Italian songs on CD?

In 1968 Shirley performed at the San Remo Song Festival in Italy singing the song ‘La Vita’.  She received the greatest ovation from the audience but alas did not win.  This song is known better by it’s English title – ‘This Is My Life’ = and is a true Bassey anthem.  For many years she sang it to close her concert performances and many fans would love her to sing it live again.  The English version of the song was released as a single in 1968 in the UK and an album of the same name was also released although a different studio version was used.

Shirley also recorded a version in English/Italian called ‘La Vita’.  This was released as a single in Italy only.  An album called ‘This Is My Life (La Vita)’ was released for the Italian market also.  This differed from the album issued in the rest of the world as the first side contained 6 tracks all sung in Italian.  These tracks were also released in Italy as singles, some were different studio versions to the ones on the album.  Fans around the world clamoured for them.  She also recorded the song ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ in Italian along with several other songs which were only ever released in Italy.  Apart from ‘La Vita’ she recorded another 10 songs in Italian.

'La Vita' Album Sleeve
'La Vita' Album Sleeve

As of today only the English/Italian version of ‘La Vita’ has ever appeared on CD.  It is available on the 5 CD box set from EMI called ‘Bassey’.  Many fans have longed for these songs to be released on CD.  A number of years ago there was talk of a CD being released called ‘Viva La Diva’ by the label Disky but unfortunately EMI put the block on it as they said they were going to release them .  Much to many fans disappointment it did not happen.  It’s fair to say that Shirley’s back catalogue is virtually ignored by EMI and they are not interested in remastering and releasing any of it.  They totally ignored her 50th Anniversary and have done very little since. 

Dean, a fan from Holland, recently contacted the blog and said he had sent a request to BGO for them to release the Italian songs on CD along with other much sort after tracks.  He thought it would be a good idea if fans sent a similar request to BGO and asked if it could be mentioned on the blog.  As you aware I’m keen to get everything on CD so I will be contacting BGO.  Below is his mail to us asking fans to write and his suggestion for the track listing.  It would be great to get these on CD for ourselves and newer fans who may never have heard them.

Hi,
Just wanted you to know that I have suggested the follow project to BGO.
My idea will mean that finally the Italian songs get a digital re-issue.
I have heard that they are considering the idea, and have contacted EMI to
see if they are willing to license the tracks.
Please can you put this info on the blog and maybe we can get more fans to
get in touch with BGO!  All the best Dean

This 2CD set is an item that ALL Bassey fans will want, it includes 20
recordings that are considered the most rare items in the Shirley Bassey
back catalogue – ALL of which have never had a re-issue in any other format.
The ultra rare Italian version of the James Bond theme ‘Diamonds Are
Forever’ is also a hugely collectable item. The other tracks that have been
re-issued in CD are on collections that are no longer available and have
never been digital re-mastered
Dame Shirley Bassey released her first album in 1958 making 2008 her 50th
year as an international recording artist.

THIS IS MY LIFE  (LA VITA)

Disc One: La Vita

1. La Vita  (This Is My Life)  (Canfora / Amurri / Newell)
2. Pronto…..Sono Io   (Pallavicini / Remigi)
3. Domani, Domani  (Pallavicini / Donaggio)
4. Epirops  (Massara / Conz)
5. Chi Si Vuol Bene Come Noi…  (Modugo / Pallavicini)
6. E’ giorno  (Minellono / De Vita)
7. Now You Want To Be Loved  (Des Rondes Dans L’eau)  (Barouh / LeSenechal /
     Miller)
8. A Time For Us  (Kusik / Snyder / Rota)
9. Softly As I Leave You  (De Vita / Sharper)
10. To Give  (Crewe / Gaudio)
11. The Joker  (Bricusse / Newley)
12. I Must Know  (Hefti / Mattis)

Italian songs with Angelo Giacomazzi and orchestra
Producer: Norman Newell and Dave Pell
Arranged by: Sid Feller
Label: United Artists Catalogue No: UA 9035 Format: 12″ Long Playing Record
Track 1 was issued by EMI in the 5CD Box ‘Bassey The EMI / UA years’ in 1994
Tracks 2 to 6 have never been re-issued on CD
Special release: This album was only released in Italy, side one included
only Italian songs with the exception of ‘La Vita (This Is My Life)’ which
is partly sung in Italian. Side two is an edited version of the ‘This Is My
Life’ album,
that was released in the rest of Europe and the USA, with the addition of,
‘To Give’ which was only included in this album and on a 7″ single release.

 Bonus tracks (13 thru 19 from the United Artists album ‘This Is My Life’)

13. MEDLEY: Goin’ Out Of My Head  (Randazzo / Weinstein) /
                            You Go To My Head  (Coots / Gillespie)
14. This Is My Life (La Vita) (Newell / Canfora / Amurri) (English album
        version)
15. Who Am I?  (Hatch / Trent)
16. Funny Girl  (Merrill / Styne)
17. Sunny  (Hebb)
18. I’ve Been Loved  (Cahn / Badale)
19. Where Is Tomorrow?  (Mason / Bindi)

Tracks 13 to 19 were issued in 1988 on the 2CD set ‘Shirley Bassey The
Collection’

Disc Two: The Italian Singles

1968

1. This Is My Life (Canfora / Amurri / Newell)
    Track 1 is a rare alternative longer recording that appeared on 7″ single in
    some European countries and on two LP albums issued in Spain and the US.
    This version uses the arrangement used on the Italian recording of ‘La Vita’
    but is in English.
2.  Yes  (Pallavicini / Conte)
     Italian song issued  as B-side of single ‘To give’, available in Italy only.
3.  If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas) (McKuen / Brel)
     Italian A side single – this version, with arrangement by Marty Paich, was
     issued with ‘E ‘giorno’ as the B-side. Is an alternative version than the
     one issued on the album ‘And We Were Lovers’

1969

4. Com’ è Piccolo Il Mondo  (Conte / Pallavicini)
    Italian single release, issued with two different B-sides ‘Sunny’ and
    alternatively ‘Softly As I Leave You’
5. Concerto D’autunno     (Bargoni / Danpa)
    Italian single release, issued with ‘(You Are) My Way Of Life’ as B-side

1970

6. Ora Che Sei Qui  (Poitevin / Armetta / Cassia)
    Italian single release, appeared on the B-side of Italian release of
    ‘Something’
7. Vivo Di Diamanti (Barry / Black / Boncompagni)
     Italian version of the James Bond theme song  ‘Diamonds are forever’, issued
     in Italy as B-side of ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ also known as ‘Una Cascata Di
    Diamanti’)
8. Runaway  (Shapiro / Lovecchio)
    Issued as B-side of ‘Natali’ in April 1976.
9. I (Who Have Nothing) (Mogal / Donida / Leiber / Stoller)
    Re-recording only included in the DJ Only, promotion album ‘Sassy Bassey’,
    features different musical arrangement and new vocal take. Original
    recording from 1963, the date of this version is uncertain. Original an
    Italian song called  ‘Una Dei Tanti’
10. Pronto…..Sono Io   (Pallavicini / Remigi)
11. Domani, Domani  (Pallavicini / Donaggio)
12. Epirops  (Massara / Conz)
13. Chi Si Vuol Bene Come Noi…  (Modugo / Pallavicini)
14. E’ giorno  (Minellono / De Vita)

Tracks 10 to 14 are mono single version of the tracks that appeared on the
Italian album

Bonus tracks ‘Disco – La Vita’

15. This Is My Life (Canfora / Amurri / Newell) – 12″ disco remix
        Re-recorded in 1979 for the album ‘The Magic Is You’. The 12″ European
        maxi-single (UA K 052 Z 82651) with the slow intro (6:51)
16. This Is My Life (Canfora / Amurri / Newell)
       12″ U.S. maxi-single from 1979 (UA D6007D and UA-P5007-D) with alternate
       vocals by Shirley re-recorded and re-mixed by Rick Gianatos.(6:17) (intro
       0:37)

Tracks 1 to 16 have never been re-issued on CD

 This 2CD set is an item that ALL Bassey fans will want, it includes 20
recordings that are considered the most rare items in the Shirley Bassey
back catalogue – ALL of which have never had a re-issue in any other format.
The ultra rare Italian version of the James Bond theme ‘Diamonds Are
Forever’ is also a hugely collectable item. The other tracks that have been
re-issued in CD are on collections that are no longer available and have
never been digital re-mastered
Dame Shirley Bassey released her first album in 1958 making 2008 her 50th
year as an international recording artist.

 

One of Shirley's Italian singles
One of Shirley's Italian singles

It would be fantastic if we were able to get these tracks on CD in 2009.  It’s 40 years since they were recorded so it’s about time they were made available worldwide!

Many thanks Dean.

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