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Fabrizio De Andre

Fabrizio De André (1940 - 1999) was a leading Italian singer-songwriter and poet. In his works he often told stories ofmarginalized and rebellious people, above all prostitutes, that were seen by De André as an answer to the bourgeoisprissiness.

De André was born in Genoa on 18th February 1940. His father was an anti-fascist, and during the war the De André familyhad to seek refuge in a country farm near Revignano d’Asti, in Piedmont.The family returns in Genoa in 1945. Fabrizio studiedlaw at the University of Genoa, but left before graduating.

His first ins ...read more

Fabrizio De André (1940 - 1999) was a leading Italian singer-songwriter and poet. In his works he often told stories ofmarginalized and rebellious people, above all prostitutes, that were seen by De André as an answer to the bourgeoisprissiness.

De André was born in Genoa on 18th February 1940. His father was an anti-fascist, and during the war the De André familyhad to seek refuge in a country farm near Revignano d’Asti, in Piedmont.The family returns in Genoa in 1945. Fabrizio studiedlaw at the University of Genoa, but left before graduating.

His first instrument was the violin, and then he took up the guitar, playing in local jazz bands. In 1958 he recorded his firsttwo songs: Nuvole barocche (“Baroque Clouds”) and E fu la notte (“Then Night Came”). In 1962 he married Puny Rignon, aGenoese woman nearly ten years his senior. The same year the couple had their first and only son, Cristiano De André, whowould follow in his father’s footsteps to become a musician and songwriter.

Over the years that followed, De André, inspired mainly by George Brassens’ works, wrote a number of songs which made himknown by a larger public; his song La Canzone Di Marinella (“Marinella’s Song”) was recorded in 1968 by the famous Italiansinger, Mina, and its author was acclaimed as the most important Italian cantautore, or singer-songwriter.The first De AndrèEP, Volume I, was released in 1967, and contain three af the most famous Fabrizio’s songs: Via del Campo(literally “FieldStreet”, a famous street of Genoa), Bocca di Rosa and Carlo Martello Ritorna Dalla Battaglia di Poitiers(“Charles Martel on HisWay Back from Poitiers”). The last one was written with Paolo Villaggio, a famous italian actor and also De André’s friend.Hissecond album “Tutti Morimmo A Stento”(“We all died hardly”), released in 1968, contains songs as “Leggenda Di Natale”based on the song “Le Père Noël et la Petite Fille”, written by George Brassens, one of the most important influence forFabrizio.In 1968 was also released the thirt De André’s album, Volume III, one of the most important album of this first period.In this album there are two songs inspired by Brassens’ poetry, “Il Gorilla” and “Nell’acqua della chiara fontana”. Other famoussongs are “La guerra di Piero”(“Piero’s war”) “La canzone di Marinella”(Marinella’s Song”), previously released by Mina, and“S’I’ Fossi Foco”(If I were Fire”), from a poem by Cecco Angiolieri.In 1970 was released “La Buona Novella”(“The GoodNovella”), a religious concept album based on the vision of Christ’s life told in Apocrypha. The album was very controversialfor Jesus’ vision by De André and especially for the song “Il testamento di Tito” (“Titus’ Will”), in which one of the thievescrucified together with Jesus confutes violently the Ten Commandments.In 1971 was released one of the most famous andthe most important De André’s album, “Non al denaro non all’amore né al Cielo” based on Edgar Lee Masters “Spoon RiverAnthology”, translated in italian by the famous italian poetess Fernanda Pivano, one of Fabrizio’s best friend.* “La collina” isbased on “The Hill”* “Un matto” is based on “Frank Drummer”, in which a man memorizes the Encyclopedia Britannica and isconsidered mad by the people of Spoon River.* “Un Giudice” is based on Selah Lively, the story of a midget who studies lawand becomes a judge to get a revenge against the people who made fun of him all his life.* “Un blasfemo” is based on“Wendell P. Bloyd”.* “Un malato di cuore” is based on “Francis Turner”, in which a man dies of a heart attack while giving hisfirst kiss.* “Un medico” is based on “Dr. Siegfried Iseman”, the story of a doctor who wants to cure poor people withoutreceiving any payment.* “Un chimico” is based on “Trainor, the Chemist”, in which a chemist, who doesn’t understand therelationships between men and women but loves chemical elements, dies while executing an experiment.* “Un ottico” is basedon “Dippold the Optician”, the story of an optician who wants to create special glasses which show strange images.* “Ilsuonatore Jones” is based on “Fiddler Jones”.Two years later was published another important album in Fabrizio’s career,“Storia di un Impiegato”(“The Story of a White-Collar”), in which De André analyses the Year Of Lead, (in Italy a period ofpolitical tensions, between 1968 and 80s characterized by bomb’s massacre by neo-fascist and by kidnapping and by murdersby Brigate Rosse and other subversive organization). This is another concept album, in which a man, inspired by French May,decided to rebel against the society knowing finally that his bomb and his rebellion was controlled by the State and directedto make the power stronger. This is one of the most complicated and hermetic album by De André.The year after wasreleased a new album, “Canzoni”(“Songs”), in which De André translated some famous songs by Bob Dylan(“Via della Povertà”,in english “Desolation Row”), Leonard Cohen and Brassens, but also unreleased songs as “La Città Vecchia”(“The Old City”),another highly famous song. Is important to see how from this album and so on, De André was highly inspired by AmericanFolk music.

De André divorced his wife Puny, and started a relationship with the folksinger Dori Ghezzi. In 1975 he began to perform in aseries of memorable concerts (after his first performances of the early 1960s, he had always refused to appear in public,except for a couple of television broadcasts).In this year was released the new album, Volume VIII, written with Francescode Gregori, a famous italian songwriter who also translated “Desolation Row” with Fabrizio. The most famous songs of thisalbum are “Amico Fragile”(“Fragile Friend”) and “La Cattiva Strada”(“The Bad Way”).

In 1977, having moved to Sardinia, the couple had a daughter, and in the following year Fabrizio de André issued a new LP,Rimini. Most songs included in this album were written with a young Veronese singer-songwriter, Massimo Bubola. There’s also“Avventura a Durango” a translation of “Romance in Durango” bu Bob Dylan.

1979 began with a series of famous live concerts from which a double LP is drawn; De André was accompanied by one of themost renowned Italian progressive rock bands, Premiata Forneria Marconi. At the end of August, De André and Ghezzi werekidnapped for ransom by a gang of Sardinian bandits, and held prisoner in the inaccessible Supramonte mountains. The couplewas released four months later; no ransom was paid. When the bandits were apprehended by the police, and De André wascalled as witness before the Court, he refused to denounce his kidnappers and declared his own solidarity with them: «Theywere the real prisoners, not I», he said.

This dramatic episode, and the hard life of the Sardinian people, gave him inspiration for his following album, released in 1981.The album is anonymous, but, from the image of a native American appearing on the cover, the mass-media called it L’indiano(The Indian). The album contains one of his most famous songs, Fiume Sand Creek: it relates the massacre of defencelessnative Americans of 29th November 1864 by U.S. Army troops.

In 1984 Fabrizio De André turned to his native Genoese dialect and wrote, together with former PFM member Mauro Pagani,one of his most celebrated albums, Crêuza de mä(“Path to the sea”, the term “Crêuza” actually indicates a narrow roadbordered by low walls, typical of Genoa and its surroundings). The songs were a tribute to traditional music from everyMediterranean country.The album was awarded an unending series of prizes and was greeted as “the best Italian album ofthe 1980s”. It was named by David Byrne as one of his favourite albums. As Pagani has repeatedly stated, De Andrè wrotethe lyrics for the album, while the music was almost entirely Pagani’s.

In 1989 Fabrizio De André married Dori Ghezzi; the following year a new album was issued, Le nuvole (“The clouds”), whichincluded two more songs in the Genoese dialect, one in the Gallurese dialect of Northern Sardinia (Monti di Mola), and one inthe Neapolitan dialect, the highly ironic Don Raffae’. A new series of live concerts followed, from which a double LP (1991Concerti[) was drawn. In 1992 he started a new series of live concerts.

In 1997 De André started a new tour of theatre concerts and a new song collection, calledMi innamoravo di tutto (“I fell inlove with everything”) was issued. This tribute album included a version of La canzone di Marinella in duet with Mina. TheAnime salve concert tour went on up to the late summer of 1998, when De André stopped at the first symptoms of a seriousdisease, which was later diagnosed as cancer.

He died in Milan on 11th January 1999. Two days later, he was buried in his native town, Genoa; the ceremony was attendedby an immense crowd of about 20,000. Fabrizio De André rests in the monumental Staglieno cemetery, in the De André familychapel. « hide

Similar Bands: Francesco De Gregori, Francesco Guccini, Luigi Tenco

LPs
Anime Salve
1996

3.8
5 Votes
Le Nuvole
1990

3.8
6 Votes
Crêuza De Mä
1984

4.4
9 Votes
Fabrizio De André
1981

3.7
3 Votes
Rimini
1978

3.4
5 Votes
Volume 8
1975

3.1
4 Votes
Canzoni
1974

3.1
5 Votes
Storia di un Impiegato
1973

4.3
12 Votes
Non al denaro non all'amore né al cielo
1971

4.3
19 Votes
La Buona Novella
1970

4.2
8 Votes
Tutti Morimmo A Stento
1968

4.3
11 Votes
Volume III
1968

4.2
7 Votes
Volume I
1967

3.9
8 Votes
Live Albums
In concerto con PFM vol. 2
1980

In concerto con PFM vol. 1
1979

4
1 Votes
Compilations
Tutto Fabrizio De André
1966

3.5
1 Votes

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