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The C.A.M. Cms. 30.000-series

Before I start with a few words on the C.A.M. Cms.-30.000-series, which ranks among the most elusive series´ for any record collector to assemble (I am quite sure that only a handful complete collections of this series do exist on the whole globe, most of which few located in Italy ...), I want to "say" a few words on the C.A.M.-soundtrack-label:

C.A.M. is an acronym for "Cinema´s Musical Artists" or "Cinema Artistique Musicale" and must have been founded in the 1950ies (or even earlier). From its beginning it was solely devoted to soundtrack music and, being Italian´s "Varese"-label as far as the quantity of vinyl and CD-output is concerned (to put this correctly: "Varese" is America´s C.A.M.-label, since C.A.M. was first, of course), started issuing soundtracks in the early 60ies, exactly 1962: The first and most elusive of its soundtrack-series, the so-called "Cms. 30.000-series" (at least that´s how collectors refer to these waxings), was founded!

Its print-run was VERY low as common these days and as these vinyls were mainly intended for promotional use within the industry ("distributed" mainly to movie and music critics, to radio stations for air-play when the movie was released to the theatres and for library purposes to re-use these tracks for commercials and whatever they (seemed to) fit to). Actually the known print-run was as low as 500 copies only and the only possibility to get a copy of these recordings was to have a good connection to one of the few record shops that actually distributed a few of these recordings into the informed public.

None of these recordings, which were all in mono, ever received any outside-Italy distribution aside from the few copies that fellow-collectors and fanatics like me (but actually not me, because I started collecting later) ordered through specialized outlets like "Bongiovanni" (the "Bongiovanni"-sticker was in fact put on most (all?) the copies (usually on the labels), which this store sold and you´ll still find the this sticker on not that few copies that show up mainly outside Italy today ...). Other outlets that distributed these rare waxings included most notably the mail-order only "outlet" Music & Cinema Antique, run by the later producers of the mid-80ies "Phoenix PHCAM" OST-series (11 recordings).

From 1962 until 1965 C.A.M. actually released 73 recordings as part of the C.A.M. Cms. 30.000-series, starting with Cms. 30-031 and lasting until Cms. 30.130. Constant rumours, that also Cms. 30.131 and Cms. 30.132 were released, UMILIANIs highly acclaimed score "UNA BELLA GRINTA" and RUSTICHELLIs horror-score "LA FRUSTRA E IL CORPO", are erronous. Both releases were planned and the covers were pictured in an mid-60ies CAM-catalogue, but until today no single copy of any of these 2 recordings has ever shown up. However, at least one cover from the "Una bella grinta"-recording does exist (I know somebody owning it)!Most likely a handful of inhouse covers were made at C.A.M. or Campi, presumably as advance covers for the sole purpose to be available for photographing when the catalogue was made. Considering this, it is therfore more than likely, that also a few "La frustra e il corpo"-LP-covers have been manufactured. Still, both vinyls never made it into existence ...

Aside from the these two scores, another reason for constant questioning is the way this series was numbered: Why did they start with Cms. 30.031? To indicate that these are 33rpm-recordings ...? And more important: Why did C.A.M. decide to release some catalogue-numbers, some not? In other words: why were no recordings released as # 33 to 36, 39 & 40, and so on ...? This strange numbering system always entails the question of completeness: Can any C.A.M. Cms.-collection ever be complete without these "missing" numbers? Yes, because of reasons unknown today (and maybe even not clear in the 60ies), these numbers never saw an accompaning LP release! They were simply left void! Especially when C.A.M. started the Cms.-collection, they had "troubles counting" (as I´d put it sarcastically), but it went better as the series got along with less and less void numbers in the higher "ranks".

The next (minor) question, if one can assume that every number followed its predecessor in time or not, is most likely correctly answered with "no", since some infrequent dates on the albums back covers indicate that this was not the case ... in other words: C.A.M. maybe released "Toto di notte #1" in 1962, although its number would indicate 1963, but then again maybe just the movie was released in 1962 and the LP was issued later ...? If so, then why? (And: Does anybody know a movie titled "Toto di notte #2"?). Anyway, questions above questions, most of them only "important" to crazies/fanatics like me and a few others ...

The sound reproduction quality is amazingly good, considering the standard of recording and pressing techniques used in the 60ies. Although some of the earlier releases do feature a certain amount of hiss (especially LE COMMARE SECCA, LE DOLCI NOTTE and LA CITTA PRIGIONIERA: I have not yet had the pleasure to find a mint-sounding copy of any of these, although I own copies which surfaces seem unplayed (mint all the way)), nearly all releases have a fresh mono sound accompanied by the use of heavy vinyl (after all, they were intended for promotional use by radio stations when the movie in question was released to the theatres ...!). It is pure joy to listen to these recordings, which - unsurprisingly - feature a clearer sound than the mid-90ies CD-reissues. After the first year of the C.A.M. Cms.-series, the few "minor-quality" pressings were past and after TOTO DI NOTTTE #1 all recordings play with any surface noise at all (as long as the recording in question has not been played with a substandard needle or, later, when it was "en vogue" to do so, played or "cleaned" with undestilled water). If one is lucky to find one of the probably handful of still sealed (or unplayed or little played) copies, one will be able to enjoy a listening pleasure not to be matched by todays CDs ...

Regarding the cover artwork, one has to admit that although some of it is quite simplicistic (eg UNIVERSO DI NOTTE and alikes), it is nevertheless (or even for that reason) highly effective. The use of colours and simple motifs does indeed refer to the movies the music was composed for and although some of the covers do not feature much "artwork" (eg the aforementioned item, but the colour blue is indeed appropriate to symbolize the "universe by night"), the use of different shades of the main colour are still nice to look at. Concerning the paper used for the covers, as well as the question of lamination versus non-lamination, C.A.M. followed no distinctive pattern: most of the covers feature soft to medium thick cardboard, which never was as strong as the one used by RCA Italiana and CineVox for all their 60ies releases. Many of the earlier covers were laminated, then along the way the lamination "got lost" and was resumed again for nearly all issues with a number higher than Cms. 30-100. Of course, laminated covers are preferably over non-laminated ones, but there is no way getting around the fact that the ones issued without lamination were only issued that way (there are no laminated and non-laminated covers of the same pressing existing), since they were either done this way or that.

A "cool" thing to mention is that very few of these LPs were issued with two different covers, with a F/O one and with a non-F/O one (eg. "IERI, OGGI, DOMANI" and "MONDO CANE N. 2").No doubt, the F/O ones are scarcer and of highest collectability!

The following pages do contain a COMPLETE set of pictures taken from ALL existing C.A.M. Cms.-recordings! As one can see, the covers are very delightful to watch and have a distinctive style resulting probabaly from very few artists, who designed these covers (their names are unknown to me, only sometimes a studio named "DELTA" is mentioned). In fact it is quite startling that C.A.M. invested time and energey to have professionals do such stunning cover artwork for just a few hundred copies, but then again - such print runs were common these days (Ariete and CineVox had the same 500-copies print-run, only RCA Italiana already adopted 1000 copies in the mid 60ies, but they also manufactured only 500 copies of some releases: e.g. "Viva l´Italia" and "Settimo parallelo"!

At the time, when the Cms.-series was released, the Italian soundtrcak-"landscape" was dominated by composers one could describe as the "founding fathers" of Italian film-composition, at least as far as it is documented on vinyl. Ennio Morricone was a name not yet associated with any genre, as he had just started composing for the movies a few years ago (his first soundtrack-release dates from the late 50ies), hence only one recording in the Cms.-series contains his compositions ("Malamondo"). By the way, the same is true for Bruno Bicolai ("Mondo Cane # 2"). Jazz was the leading style of film-scoring and therefore jazz composers dominated the Cms.-series (with only one major exception: Carlo Rustichelli, the "grand-daddy" of Italian film-scoring). The two jazz-composers, who still dominate the Cms.-series, are the two Pieros, who in fact not only dominated this vinyl-series, but also Italian (jazz-using) cinema from the 60ies well into the early 70ies: Piero Piccioni (eleven Cms.-recordings!) and Piero Umiliani (five Cms.-recordings), my two soundtrack GODs (if I may say so ...)! Piccioni was closely followed by Rustichelli with eight Cms.-recordings, followed by Trovajoli with six, Ortolani and Lavagnino with each four, Savina, Oliviero and Angelo with each three and Rota, Marinuzzi, Fusco, Migliardi and DeMasi with each two and quite a couple of scores from composers, who "only" issued one of their soundtrack-compositions as part of the Cms.-series, but most of them being highly enjoyable nevertheless!

For those, who care to know, I started collecting soundtracks in the early 80ies and very soon concentrated on Italian soundtracks from the beginning of the LP-format until app. the mid-70ies and even I do not yet own all important LPs ... So, if you have any available for sale or trade, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail ....

Enough "said", the following list and pages contain the complete 73 C.A.M. Cms. 30-000-recordings for easier reference. Please enjoy these beauties and have fun! 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!! Happy viewing!


Piero UMILIANI:    UNA BELLA GRINTA (CAM CMS. 30-131),     offer* 1.500,-- Euro
Carlo RUSTICHELLI: LA FRUSTA E IL CORPO (CAM CMS. 30-132), offer* 1.500,-- Euro
* of course that much will only be paid for a copy in beautiful condition! 
For worn copies I am still willing to pay good money, but of course not THAT much!

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

Cms 031: Il brigante                            (Nino Rota),         M-/NM   
Cms 032: Vanina Vanini                          (Renzo Rossellini),  M-/M-   
Cms 037: Senilita (F/O)                         (Piero Piccioni)     NM/NM
Cms 041: Una vita violenta                      (Piero Piccioni)     M-/NM
Cms 044: Parigi o cara                          (Fiorenzo Carpi),    M/M   
Cms 046: Mysterium catholicum (F/O)             (Nino Rota),         M-/NM   
Cms 047: Toto' di notte N. 1                    (Armando Trovajoli), NM/NM   
Cms 050: La citta prigioniera                   (Piero Piccioni),    NM/EX+   
Cms 055: La vita provvisoria                    (Carlo Savina),      MT/MT   
Cms 058: Il peccato                             (Antonio Perez Olea),M/M   
Cms 059: Italia proibita                        (Gino Peguri),       MT/MT    
Cms 076: Ieri oggi domani (F/O)                 (Armando Trovajoli)  NM/EX+
Cms 087: La ragazza di Bube                     (Carlo Rustichelli), EX+/EX+   
Cms 088: I promessi sposi                       (Carlo Rustichelli), EX+/M-   
Cms 093: Kali-Yug, la dea della vendetta        (Angelo F.Lavagnino) NM/SEALED!
Cms 099: L´ora di uccidere - La morte vestita di $I (Carlo Savina),  M-/SEALED!   
Cms 101: Nudi per vivere                        (Ivan Vandor),       M-/MT 
Cms 105: Mondo matto al neon                    (Piero Umiliani),    M-/M-   
Cms 107: Un affare tranquillo                   (Michel Michelet),   M-/MT   
Cms 110: Le voci bianche                        (Gino Marinuzzi Jr.),M-/M   
Cms 120: Il vendicatore mascherato              (Gioacchino Angelo), M-/MT   
Cms 122: Corrida!                               (Mario Migliardi),   M/EX+   
Cms 123: La sfinge sorride prima di morire stop Londra (M. Migliardi),M-/MT   
Cms 126: Bianco, rosso, giallo, rosa            (Piero Umiliani),    M-/NM 
Yep, I do have quite a couple items from the C.A.M. Cms.-series available, but please note that I have only one spare copy of each available. If you want any of 'em, please do not hesitate, since when they're gone they're gone and finding more copies will not be easy ... Wants-lists welcomed (trade preferred!). WANTED: There are 2 Cam Cms LPs, which are NOT soundtracks: one is LA GOIA and the other one is the one I still need ... And in that context I would also like to point out, that I am also still searching for half a dozen of the Cam EPs. These EPs can somehow be called the smaller twins of the Cms-series, since they were issued exactly at the same time as the Cms-LPs and had similar production values: soft paper covers, superb minimalistc artwork, great sound and even greater (mostly jazzy) music! (The later Cam AMP 45-series accompanied the Cam Sag LPs, by the way).

Il brigante  Cam Cms. 30-031  196  Rota 
Vanina Vanini  Cam Cms. 30-032  196  Rossellini 
Senilita (F/O)  Cam Cms. 30-037  196  Piccioni 
Mondo Cane (F/O)  Cam Cms. 30-038  196  Ortolani 
Una vita violenta  Cam Cms. 30-041  1962  Piccioni 
La commare secca  Cam Cms. 30-043  1962  Piccioni 
Parigi o cara  Cam Cms. 30-044  196  Carpi 
Le dolci notti  Cam Cms. 30-045  196  Faccenna 
Mysterium catholicum (F/O)  Cam Cms. 30-046  1963/01  Rota 
Toto' di notte N. 1  Cam Cms. 30-047  1962  Trovajoli 
Universo di notte  Cam Cms. 30-048  196  Nicolosi 
La donna nel mondo (F/O) - front cover  Cam Cms. 30-049  1963  Ortolani 
La donna nel mondo (F/O) - first page  Cam Cms. 30-049  196  Ortolani 
La donna nel mondo (F/O) - second page  Cam Cms. 30-049  196  Ortolani 
La citta prigioniera  Cam Cms. 30-050  1962  Piccioni 
Rugantino  Cam Cms. 30-051  1963/01  Trovajoli 
Venere imperiale  Cam Cms. 30-052  196  Lavagnino 
Hong Kong un addio  Cam Cms. 30-053  1963/01  Marinuzzi Jr 
Otto e mezzo (F/O)  Cam Cms. 30-054  196  Rota 
La vita provvisoria  Cam Cms. 30-055  196  Savina 
Sophia Loren - Poesie di Salvatore Di Giacomo  Cam Cms. 30-057  196  DiGiacomo 
Il peccato  Cam Cms. 30-058  1963/04  Olea 
Italia proibita  Cam Cms. 30-059  196  Peguri 
Lady Bossa Nova in Italy  Cam Cms. 30-060  1963/07  Ferrio 
Il diavolo  Cam Cms. 30-061  196  Piccioni 
Mare matto  Cam Cms. 30-063  1963/08  Rustichelli 
Un tentativo sentimentale  Cam Cms. 30-064  1963  Piccioni 
Il boom  Cam Cms. 30-065  196  Piccioni 
I piaceri proibiti  Cam Cms. 30-066  196  Umiliani 
Rugantino  Cam Cms. 30-068  1963/09  Trovajoli 
Mondo Cane N. 2 (F/O) - front cover  Cam Cms. 30-071  196  Oliviero 
Mondo Cane N. 2 - inside 1  Cam Cms. 30-071  196  Oliviero 
Mondo Cane N. 2 - inside 2  Cam Cms. 30-071  196  Oliviero 
Mondo di notte N. 3  Cam Cms. 30-072  196  Ortolani 
Ieri oggi domani (F/O)  Cam Cms. 30-076  196  Trovajoli 
Ieri oggi domani (F/O) - inside 1  Cam Cms. 30-076  196  Trovajoli 
Ieri oggi domani (F/O) - inside 2  Cam Cms. 30-076  196  Trovajoli 
Ieri oggi domani (F/O) - back cover  Cam Cms. 30-076  196  Trovajoli 
I malamondo (F/O)  Cam Cms. 30-078  196  Morricone 
I malamondo (F/O) - inside 1  Cam Cms. 30-078  196  Morricone 
I malamondo (F/O) - inside 2  Cam Cms. 30-078  196  Morricone 
I tabu  Cam Cms. 30-079  196  Lavagnino 
La donnaccia  Cam Cms. 30-084  196  Langella 
Sedotta e abbandonata  Cam Cms. 30-086  196  Rustichelli 
La ragazza di Bube  Cam Cms. 30-087  196  Rustichelli 
I promessi sposi  Cam Cms. 30-088  196  Rustichelli 
La calda vita  Cam Cms. 30-089  196  Rustichelli 
Il pelo nel mondo  Cam Cms. 30-090  196  Oliviero 
La gioia  Cam Cms. 30-091  196  Bertolazzi 
Kali-Yug la dea della vendetta  Cam Cms. 30-093  196  Lavagnino 
Maciste l´eroe piu grande del mondo  Cam Cms. 30-094  1963  DeMasi 
I cavalieri della vendetta  Cam Cms. 30-096  196  Rustichelli 
Massacro al Grande Canyon  Cam Cms. 30-097  196  Ferrio 
L´ora di uccidere - La morte vestita di dollari  Cam Cms. 30-099  196  Savina 
Amore mio  Cam Cms. 30-100  196  Savina 
Nudi per vivere  Cam Cms. 30-101  196  Vandor 
La vita agra  Cam Cms. 30-102  1963  Piccioni 
Intrigo a Los Angeles  Cam Cms. 30-104  196  Umiliani 
Mondo matto al neon  Cam Cms. 30-105  196  Umiliani 
Il fornaretto di Venezia (F/O)  Cam Cms. 30-106  196  Trovajoli 
Un affare tranquillo  Cam Cms. 30-107  196  Michelet 
L'amore primitivo  Cam Cms. 30-108  196  Riva 
Le sette vipere  Cam Cms. 30-109  196  DiStefano 
Le voci bianche  Cam Cms. 30-110  196  Marinuzzi Jr 
Il mito  Cam Cms. 30-111  196  Trovajoli 
Il mito - back cover  Cam Cms. 30-111  196  Trovajoli 
Ti-Koyo e il suo pescecane  Cam Cms. 30-112  196  DeMasi 
Il dono del nilo  Cam Cms. 30-113  1964/09  Umiliani 
Minnesota Clay  Cam Cms. 30-114  1965  Piccioni 
La fuga  Cam Cms. 30-115  1964  Piccioni 
Buffalo Bill l´eroe del far west  Cam Cms. 30-116  196  Rustichelli 
Tre notti d´amore  Cam Cms. 30-117  196  Fusco 
La vergine di Norimberga  Cam Cms. 30-118  1964  Ortolani 
Il vendicatore mascherato  Cam Cms. 30-120  196  Angelo 
Corrida!  Cam Cms. 30-122  1965/04  Migliardi 
La sfinge sorride prima di morire stop Londra  Cam Cms. 30-123  196  Migliardi 
Deserto rosso  Cam Cms. 30-124  196  Fusco 
La costanza della ragione  Cam Cms. 30-125  196  Zinzi 
Bianco rosso gialo rosa  Cam Cms. 30-126  196  Umiliani 
Saul e David  Cam Cms. 30-127  1964  Usuelli 
Le maledette pistole di Dallas  Cam Cms. 30-128  1965/03  Angelo 
Cinquemille dollari sull´asso  Cam Cms. 30-129  1965/03  Lavagnino 
Tre dollari di piombo  Cam Cms. 30-130  1965/03  Angelo 
WANTED: Una bella grinta  Cam Cms. 30-131  196x  Umiliani 
WANTED: La frusta e il corpo  Cam Cms. 30-132  196x  Rustichelli 

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