Inspired by this recent article in the Guardian, and since I’ve been living in Italy for the past 5 years, here are a couple of my personal suggestions on Italian music worth listening to (old and new):
My favorite folksinger, unfortunately died from a car accident in the beginning of the 80s, but he was fantastic for using irony to expose the rotten Italian society of the 70s/80s:
CCCP / CSI
Fabulous punk/rock band from the 80s, left-wing political (takes it’s name from the USSR) and inspired a generation of Italian bands. After the fall of the Berlin wall they collapsed as well and some years later reformed as CSI (Consorzio Suonatori Independenti), a calmer version of CCCP with even better, IMO, song material (and even later, as PGR).
Another band I love, they were strong during the 90s and did rap/ska, also quite political (and it’s a total coincidence that these 3 bands have been political, actually. more so, I enjoy their intransigence).
L’Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio
I’ve written about this band before. I love them, I love the original concept, which is to put together musicians originating from all over the world and playing instruments and scales from all over the world, who happen to live in Rome (in Piazza Vittorio Emmanuele, next to the main train station).
I love this band, this sing both in Italian and French and you can find them at every 1 May demonstration in Rome (why is this post becoming so political? ahah)
I love him, please download his album called “Viaggi Fuori dai Paraggi”, with re-interpretations of many traditional songs from South America, including Te Recuerdo Amanda from Victor Jara (ok, I give up, this is a political post)
Elio e le Storie Tese
Another fabulous group, they are mostly satyrical but are also composed of very very good musicians:
The diva of Italian music.
This would be the male equivalent to Mina.
Electro band from the 90s/00s.
A classical pianist and composer. If you don’t have it yet, download as fast as you can Diario Mali, a wonderful album done in collaboration with Ballaké Sissoko.
Acid Jazz musician and DJ.
Other artists worthy of mention: Jovanotti, Afterhours, Raffaela Carrà, Donatella Rettore, Anna Oxa, Banda Bassotti, Caparezza, Daniele Silvestri, Domenico Modugno, Ennio Morricone, Fabrizio de Andrè, Francesco de Gregori, Franco Battiato, Gino Paoli, Giorgio Gaber, Il Parto delle Nuvole Pesanti, Il Teatro degli Orrori, La Crus, Lando Fiorini, Lucio Dalla, Mario Biondi, Marlene Kuntz, Modena City Ramblers, Nada, Paolo Conte, Patty Pravo, Renato Zero, Sud Sound System, Vinicio Capossela.