February 7, 2014


If your vibe is swinging Italian soundtracks from the 1960s, check out this new release announced today by Screen Archives Entertainment. Piero Umiliani, that maestro of Hammond B and groovy scat-singing chicks, scored a 1968 film called Svezia (Sweden: Heaven and Hell). The movie was a skin "foreign" affair thinly veiled as a documentary, but contained some memorable cues- including the original version of that iconic tune, Mah Na Mah Na (the Muppets on Sesame Street reclaimed the composition for family viewing). During the sexual revolution, films like Svezia, I Am Curious: (Yellow), and others cultivated a popular image of Swedish culture as being sexually progressive. Here is the original track from the movie. Continues below.

The Svezia soundtrack is being issued in limited-run of 500 units only, so grab it before it's gone. From SAE: "Back in 1968, we didn’t have low-cost flights, internet or satellite TVs, and for many, cinema was the answer to their desire for exoticism. One genre in particular, called Mondo movies, provided a blend of fiction and documentary that brought to the big screen the most exotic and unknown aspects of foreign cultures. Sometimes morbid and other times brutal, they showed audiences that many countries were very far away in more than just a geographical respect. Some of those movies enjoyed planetary success and became real cult classics to be rediscovered and watched, and in some cases, also to be listened to. This is the case with SVEZIA, INFERNO E PARADISO (SWEDEN: HEAVEN AND HELL), one of the most important scores in Piero Umiliani’s lengthy career. He was an eclectic and internationally attentive artist, capable of genial expressions through jazz (I SOLITI IGNOTI), pop-funk (BABA YAGA, LA RAGAZZA FUORISTRADA), Western (CRISANTEMI PER UN BRANCO DI CAROGNE) and even electronic experimentation (such as his score for the unknown TV serial IL MONDO DEI ROMANI, 1972)." Cover art below from SAE. Related 1968 posts: 1968 Exhibit, Sebastian Soundtrack, Wonderwall Blu-ray, Barbarella TV Series, Magic Christian Blu-ray

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1 comment:

  1. The SAE issue must not be the only one. I got a CD of SWEDEN 10 or 15 years ago. I still love driving people crazy with it.
    Some of UMILIANI'S better work (not this) is right up there with Morricone , in my opinion.


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