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Canzoni da ricordare

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Album Review

Spanning the extensive career of Italian singer Gino Paoli from 1959, when his first 45s were released, to 2004, when Ti Ricordi? No Non Mi Ricordo?, his collection of duets with longtime collaborator Ornella Vanoni, came out, Canzoni da Ricordare is an impressive three-disc, 51-track compilation that sufficiently explains to listeners all that Paoli was and is. There are a few strangely placed insertions ("I Viaggiatori," for example, which wasn't released until 2002 on Se, but is sandwiched between "Questione di Sopravvivenza" from 1988's L'Ufficio Delle Cose Perdute and "Matto e Vigliacco" from 1990s Matto Come Un Gatto), but for the most part, the discs are put together chronologically, which makes it easy to follow the progression of Paoli's sound, from the Frankie Avalon-esque teen pop to synthy '80s adult contemporary to '90s smooth rock. Not all of the numerous albums Paoli has released in his nearly fifty years as a performer are represented here — and some, like 1961's Gino Paoli, are given more space than others, like 1972's Amore Per Vivere, and rightfully so — but his most famous singles ("La Gatta," "Una Lunga Storia d'Amora," "Sassi," "Sapore di Sale," "Mediterraneo," and "Averti Addosso") are all present, and are what truly show why the adopted Genovese is such a lasting and beloved figure in Italy. For those who only like one end of Paoli's career, Canzoni da Ricordare will have too much of the opposing end, but for those who are looking for a comprehensive overview of some of the highlights (and lowlights), the compilation is a great choice.


Born: 23 September 1934 in Monfalcone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '80s, '00s

Though he was born in Monfalcone, in Gorizia (near modern-day Slovenia and Croatia), as a young child Gino Paoli moved across Italy to Genoa, and it was that city with which he was associated and that he called his home. In the 1950s he worked as a porter and a graphic designer before realizing it was music at which he was most talented. Singing in local bands (one of them with friend Luigi Tenco), Paoli was discovered by Ricordi, and soon he was recording tracks for them. In 1960 he released the...
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