By Charlie Brigden
If you don’t own a Cinevox release, well, what’s wrong with you bro? Founded in 1960 by Italian composer Cesare Andrea Bixio, Cinevox have been an incredible supplier of cult soundtracks over the years, releasing scores by composers and artists such as Goblin, Pino Donaggio, Ennio Morricone, Francis Lai from films like Suspiria, L’Uccello dalle Piume di Cristallo (aka The Bird With The Crystal Plumage), Dawn of the Dead, and many more.
To celebrate fifty-five years of the label and the impending Record Store Day, Cinevox have come up with the Cinevox 5 box set, a collection of five 7″ 45rpm singles of music from Cinevox soundtracks. Broken down into five genre categories, you get Giu la testa (aka Duck, You Sucker!) as the Western, La polizia sta a guardare (The Great Kidnapping) for crime fiction, Profondo Rosso (Deep Red) for horror, Febre da cavallo (Horse Fever) for comedy, and 5 bambole per la luna d’agosto (5 Dolls For An August Moon) for thriller. The first four are reissues of the original records, while 5 bambole is on 7″ for the first time in history. Let’s look at them individually:
Giu la testa – music by Ennio Morricone (White vinyl)
A classic Morricone score – plenty of whistling over piano, pretty laid back with a gorgeous theme and the inevitable (but beautiful) Edda Dell’Orso vocals.
La polizia sta a guardare – music by Stelvio Cipriani (Yellow vinyl)
This for me is the pick of the bunch. A cutting electronic line segues to a massively swaggering and hard-edged big band melody. Side 2 has a lovely tune with some great woodwinds, but that main theme is unbelievable.
Profondo Rosso – music by Goblin (Red vinyl)
Goblin kicking musical ass as usual with that amazing bassline that builds into prog-rock greatness. The chords are thick, the atmosphere intense, with a truly gothic feel. Side 2, ‘Death Dies’, is a slice of jazz funk that sounds like Goblin doing Schifrin.
Febbre da cavallo – music by Franco Bixio, Fabio Frizzi, and Vince Tempera (Blue vinyl)
Both sides are chock full of crazy party music with Brazilian chanting, bubbling tuba, and infectious guitar riffs. Not massively interesting to me, but still a lot of fun.
5 bambole per la luna d’agosto – music by Piero Umiliani (Black vinyl)
Mental. Side 1 has this great “1, 2, 1-2-3-4-5” chant and has an excellent groove, along with a bit that sounds like “Mahna Mahna”. Side 2 has a great song in Italian by rock band Il Balletto di Bronzo, and it’s just awesome, such a great time.
The box set is impeccably designed, while the box itself seems plain you open it up and the artwork across the board is amazing. The sound quality on all the 7″ discs is excellent, and the liner notes from Fabio Capuzzo are excellent, giving us an individual description on each record and an overview of milestones in Cinevox’s history.
Cinevox’s box is fantastic, a great summation of an important label and just a wonderful collection of music. The kicker is the rarity; there are only 500 units available worldwide, so swoop down to your local on Saturday and grab one – you won’t regret it.