Forgotten series: Patrick Samson Set, I Rebelli, others – Stasera Shake 3 (2009)

This quite-fun Italian 1960s beat/pop collection from Boss A Tone Records, spanning the years 1967-75, is the kind of thing you want to play in your car or at your next party. The Rogers’ “Christina” is a kind of Italian version of what Tom Jones did very well in the ’60s, while Anotherwords offer very likable pop music. Le Macchie Rosse’s “Luca” finds an icey keyboard intro melting into this very nice mid-tempo groover — sounding almost a much poppier version of the Doors, if you can imagine that.

Horns move in and out across the various tracks on this album, and I Rebelli infuses them quite well with their feisty version of Janis Joplin’s “Tell Mama” (“Lei M’ama”), giving it a prominent Blood Sweat and Tears sound. I Farnesi uniquely infuses traditional Italian operatic vocals with the “Age of Aquarius”-styled pop rock sound (as heard in the musical Hair) with the 1969 single “L’uomo non sapra’ mai.” The Patrick Samson Set appears twice here, and you can hear why with his strong passionate vocals on “Le Mura Stanno per Crollare” and the hard-rocking “Giallo, Rossa, Verde, Rosa,” which sounds like Euro garage with horns. A couple of the ladies of Italian 1960s pop appear — and this collection’s the better for it.

The silly TV puppet Fanella (sung by Evelina Sironi) presents her own playful and fun “Fanella,” and she probably delighted the teenyboppers who first heard it back then. Jo and Jenny’s Group offer bubblegum pop with ‘Un Santone Indiano,” illustrating a 1910 Fruitgum Company influence. Another television personality, Gabriella Farinon, presents “Se il Sole Fosse Mio” for your lounge pop pleasure. Leone Di Lernia’s funky, rap n’ roll version of Joe Tex’s “I Gotcha” from 1975 has a proto-hip hop sound that’s at least four years ahead of that movement’s initial splash in the states — and it’s sung with much gusto.

The mighty James Brown’s funky influence weighs heavily in on Gli Showmen’s “Voglio Restare Solo.” Their fine lead singer possesses a very good Tom Jones-like voice — and there’s lots of choice cowbell, too! Teodoro Re Dei Poeti illustrates a strong Jethro Tull influence on “Preparati Bambina,” with some fab crunchy guitar and melodic flute. The hardest rocker on the whole album belongs to Roberto Righini with the very psychedelic “Mondo Malato” from 1971, a year after Norman Greenbaum’s “Sprit in the Sky” — for which it’s a spiritual brother of sorts here. Pretty cool sound.

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Steve Elliott

Steve Elliott has written for Shindig, Twist and Shake, Garage & Beat and Ugly Things. A big fan of all things rock and roll - especially the British Invasion, garage rock, psychedelic, new wave, folk rock, surf and power pop - he was a consultant on Sundazed Music's reissue of 'The Best of Butch Engle & The Styx: No Matter What You Say' in 2000, and has also provided liner notes for Italy's Misty Lane Records. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.