LOOK WHAT I HAVE FOUND - The Roman Collection
16 of the best Italian and French tunes from 8 of the first 70 volumes

sample of the sleeve

In The Trashcan Records       GARBAGE-X7
"Italy vs France: 8-8. No it is no sports game, but just 8 Italian and 8 French cuts. Rome has a great musical history, actually each Italian city had its own scene in the sixties and even now Italy is the European country that has the most 60s festivals, while France almost has none anymore."

1. Gianni Morandi: Prendi, prendi
From vol 55 "Colosseo Di Follia"
”Bend me shape me” has been covered and translated so many times. Claude François did it in Italian and it reappeared on the great “Stasera shake” compilation. But this version is a 1000 times better. And it was just a b-side. Oh, some more info: I can get mad that on radio shows The American Breed are called the original performers. Hell no, the Models did it first and that version is still the best and the most psychedelic one I’ve ever heard.
9. Henri Salvador: Le martien
From vol 58 "La Vague"
One of my all time favourite novelty tunes from the late 50s is The Randells’ “Martian hop”. On vol 24 I already showed you a French instrumental version by Les Champions, but this vocal one is even more hilarious than the original. And if you understand French, you’ll love the silly lyrics. Henri Salvador was an outerspace genius.

2. The Crazy Boys: Si, credile
From vol 64 "Shake Twist Sherk Boogie"
With a Louie Louie beat you can never get wrong, a friend of mine once said. In this case he was right. Sublime mid-60s Italian beat. The psychedelic part in the middle of the song is mind-bending. And again: it’s the B-side that’s the killer side.

10. Frank Alamo: Oh oh fait le clown
From vol 58 "La Vague"
”Ha ha said the clown” in French??? Wow, and it’s even better than the lame Manfred Mann’s recording. It’s one of Frank Alamo’s best EP’s. On vol 47 you can get more info on this French singer.

3. Se c’è una cosa che mi fa impazzire - Mina
From vol 66 "Can't Stop Now"
Forget about the first 20 seconds because after that Mina presents us a fantastic Italian poppy beat tune. Don’t flip the record ; stick to this cool ditty. I’ll have to check out if she’s recorded more tunes like this. When listening to this I dream away and imagine myself dancing in a Roman discotheque in 1967 surrounded by a dozen of Minas.
11. Dick Rivers: Via Lucifer
From vol 69 "Earthquake"
For me this is one of his very best efforts ever!  1966 French psychedelique at its best with the sweet sitar sounds (or at least a sitar sounding guitar).  How come that I haven’t found this one on a compilation yet ? The b-side is “Le premier qui s’en va”.

4. Charles Hilton Brown: Mocoto
From vol 55 "Colosseo Di Follia"
I’ve never heard of him. Charles Hilton Brown has gathered a few girls for backing vocals and ace musicians who really get the groove. Again a b-side? Yes, “Mama Rosa” was the “hit”-side, but it isn’t interesting. Go for “Mocoto” and dance dance dance. Recorded in 1971.

12. Jacques Dutronc: Le monde a l’envers
From vol 63 "Comme Je Suis"
A completely unknown and forgotten Dutronc gem; it still features fuzz guitar and steady beats, but also a piano and an organ. It's already 1971. On vol 68 there’s another forgotten Dutronc track. Check it out!

5. Elio Gandolfi: Un anno di piu’
From vol 68 "Obsession On Fire"
This is an Italian version of Gary Pucket’s “Young girl”. I knew Gandolfi from his fantastic translation of “Hair”, called “Capelli” also to be found on the Stasera Shake compilation. Resident of Castrocaro he had his moments of popularity, but that stopped at Italy’s borders.
13. Nicoletta: Ca devait arriver
From vol 63 "Comme Je Suis"
A church organ intro and then Nicoletta starts singing and after half a minute you still don’t realize it’s also a cover. Yes, this is “I put a spell on you” in French. As the song progresses, the volume increases and halfway you finally hear who she’s been listening to: The Animals.

6. I Dik Dik: L’esquimese
From vol 66 "Can't Stop Now"
"Quinn The Eskimo" in Italian: very funny! I wonder how Bob Dylan must be feeling when he hears this. I Dik Dik were a famous beat band in Italy in the mid 60s. Unfortunately it’s not easy to find good copies of their 45s.

14. Baris Manço:  Baby sitter
From vol 47 "Quelle Peste"
And here’s another great discovery. Baris, a yeye-rocker in leather jacket, released several EP’s, but this one is definitely his best. Also on the EP you’ll find “Un autre amour que toi” which is a French version of “Handy man” and “Jenny Jenny”. Also on vol 47 is “Quelle peste”, a great translation of “Poison Ivy”.

7. I Roll’s 33: 33/1a verita
From vol 55 "Colosseo Di Follia"
I found this one on a split-single promo record with I Camaleonti’s. It’s an Italian version of “You ain’t seen nothing yet”: I know absolutely nothing by this band, so I can’t really recommend anything, Listening to this, I’m sure they recorded a lot of great tunes. I only know that this was recorded in 1967.
15. Les Diamants: Noir c’est noir
From vol 67 "Superman vs Napoleon Solo"
One of the best French versions of “Black is black” for sure. From Belgium it’s the flip of their equally superb version of “Bus stop”. Listen to it on vol 66. Another excellent French translation of this Los Bravos hit record can be found on vol 37 by Canadian girl Renee Martel from 1968. This, however, is from 1966

8. Cosimo Gile: Tintarella di luna - 
From vol 64 "Shake Twist Jerk Boogie"
Another Italian tune on this volume. If you like Italian music, I can highly recommend vol 55, completely filled with Italian sounds. Also Marino Marini is featured on several volumes. Check them all out. In the same spirit Cosimo Gile recorded his version of Napolitan standard “Tintarella di luna”. Even Stereo Total recorded this tune a few years ago.

16. Johnny Hallyday: Voyage au pays des vivants
From vol 63 "Comme Je Suis"
Both the 45 (coupled with “Que je t’aime”) and this EP are sought after. Enjoy the freaky organ, the fuzz guitar and the psychedelic mood of this trashy Hallyday song. Another song of this EP you can find on vol 66, “Viens” which is one of my all time favourite Johnny Hallyday recordings. It’s about a “Journey to the land of the living”.