The logic of record-labeling business-practices fades in and out like a mid-western thunderstorm… at least within the county of my bordered headspace (i.e. the extent of my knowledge); this blathered statement seems to be true. Somerset Records, as far as I can gather, was the brainchild of one, Mr. Dave Miller, and his ambitions to offer overpriced records at a budgeted prices. Standard North American gluttonous business practices certainly applied.
Likely a 101 String release, this Somerset Records logo is something of an eye-catcher, and unfortunately lives in the obscurity of modern day record collector’s mental vocabulary… the logo is pretty, though, don’t you think?
101 Strings, not unlike Dalmatians, is a wondrous sight to behold. Apart from being a monumental mass of “the finest musicians in Europe today” (circa: 1961), the wistful beauty discharged from these prominent performers is seductively pleasing to both the visual, as well as the hearing senses. Coupled with (The Wondrous World of) Stereo Fidelity, a US based subsidiary of Somerset Records, these 10 Italian hits that make up, well, Italian Hits, emerge from the stereo with a protuberant level of piercing and erotic joy, that is seemingly unheard of today, let alone in 1961.
Touching upon such Italian classics as Volare, Cha-Cha Italiano, La Dolce Vita, and Ciao Ciao Bambino (which translates into “Hello Hello Baby”), Italian Hits, as far as I can tell, does a satisfactory job of representing exactly what the back cover boasts: The Biggest Popular Hit Songs from Italy in the Past Ten Years. A “Pop” Program in the Sound of Magnificence.
I’ve never been to Italy, but thanks to 101 Strings and the four, straw-sucking minxes on the cover, I feel as though Italy is as close as a car jam on the 405.