Anni di piombo, anni di paillettes.

Music from a country on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Posts Tagged ‘mogol

[music:] Gianni Morandi, Il mondo di frutta candita (1975)

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A kind of an identity disorder struck most of the Sixties’ teenage monstre popstars once entered the following decade, forced to face the evolution in young people’s music taste and the rise of rock bands, progressive, and cantautori.

Caught in this middle-age crisis, in the early Seventies Gianni Morandi was staggering between faint attempts to sound a bit more updated in music and engaged in lyrics, badly reviewed experiments in theatre and musicals, and fruitless efforts to win back his past success, when he decided to record a song written by Oscar Prudente and Mogol and already released as a single by Prudente in 1971: “Il mondo di frutta candita” (“the candied fruit world”), and everything suddenly seemed to fall in its place. An entire new album was built around this track, featuring the same Prudente and the young Ivano Fossati as songwriters.

You can feel his excitement and his trust and commitment in the project by the way he took over the songs with a yet unheard hoarse and almost raging voice, blessing overlooked jewels such as “Autostrade, no!”, “Io vado a sud” or “Io domani me ne vado” (just listen to this last one, and then consider that “Amarsi un po'” by Lucio Battisti will come two years later, in 1977). A promotional movie was also shot in the States to help launching the record (watch an excerpt here). And, guess what? Il mondo di frutta candita came basically unnoticed, worsening his crisis with the most bitter disappointment.

Here is the tracklist:

01, La caccia al bisonte (“the buffalo hunt”)
02, Sette di sera (“seven in the evening”)
03, Autostrade, no! (“highways, no!”)
04, Favole di mare (“sea fables”)
05, Il mondo di frutta candita (“the candied fruit world” also released as a 7″ b/w “La caccia al bisonte”)
06, Io vado a sud (“i’m going south”)
07, Due ore di polvere (“two hours of dust”)
08, Io domani me ne vado (“tomorrow i’m going away”)
09, La mia gente (“my people”)

Get it: Gianni Morandi, Il mondo di frutta candita (1975)

Anyway, this sad story came to a happy ending: after a three-years retirement from the music business, during which he studied double bass at Santa Cecilia conservatory in Rome, Gianni Morandi managed to hit the charts again in 1980, just to stay there.

He has released more than thirty albums to date, and is still one of the most popular pop singer in Italy. You can find more info on his official site MorandiMania (in Italian).

Written by alteralter

August 26, 2009 at 9:23 am

[music:] Enzo Carella, Sfinge (1981)

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One out of many. An average long-haired, moustached kid playing guitar, hitchhiking through Europe, going to rock festivals. Enzo Carella was in the Isle of Wight in 1970, at his hero Jimi Hendrix last gig. And in London, when Jimi died in his bed. What do you see when you turn out the light? I can’t tell you, but i know it could be mine.

I already mentioned Pasquale Panella in the previous post. Carella met him somewhere in Rome in the mid-seventies, while planning his personal way out of the post-prog swamp, fancying of an italian etnopop yet to come. The two teamed up in a songwriting plot to gently upset the scene.

1976. Enzo Carella releases his first single, “Fosse vero” (“should it be true”), followed some months later by the album Vocazione (“vocation”, 1977). Suddenly, a dazzling pop vision which looked like nothing before – and perhaps since – in Italy. Brightness, night, lightness, riddle, dance, rest, sex, suicide. Gold offered with simplicity and aloofness, just as everyone could do that. Only Lucio Battisti had likewise managed to sound so easy and complicated at the same time, joining britpop, soul, funky, latin influences, italian melodic tradition, often using opaque lyrics (by his songwriting partner Mogol) to challenge the listeners. Desperately seeking for a term of comparison, people sticked to this parallel and labelled Carella as a funny clone, justified by some superficial similarities such as the same thin, rough voice. Fact is, the ghost of Battisti has been haunting him since then – but who was influencing who, if in the end Lucio picked up Pasquale Panella to write the words to his songs from Don Giovanni (1986) on?

Enzo Carella was maybe looking for a spell that could disperse this shadow during the two years of silence that followed the release of a successful second album, Barbara e altri Carella (“Barbara and others Carella”, 1979), and a second place at the 1979 Sanremo festival. The same press sheet for his full-length comeback Sfinge (“sphinx”), finally out in 1981, reported him as “dealing with magic”.

Actually, esotericism and erotism seem to be the two strenghts which join forces in this masterpiece, surprisingly produced by a veteran from the prog scene, former Osanna wind player Elio D’Anna (who also played sax and flute on the record). D’Anna basically supplied a pleasant yet uncomfortable mediterranean setting where the songs lay in the half-light, at midday (“Mare sopra e sotto”, “Sfinge”), or under the moonlight (“Che notte (qui con te)”, “Contatto”). It’s the power of opposites. Pop music as an acrobatics number gone bad.

Here is the tracklist:

01, Stai molto attenta (“be very careful”)
02, Sì, si può (“yes, you can”)
03, Sex show
04, Mare sopra e sotto (“sea above and below”)
05, Sfinge (“sphinx”, also release as a 7″ b/w “Sì, si può”))
06, Che notte (qui con te) (“what a night (here with you)”)
07, Contatto (“contact”)
08, Lei no (“not her”)
09, Rilfessione finale (“final reflection”)

Get it here: Enzo Carella, Sfinge (1981)

After Sfinge, Enzo Carella went on hiatus until 1992, when the semi-anthologic Carella de Carellis came out. Since then, he has released two other albums, Se non cantassi sarei nessuno (1995, an imaginary musical based on the Odissey), and Ahoh yè nanà (2007), both written with his long-time confederate Pasquale Panella.

You can also visit his MySpace (in italian) for updates and some amazing pics.

Written by alteralter

December 3, 2008 at 9:56 pm