If you love pop music with catchy hooks and synths, you were in luck in Italy this past summer. A number of charting Italian songs seemed influenced by 80s sounds:
A reminder that Zucchero’s world tour hits North America on September 9th in Atlantic City, NJ and goes across the US and Canada through October 2nd. For those in the Chicago and Detroit areas, visit our Facebook page and leave a comment in the last Zucchero post for a chance to win tickets to the shows in those cities.
Sep 9 – Atlantic City, NJ
Sep 10 – New York City
Sep 11 – Foxwoods Casino, CT
Sep 13 – Washington, DC (sold out)
Sep 14 – Washington, DC
Sep 16 – Boston
Sep 17 – Montreal
Sep 18 – Niagara Falls, ON
Sep 20 – Detroit
Sep 21 – Chicago
Sep 24 – Seattle
Sep 25 – Vancouver
Sep 27 – Portland
Sep 29 – San Francisco
Sep 30 – Los Angeles
Oct 1 – San Diego
Oct 2 – Tucson
Bocelli was discovered by Zucchero during an audition for the featured part in “Miserere,” recorded by Luciano Pavarotti.
Rescheduled 2020 tour dates from Zucchero and Eros arrive in the US and Canada in the second half of the year, along with Niagara Falls appearances from classic pop stars like Riccardo Fogli and Mal, and Hitweek is back with 2020 Sanremo winner Diodato in Miami and LA and Cosmo joining him in Miami.
Zucchero’s latest album, Discover, is a cover album containing international favorites like Coldplay’s “The Scientist” and Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” as well as Italian hits from Elisa, Fabio Concato, and Fabrizio De André. His 16-city tour begins on September 9th.
Ramazzotti’s album, Battito Infinito, will be released on September 16 and his US and Canada dates begin October 30th. The first new single was released last month and is titled “Ama.”
See our Events page for more details.
Here’s a release from a few months back that may gone underappreciated.
Finishing at the back of the pack each night the song was performed at this year’s Festival di Sanremo was Francesco Renga’s “Quando Trovo Te”. The song seemed not well suited for the live Festival setting and found the 2005 Sanremo winner struggling a bit. Translated to “When I find you,” the track was written by Renga and popular songwriters Roberto Casolino (Giusy Ferreri, Marco Mengoni, Annalisa) and Dario Faini, who is also known as Dardust and had a hand in 5 of the entries in this year’s Festival. The song’s sound is reminiscent of Casolino hits, with a sweet pop melody and memorable chorus. There seems to be some uptick in airplay of the single in the months that followed the Festival and a YouTuber posted a remix, perfect for these summer months.
Lyrics and English translation from LyricsTranslate
Top Italian pop artists have always dabbled in some Spanish, going all the way back to Domenico Modugno and then in the 70s Nicola di Bari, who became a major star in Latin America after his Sanremo wins and appearance at Eurovision. By singing in Spanish, the potential audience jumps 10x given the number of Spanish speakers in the world compared to Italian so it makes a lot of commercial sense, especially with a large Spanish audience even in the United States; Laura Pausini, Eros, and Nek have all performed to majority Spanish-speaking audiences in the US. Some singers have become even bigger stars with Latin audiences than in their homeland such as Franco Simone.
In the 80s, the list of artists that decided to give Spanish a try is a who’s who of 80s Italian pop including Toto Cutugno, Pupo, and I Ricchi e Poveri – and even Nino D’Angelo got into the act.
- Added two new programs to list of “Italian Radio programs in the US and Canada”.
- Full update coming later this month to Italian Radio/Video Stations page.
Raoul Casadei, king of liscio, passed away on @ 83 on March 13 from COVID-19 complications. Raoul had taken over the Orchestra Casadei from his uncle Secondo, who composed the popular Romagna Mia, in the 70s and helped popularize the music of Emilia-Romagna all over Italy. His son Mirko took over the Orchestra in 2000.
While many define ABBA as just a guilty pleasure, there’s no disputing they are one of the most successful groups in music history, second in record sales only to the Beatles. Whether it’s their disco hits or ballads, the songs can be incredibly catchy as well as moving and it’s no wonder why their music produced thousands of covers and numerous tribute bands.
In their heyday, ABBA also recorded some of their singles in Spanish while other language versions were done by home artists. In Italy, there were a number of well-done covers performed, in particular by 60s star Anna Maria Ramenghi and the better known Wilma Goich, successful singer from the 60s and a member of the group Vianella with her husband Edoardo Vianello. Many of the songs seem translated by the same songwriter, Rino Ballista.
A YouTuber put together a playlist of Italian covers of ABBA hits and even pre-ABBA tracks of group members.
One of the popular Italian balcony songs during the pandemic was Umberto Tozzi’s Gloria. This comes after renewed popularity in Laura Branigan’s cover of the Umberto Tozzi-Giancarlo Bigazzi song in the States when the hit became a rally song during the St. Louis Blues championship run last season. On display in the NHL Hall of a Fame is a 45 single of the song since the embrace of the song coincided with the Blues’ season turnaround.
Branigan, who died at age 52 with an undiagnosed brain anueryism, agreed to record the single in 1982 after some push from one of her first album producers, Greg Mathison, who worked keyboards on the original version. Branigan went on to cover 3 other Bigazzi singles. In 1983, “Mama,” also originally by Tozzi, was released with English lyrics by Diane Warren, who had her first songwriting hit with Branigan on “Solitaire” from the same album.
A year later, Branigan’s version of Tozzi’s “Ti Amo,” was released and while it had only minor success in the US, it hit the top 10 in both Australia and Canada, countries with a larger population of newer Italian immigration.
The other Bigazzi single was “Self Control, written with Raf, who also sang the song in English in the original version. In some parts of Europe, the two singles hit the charts simultaneously while Branigan’s version is the only one known outside of Europe.
Italy wasn’t the only European country Branigan plucked new singles from – “Solitaire” was initially a popular French single and “Deep in the Dark” was an English cover of the popular 80s German worldwide hit “Der Kommissar.”
Festival di Sanremo winner Alessandro Mahmoud, aka Mahmood, will reportedly move on to the Eurovision song contest to be held in Tel Aviv this year, with the main competition occurring on May 18 – although a recent interview suggests he may be having second thoughts. Below is a helpful lyrics video, with English translation, of the winning Sanremo song, “Soldi,” from Youtuber MYESC.
In the US for the past few years, Eurovision has been broadcast on LOGO TV which has also streamed the show on their site. No news is available yet if the same will be true this year. In Canada, OMNI Television just announced they will be broadcasting the competition this year. The show was last broadcast in Canada in 2015.
Here’s a 20-song playlist of the Italian tormentoni of the summer for those lucky enough to have heard these tunes at the beach or the bar this season – and for others to hear what we missed out on: