Domenica, 4 dicembre 2022

LIGABUE - Biography (en)



Luciano Ligabue was born in Correggio on March 13, 1960. After coming of age, he tries his hand at all kinds of different jobs, including seasonal farm worker, steel industry worker, accountant, radio host, shopkeeper, promoter, and city councillor. None last more than a few months or, at best, a few years.

In February 1987, he performs live for the first time with a band, as Ligabue and Orazero, playing a full set of his own songs.

In 1988 Pierangelo Bertoli records "Sogni di rock ’n’ roll", including it in his "Tra me e me" album. The song marks Luciano’s first professional recording, as his voice is heard in the ending. In July Luciano comes first at the Terremoto Rock competition, and wins a free recording session to produce a single ("Bar Mario" and "Anime in plexiglass"). In November he takes part in the finals of the first Concorso Nazionale Gruppi di base competition, and his song "El gringo" is included among the eight tracks of the ensuing compilation album released by Anagrumba.

In 1989 Bertoli records another song by Luciano, "Figlio d’un cane", including it in the "Sedia elettrica" album. The album is produced by Angelo Carrara, who shortly thereafter decides to also produce Luciano’s first album. The recording of "Ligabue" begins in December. Luciano is backed by ClanDestino, a Reggio Emilia-based band with Max Cottafavi on guitar, Gigi Cavalli Cocchi on drums, and Luciano Ghezzi on bass. The skilful sound engineer is Paolo Panigada (Feiez). 

In May 1990 "Ligabue" is released by WEA and goes platinum five times. Luciano wins the New Act section of the Festivalbar with the song "Balliamo sul mondo", and embarks in November on the "Neverending Tour", which will see him play almost 300 concerts throughout Italy.

In 1991 the same line-up responsible for the first album (with the addition of Giovanni Marani on keyboards) records "Lambrusco coltelli rose & pop corn", which also goes platinum five times. The album is released in September. Luciano takes part in the Montreux Festival.

In 1992 the "Neverending Tour" continues in the "Lambrusco" version throughout the year. That autumn the recording sessions for "Sopravvissuti e sopravviventi" begin. The line-up is the same as ever, with Gianfranco Fornaciari replacing Giovanni Marani on keyboards.

In January 1993 "Sopravvissuti e sopravviventi" is released (subsequently claiming four platinum discs) and the "Neverending tour" continues with the addition of new material. In July Luciano supports U2 in Turin and Naples. In October he takes part in the Premio Tenco and records a song ("Variazioni su temi zigani") for the "Il volo di Volodja" album, a tribute to Russian singer and poet Vladimir Visotskj. In the meantime, ClanDestino step out in their own right as a band with two albums: “Clandestino” (1994) and “Cuore stomaco e cervello” (1995).

In October 1994 "A che ora è la fine del mondo?" (three platinum disks) is released, and includes material left out of previous albums for different reasons, plus a cover of REM’s “It’s The End Of The World” with Italian lyrics, after which the album is named. In addition to ClanDestino, the album also sees the contribution of band Negrita and selected session musicians. That same year Luciano joins forces with Valerio Soave to create the Mescal label, which over an 18-month span will produce the debut albums of La Crus, Massimo Volume, Modena City Ramblers, and Stefano Belluzzi.

In February 1995, Luciano makes the most of a mini tour in Switzerland and of the recording of "Dio è morto" to fine tune his new band. His new backing musicians are Antonio Rigo Righetti (bass), Robby Pellati (drums), and Federico Fede Poggipollini (guitar). In March he takes possession with his band, plus Mel Previte on guitar, of an old elementary school in Budrio di Correggio, to start recording "Buon Compleanno Elvis". The album, co-produced with Fabrizio Barbacci, is published on September 22, and propels Luciano to the top of the Italian sales charts for the first time. All the dates of the subsequent tour, in November, are sold out.

In 1996 "Buon Compleanno Elvis" breaks a string of records: one million copies sold (10 times platinum), 70 weeks in the charts, the IFPI award (platinum disc in Europe), the Targa Tenco ("Certe notti" voted best song of the year), the Festivalbar Special Award for the best tour of the year, and as many as three awards at the first edition of P.I.M. (Premio Italiano della Musica): Best Album, Best Song ("Certe Notti"), and Best Artist of the year.

In May 1997, in the wake of the huge success of “Buon Compleanno Elvis” and the sold-out tour which followed (P.I.M. award as tour of the year), Luciano’s first live album is released, "Su e giù da un palco", recorded at selected dates during the tour.
"Su e giù da un palco" is published in double CD and triple vinyl versions and includes three original tracks: "Tra palco e realtà", "Ultimo Tango a Memphis" (cover of "Suspicious Minds"), and "Il giorno di dolore che uno ha". The album is yet another hit and allows Ligabue to break a new record: it is the first live album of an Italian artist to sell one million copies (10 times platinum).
Also in May, Luciano publishes a collection of 43 short stories, "Fuori e dentro il borgo", which garners the "Elsa Morante" and "Città di Fiesole" literary awards.

At the end of June he embarks on a six-date major arena tour. The first two, held at the S. Siro stadium in Milan, set a new attendance record: 110,000 spectators. In the winter, he collaborates with Antonio Leotti on a script inspired by the short stories included in "Fuori e dentro il borgo".

In 1998 Luciano accepts the "crazy request" of directing a film, and the shooting of "Radiofreccia" begins in May. It is a huge commitment: six months of frantic work on the set, in the editing and mixing studios, and in the recording studio to prepare the soundtrack.

On September 13, 1998,Radiofreccia” is presented at the Venice Film Festival, and is well received by both the public and critics. It turns into a success at the box office as well, ultimately cashing in over 10 billion lire, and wins the most prestigious awards handed out by the Italian movie industry: three David di Donatello, two Nastri d’argento, one Globo d’oro, and three Ciak d’oro. The soundtrack to "Radiofreccia" (three times platinum) is released on October 8 as a double CD. The first CD includes the 1970’s classics broadcast by the fictional radio featured in the film, while the instrumentals and original songs written specifically for the film by Luciano are included in the second. The lead song is "Ho perso le parole", which wins the 1999 P.I.M. award as song of the year.

In March, Luciano stars work on "Miss Mondo". He uses the same band as on "Buon compleanno Elvis", with the addition of Fabrizio Simoncioni on keyboards and doubling as sound engineer. Two songs feature orchestral arrangements inspired by the legendary Abbey Road EMI studio sound, penned and conducted by Piero Milesi. While the album is being mixed at the Logic studio in Milan by Dave Leonard, Luciano joins forces with Jovanotti and Pelù and releases "Il mio nome è Mai Più", a song against the 52 wars being fought at the time in the world. Proceeds from the sales of the CD single (ten times platinum) are entirely devolved to Italian organisation Emergency, and help open a hospital in Afghanistan and begin work on one in Sierra Leone.

In September 1999 Luciano officially presents his new album "Miss Mondo" to the press, and after a long break from touring gets back in touch with his fans with two sold-out concerts at the Verona Arena.

On October 22 the “Miss Mondo Tour” kicks off at the Florence Palasport, ending on December 23 in Milan, after two months, 39 dates, and 20 cities played, before a total aggregate audience of 300,000.
During the tour Luciano receives the "Tutto" award for “Certe Notti”, voted best song of the 1990’s. At the 2000 edition of P.I.M, “Miss Mondo” is voted Best Album of 1999 and "Il mio nome è Mai Più" wins in the Best Song and Best Video categories.

In 2000, a 20-date summer tour takes Ligabue to the major stadiums around Italy, from Cagliari to Varese. These are special events, 20 celebrations to mark the 10 years since the release of Luciano’s first album: by no coincidence, the tour is called "1990-2000: 10 anni sulla mia strada" (10 years on my road).
On July 13, between tour dates, Luciano travels to Brussels to receive the European platinum disc on occasion of the third edition of "I.F.P.I. Platinum Europe Awards", a tribute paid by the international music industry to the European artists who have sold over one million copies of their albums. On July 23 he receives the "Lunezia 2000" award for the lyrics to the song "L'odore del sesso". On September 23 during the "Vota la voce 2000" event, Ligabue receives a "Telegatto" award as Best Artist of the year. On October 27, together with Francesco Guccini, he is awarded the Targa Tenco for "Ho ancora la forza", written jointly by two artists and voted Best Song of the year.

In 2001 Ligabue receives further important acknowledgements: on February 5, at the first edition of the Italian Music Awards, he wins in the Best Tour of 2000 category, and on March 21 he wins the Best Tour and Best Artist awards at the 2001 P.I.M.
In the meantime, Ligabue has a new film in the making: "Da zero a dieci". Shooting begins on June 4 and ends on August 10. In September, in addition to editing the film, Luciano goes back into the studio with his band to record an album of new songs.

On January 10, 2002, the single “Questa è la mia vita” is released. The CD single is in many ways a mini soundtrack to "Da zero a dieci", and includes the film’s theme song. It tops the charts for several weeks and is one of the year’s most played songs on the radio.
Da zero a dieci” debuts in cinemas on February 8, 2002, to a warm response from the public and critics alike. A few months later, the film is shown at the Cannes Film Festival as part of the "Semaine Internationale de la Critique" section. "Da zero a dieci" is chosen to close the event on May 23, and proves to be a success.

The new album “Fuori come va?” is released on April 26 and includes 12 songs. After the announcement of two mega concerts at the S. Siro stadium in Milan and at the Olympic stadium in Rome, a second date is added in Milan (July 5 and 6) to meet huge demand for tickets, and a summer tour in other major Italian stadiums is organised. The summer tour comes to a triumphant end with two dates at the Verona Arena, totalling 400,000 spectators over 17 concerts.

The new live project gets under way in October, with two different shows in each city, the first in a theatre, and the second in a sports arena. The summer concert is repeated in the arenas, whereas a special show is prepared for the theatres, with new arrangements and the addition of two exceptional musicians: poly-instrumentalist Mauro Pagani and electronic music whiz-kid D.Rad, from the band Almamegretta. The new tour, which extends into the early months of 2003, is totally sold out, and new dates have to be added to meet demand. The tour comes to an end after 99 shows, in the evocative setting of Mount Mottolino (Livigno), at an altitude of 2,500 metres.
To document the theatre tour and the new arrangements of the songs in that context, “Giro d’Italia” is released on October 21, 2004, a live album available in double and triple CD versions (with ring-bound cover: a must-have for collectors).

Despite his best intentions to take a sabbatical in 2004, Ligabue is busy on a special project: his first novel, “La neve se ne frega”, is published by Feltrinelli and reaches readers beyond Luciano’s fan base, selling almost 200,000 copies. In the same period, he receives an honorary degree in Communication Studies from the University of Teramo, for his work not only as a singer-songwriter, but also as a film director and writer.

After receiving the honorary degree and promoting his book, Luciano already has enough new songs to start putting together a new album. He gets to work in his new studio in Correggio, a refurbished version of the Zoo, and spends the first half of 2005 collaborating with two producers, trusted Fabrizio Barbacci and new addition Luca Pernici, and an extended line up of musicians, which includes his usual band.

In July, shortly before the recording is completed, he is invited to take part in “Live 8” and takes the stage at the Rome event, playing two songs accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, and meeting up again with Jovanotti and Piero Pelù to perform the hit “Il mio nome è Mai Più”.

His most recent album of originals, “Nome e Cognome”, is released on September 16, 2005. Published by Warner Music Italy, it is launched by the single “Il giorno dei giorni” and by the extraordinary concert held by “Liga” in the huge Campovolo area in Reggio Emilia, on September 10, 2005, before a record-breaking audience (165,264 tickets sold). Ligabue plays on four different stages, with ClanDestino, his band (La Banda), solo with guitar, and in a duo with Mauro Pagani, retracing all the phases of his 15-year-long career and the different facets of his artistic persona. On November 25, 2005, the DVD of the Campovolo concert is released and goes on to sell over 100,000 copies in a matter of months.

2006 gets to a start with the film “Radiofreccia” receiving prestigious international acknowledgement: the film, directed by Luciano in 1998, is shown in the United States and included in the permanent movie archive of the MoMa Museum of Modern Art in ew York.

On February 7, the “Nome E Cognome Tour/2006” kicks off. Ligabue engages four different fronts (accompanied by ClanDestino and/or La Banda), playing clubs, then sports arenas, then stadiums, and finally theatres, unfailingly selling out each date (including the memorable concerts at the Meazza S. Siro stadium in Milan and at the Olympic stadium in Rome). Luciano goes on to win the 2006 edition of Festivalbar with the songs included in “Nome e Cognome”, as the 5 singles taken from the album all top the radio play charts.

In October, “Lettere d’amore nel frigo” is published by Einaudi, a collection of 77 poems written by Luciano Ligabue, with an introduction by Nico Orengo. The book is a success with both the public and critics, and tops the sales charts. Luciano has the opportunity of presenting the collection of poems by taking part in a number of lectures with university students in some of the cities reached by the theatre version of the tour.

On November 16, 2006, Ligabue is the star of the Premio Videoclip Italiano (Italian Video Awards). At the IULM university in Milan, after an entire day during which all his films and videos are screened, Ligabue receives a an especially created award in acknowledgement of his status as “total and synesthetic artist”.

A few days later the quintuple dvd-box “Nome E Cognome/Tour 2006” is released, an exciting documentation of the 4 live shows taken on tour during the year, plus a fifth dvd with extras. Sales of the exhaustive dvd set secure Ligabue the “Wind Music Award”. Simultaneously, Elisa presents the song “Gli ostacoli del cuore”, written by Luciano, who also duets with her on the song. This is the first time Ligabue writes for a female performer. The video to “Gli ostacoli del cuore” is scripted and directed by Luciano, who makes the most of the experience gained shooting films to direct his first music video.
A year and a half after its debut at the Campovolo, on December 22 the “Nome e Cognome Tour/2006” comes to an end, with a concert at the Valli theatre in Reggio Emilia, and three benefit concerts.

In May 2007, Einaudi publishes the set “Luciano Ligabue - Parole & Canzoni”. Edited by journalist Vincenzo Mollica, the set includes a book with all Ligabue’s lyrics and a dvd with live clips taken from the Rai archives. The set is presented at the 20th  International Book Show in Turin.

July 7, 2007 (07/07/07) is “Live Earth” day. The live event is aimed at increasing awareness of climate change. Luciano decides to make a small contribution by performing a song by Pierangelo Bertoli, “Eppure Soffia”, made available in streaming format for 24 hours on the site

On November 16, 2007 “LIGABUE – PRIMO TEMPO” is released (after the radio preview of the single “Niente paura”), part one of a greatest hits collection (including new original songs), and will be followed in May 2008 by part two, “LIGABUE – SECONDO TEMPO”. This is the first greatest hits collection in Ligabue’s 20-year-long career.

Martedì, 26 febbraio 2008