Italian Song Challenge Day 25: Lucio Battisti

Lucio Battisti (1943 – 1998) was a hugely influential Italian singer-songwriter and composer who was widely recognised for many of the songs that defined Italian pop in the 60’s and 70’s.

Battisti released 18 albums from 1969 to 1994, with many translated and released in other languages including Spanish, English, French and German.

He was known as being an extremely reserved artist performing only a small number of live concerts during his career.

In 1978 he announced he would only speak to the public through his musical work, limiting himself to the recording only studio albums and slowly disappearing from public life.

A self-taught guitarist Battisti made his debut as a musician in the 1960s performing in local bands around Rome, Naples and later Milan. He also travelled abroad working as a musician in Germany and the UK.

In this period he became influenced by the music of Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. Later he introduced elements of the American style into Italian pop. Battisti worked on his musical style by firstly writing for others.

In 1969 he took part in the Sanremo Festival with the son Un’avventura (An adventure) which brought him a wider audience. His first great hit was Acqua azzura, acqua chiara’ (Blue water, clear water) won the Festivalbar pop music festival and established him as a major Italian artist.

Collaborating with the lyricist Mogol, Battisti continued to issue solo albums often through the ’70s. He had regular hits in the Italian musica leggera (light music) pop charts and also collaborated with other famous figures from the same period, like Mina.

In 1972 Billboard nominated Battisti Italian Personality of the year. He was defined as a singer, composer, music publisher of international fame that elevated the Italian audience’s taste and strengthened the market.

In 1981 Battisti broke his collaboration with Mogal switching to a more experimental phase based on electronic instruments.

Pensieri e parole (Thoughts and words) is typical of Battisti’s style, his loud soulful sound and emotive voice. His impeccable performance style makes him one of the most universally loved Italian singers.

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