Monday, November 8, 2010

RCA Rome - destruction of master tapes

"There have come disturbing reports from professionals within the relatively small world of soundtrack CD production of the destruction of master tape recordings of Italian film scores from the Silver Age (1960 -1980). This destruction of irreplaceable recordings is (supposedly) occurring at the facilities of RCA Italiana located in Rome. If these reports are true (and firm confirmation has yet to be obtained) the actions are, in a strictly cultural sense, criminal. All such master tape materials are invaluable and representative of the marvelous cinematic cultural heritage of Italy. Italy has been blessed with a great number of the world's finest composers of music for cinema, not just Ennio Morricone but dozens, maybe hundreds, of other talented artists have produced glorious music for literally thousands of movies over the past several decades. The destruction of these artifacts is truly a crime inacted against all future generations who are, in effect, being robbed of their chance to assimilate and appreciate a glorious chapter in the history of Western culture. We all must do everything in our power to A) confirm these reports, and B) put a stop to the destruction. Please use the internet to help in any way you may believe to be of potential value. - John Bender (Pittsburgh USA - 11/08/12)"


  1. Sometimes the powers-that-be do stupid things. I remember a rumor that composer Marcello Giombini ordered all the master tapes in his posession destroyed. Many TV shows are gone because producers reused the tapes on which the shows were recorded. And, like here, tapes are thrown out by ignorant people as having served their purpose.

    Sometimes they're just sloppy and haven't paid attention to their whereabouts, and through poor cataloguing.

    If true, actively destroying these master tapes is criminal.

    On the other hand, how many "lost" scores have been preserved by bootleggers? I may be wrong, but aren't all known releases of The Hills Run Red derived from the POO bootleg from way back when? Then again there's the notion floating about that Morricone won't allow its release because he didn't like the score.

    I can't imagine anyone in charge destorying tapes that have the potential to make money by releasing them for sale on CD. Ya never know.

  2. Totally agree. Although I don't approve of bootlegging, it does allow some scores that would otherwise never be released by composers or the companies that legally own the rights be made avialable. "The Big Gundown" has never been released by Columbia on video or DVD. Thanks to bootleggers we have been able to see the complete version. Most of Bruno Nicolai's scores were not released until after his death. Sad that the fans of these composers never get to own copies of revered scores. The elites would rather destroy them inspite of us.

  3. Tom and John,

    just googled and found this

    so it doesn't sound from that (thankfully) that Rome is burning at this present moment.

  4. Thanks Alison, that's a great relief. I don't discount that some master tapes have been destroyed or are lost. I know Jim Wynorski told me a story of when he was once working at one of the major studios he found some master audio tapes of Moricone western scores lying neglected in a closet. He was able to borrow them and transfer them onto tape so they could be preserved. I'm sure the same has happened before so I appreciate you posting the link.

  5. Ficamos muito chocados com esta suposta notícia negligente por parte das autoridades italianas responsáveis em preservar este acêrvo incomensurável a cultura mundial.
    Sou músico e meu Blog BangBangItaliana. Blogspot tem como prioridade resgatar estas raridades musicais do Cinema Italiano aos fãs brasileiros, mais especificamente o Western Espaghetti.
    Temos que certificarmo-nos destas informações para que possamos manifestar o nosso interesse cultural sobre este patrimônio.
    Infelizmente muita cultura está se perdendo no mundo atualmente e o prejuizo serão das futuras gerações. Gênios musicais únicos que certamente não surgirão outros. Pois hoje nada se cria, tudo se copia. A inspiração e a criatividade atualmente está se esgotando.
    Mas Vamo-nos a luta.

  6. E. Sanches you are correct. There is little creativiity today in the world of entertainment and to lose these master tapes would be terrible. We will have to wait and see what develops. Gracias amigo.

  7. I think that whoever destroyed those master tapes should have to pay for them. Otherwise they will go to jail. After all, these RCA tapes were considered lost works after the damages and the company themselves lost track of the checks. Shame. Pure shame.