Edoardo Bennato is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
) is an Italian singer-songwriter
Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose and sing their own musical material including lyrics and melodies. As opposed to contemporary popular music singers who write their own songs, the term singer-songwriter describes a distinct form of artistry, closely associated with the...
. He is the brother of the singer-songwriter Eugenio Bennato.
BiographyEdoardo Bennato began his music career in the early Sixties (the first single was published on 1966) as one of the most creative and innovative songwriters of his time. His music distinguished itself for being an imaginative blend of blues
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...
, rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....
influences and even hints of opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...
After his first album Non farti cadere le braccia ("Don't lose heart", 1973), where he was still finding his way between tradition and innovation, Bennato decidedly chose the latter, many of his songs being performed by himself as a one-man band, with a 12-string acoustic guitar, harmonica, kazoo and foot-drum.
During this early period, Bennato's lyrics were characterised by biting satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...
Irony is a rhetorical device, literary technique, or situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions...
, often addressed at the establishment and those self-proclaimed as "the good". His second album, I buoni e i cattivi ("The good and the bad", 1974), was an attack against the common-sense distinction between good and evil, between the righteous and the villains. "Arrivano i buoni" ("Here come the good") was particularly significant: "Here come the good, they are resolute and they've already made a list of all the bad ones to eliminate... so now the good have declared war against the bad but they guarantee that it will be the last war ever to be fought...". With Io che non sono l'imperatore ("I, who am not the Emperor", 1975) Bennato pushed his music more towards experimentation, still mainly playing his acoustic guitar. The cover of the album shows a plan for the Naples light-rail system that Bennato had developed for his final project as a university student. While it was highly praised by his lecturers, the plan was never approved by the city council, giving him even more reason to deride and mock the powers to be.
"Meno male che adesso non c'e Nerone" ("Fortunately there's no Nero now") and "Signor censore" ("Mister censor") are among Bennato's best examples of pungent criticism of the system. With La Torre di Babele ("The Tower of Babel", 1976) Bennato's music became more sophisticated - more musicians contributed to the album, which contains tracks of a very wide range of styles. Bennato was clearly evolving rapidly and this album reflects this process. "Cantautore" ("Songwriter") is an amusing piece mocking those songwriters who, at the time, were taking themselves too seriously.
In the following year, Bennato finally reached commercial success with Burattino senza fili ("Marionette without strings", 1977). This is a concept album based on the Pinocchio
The Adventures of Pinocchio is a novel for children by Italian author Carlo Collodi, written in Florence. The first half was originally a serial between 1881 and 1883, and then later completed as a book for children in February 1883. It is about the mischievous adventures of Pinocchio , an...
fairy tale. The central idea is that having one's own freedom and independence is always better than giving in to the system and its rules, even if it means renouncing to some advantages that the system itself uses as luring temptations. Most of the songs in the album became classics, not only of Bennato's repertoire, but also of Italian pop music in general, "Il gatto e la volpe" ("The cat and the fox") probably being the most famous one.
After this big success, no new album appeared until 1980, when Bennato surprised fans, critics and the whole music biz with a very unconventional move: two albums in less than a month: Uffa! Uffa! ("I'm fed up!", 1980) and Sono solo canzonette ("They're only pop songs", 1980). The two albums together sold more than a million copies, against all marketing rules and expectations. Bennato was clearly at the apex of his creativity. Uffa! Uffa!, the most experimental of the two records, is an album where Bennato blatantly disregarded all commercial concerns and let his creativity free to indulge in all kinds of directions, from medieval ecclesiastical chants to punk rock. The album also contained big hits but was generally overshadowed by the hugely successful Sono solo canzonette, a concept album based on the Pater Pan fairy tale and affirming the value of fantasy and imagination over reason and logic.
By this time, Bennato was the most popular Italian songwriter. Inevitably, this period also coincided with the start of a very slow but perceptible decline. In 1983 another fairy-tale concept album, based on The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Pied Piper of Hamelin
The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the subject of a legend concerning the departure or death of a great many children from the town of Hamelin , Lower Saxony, Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in pied clothing, leading the children away from the town never...
appeared on the market (E' arrivato un bastimento) but it wasn't as successful as the previous ones and this must have led Bennato to try different avenues. This he did with alternating fortune until the present day. Notably, on the occasion of the 1990 FIFA World Cup
1990 FIFA World Cup
The 1990 FIFA World Cup was the 14th FIFA World Cup, the quadrennial international football world championship tournament. It was held from 8 June to 8 July 1990 in Italy, the second country to host the event twice. Teams representing 116 national football associations from all six populated...
, which were held in Italy, Edoardo sang the official song of the event: "Un'estate italiana
"Un'estate italiana" or "An Italian Summer" , is a 1990 song composed by Giorgio Moroder with lyrics by Tom Whitlock for the 1990 FIFA World Cup held in Italy...
" ("An Italian Summer") together with Gianna Nannini
Gianna Nannini is an Italian female singer-songwriter and pop musician. She may be best known for her 1986 song "Bello e Impossibile".-Personal life:...
- Non farti cadere le braccia (1973)
- I buoni e i cattivi (1974)
- Io che non sono l'imperatore (1975)
- La torre di Babele (1976)
- Burattino senza fili (1977)
- Uffà! Uffà! (1980)
- Sono solo canzonette (1980)
- È arrivato un bastimento (1983)
- È goal! (Edoardo Bennato live) (1984)
- Kaiwanna (1985)
- OK Italia (1987)
- Edoardo live (1987)
- Il gioco continua (mini LP) (1988)
- Abbi dubbi (1989)
- Edo rinnegato (1990)
- Capitan Uncino (1992)
- Il paese dei balocchi (1992)
- È asciuto pazzo 'o padrone (1992)
- Se son rose fioriranno (1994)
- Le ragazze fanno grandi sogni (1995)
- All the best (1996)
- Quartetto d'archi (1996)
- Sbandato (1998)
- Gli anni settanta (2 cd) (1998)
- Sembra ieri (2000)
- Afferrare una stella (2001)
- Il principe e il pirata (2001)
- L'uomo occidentale (2003)
- Totò Sapore e la Fantastica Storia della Pizza (2003)
- La fantastica storia del Pifferaio Magico (2005)
- Canzoni tour 2007 (2007)
- Canzoni tour 2008 (2008)
- Le vie del rock sono infinite (2010)