Despite its European neighbours still clinging to lazy cliches about overbearing mamas and sinister mafiosi in a way that suggests little has changed in the 30 years between Joe Dolce's Shaddap You Face and the current run of Dolmio adverts, no country has shaped the region's aspirations like Italy. For decades, the continent has wanted to dress like Italians, eat like Italians, romance like Italians and, when it comes to music, sound like Italians.
From the smooth swing of the 50s to the current wave of banging Euro house, Italian DNA runs throughout the history of contemporary pop. Although the styles developed by the country's musicians have been exported far and wide, there's a strong case for saying, like Madonna's famous T-shirt, that Italians do it better. Only the tip of the iceberg, here are 10 classic clips in support of the theory.
Thanks to the success of Dean Martin and Mario Lanza, the world's image of "Italian" pop, at least until the disco era, was almost entirely bound up with the borrowed nostalgia of second-generation migrants keen to wrap themselves in the red, white and green flag. While their brand of sentimental "musica leggera" found echoes in Italy itself with singers such as Gino Paoli and Mina Mazzini, by the mid-60s things were becoming much more interesting.
Regarded by many as the most important Italian musician of the postwar years, the brilliant Fabrizio de André headed a new wave of darker, more political folk-pop stars. His hits, including La Guerra di Piero, took anarchism and pacifism into the charts and are still a rallying point for the Italian left.
Impervious to shifts in public mood, Adriano Celentano's position as a national icon hasn't been in doubt at any point over the last six decades. One of the first stars to bring rock'n'roll to Italy, he's most famous internationally for the remarkable glam stomp of Prisencolinensinainciusol. Designed to sound like American English does to people who don't speak the language, the Dylanesque vocals are pure gibberish from start to finish – putting them in a similar category to much of Bob Dylan's own work from the 80s onwards. Accompanied by Raffaella Carrà, his 1974 Rai Uno performance is one of the most perfectly executed television spectacles you'll ever see.
The question has come up in here several times recently, about Classical music and variations of it.
Does anybody care about this Italian group, which has been highly popular in Europe for over 20 years? They tend to wear rococo costumes, and use "classical" instruments, but are by definition "pop-artists"
Not sure about the die-hard Wagner and Mahler fans in here, but I kind of like their easy listening music (although it being a bit repetitive, at times...)
First one is their most popular piece, the second one happens to have a more arty video
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Google "Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr" and you will, as you might expect, get loads of results about the professional racecar driver.