[music:] Fanigliulo, Io e me (1979)
A lifetime-long heartache. A heartquake. The son of a sailor, and sailor himself, who has to give up life on the sea because of a rheumatic disease and ends up as a farmer and breeder in Liguria’s countryside. The kid with the guitar recruited by Caterina Caselli for her label Ascolto together with Pierangelo Bertoli, Faust’o, Pepe Maina, Mauro Pagani, post-Cramps Area. The liscio singer from Romeo e Los Gringos in Giuseppe Bertolucci’s movie Berlinguer ti voglio bene (1977) which announces from the stage to a young Roberto Benigni the death of his mother. The jester which forecasts his own death by cerebral hemorrhage ten years in advance in his most successful song, while people clap hands and smile.
Franco Fanigliulo’s first album, Mi ero scordato di me (“i had forgotten about myself”, 1977) introduced the audience to this outsider’s peculiar theatrical approach to pop songs, which mixed mid-seventies cantautori style with french chansonniers and early nineteenth-century italian cabaret; but it’s with his acclaimed participation in 1979 Sanremo festival with the apparently funny “A me mi piace vivere alla grande” (written with Oscar Avogadro, Daniele Pace and Riccardo Borghetti), which he suddenly appeared bound for success.
Shortly afterwards, Io e me (“i and me”), produced by the great Gian Piero Reverberi (arranger and producer for Fabrizio De Andrè, New Trolls, Le Orme, Lucio Battisti, Mina, Lucio Dalla, Patty Pravo, and founder of Rondò Veneziano) was released. A masterpiece which overturned the same concept of “cantautore”, hurling it into the upcoming decade, and places Fanigliulo among other terminal heroes such as Mauro Pelosi, Faust’o, Flavio Giurato. The hit single (which however remains a great take on his cabaret side) was literally buried with songs such as “Non si sa mai”, “Buffone”, “Il chirurgo”, “Con te” and, above all, the harrowing “Marco e Giuditta” about a couple of old lovers, which accomplish the dirty job that Jacques Brel had only started with “La chanson des vieux amants”.
Here is the tracklist:
01, L’artista (“the artist”)
02, A me mi piace vivere alla grande (“me like living it big time”, also released as a 7″ b/w “Non si sa mai”)
03, Il guerriero (“the warrior”)
04, Marco e Giuditta (“Marco and Giuditta”)
05, Buffone (“bufoon”)
06, Con te (“with you”)
07, Il chirurgo (“the surgeon”)
08, Non si sa mai (“one never knows”)
09, La Giovanna
Get it: Fanigliulo, Io e me (1979)
Unfortunately, the record did not manage to chart, and “A me mi piace vivere alla grande” itself did not go further than the 42nd place. As a result, after another unsuccessful album in 1980, Ratatam pum pum (featuring Mauro Pagani, Walter Calloni, Loredana Bertè), and a 7″ in 1982 (“La liberté”), Ascolto discharged him. Fanigliulo came back to his coutrylife, from where he briefly emerged in 1983 with a Q-disc (a four-tracks EP) called Benvenuti nella musica (“welcome to music”) released by Battisti’s Numero Uno.
It’s his friendship with Zucchero (Fanigliulo is credited in the latter’s 1987 bestseller Blue’s for his contribution to music and lyrics) and especially with Vasco Rossi, the most successful italian rockstar, which drew him back to the music business. Actually he released a couple of singles in 1987 and 1988 through Bollicine, Rossi’s label, and was working on his comeback album, with Steve Rogers Band as a backing band, when, on January 1989, at the age of 44, he was hit by a stroke and died after a couple of days at the hospital’s intensive care unit. Just like he sang in “A me mi piace vivere alla grande”: “Ho un nano nel cervello, un ictus cerebrale” (“I’ve got a dwarf in my brain, a cerebral ictus”).
The songs he left unfinished were released in 1990 as a posthumous album titled Goodbye mai (“arrivederci never”). You can pay tribute to Franco Fanigliulo visiting the site L’artista Franco Fanigliulo (in italian), stuffed with info, pictures, songs preview, interviews, etc.