Italian rock

Italian rock

Italy is a European country, and has had a long relationship with rock and roll, a style of music which spread to the country by the early 1960s from the United States. The earliest Italian rock bands appeared during this period, playing cover version often interpretative covers. The first distinctively Italian singer-songwriter was Piero Ciampi, whose style was reminiscent of the French chansonniers. The United States and United Kingdom during the 1960s were in the midst of the psychedelic rock boom, which inspired Italian psychedelic bands such as Mario Schifano and Le Orme. At the time of the 1968 student uprisings, many young and educated Italians began to identify with the counterculture in France, Mexico, USA and across the world. Young Italians still had a well educated familiarity with classical music composers like Bach. The result was an influx of classically-influenced rock bands which fit right into the international move towards progressive rock. Italian progressive bands include Premiata Forneria Marconi, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Celeste, Reale Accademia di Musica, Saint Just, Goblin, Jacula, Devil Doll, Latte e Miele and New Trolls. Some bands, like Osanna, Area, Perigeo and Arti & Mestieri, fused progressive rock with jazz. Il Balletto Di Bronzo's "YS" is one of the most debated Italian prog-rock albums; some calling it trash and others extolling it as one of the greatest progressive albums ever made.

The same period, the early 1970s, also saw the rise of Italian singers and songwriters like Lucio Battisti, Fabrizio De André and Francesco Guccini.

By the end of the 1970s, Italian punk rock pioneers Skiantos had released 1978's "Monotono", which kickstarted the Italian punk scene. Later bands like The Confusional Quartet and Gaznevada fused New wave and Italian varieta with punk and other influences. In the 1980s, Italy boasted one of the most vibrant hardcore and thrash metal scenes, spawning bands like Negazione, CCCP, Affinita, Franti and Raw Power, as well as electronic-punk bands like Pankow. In the late 1980, more extreme bands heavy metal bands appeared, such as Opera IX and Necrodeath.

Popular 1980s rock singers and songwriters included Zucchero, Gianna Nannini and Vasco Rossi.

In the 1990s, Italian avant-garde and alternative rock bands gained international notoriety, at least among critics. These included Starfuckers, Uzeda, Afterhours, Three Second Kiss, Marlene Kuntz, Canadians (band) and Massimo Volume. To represent new-punk wave are bands like Punkreas, Derozer and Pornoriviste.

Gianna Nannini in 1970s, 1980s and into the 1990s the first Italian rocker who achieve real popular success outside of Italy. Especially in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux and later in Mexico. While Francesco De Gregori (the Dylan of Italy) was well appreciated by critics and well-informed fans outside of Italy it was Nannini who was first Italian pop icon to stick and to shift between pop and rock with ease and to stay the course through trends and upcoming generations. Zucchero, Eros Ramazzotti and Jovanotti (later: Nek and Laura Pausini) all went on to become huge international pop names in the late 1980s and 1990s. Gianna Nannini is very much The GodMother of an entire era of young rock singer-songwriters of the highest calibre that have emerged in Italy during the 1990s and into the 2000s. Artists such as Paola Turci, Carmen Consoli, Elisa and Edoardo Di Paola have taken her lead into a higher sophistication of song writing.

Another Tuscana (like Nannini) Irene Grandi has had a similar journey and has a similar persona only up-to-date and even more versatile. Sadly for Irene Grandi her success has remained mostly confined to Italy. The corporate structure and overt policies of the music business has in fact intensified the Anglo-American duopoply-monopoly over the past twenty years along with a culture of regime-playlists and radio deejays in most countries void of a mind or taste of their own. It is thus even harder for artists from countries such as Italy to get airplay in other countries in 2006 than it was in 1986.

Italian music in the 1990s and 2000s has produced and continues to produce some of the most brilliant music in the world a perfect example of which would be PAOLA TURCI's album "stato di calma apparente" an independent release. Other key artists/acts includes Almamegretta, Raiz, Tiromancino, Ustmamo, Subsonica, Speedjackers, The Sun Eats Hours, Negrita, Gabin, Planet Funk, Negramaro, Belladonna, Meganoidi, Verdena and a woman in her own category Giorgia one of the world's finest pop/soul/blues/jazz singers. Even on the pop front Milanese duo Paola & Chiara have proven how interesting packaged pop can be when it has a rich Latin tapestry over what is pumped out in the UK or USA.

Italy, also, has been known as one of the European centres of heavy metal music, in which bands like Rhapsody of Fire, Catarrhal Noise, Lacuna Coil and the demential band Nanowar of Steel attained great notoriety.

See also

* Italian progressive rock

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