Mina 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 60’s and the 70’s 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.
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 time, labeled 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 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 a (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 60’s, especially when she worked in collaboration with the singer-songwriter Lucio Battisti.
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!
By 1970 Mina was already a established star, flirting with Brazilian music since the mid 60’s, 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.
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)
Arranged, Conductor (Orchestra): Bob Mitchell (Augusto Martelli)
PDU – Pld.A.5026
‘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. (!)