Pino Daniele – Nero A Metà (1980)
Let’s get a pause of the gals, shall we? I must admit I’m a bit ashamed for only get to know this COLOSSAL artist only a few years back but that’s one of the reasons that I have the ‘IM’. Pino Daniele is probably one of the greatest Italian artists of the 20th century, like Lucio Dalla and Vasco Rossi, this Napolitan musician, and composer stood out as a brilliant guitarist and bandleader, passionate composer, and a very very distinct singer.
Unfortunately, Pino passed away in 2015 due to a heart attack, a tragic loss of someone who didn’t reach its sixties, RIP! We choose to present you one of his masterpieces (yes he has more than one!), its third solo album, a voyage that ranges from Blues to Jazz, and even Pop elements, a real treat with a stellar band, so non andare da nessuna parte, vuoi?
Let’s get to our artist:
Pino Daniele, born Giuseppe Daniele (Naples, 19 March 1955 – Rome, 4 January 2015), was an Italian singer-songwriter, musician and composer. Pino grew up learning both classical and traditional Neapolitan guitar, though as a teenager he became interested in British and American rock. In 1976, he started playing as a bassist in Napoli Centrale where he met James Senese who would become a key figure in the production of his first albums.
In the same year Claudio Poggi, EMI Italiana’s producer, listened to a demo tape with Daniele’s original songs and decided to produce his music. Within six months his first single was released titled Ca Calore / Fortunato, both songs were included on his first album, Terra Mia (released in 1977) sung in Neapolitan, was the first example of what Daniele called “taramblù” a combination of tarantella, rhumba, and blues (!).
In 1979 his self-titled sophomore record was released, followed by Nero a Metà in 1980, and that same year Daniele was invited to open for reggae superstar Bob Marley for his show in Milan, with an attendance of more than 100.000 people it was by far its greatest show ever played. During the next few years the artist continued exploring his various Mediterranean, African, and Western inspirations, found in albums like Common Ground, a collaboration with Richie Havens, and the Middle Eastern-influenced Bonne Soirée, as well as writing soundtracks for films by his close friend Massimo Troisi.
Being active until its very last moment, Pino Daniele had released several albums, cinema soundtracks, television performances, world-tours, and countless collaborations. He is one of the most famous Italian musicians in the world and we simply thank you, Ragazzo!
Let’s go to our album:
Easy to say that Pino’s first five albums are absolutely mandatory, from 1977 to 1982 his career skyrocketed and then he continued to search new forms of expression through multiple collaborations and live performances in a very fruitful career. Nero A Metà sold over 300,000 copies and is present in the ranking of the 100 most important Italian records ever according to Rolling Stone Italia at position number 17. (!)
Pino’s thoughts about this album:
‘The title “Nero a Metà”, tied to a musical concept, was inspired by a beautiful book published in the ’70s, “Nero di Puglia”, which narrates the story of a colored man born in the South, a little like my friend James Senese’s story. Useless to say that my favorite piece is “Quanno Chiove”, one of my first love songs. We wanted to change things and music helped us a lot.’
The ‘IM’ highlights are Quanno Chiove (probably one of the most beautiful love songs ever) and A Me Me Piace ‘O Blues (a funk-prog blues to stir up ANYTHING). Genio!
A1 I Say I’ Sto Ccà
A2 Musica Musica
A3 Quanno Chiove
A4 Puozze Passà’ Nu Guaio
A5 Voglio Di Più
B1 A Me Me Piace ‘O Blues
B2 E So’ Cuntento ‘E Stà’
B3 Nun Me Scoccià’
B5 A Testa In Giù
B6 Sotto ‘O Sole
Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar: Pino Daniele
Bass: Aldo Mercurio, Gigi De Rienzo
Congas: Karl Potter
Drums: Agostino Marangolo, Mauro Spina
Harmonica: Bruno De Filippi
Keyboards: Ernesto Vitolo
Percussion: Rosario Iermano, Tony Cercola (Astà)
Tenor Saxophone: James Senese
Backing Vocals: Enzo Avitabile
Lyrics and Music by Pino Daniele
Arranged By: Pino Daniele (tracks: A1 to A6, B2 to B6)
Arranged By: Gigi De Rienzo (tracks: B1)
Mixed By: Allan Goldberg (tracks: A1 to B2, B4 to B5), Gaetano Ria (tracks: B3, B6), Marcello Todaro (tracks: B3, B6)
Photography By: Cesar Monti
Producer: Willy David, Marcello Todaro, Pino Daniele
Recorded By: Allan Goldberg
Co-Producer: Gigi De Rienzo, Rosario Iermano
Artwork: Cesar Monti, Willy David
Engineer: Nick Lovallo
Graphics: Wanda Monti
Management: Totò Iacobone, Willy David
Management (Personal Manager): Joseph Lodato
EMI – 3C 064-18468 / 12-2-80.
Registrato e mixato allo “Stone Castle Studio” tranne “Nun Me Scoccià'” e “Sotto ‘O Sole” mixati al “Trafalgar Recording Studio” (ottobre ’79 – gennaio ’80).