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 1979

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 (!).

27/06/1980

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:

On Tour 1981

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.’

Nero A Metà Promo

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!

Tracks Include:

A1 I Say I’ Sto Ccà
A2 Musica Musica
A3 Quanno Chiove
A4 Puozze Passà’ Nu Guaio
A5 Voglio Di Più
A6 Appocundria
B1 A Me Me Piace ‘O Blues
B2 E So’ Cuntento ‘E Stà’
B3 Nun Me Scoccià’
B4 Alleria
B5 A Testa In Giù
B6 Sotto ‘O Sole

Musicians

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)

Credits

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

Notes

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).

Naples Alley (RIP)

Daniela Casa – Societa’ Malata (1975)

capa cópiaLibrary music, also known as production or stock music, was originally recorded as fodder for media projects that needed readymade soundtrack cues. The tracks were usually brief instrumentals, typically no more than a minute or two in length, and often adopted whatever sounds were popular at the time. As a result, they serve as wonderful snapshots of the various musical eras in which they were laid down, from breezy easy listening and mellow mood to lethal funk jams and Moog noodlings.

These releases were not available to the general public and were chiefly distributed within media production circles. Free of the commercial pressure to produce hits, it was not uncommon for artists to abandon conventional song structures and immerse themselves into it. Even though it was supposed to be background music, a lot of this stuff is quite musically imaginative and makes for enjoyable listening on its own!

Let’s go to our music:

Alessandro Alessandroni
Alessandro Alessandroni (Braen)

Unlike popular and classical music publishers, who typically own less than 50 percent of the copyright in a composition, production music libraries own all copyrights of their music, thus, it can be licensed freely without the composer’s permission.

Library music composers and session performers typically work anonymously and have rarely become known outside their professional circles. In recent years some veteran composers, performers, and arrangers such as Alan Hawkshaw, John Cameron, and Keith Mansfield have achieved cult status as a result of a new interest in library music of the ’60s and ’70s, notably the beat/electronica cues recorded for KPM British label.

Suzanne Ciani
Suzanne Ciani

The Italian library scene from the ’70s is certainly the most popular and extensive of the ‘genre’, recently praised by worldwide labels, Dj’s and the blogosphere.

Soundtrack composers and arrangers such as Alessandro Alessandroni, Piero Umiliani, Bruno Nicolai, Suzanne Ciani, are just some of the greats from the period!

Let’s go to our artist:

Daniela Casa (February 6, 1944 – 28 July 1986), was the daughter of a builder of boats, that graduated from Art Schoolduring this time Daniela studied chant and guitar with Maestro Claudio de Angelis. She was discovered in 1963 and put under contract by Fonit label, participating in the same year at the Grand Prix (RAI TV show), in which she presents his own version of Senza Fine, the famous song by Gino Paoli.

Daniela Casa, 1964
Daniela Casa, 1964

The following year Daniela released her second 45 single, also by Fonit.

In 1965, at the Piper Club in Rome, she forms the duo Dany & Gepy with Giampiero Scalamogna, specializing in the revival of covers of soul and r&b. Along the 70’s she devoted herself to composition, writing the famous hits Regolarmente, engraved by Mina, and Dimmi Cosa Aspetti Ancora, performed by Dominga. Then, Uomo became the theme song of the television program Storie di Donneat the same time she married the musician Remigio Ducros and in 1972, Valentina Ducros was born.

Thenceforth, she develops several instrumental/library albums whose recording career lasted from 1963 through to her untimely death from cancer in 1988. (RIP)

Let’s go to our album:

1971

A genuine pioneer of experimental pop music, electronics, Giallo jazz and even heavy drone-rock jams, her elusive and infectious music joins the dots and loops between other Italian female electronic composers such as Giulia Alessandroni, Doris Norton, and Suzanne Ciani, retaining one of the most diverse composing styles of an advanced mechanical musician. Originally designed for use in Italian thrillers, nature documentaries, educational projects, and commercial installations.

I’m not an ardent fan of Library music, but this wonder recently re-released on vinyl has really poked me from the very first second. Daniela’s aural reflection of the wickedness of humanity and decay of our world delivers a multi-layered musical landscape that remains as vibrant and authentic today as they did 35 years ago!

Piero Umiliani Experiements
Piero Umiliani Experiments

Lastly, this is another exclusive release, godere di questa meraviglia, sì?!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Strade Vuote and Occultismo.

Bon Vwayaj!

Tracks Include:

A1 Ignoto

A2 Strade Vuote

A3 Pericolo

A4 Angoscia

A5 Fabbrica

A6 Oppressione

B1 Esoda

B2 Vizio

B3 Occultismo

B4 Noia

B5 Dittatura

Deneb ‎– DNB 0116

Suspiria's Japanese Poster
Suspiria’s Japanese Poster

Mina – Mina Canta o Brasil (1970)

folder cópiaMina is the greatest Italian singer of all times, but not only. For Italians, Mina is an icon equally as important as the biggest and best-known names about which they boast as proof that Italy has the highest quality everything in the world, like Ferrari, Armani, Fellini or Antonioni. During the ’60s and the ’70s, Mina embodied the very essence of the ultra-talented superstar on stage, in TV and in her records. (!)

She sang Italy’s greatest hits, which for over 40 years have been the leitmotiv of the everyday life of the Italian people. Nowadays Mina releases one record a year.

Let’s go to our artist:

Anna Maria Quaini or Mina Mazzini (25 March 1940)known for her three-octave vocal range, the agility of her soprano voice, and its image as an emancipated woman. In performance, Mina combined several modern styles with traditional Italian melodies which made her the most versatile pop singer in Italian music.

19 Year Old 'Rocker'
19 Year Old ‘Rocker’

Mina dominated the Italian charts for fifteen years and reached an unsurpassed level of popularity in Italy. She has scored 77 albums and 71 singles on the Italian charts!

Mina’s TV appearances in 1959 were the first for a female rock and roll singer in Italy, the public at the timelabeled her as the Tiger of Cremona for her wild gestures and body shakes. When she turned to light pop tunes, Mina’s chart-toppers in West Germany in 1962 and Japan in 1964 earned her the title of the best international artist. Mina’s more refined sensual manner was introduced in 1960 with Gino Paoli‘s ballad This World We Love In’, entering on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.

Mina & Massimiliano Pani
Mina & Massimiliano Pani

Mina was banned from Italian TV and radio in 1963 because her pregnancy and relationship with the married actor Corrado Pani did not accord with the dominant Catholic and bourgeois morals (sic). After the ban, RAI tried to continue to prohibit her songs, which were forthright in dealing with subjects such as religion, smoking, and sex. Mina’s school act combined sex appeal, with public smoking, dyed blond hair, and shaved eyebrows to create an (unprecedented) bad girl image!

Mina’s voice has a distinctive timbre and great power, her main themes are anguished love stories performed in high dramatic tones. The singer combined classic Italian pop with elements of blues, R&B and soul music during the late ’60s, especially when she worked in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti.

Live
Live

Top Italian songwriters created material with large vocal ranges and unusual chord progressions to showcase her singing skills, particularly ‘Brava’ (Bruno Canfora) and the pseudo-serial ‘Se Telefonando’ (Ennio Morricone)Shirley Bassey carried Mina’s ballad Grande Grande Grande’ to charts in the U.S. and U.K. in 1973.

Mina’s easy listening duet Parole Parole’ was turned into a worldwide hit by Dalida and Alain Delon in 1974. Then, Mina suddenly gave up public appearances in 1978 but has continued to release popular albums on a yearly basis to the present day.

Let’s go to our album:

Mina is an eclectic, versatile artist completely at ease with a repertoire spanning all musical genres, all of which she has sung with masterful panache!

The Tiger of Cremona!
La Tigre di Cremona!

By 1970 Mina was already an established star, flirting with Brazilian music since the mid-’60s, passing through bossa nova and samba, here she relies on the amazing arrangements of maestro Augusto Martelli to bring a vigorous overview of the so-called MPB (Brazilian popular music). With a stellar team of composers, Mina sings with wild passion, splendid technique and darting Portuguese to our delight!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Todas as Mulheres do Mundo and Tem Mais Samba.

Приятной поездки!

Tracks Include:

A1 Canto de Ossanha (B. Powell, V. de Moraes)

A2 Com Acúcar, Com Afeto (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

A3 Upa Nequinho (E. Lobo, G. Guarnieri)

A4 Todas as Mulheres do Mundo (Erasmo Carlos)

A5 Que Maravilha (Jorge Ben, Toquinho)

A6 A Banda (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B1 Canção Latina (O. Stocker, V. Martins)

B2 Tem Mais Samba (C. Buarque de Hollanda)

B3 Sentado a Beira do Caminho (E. Carlos, R. Carlos)

B4 A Praça (Carlos Imperial)

B5 Nem Vem Que Não Tem (Carlos Imperial)

Credits

Arranged, Conductor (Orchestra): Bob Mitchell (Augusto Martelli)

PDU ‎– Pld.A.5026

Today
Today

‘If I didn’t have my own voice, I’d like to have the voice of a young Italian girl named Mina’ / Sarah Vaughan, 1968. (!)

Ramasandiran Somusundaram – Skinny Woman (1974)

ramasandrian

Hello everyone! Today’s entry will be very short due to the lack of information available from this curious artist. An Indian (raised?) in Italy, who played with important members of the progressive scene from there. We thank our colleagues from Boxes of Toys for the rip and remember that this is an obscure album, the supposed lack of sound quality should be tolerated. Many of you may already know the funky Skinny Woman, but this album has much more to offer, let’s check!

Let’s go to our artist:

In 1974 a new incarnation of Garybaldi was formed by Bambi Fossati along with old cohort Maurizio Cassinelli, bassist Roberto Ricci, and Indian percussionist Ramasandiran Somusundaram as Bambibanda & Melodie. The percussionist previously active as a session musician also released an album and no less than three singles (in a more commercial vein) between 1974 and 1976 on the Magma label.

Single Cover, 1973
Single Cover, 1973

Let’s go to our album:

The A-side have a funky (non-stop) party atmosphere, with heavy percussion, cosmic keyboards, insane flutes, lo-fi brass, all wrapped in an exploitation feel. On B side things slow down a little bit, we see some influences of Ramasandrian homeland, with oriental tingesmelodic ballads, in a very peaceful Hindu atmosphere. (!)

It’s strange to imagine that this is the same artist from the beginning, the songwriting, a bit iffy on side A, convinces us in B-side, along with the tight band that accompanies him. The overall feeling at the end of the album is of surprise and contentment!

The ‘IM’ highlights are Electronic Heart and Chan.

यात्रा मंगलमय हो!

Tracks Include:

A1 Skinny Woman

A2 I Am Afraid of Losing You

A3 Everybody

A4 Electronic Heart

A5 Leon Dance

B1 Swamy

B2 Bombay

B3 Hari Siva

B4 Shanghai

B5 Chan

Credits

  • Percussions, Congas, Vocals: Ramasandiran Somusundaram
  • Drums, Timbales: Gianni Belleno
  • Composer: Niliomi (Vittorio de Scalzi), Datum (Giorgio Usai), Gianni Belleno

Produzione Studio G – Genova

Magma ‎– MAGL 18006

Bambibanda E Melodie
Bambibanda E Melodie

Osanna – Preludio Tema Variazioni Canzona (1972)

cover

Italy. Rome has for centuries been the leading political and religious center of Western civilization, serving as the capital of both the Roman Empire and Christianity. During the Dark Ages, Italy endured a cultural and social decline in the face of repeated invasions by Germanic tribes, with Roman heritage being preserved by Christian monks. Beginning around the 11th century, various Italian communes and maritime republics rose to great prosperity through shipping, commerce and banking (capitalism has its roots in Medieval Italy); concurrently, Italian culture flourished, especially during the Renaissance, which produced many notable scholars, artists, and polymaths such as da Vinci, Galileo, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli.

Meanwhile, Italian explorers such as Polo, Columbus, Vespucci, and Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Exploration. Nevertheless, Italy would remain fragmented into numerous warring states for the rest of the Middle Ages, subsequently falling prey to larger European powers such as France, Spain, and later Austria. Italy would enter a long period of decline that lasted until the beginning of the 18th century.

Renaissance Ensemble
Renaissance Ensemble

The second and the third wars of Italian independence resulted in the unification of most of present-day Italy between 1859 and 1866. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, the new Kingdom of Italy rapidly industrialized and acquired a colonial empire in Africa. However, Southern and rural Italy remained largely excluded from industrialization, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite victory in WWI, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, which favored the establishment of a Fascist dictatorship in 1922.

The subsequent participation in WWII at the side of Nazi Germany ended in military defeat, economic destruction, and civil war. In the years that followed, Italy abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, and enjoyed a prolonged economic boom, thus becoming one of the most developed nations in the world.

El Duce, Speech
El Duce, Speech

Let’s go to our history:

The Years of Lead was a period of socio-political turmoil in Italy that lasted from the late 1960s into the early 1980s. This period was marked by a wave of terrorism, initially called Opposing Extremisms (Opposti Estremismi) and later renamed as the Anni di Piombo. Among the possible origins of the name is a reference to the vast number of bullets fired, or even the 1981 Margarethe von Trotta’s homonym film (in Italy).

There was widespread social conflict and unprecedented acts of terrorism carried out by both right-and left-wing paramilitary groups. An attempt to endorse the neo-fascist Italian Social Movement (MSI) by the Tambroni Cabinet led to rioting and was short-lived. The Christian Democrats (DC) were instrumental in the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) gaining power in the 1960s and they created a coalition.

Multiple Murders
Multiple Murders

The assassination of the Christian Democrat leader Aldo Moro in 1978 ended the strategy of historic compromise between the DC and the Italian Communist Party (PCI). The assassination was carried out by the Red Brigades, then led by Mario Moretti. Between 1969 and 1981, nearly 2,000 murders were attributed to political violence in the form of bombings, assassinations, and street warfare between rival militant factions. Although political violence has decreased substantially in Italy since that time, instances of sporadic violent crimes continue because of the re-emergence of anti-immigrant, neo-fascist, and militant communist groups. (!)

The left-wing autonomist movement lasted from 1968 until the end of the 1970s. The years of lead began with the shooting death of the policeman Antonio Annarumma in 1969 and the Piazza Fontana bombing.

Aldo Moro, Kidnapped
Aldo Moro, Kidnapped

Is in the midst of this boiling cauldron that Italian prog (or symphonic) scene is established from Collage, La Orme’s second album in 1971. The Lp, beyond the indisputable technical merit, had a great reception and was hailed as a turning point to Italian rock. At the dawn of the 70s, Italy was the first country to recognize the talents of some British progressive bands such as Genesis, Gentle Giant, and Van der Graaf Generator, whose first albums had been ignored at home, becoming their market reference; they even toured and entered at the musical charts.

Thenceforth bands like Premiata Forneria Marconi, New TrollsBanco del Mutuo Soccorso, MetamorfosiIl Balletto di Bronzo, Goblin and Osanna played symphonic rock heavily influenced by classical music, against the backdrop of the Italian canzone tradition. The scene more or less ran dry by the end of 1975, owing to the difficulty of making a living as a rock band, many bands from Italy released only one or two albums before disappearing. Emphasis on PFM, they were the only band to enter the U.S. charts and completed four tours in the country!

PFM, U.S. Tour
PFM, U.S. Tour

Let’s go to our album:

Osanna came from Naples and was formed in 1971. The band was composed of Danilo Rustici (guitar), Lino Vairetti (vocals), Lello Brandi (bass) and Massimo Guarino (drums), all these musicians come from the band Cittá Frontale. There was also Elio D’Anna who came from Showmen. The group immediately began an intense concert activity, beginning in 1971 at the Caracalla Pop Festival and later taking part in the Festival of Avant-Garde Music and New Trends in Viareggio. With all band members dressed in long vests and with their faces painted, the collaboration with theatrical groups produced unique shows, odd for the Italian audience of the time.

The group signed a contract with Fonit and debuted with the album L’uomo, who receives a good reception and won the Record Critics’ Award Italian.

The following year, master Luis Enriquez Bacalov involves the group in the execution of the soundtrack composed for the film Milano Calibro 9, a police noir thriller. The album is titled Preludio Tema Variazioni Canzona, and fits into the genre between classical orchestra and rock music, which had just been started by the same Bacalov with the Concerto Grosso by New Trolls.

1972, Backcover
1972, Backcover

The intense live activity continues in 1973, in that year, they release Palepoli, which is considered one of the most successful Lp’s of the Italian prog scene (mine’s favorite). The record consists of three long compositions, which are developed around the contrast between tradition and modernity, between the urge to innovate which is opposed to the recovery of the folk tradition. Palepoli, means the ancient city, is ideally opposed to modern Naples, cold and detached in his metropolitan selfishness.

In 1974, Landscape of Life is released, though the group is undermined by internal strife, heightened during the process of recording. After its publication, the group dissolves to reconstitute itself in 1977 without Elio D’Anna, replaced by keyboardist Fabrizio D’Angelo, and with Enzo Petrone on bass. With this formation, Osanna realizes Suddance in 1978 for CBS, a record that despite critical acclaim does not receive the expected success. They finally melt at the beginning of the following year.

Palepoli Promo
Palepoli Promo

The band reformed in 1999 (with Lino Vairetti) releasing the Lp Taka Boom the following year, including old successes and some new songs. Their next production was Prog Family, under the name of Osanna/Jackson, featuring notable figures of prog rock history, such as Van der Graaf Generator’s saxophonist David JacksonKing Crimson’s David CrossBalletto di Bronzo’s Gianni Leone and others. (!)

Later, with David Jackson and Gianni Leone, the band contributed eight tracks to the live boxed set Prog Family (2009). And finally Rosso Rock Live In Japan (2012).

Although not being a proghead, I’ve always tried to bring things beyond the usual, thankfully, today’s album is no exception, and despite not even being the best of the band, Palepoli (forementioned). Here, Osanna’a terrific timbres, strong recording, and performance is a need between the Italian scene, they’re my faves!

Portrait
Portrait

Classical and Rock, I will leave the magnificent Preludio and Tema with you, this Lp also ends with some tacky  (sentimental) rock ballad, a must-see. The ‘IM’ highlights are for: Variazione III (Shuum…), a preview of the direction the band took in Palepoli, Elio D’Anna’s performance resembles Hermeto Paschoal freaky technique, short but amazing. And Variazione VI (Spunti Dallo Spartito…) a serious hard rock with a soul pause and a King Crimson ending. Kyau Tafiya!

Tracks Include:

A1 Preludio (Bacalov)

A2 Tema (Bacalov)

A3 Variazione I (To Plinius)

A4 Variazione II (My Mind Flies)

B1 Variazione III (Shuum…)

B2 Variazione IV (Tredicesimo Cortile)

B3 Variazione V (Dialogo)

B4 Variazione VI (Spunti Dallo Spartito n° 14723/AY del Prof. Imolo Meninge)

B5 Variazione VII (Posizione Raggiunta)

B6 Canzona (There Will Be Time) [Baldazzi, Bacalov, Bardotti]

Fonit ‎– LPX 14

Music A3 ~ B5 by: Osanna

Credits

  • Arranged by, Directed by (Orchestra Direction) – Luis Enriquez Bacalov
  • Bass – Lello Brandi
  • Drums, Percussion, Vibraphone, Vocals – Massimo Guarino
  • Guitar, Vocals – Danilo Rustici
  • Saxophone, Flute, Vocals – Elio D’Anna
  • Vocals, Synthesizer – Lino Vairetti
  • Producer: Sergio Bardotti
  • Recorded by: Giancarlo Jametti
  • Recorded by, Mixed by: Plinio Chiesa
  • Liner Notes: Matthias Scheller
  • Artwork, Photography by: G. Greguoli
  • Transferred by: Franco Brambilla

Soundtrack from the movie Milano Calibro 9

Vesuvius View
Vesuvius View