1. Questa Sporca Vita
2. Sono Qui Con Te Sempre Più Solo
3. Wanda
4. Sindacato Milardari
5. La Fisarmonica Di Stradella
6. Tua Cugina Prima (Tutti A Venezia)
7. La Ragazza-Fisarmonica
8. Onda Su Onda
9. Lo Scapolo
10. Una Giornata Al Mare
11. La Giarrettiera Rosa

RCA, 1974


For those given to wallowing in the poise and refinement of later works, this record is a healthy shock to the system. It lays bare the original and probably strongest driving influence behind the composer's music. The plain, almost folkloristic feel is all pervasive, not just in the choice of accompaniment, which besides Conte's piano usually falls to a single accordion or fiddle, but in the rhythmic simplicity often expressed as the double-time of a march, together with the lawyer's raw unperfected vocal style. These were after-all his very first experiences of singing and it would be a short while yet before he would fully understand the limitations as well as the possibilities of his voice. Of this period he says himself "non cantavo, ullulavo" (I wasn't singing, I was ululating).

The unpractised studio technique colours some of the well-known and best loved songs already present on this album such as La fisarmonica di Stradella or Onda su onda, the treatment energetic if bordering on insensitive. Further evidence of Conte's still incomplete transition from composer to recording artist, is provided by the piano which more often than not is still used as though it were to compose a song, with an accompaniment in mind, giving little space to the few instrumental resources he is able to muster. The scarcity of means, with the piano making up for things by way of even rhythms can at times produce a feeling of having a metronome strapped to your head.

With these apparent detractions, why then is it that Paolo Conte of 1974 remains one of Conte's most enjoyable albums? It might have something to do with the enduring beauty of pure and simple melodies such as Wanda or Questa sporca vita or it might be that deep down, whether you like it or not, you have to agree with Conte's old assertion that the march rhythm is deeply rooted in each and every one of us. It may well also be due to the earthy tenderness of the lawyer's strongly inflected local accent. Yet if not these then, on a more personal level, it is that together with the following album, we are more than anywhere else in Conte, and with such stark beauty, face to face with the common joys and disillusions, growing pains, trials and tribulations of provincial life (more precisely that of the small-town north of Italy), something that certainly never fails to move those of us who share such a background.

Italia  Ulteriori Informazioni CDBox: Non disponibile
España (y Latinoamérica)  
Portugal (e Brasil)  
USA and Canada
Rest of the World  

< >

Home | Biography & Articles | Buyer's Guide & Discography
Picture Gallery | Newsletter & Concert Dates | Reception & Forum

© 1992-2001 The Living.Net