Thursday, December 6, 2007

I've been swizzed, I've been taken, I've been cheated!

Over the years I've become a big fan of certain Italian pop superstars. Originally I explored Italian contemporary music as my interest in the language grew. Some I can leave but some I quite like and listen to a lot, owning multiple CDs of each singer. One is Nek whose CD In Due I enjoyed on my iPod at the gym this morning. But I think my favourite is Eros Ramazzotti, one of the most successful cantautori or singer/songwriters in Italy today.

His popularity extends far beyond Italy for he releases every new CD in Italian and Spanish. I don't know how popular he is in the English speaking world but he has collaborated on recordings with Cher, Tina Turner and Ricky Martin. Usually I can get his CDs locally, one copy maybe in the World Section or I can always get them online.

Italian pop/rock music has its own definite sound. It's very different from British or American pop/rock and it doesn't seem to get much radio play in the English speaking world. Zucchero, another very successful Italian superstar had this to say in an interview, about releasing an album both in English and Italian.
The radio in England or America will not play your music unless it's sung in English. That's the main reason, because honestly it's not easy to translate from Italian to English. Sometimes it's ok, but sometimes it's very difficult because you lose the poetry. You lose the harmony and the deep meaning of the lyrics sometimes because it's not easy to translate into another language. I personally prefer to sing in my own language but the radio in England and America won't play the music if it's not in English.
But back to Ramazzotti, for whom I have a slight preference over the others. I was delighted to hear that he had a new CD being released in North America at the end of October. I looked online first, as I usually do, but only available for pre-order. Recently in the music store I went over to the International Section and there it was. But wait, was it in Spanish or Italian? I've been caught before, so I always check carefully. No, Italian, great. It's two CDs. That meant really expensive and Italian CDs are never cheap here. $30 plus tax. It's only money, so I bought it.

I could hardly wait to rip off the cellophane and play it when I got home. The first song was great, the second.........what the heck? That was an old one. I grabbed the CD case and saw this little sticker.

The Ultimate collection on 2 CDs
14 classics plus 4 new songs plus 17 new versions.
New collaborations with....list

So basically it's a best of compilation with a few new songs, some old songs and some old ones reworked with new collaborators, like Cher, Tina Turner, the Chieftains. What a gyp Eros. Nothing new for two years and now this. Oh well, I do like it so I'll just enjoy it and forget about the fact that I've been swizzed, I've been taken, I've been cheated. I definitely have to read the fine print next time.

Apart from Welshcakes, I'm sure few of you have even heard of Eros Ramazzotti. However I think you might like this one with Ricky Martin, Non Siamo Soli, We are not alone. They won't allow anyone to embed the video but the link will take you right to it at YouTube. Do click over and let me know what you think.

If you'd like an encore, with some gorgeous images, try this one which I could embed. L'Ombra del Gigante. The Shade of the Giant.


The Laundress said...


Well,Eros is no misnomer.

Hot videos. Painfully hot. Too many full lips and turgid fjords for me...

lovely fellow though and I had never heard of him before, thank you JG!

Eurodog said...

Ramazzotti is very well known here in Belgium and is frequently on TV and his songs are often on the radio.
You might find this strange but Belgians are very southern in their temperament. In its long and complex history, Belgium was ruled by the French and the Spanish and the Austrians so its roots and its culture are varied. Hardly Bergmanesque ( as in Ingmar Bergman ).

Gledwood said...

I thought it was that dreadful man from ER at first... what's his name? George Formby? ... No! George Clooney!! haha!!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Very interesting, jmb. I like Eros but I like Zucchero better. It is true that Ital pop songs are very different from English-speaking world ones - they tell a story, more in the French tradition. Eros is right about translation. Sorry you've been had!

Vic Grace said...

You sure have to read the labels on everything don't you. I have been caught the same way. BTW I am afraid I have never heard of Eros or Zucchero.

Carver said...

I enjoyed the images on the video you embedded. They are gorgeous. I also enjoyed the music although I don't understand the language. Sometime I like that the best, music where I don't speak the language so I'm just hearing the melody, rhythm, feeling, etc. I'm sorry the new CD wasn't all new but instead was a collection. I don't like that if I'm expecting a new release. Take care, Carver

Sean Jeating said...

As Wilhelm Busch stated: Music as it's noise-related, is often not appreciated.
But from time to time listening to an Italian voice, can be a pleasure for one's ears.
This just to let find you the third commenter "knowing" Ramazotti; not to speak about Eros.
Seriously: If I had to decide, Ramazotti or Zucchero, my answer were Pavarotti. :)

Ellee Seymour said...

This is definitely my kind of music, so romantic too. Isn't Eros a wonderful name? Is it Greek or Roman?

Ian Lidster said...

The demand that music be in English must be new -- maybe reflective of the dumbing down of our society. Remember 'Volare' back in the 1950s? It was a huge hit, and sung entirely in Italian. Hey, try grand opera in English translation. It sounds horribly stupid and banal.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Ah yes, the articulate Ricky Martin, on whom I ran post not so long ago. Highbrow stuff, JMB.

jmb said...

Hi Merry Laundress,
He is indeed a lovely Italian and I like his voice too. Glad you enjoyed the songs.

Hi Eurodog,
Obviously the Belgians are more tolerant of another language than the Brits and Americans. I'm glad to hear they like Eros too.

Hi Gleds,
No not George, no dimples at all.

I can never make up my mind between Nek, Eros and Zucchero. It depends on the song, I suppose. But I seem to have more CDs of ER.

Hi Vic Grace,
Good to see you. I was too quick to buy it without reading the fine print. I didn't expect anyone would have heard of them except Welshcakes.

Hi Carver,
I liked the images too so that's why I put it in as well. Not knowing the language helps one focus on the music, but I do so am usually scrabbling to make out the lyrics the first few times I listen.

Hi Sean,
Nice to see you here. I would choose Pavarotti if I wanted to listen to opera but I am happy to listen to Nek and Ramazotti and Zucchero. I have developed a taste for these singers over the years.

Hi Ellee,
I'm glad you enjoyed the music. Eros is a wonderful name, the Greek god of love, sex and fertility. :)

Hi Ian,
I hadn't realized that radio stations like English until Zucchero said it. In fact we don't hear the Quebecois singers here either, except on the French channels.

Hi Bretwalda Edwin,
You know I had to google that term to find out you were now Anglo- Saxon. Not quite highbrow James, that was the recent Mussorgsky post.

Thanks to you all for visiting and commenting.

Ellee Seymour said...

The Greeks invented everything worthwhile! :-)

Liz said...

This was the post I tried to comment on yesterday!

What a swizz indeed. Husband likes Peter Kay,a comedian, and for teh last two years he has released, at Christmas time, compilations. Fortunately I checked before buying but it is such a con.

zeenbeen said...

Eros is the best as far as I am concerned, great music and i only understand English so thats how much i like it. He is no. 1.