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EMI "Reliquias"

I thought long and hard about making these pages lime green with black and red writing, reflecting the graphic "design" of this series, but that would only distract your attention from an excellent collection of albums!

Reliquias presents great Argentine music from the back catalogue of Odeón. The label is not owned by EMI, who bought Odeón some decades ago, but is licensed from EMI by the Argentine company DBN. The label is not entirely given over to tango: there is also some folk music ("folclore").

DBN seem to have found really clean 78s for this series and they've taken a lot of care over the transfers. By and large - but not always - there is very little filtering. And, of course, there are those dreadful lime green and yellow covers, which if anything are even worse since they were redesigned in 1999. Ugh.

The main artists on this label are De Angelis (16 discs), Pugliese (10), Biagi (8), Canaro (13), Rodriguez (9) and Caló (5) and there are wonderful discs to be had of all of them - but be careful because there is a lot of filler from the 1950s padding out these catalogues. For Caló, the wonderful Caló / Berón disc has proved immensely popular, whilst the quality of the releases of Biagi is quite startling. Check out also the disc of the hard to find Pedro Laurenz, which presents material you will find nowhere else.

But it's the '40s and '50s recordings of Osvaldo Pugliese that makes this label very strong. Incredibly it's the only place you can now find the sides with Pugliese's contrasting 40s singers, Roberto Chanel and Alberto Morán. The instrumental numbers are also very well covered with four magnificent discs, one of which (Instrumentales Inolvidables vol.3) is consistently in the top 20 in Argentina.

Looking at the rest of the catalogue, fans of the lush sound have been very pleased by the two discs of Florindo Sassone whilst there are also some important discs from that stalwart of the guardia vieja, Roberto Firpo.

This catalogue has been very well supported by DBN, and new releases have continued despite the current economic difficulties, although much delayed.

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