I recently started the review column LONG PLAY here on movie music international. Which is dedicated to soundtracks that are released onto vinyl. The re-emergence of the LP record and also the single is for many not a surprise because it was a format of recording that was lamented by many when recording labels decided to stop producing them and switch to the compact disc, but with the sales of CD.s declining and listeners opting for downloads and streaming, it was obvious that the long playing record would at some time surface again. I don’t think that labels saw that this would be a format that would become so popular once again in such a short space of times and soundtracks are now being produced and pressed in the vinyl format only in many cases. I for one welcome the LP and dusted off my trusty Technics deck and returned to my collection of vinyl that has I am ashamed to say been neglected, what is it about vinyl? Well I think it’s the actual feel of it, the cover art and also the sleeve notes on the back of the cover or inside in booklet form and even at times the smell of the vinyl. There have been a number of film scores issued onto the LP format in recent months, and it’s a funny thing because many labels used to say “NEVER BEFORE AVAILABLE ON COMPACT DISC”, but now in some cases it’s often “NEVER BEFORE AVAILABLE ON VINYL”, that we are being told, which is rather ironic.
When the CD was introduced collectors all rushed out to re-purchase many of the soundtracks that they already owned on LP, mainly to see what they sounded like in the new pristine sound that was promised by many a label. I did it, you did it, of course you did, we were all curious and things I think got out of hand, I re-purchased my entire collection of soundtracks that I had on record when they became available that is, some did not and still have not been re-issued and now because of the resurgence of the LP record I don’t think they will be, or at least the majority of them will not. The compact disc served its purpose and yes it’s a format that will be around for a while still, but I do not think anything can beat the sight of a brand new sealed LP record with great art work, rather than the small jewel case presentation of the CD and those sleeve notes and credits that we have to use a magnifying glass to read. Like I say there have been many soundtracks issued on LP records, these coming from the likes of VARESE SARABANDE in the States, BEAT in Italy, and ALL SCORE in Germany to name but three. However, one label that caught my eye is the Italian company FOUR FLIES, the name I think being a nod to maybe the Dario Argento movie FOUR FLIES ON GREY VELVET as scored by Ennio Morricone, looking at the Four Flies website, is like looking into a treasure trove of wonderful Italian film soundtracks, it is like stepping back in time discovering the eclectic and innovative world of Italian film music all over again.
It is an Independent label based in the Italian capital which dedicates itself to the discovery of the finest film music gems, and also other genres of music. Its focus is however to re-introduce many of the soundtracks that were synonymous with Italian cinema from the decade of the fifties through to the eighties. The label has been relentless in their search for soundtracks that have maybe laid in warehouses and have been archived and forgotten, until now that is. They have discovered lost classics and missing parts of scores by composers such as, Alessandro Alessandroni, Piero Umiliani, Giuliano Sorgini, Silvano D’Auria, and by doing this have not only reignited the interest in the music of these composers, but also have introduced it afresh to a whole new generation.
In recent weeks the label have also started to produce again, the 7 and 12 inch singles format which have already become popular with disc jockeys who specialise in hip-hop, acid jazz, funk and disco. Also, composers such as Gianni Ferrio, Franco Micalizzi, Lallo Gori, Nora Orlandi, Armando Trovajoli, Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, Riz Ortolani, Luciano Michelini, Luis Enriquez Bacalov, Bruno Nicolai, Stelvio Cipriani and Nico Fidenco to mention just a few names on the labels impressive catalogue list.
There are a wide range of soundtracks available from the Four Flies website, and in some cases there is a compact disc alternative, but why buy the CD when the LP’s are available with such vibrant and attractive art work, when you can own touch and smell these treasures on vinyl. In a relatively short period of time the label has built a formidable catalogue that will I know be appealing to any Italian film music connoisseur. Check it out, spoil yourself, it is a feast of classic Italian film music by iconic Maestro’s and artists.