Various Artists

I Magici Anni, '60, '70, '80, Vol. 2

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The odd I Magici Anni series of compilations is noteworthy for two reasons: first, it compiles Italian songs from the '60s, '70s, and '80s; second, it features tantalizing semi-nude females on the album covers. It's fairly obvious why this series compiles the old-school Italian music: it's very novel music, filled with dramatic singing and truly uncanny musical backing that can't help but feel kitschy to modern listeners. However, it's not quite so obvious why the series has soft-porn photos on the covers, not to mention the centerfold booklets inside. After all, you'd expect that these compilations would feature liner notes or at least credits -- or, at the very least, publishing dates for the songs in the inner booklet. For some reason, though, that's not the case. No, instead you get pinup centerfolds of hot Italian women. The sex-sells factor aside, there's some debatably interesting music on these collections, the sort of uncanny stuff you play in public just to get a confused response from people. Unfortunately, without any information about the music, there's really not much use in trying to develop an understanding of Italian music from the featured decades. Instead, it's best to treat this as a novelty -- a short-lived joke of sorts. So, if nothing else, these albums make good gag gifts and topics of trivial debate. This second volume in the series features songs by Nicola di Bari ("Amore Ritorna a Casa"), Fiordaliso ("Libellula"), Homo Sapiens ("Bella da Morire"), Leano Morelli ("Nata Libera"), and others.

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