surf delle matonelle (Rossi-Ciacci) -  La Cricca
2.  Non mi chiedi mai (Fidenco-Pedersoli) - Nico Fidenco
3.  Hully-Gully in dieci (Traditional; arrangement: Migliacci-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello
4.  Non te ne andare (Meccia-Fontana) - Jimmy Fontana
5.  Idolo nero (Paoli-Fusco) from 1963 film 'Violenza segreta' - Gino Paoli
6.  Pel di carota (Migliacci-Morricone) - Rita Pavone


'Via Tiburtina, km 12' was the first Italian compilation album I ever bought and it's still my all-time favourite. I loved Rita Pavone's 'Scrivi' with all that intricate female choir call-and-response done lby Nora Orlandi's 4+4 girls that goes on a crescendo to explode into the bridge, subside for a while, and then again build up volume and power up to an ecstasy at the end. I danced to La Cricca's pounding clapping rhythm in 'Il surf delle mattonelle' but I also relished Sergio Endrigo's wistful and mournful 'Ora che sai' and Gianni Morandi's dramatic and almost-symphonic 'In ginocchio da te' (Down on my knees at you). Actually conductor Ennio Morricone did the orchestration for 'In ginocchio da te'.

This album represents the height of the so-called Italian surf-music. Nico Fidenco's 'Con te sulla spiaggia' and La Cricca's 'Il surf delle mattonelle' and 'Vieni al mare' were extremely danceable tracks in the tradition of Pavone's 'Datemi un martello' that was the biggest-selling 1964 single in Brazil.

I used to look at the colourful RCA Italiana building on the sleeve of 'Via Tiburtina, km 12' and dream about being there and meeting Rita Pavone, Sergio Endrigo and the other stars. Italy represented all the good things modern society could provide. They had the best and most lively music on earth.

Brazilian instrumental rock-band The Clevers had been in Italy to accompany Rita Pavone during her Italian summer-tour of 1964. I remember listening to some of The Clevers's members being interviewed by a radio DJ and the most wonderful stories they told about how modern and advanced Italy was. Mingo, the rhythm-guitarrist, said that in Italy there was only young-people's music, There was not a single old-people-act in the whole Peninsula. I fantasized I would one day go to Italy and see that Wonderland. That's how serious some of us Brazilian thought about Italy and its music. This sort of love affair with everything Italian must have lasted a couple of years. Half of 1963, the whole of 1964 and some 1965.


RCA Italiana studios & factory
Via Tiburtina's RCA Italiana building
stuff made of dreams 
RCA Italiana conglomerate seen from the air. 
Gianni Morandi was so young and had such a powerful voice... backed by luscious orchestration written by the genius of Ennio Morricone. 

in 1965 RCA releases 'Benissimo' and 'Ti Amo'; both were best sellers.


'BENISSIMO' - BBL-169 (5th) - March 1965

1.  L'amore mio (Remember me) Shelley Coburn; v.: Migliacci - Rita Pavone
2.  A casa d' Irene (Franco Maresca-Mario Pagano) - Nico Fidenco
3.  Eravamo amici (Shel Carson Combo; v.: Rossi) - Dino
4.  Se ti senti sola (Migliacci-Luis Enriquez) - Giancarlo Guardabassi
5.  Tremarella (Rossi-Alicata-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello
6.  Il mio mondo (Paoli-Bindi) - Umberto Bindi

1.  Ti ringrazio perchè (Sergio Bardotti-G.F.Reverberi-G.P.Reverberi) -  Michele
2.  San Francesco (San Francisco de Asisi) Lake-Green-Marmion; v.: Migliacci - Rita Pavone
3.  La cabina (Rossi-Meccia) - Gianni Meccia
4.  Meglio stasera (Henry Mancini-Migliacci) - Miranda Martino - from the film 'Pink Panther'
5.  Se puoi uscire una domenica sola con me (Guardabassi-Zambrini) - Gianni Morandi
6.  E quanto tempo durerà? (Meccia-Fontana) - Jimmy Fontana

'Benissimo' with a Brazilian model on the cover was released in early 1965 having 11 different acts. Rita Pavone was the only singer with 2 songs 'San Francesco' & 'L'amore mio'. After an overkill of Italian music in the market it seemed like 1965 would be different. Brazilians were hooked on Trini Lopez now with 'Michael' and 'Perfidia' and Trini's 'Latin Album' that played constantly on the radio. Later in the year Elis Regina & Jair Rodrigues would dominate the air waves, so 1965 was turning out a different year.

Nico Fidenco's 'A casa d'Irene' which tells the story of a woman called Irene whose house is a bordello in a desolated row turned out to be the greatest hit in this compilation. An ethereal account minutely told by Fidenco's half-whispered voice of how one can descend into debauchery and meaningless when visiting Irene and her house surrounded by high walls surmounted with shards of bottles: 'sono quei giorni che sembrano fatti di pietra, niente 'altro che un muro sormontato da cocci di bottiglia'... 'it's one of those days that looks like it's made of stone, nothing but a high wall surmounted with glass shards... grey days in a deserted country without a sky'.

Gianni Meccia 'La cabina' was the 2nd hit coming from 'Benissimo'. In the same strain as 'Sapore di sale', a summer hit in which the main subject is life at the beach. Rita Pavone had her last big hit in Brazil for a while with 'San Francesco' a cover of 'San Francisco de Asisi' recorded originally by none other than Trini Lopez the man of the hour.

Michele's beautiful ballad 'Ti ringrazio perchè' (my favourite track in the album) unfortunately was not as sucessful as 'Se mi vuoi lasciare' from the previous year. Brazilian singer Sergio Murilo did a cover but it amounted to nothing. Michele Maisano was actually signed by TV Record to sing a few nights at their theatre in Sao Paulo in early 1965.

Talking about covers, Renato & seus Blue Caps a Brazilian rock-group released 'Tremedeira', a cover of Edoardo Vianello's 'Tremarella' and it played better than the Italian original.

As concerning radio air-play I think it's just about it. Italian hits were becoming sparser by the week. What a difference a year makes... I particularly like Miranda Martino's rendition of 'Meglio stasera' a Henry Mancini tune with added words by Franco Migliacci which was in the sound-track of Blake Edwads' 'The pink panther'. I also like Giancarlo Guardabassi's 'Se ti senti sola' and Umberto Bindi's 'Il mio mondo' which was covered by Egyptian Richard Anthony and British Cilla Black as 'You're my world' (English lyrics by Carl Sigman).


singles that made up part of 'Benissimo'. 


'TI AMO' - BBL-170 (6th) - April  1965

1.  Peccato che sia finita così (Warum nur warum?) Udo Jürgens; v.: Migliacci - Pierfilippi
2.  Il mondo (Meccia-Fontana-Pes) - Jimmy Fontana
3.  Ti amo (Calabrese-G.F. Reverberi) - Sergio Endrigo
4.  Nessun' altra che te (Mogol-Testa-Pallavicini-Renis) - Tony Renis
5.  Ballo della bussola (Zambrini-E.Ciacci-Migliacci) -  Dino
6.  Prima di vederti (G.Paoli) - Gino Paoli

1.  Dopo i giorni dell' amore (Bardotti-G.P.& G.F. Reverberi) - Michele
2.  Solamente mia (Migliacci-Zambrini) - Giancarlo Guardabassi
3.  Se non avessi più te (Migliacci-Enriquez-Zambrini) - Gianni Morandi
4.  Stasera sogno (Lina Wertmüller-Nino Rota) - Rita Pavone
5.  L'uomo che non sapeva amare (Love theme from 'The Carpetbaggers') Elmer Berstein; v.: Pallavicini-Mogol - Nico Fidenco
6.  Vivrò (Ma vie) (Barrière; v.: Paoli-Bardotti) - Alain Barrière

When everyone thought Italians were out there came Jimmy Fontana's 'Il mondo' that went to #1 in the charts. It was covered by Wanderley Cardoso and Luiz Aguiar, Radio Bandeirante's DJ. By mid-1965 RCA released 'Ti Amo', its 6th Italian-compilation album. Its title song written exquisitely well by Giorgio Calabrese and Gianfranco Reverberi was Sergio Endrigo's farewell to RCA Italiana. Endrigo had signed with Fonit-Cetra and it felt just like a bad omen.

Gianni Morandi's symphonic 'Se non avessi più te' had a bit of air-play and that's all she wrote. Pierfilippi's 'Peccato che sia finita così' was a cover of Udo Jürgens' 'Warum nur warum' that had been in the Brazilian charts a year before done by Britain's Matt Monro as 'Walk away' his follow-up to 'From Russia with love'.

Talking about covers, French Alain Barrière covered his own #1 hit 'Ma vie' in Italian that became 'Vivrò' and Nico Fidenco did what he really enjoyed doing: covering a US movie sound-track theme; this time Elmer Bernstein's 1964 'The carpetbaggers' Love Theme' called 'L'uomo che non sapeva amare' that in Brazil received the title of 'Os insaciáveis'. 

Rita Pavone had a lot of hits from which producer Henrique Gastaldello could have chose but he came up with an idiosyncratic choice: 'Stasera sogno', a short track from Lina Wertmüller & Nino Rota's sound-track of 'Il giornalino di Gian Burrasca' a theme-album released only in Italy to cash in on the successfull mini-series broadcast by RAI from late December 1964 to February 1965. As any Nino Rota melody 'Stasera sogno' (I dream tonight) is a masterpiece in the format of a slow waltz but hardly material for radio air-play. Besides, not a single Brazilian soul would know what that song meant even if one could speak the Italian language fluently. Cultural incongruity running wild. 

Michele's heart-felt ballad 'Dopo i giorni dell'amore' was too dramatic to be a hit on the radio. Besides, Brazilians were more interested in their own brand of rock'n'roll called 'Jovem Guarda' that was dominating Sunday TV viewing as of August 1965.

Young hopeful Dino's 'Ballo della bussola' is my favourite track in the album. An energitic up-tempo rock number written by session-man guitar-man Enrico Ciacci who had doubled up as front man for La Cricca (see 'Via Tiburtina, km 12). Needless to say it didn't have any airplay at all. Maybe if it had been released one year before it would have been different but now young people were looking up to British and Brazilian rock or Brazilian pop music.

Jimmy Fontana's 'Il mondo' went up to #1 in the Brazilian charts. 
some singles that make up 'Ti amo' compilation album.

In 1966 RCA releases 3 compilationalbums: 'Cantagiro', '...E più ti amo' and 'Fortissimo'.


'CANTAGIRO' - BBL-173  (7th) - April 1965

1.  M' hanno detto che (Del Turco-Meccia-Endrigo) - Riccardo Del Turco
2.  La prima festa che darò (Specchia-Grelbin-Carrére) - Rosy
3.  Sulla terra ho solo te (Migliacci-Gian Claudio Mantovani) - Giancarlo Guardabassi
4.  Sono un ragazzo (Rossi-Robifer) - Roby Ferrante
5.  Tutto l'amore del mondo (Migliacci-Enriquez) - Rosy
6.  Il mio mondo (Paoli-Bindi) - Umberto Bindi

1.  Un tuffo al cuore (Rossi-Romitelli) -  Rosy
2.  Dimmi se vuoi (Del Turco-Enriquez) - Riccardo Del Turco
3.  Non ti ricordi più (Bardotti-A. Trovaioli) - Roby Ferrante
4.  Sulamente 'a mia (Migliacci-Zambrini) - Giancarlo Guardabassi
5.  Tu sei sempre (Rossi-Robifer) - Roby Ferrante
6.  Da' retta a me (Migliacci-Gian Claudio Mantovani) - Giancarlos Guardabassi

'Cantagiro' was released mainly because there was a South American tour of some ARC's (an RCA Italiana's subsidiary) new faces and they needed to have some exposure in South America. RCA Italiana must have sent word of the intended tour to the Brazilian subsidiary but in the end of the 6 young entertainers who actually made it to Brazil and Argentina only 2 acts were in the compilation album: Giancarlo Guardabassi and Riccardo Del Turco. Singer-song-writer Roby Ferrante (of 'Alla mia età's fame) and Rosy never made it to South America even though they had half the album between themselves. 

The tour called 'Festival Juvenil da Canção Italiana' (Youth Festival of the Italian Song) had besides Guardabassi & Del Turco, Mary Di Pietro, Jenny Luna, Stelvia Ciani and Mario Anzidei. The Argentine counterpart 'Visitas Italianas' (Italian visits) was much more faithful to the tour than the Brazilian album.  

The Brazilian title is misleading too because 'Cantagiro' was the name of a singers's competition that was held in Italy during high summer and none of the songs contained in this album were part of Cantagiro either 1963 or 1964 editions.  

Needles to say, none of the 12 tracks played on Brazilian radio. When assembling the album the Brazilian producer included Umberto Bindi's 'Il mio mondo' which had already been part of 'Benissimo', an earlier compilation. As already mentioned 'Il mio mondo' had a bit of air play and entered the charts sung by Richard Anthony. 

Mary Di Pietro was the most prominent among the 6 Italian acts even though she was not included in this compilation. Miss Di Pietro had a fling with Netinho, The Clever's drummer during the Argentine leg of the tour which was fodder for gossip magazines. Paparazzi caught Mary and Netinho kissing each other at a Buenos Aires night-club and the photos were splashed here and there because allegedly Netinho was still Rita Pavone's sweet heart. 

Coming back to the real world, my favourite track in 'Cantagiro' is Rosy's 'Un tuffo al cuore' which was obviously inspired in Rita Pavone's recording of 'Datemi un martello' with the same chords progression and the 'surf music' feeling to it.  

Giancarlo Guardabassi sings 'Solamente mia' (see 'Ti amo') in the Napolitano dialect which becomes 'Sulamente 'a mia' plus the vigorous 'Da' retta a me' and the strange 'Sulla terra ho solo te'.  

Young Roby Ferrante (born Roberto Di Napoli in Rome in 1942) sings 3 songs; 'Non ti ricordi più' is probably the best. Roby had a high-pitched voice and was a good song-writer under the pen name of Robifer. He had written 'Alla mia età' for Rita Pavone in 1963 and 'Ogni volta' which he shared with his idol Paul Anka at San Remo 1964. Roby died prematurely on 19 August 1966 in Altopascio, where he had driven his Mercedes Benz to see Charles Aznavour and Amalia Rodrigues at La Bussola di Viareggio night-club. By the way Mary Di Pietro died a year later on 29 Settembre 1967 in similar circumstances.  

Maybe Riccardo Del Turco's ballad 'M'han detto che' is the best track in the album, a song he wrote in partnership with his brother-in-law Sergio Endrigo (they were both married to a couple of sisters). Ricardo's trip to South America ended up being beneficial to his career in the sense that while in Rio de Janeiro, Del Turco listened and fell in love with Adoniran Barbosa's 'Trem das Onze' (The 11 o'clock train) sung by Demonios da Garoa. As soon as he got back to Rome he went to RCA Italiana's studios at Via Tiburtina km. 12 and recorded his cover of the Brazilian hit which became 'Figlio unico'... and went straight up to #1 in the Italian charts.    

the Argentine counterpart to 'Cantagiro' was called 'Visitas Italianas'; it included Stelvia Ciani, Jenny Luna, Mary Di Pietro & Mario Anzidei, besides Giancarlo Guardabassi and Riccardo Del Turco that were in the Brazilian album.
Giancarlo Guardabassi sings in Neapolitan; Rosy surfs her way through... 
Roby Ferrante has 3 songs in 'Cantagiro'; Riccardo del Turco opens the album with 'M'hanno detto'.

RCA was running out of ideas and decided to save money getting Michele's 'Se sei sola' Italian LP cover and adapt it as '... E più ti amo' instead of paying some artist at their Art Department to devise a Brazilian sleeve. It was exactly by late 1965 that RCA stopped printing photo-sleeves for their singles and made them all 'standardized' paper-sleeves with a big hole in the middle so that costumers could read the labels to identify the single. Poverty row was slowly but surely being introduced in the record business. More profits for the multinational companies with the poorest possible quality offered in exchange. 

'... E PIÙ TI AMO' - BBL-191 (8th) - October 1965

1. Tu non mi lascerai (Galdieri-D'Anzi) - Nico Fidenco
2.  Supercalifragilistic-espiralidoso (R.M. & R.B. Sherman; v.: Amurri-Pertitas) - Rita Pavone
3.  Sarei felice (Sestili-Mazza) - Gianni Mazza
4.  Ti senti sola stasera (Are you lonesome tonight?) Turk-Handman; v.: Misselvia  - Michele
5.  Parlami di te  (Pallavicini-Vianello) -  Edoardo Vianello
6.  ... E più ti amo (Plus je t'entends) Barrière; v.: Paoli - Alain Barrière

1.  Si fa sera (Amurri-De Martino) - Gianni Morandi
2.  Le cose più importanti (Bardotti-Dansavio) - Gianni Mazza
3.  C'è una strana espressione nei tuoi occhi (When you walk in the room) DeShannon; v.: D.Shapiro - The Rokes
4.  Plip (Migliacci-Mantovani-Meccia) - Rita Pavone
5.  Quatro stagioni per non amarti (Camucia-Sentieri) - Alain Barrière
6.  Pensiamoci ogni sera (Boncompagni-Fontana-Pes) - Jimmy Fontana

The 3rd Italian compilation album released by RCA Victor in 1965 was a bit of an anti-climax. Gianni Morandi's 'Si fa sera' was the only hit out of the album. Actually, the title-track '...E più ti amo' which is a cover Alain Barrière did in Italian of his own French hit 'Plus je t'entends' played quite a lot on the radio and had at least 2 Brazilian covers that did very well in the charts: 'A tua voz' belted out by Agnaldo Rayol and played instrumentally by rock-band The Clevers

French singer-song-writer Alain Barrière had just been #1 with 'Ma vie', visited Sao Paulo performing at TV Tupi and proved he could sing well in Italian too.

Rita Pavone who had taken Brazil and South America by storm in 1964 was rapidly going down the drain. 1965 was almost over and Pavone hadn't had a hit yet even though she had had a second tour in April. 'Supercalifragilistic espiralidoso' was a terrible recording, a cacophonous ogre to be avoided at all costs. It's hard to understand how Rita could have been misled into recording such a dud. It was straight from 'Mary Poppins' sound-track but it was a loser from the start. It may have been 'cute' in the movie but it was sore to the ears of any civilized person. Pavone's second serve, 'Il plip' wasn't much of an improvement either. Another 'cute' kid's tune that went #1 in Italy but that doesn't mean it's good. It is noisy, discordant and strident. 'Sgradevole' as Italians would certainly say. Rita Pavone couldn't have made a worse career move. No wonder young people were staying away from her in droves. Young Brazilians were being attracted by The Beatles and the Brazilian native rock called Jovem Guarda. Italians would never recover from such a debacle.

'Parlami di te', Edoardo Vianello's entry to San Remo 1965 is undoubtedly the best track in the album. Françoise Hardy's rendition (released her by Vogue-Mocambo) is even better but the song was lost in a sea of Anglo-American releases, Brazilian pop-music and Brazilian native rock. Times were a-changing too fast. Elis Regina, a brand-new Brazilian bomb-shell started compering her own weekly TV show on 24 May 1965. Brazilians were looking inwards instead of outwards.

Michele who had visited Brazil in January did 'Ti senti sola stasera' a cover of 'Are you lonesome tonight?' that Elvis Presley recorded in 1960 when he had left the Army. Everyone knew Michele was an Elvis fan but that didn't mean he had to cover a 5 year-old hit.

Gianni Mazza was a new talent but his 'Sarei felice' is a carbon-copy of Nico Fidenco's 'Ciò che rimane alla fine di un amore' (see 'Gioventù'). 

It seemed like Nico Fidenco, a solid hit-maker until recently, had lost his funk and was lost in the desert like everyone else. 

British band The Rokes who were signed by Pavone's manager-producer Teddy Reno were a breath of fresh air but their 'C'è una strana spressione nei tuoi occhi' a cover of Jackie DeShannon's 'When you walk into the room' didn't actually have any air-play. Suddenly the market was saturated and it was very difficult to break through it. 

'...E più ti amo' is the first Italian compilation-album that bears producer Henrique Gastaldello's name on the back-cover. At least now we knew who was behind it.  


In 1966 a RCA releases only one Italian compilation album: 'Fortissimo'.


'FORTISSIMO' - BBL- 198 (9th) - April 1966

1.  Fortissimo  (Lina Wertmüller-Bruno Canfora) - Rita Pavone
2.  Ascolta nel vento (The wind will carry them by) D.Shapiro; v.: S.Bardotti - The Rokes
3.  Lontano, lontano (Tenco) - Luigi Tenco
4.  Ora tocca a te (Califano-R.Grieco) - Edoardo Vianello
5.  Mi vedrai tornare (Migliacci-Zambrini-Enriquez) - Gianni Morandi
6.  File d' automobile (Rossi-Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco
7.  Il geghegè (Lina Wertmüller-Bruno Canfora) - Rita Pavone

1.  Notte di Ferragosto (Zambrini-Migliacci-Enriquez) - Gianni Morandi
2.  La notte che son partito (Meccia-Fontana) - Jimmy Fontana
3.  Che cos'è l'amore? (Bardotti-Fidenco) - Nico Fidenco
4.  La sai troppo lunga (Clarioni-Enrico Ciacci) - Rita Pavone
5.  Ci sono cose più grandi (Baghira-Vianello) - Tony Renis
6.  Che colpa abbiamo noi? (Sheryl's going home) Bob Lind; v.: Mogol - The Rokes
7.  La fisarmonica (Zambrini-Migliacci-Enriquez)  - Gianni Morandi

The 9th compilation album had the distinction of redeeming Rita Pavone from malaise & stagnation. 'Fortissimo' was the signing off tune of 'Studio Uno 1966' written by inspirational orchestra conductor Bruno Canfora with words by Lina Wertmüller who directed Pavone's on the TV show and later in her film 'La zanzara'. Everyone and his/her dog wished they had recorded 'Fortissimo' but it was tiny Rita who got the glittering prize. It was about time she did something right. Unfortunately it was the classical case of too little, too late. Not that 'Fortissimo' was too little... but it was too late. By mid-1966, Italian music was on the wane in Brazil. 'Jovem Guarda', a Sunday afternoon TV rock-show compered by Roberto Carlos started on 22 August 1965 and it was getting national attention.

Brazilians also found - like their Italian counterparts in San Remo - they liked song festivals too and a new trend of noisy pop-music-festivals started going wild until the Military Dictatoship that ruled the the country with iron-fisted-hands would make a stop to those after the regime went murderous in early 1969.

Gianni Morandi's ethereal 'Notte di Ferragosto' is indeed an outstanding track with Ennio Morricone's luscious orchestration introduction sounding like a Wagner's overture but differently from 1964's 'In ginocchio da te' and 1965's 'Si fa sera' it didn't have any air play.

The Rokes were at their best with their own 'Ascolta nel vento' and 'Che colpa abbiamo noi?', a cover of Bob Lind's 'Sheryl's going home', but the radio played only Brazilian pop and rock plus Mamas & Papas, Beatles and Rolling Stones.

Nico Fidenco would appear for the last time in a RCA compilation with 'Che cos'è l'amore' and 'File d'automobile' (none of them hit either here or there). Like Sergio Endrigo and Gino Paoli, he left RCA Italiana for Parade, a new label he, Ennio Morricone, Carlo Rossi & Vicenzo Micocci founded in Rome. Nico kept on recording covers of movie-theme like Charles Chaplin's 'This is my song' (Cara felicità) his 3rd single for Parade in 1967 but the buying public kept away from his new products.

On the other hand, Luigi Tenco was poached from Ricordi. Tenco who had great songs and hits like 'Ho capito che ti amo' debuted at RCA with 'Lontano, lontano' a forlorn ditty a bit depressive.

In 1967 RCA is too weary to think and just repeats the previous album title: 'Fortissimo Volume II'...

Luigi Tenco's suicide sounded the death knell of the Italian music in Brazil. This is, of course, only a manner of speaking because other facts contributed to its waning. 

'FORTISSIMO -Volume 2' - BBL-202 (10th) - March 1967

1.  Quando dico che ti amo (Testa-Renis) - Tony Renis
2.  L'amore se ne và (Morina-D'Ercole-Melfa-Atmo) - Carmelo Pagano
3.  C'era un ragazzo che come me amava i Beatles e i Rolling Stones (Migliacci-Lusini) - Gianni Morandi
4.  Dove non so (Dr. Jivago's Lara's Theme) Maurice Jarre-P.F.Webster; v.: G.Calabrese - Rita Pavone
5.  Bisogna saper perdere (Cassia-Cini) - Lucio Dalla
6.  Nasce una vita (Bardotti-Fontana) - Jimmy Fontana

1.  Piangi con me (D.Shapiro; v.: Mogol) - The Rokes
2.  Guantanamera (Pete Seeger; v.: Boncompagni-Marti-Angulo) - Jimmy Fontana
3.  La ragazza di Liverpool (Migliacci-Renis) - Tony Renis
4.  Questa volta (Mogol-Satti-Marchetti) - Carmelo Pagano
5.  Se perdo anche te (Solitary man) Neil Diamond; v.: Migliacci-Bazzochi - Gianni Morandi
6.  Ciao amore ciao (Tenco) -  Luigi Tenco

Reviewing these 10 compilation albums is almost like telling the story of the Italian pop-music ups and downs in Brazil. It started in mid-1963, had its summit in 1964, continued strong in 1965, started its decline in 1966 and continued doing so in 1967. It was a 5-year saga that coincided with my adolescence (I was 14 years-old in 1963) and early adulthood (I was 18 years-old in 1967). It was really important to my cultural buildup.

When I first came upon the modern Italian pop-music mainly through listening to Rita Pavone's two albums after her victorious Brazilian tour in June 1964 and later through these very compilation-albums I have just reviewed it was like finding out about myself and my roots. My Mother had always been proud about being the daughter of Italian parents and she sort of passed that on to us children. But until I came in contact with Italian pop-music I wasn't aware of that.

Suddenly I became more interested about my grand-parents's life-stories. I wanted to know where they had come from in Italy. I started buying Italian illustrated magazines and watching Italian movies. I wanted really badly to learn the language properly and I did the most I could in those 5 years.

Things happened at a break-neck pace. As soon as 1968 started the world went topsy-turvy - inside-out. All at once two Sao Paulo radio stations - Radio Difusora and Radio Excelsior - changed their programming from regular broadcasters to an American-Top-40 format. It was like they had both discovered the wheel simultaneously.

Of course the change had been happening gradually since the advent of The Beatles in 1965 (they were a little harder to 'catch up' in Brazil than in other countries). Then came The Rolling Stones, The Mamas & the Papas, Johnny Rivers, Procol Harum with their ubiquitous 'A whiter shade of pale'... and then all at once 1968 opened the floodgates to all sorts of Anglo-American hits. Italian and European hits were banned to ostracism. But before we go on with the slaughter... let's see what happened at the last days of Pompeii.

Very early 1967, we heard about Luigi Tenco's senseless death. He shot himself in the head in a hotel room in San Remo because his song 'Ciao amore ciao' hadn't made it to the finalists. That was a bad omen!

Luigi Tenco hadn't been exactly at the top of the charts in Brazil. 'Ho capito che ti amo' was Tenco's only popular song in South America - released in Italy in July 1964, it had some airplay in Sao Paulo during 1965. But since Tenco's unprecedented death he became famous overnight and soon 'Ciao amore ciao' started being played non-stop on all radio stations; DJs would translate the meaning of such bleak lyrics and talked about Tenco's despondent look on life. There was a smell of death in the air.

The 2nd hit in 'Fortissimo II' was 'C'era un ragazzo che come me amava i Beatles e i Rolling Stones' (There was a boy just like me who used to love the Beatles and the Rolling Stones) in which Gianni Morandi tells the story of a young American who used to play the guitar, is conscripted by the US Army and ends up in Vietnam killing Asian people and getting killed himself.

But not all was gloom and bitterness. British rock band The Rokes who made Italy their home since 1963, finally made it in Brazil. Their 'Piangi con me' was on top of the charts. Actually, come to think of it, 'Fortissimo Volume II' was the most successful compilation album since 'Benissimo' in 1965. It was just like the lull before the storm.

This was the last Italian-compilation-album I ever bought. As 1968 began things had changed in such a way that I never looked back at Italian music the same way... from then on I looked for comfort in the Anglo-American musical production listening to those 2 radio stations that played Procol Harum's 'Homburg', The Beatles's 'Magical Mystery Tour' and 'Lady Madonna', John Fred & His Playboy Band's 'Judy in disguise', American Breed's 'Bend me, shape me', Dionne Warwick's 'Do you know the way to San Jose?', Brenton Wood's 'Gimme little sign'. Simon & Garfunkel's 'Mrs. Robinson' etc.
Readers' Digest released a box of albums in 1966 in partnership with RCA Victor in which Italian-compilation-albums played a major role. One can spot the sleeves of 'Gioventù', 'Via Tiburtina, km 12' and 'Benissimo' on the box's cover - plus Rita Pavone's 'Ritorna' and LPs by Sergio Endrigo and Nico Fidenco's. Readers' Digest's clients could choose up to 10 albums that would come in that box.

'Sucessos de Nossos Dias' (Hits of Today) was an Italian compilation album especially made for Readers' Digest's 'La Bella Musica Italiana' collection they sold through the magazine. It was pressed in Stereo but unfortunately taken out from Mono masters. 
 A compilation made in heaven; only the very best. 

'SUCESSOS DE NOSSOS DIAS' - BMIS-7 - 1966 from Readers' Digest's release 'LA BELLA MUSICA ITALIANA' especially pressed by RCA Victor

1. Domani (Paoli) - Gino Paoli
2. Ti ringrazio perchè (
Bardotti-G.F. & G.P. Reverberi) - Michele
3. Un uomo che ti ama (Sibema-Bindi) - Umberto Bindi
4. A casa d' Irene (Maresca-Pagano) - Nico Fidenco
5. Meglio stasera (Henry Mancini-Migliacci) - Miranda Martino
6. Se puoi uscire una domenica sola con me (Guardabassi-Zambrini) - Gianni Morandi

1. Il mondo (
Meccia-Fontana-Pes) - Jimmy Fontana
2. O mio Signore (Mogol-Vianello) - Edoardo Vianello
3. Annamaria (Endrigo) - Sergio Endrigo
4. Sul cucuzzolo (
Rossi-Vianello) - Rita Pavone
5. La cabina (Rossi-Meccia) - Gianni Meccia
6. Se ti senti sola (Migliacci-Enriquez) - Giancarlo Guardabassi 

No comments:

Post a Comment