Fiorella Mannoia is one of the best Italian singer. In the Spring of 1968, she participated in Un disco per l’estate (“A Record for Summer”), a Summer song festival broadcast on RAI, with the song Gente qua, gente là (“People Here, People There”), the music for which was written by Bruno De Filippi, while the lyrics were written by her producer, Alberto Testa. Her third 45 featured Mi piace quel ragazzo lì (“I Like That Boy Over There”), whose text is dedicated to Adriano Celentano, with Occhi negli occhi (“Eyes Into Eyes”) on the B-side, reused from the previous record. These discs, while still being influenced by certain “beat” sounds, presented evidence of Mannoia’s vocal qualities, although they did not sell well. The tracks are available on the collection I primi passi (“The First Steps”)(1998), containing songs by Fiorella Mannoia and Carla Bissi, published by On Sale Music.
In 1970 she got to know the singer and guitarist Memmo Foresi, with whom she formed a relationship. In 1971 she cut a 45 of a song written by Enzo Perrotti and a Foresi track on the B-side; this too went unnoticed.
The next year, the collaboration with Memmo Foresi led to the release of the album Mannoia Foresi & co. for RCA Italiana. The track Ma quale sentimento (“But What Feeling”) was retitled Prologo (“Prologue”) for release as a single. In 1974, her new single Ninna nanna (with Rose on the B-side) was censored (and so withdrawn from sale) because of the lyrics by Marco Luberti, which were considered too raw. Fiorella Mannoia then decided to leave RCA and go to the label Ricordi, with whom she released three 45s, Piccolo (“Little”, lyrics by Sergio Bardotti and Ruggero Cini), Tu amore mio (“You Love of Mine”) and Scaldami (“Warm Me Up”).
In the early 70s, she had minor roles as an actress in the spaghetti Westerns Un colt in mano del diavolo (“A Colt in the Hand of the Devil”) (1972), E il terzo giorno arrivò il corvo (“And on the Third Day, the Crow Arrived”) (1973) and Sei bounty killers per una strage (“Six Bounty Killers for a Massacre”) (1973).
In 1981, she performed at the Sanremo Music Festival with Caffè nero bollente (“Boiling Black Coffee”), (written by Mimmo Cavallo and arranged by Antonio Coggio) which made her widely known in Italy. That year she also had a moderate hit with E muoviti un po’ (“And Move a Little”), written by the Torinese singer-songwriter Valerio Liboni, with whom she took part in Festivalbar. She continued recording albums and 45s produced by Mario Lavezzi. She again changed record companies, moving to Ariston.
She entered the Sanremo Music Festival once more in 1984 with Come si cambia (“As One Changes”), written by Renato Pareti, which had a certain amount of sales success. She won the final of the television miniseries La Premiatissima ’84 with the song Margherita by Riccardo Cocciante. In 1985, L’aiuola (“The Flowerbed”) was a big hit for her and the album Premiatissima ’84, which included Margherita, was released.
Great success came when she changed labels to DDD and subsequently won the Critic’s Prize at the Sanremo Music Festival for two years in a row. In 1987, she won with Quello che le donne non-dicono (“What Women Don’t Say”), her first number one hit, written specifically for her by Enrico Ruggeri and Luigi Schiavone. She won again in 1988 with Le notti di maggio (“The Nights of May”), written by Ivano Fossati. In 1988, the album Canzoni per parlare was released, which included these and other songs by leading Italian songwriters, including Ron and Riccardo Cocciante. T
The album Di terra e di vento, on which she collaborated for the first time with Francesco De Gregori, was released in 1989. This album also contains an Italian version of the song O Que Será (“Oh What Will Be”) by the great Brazilian singer-songwriter Chico Buarque de Hollanda, sung as a duet with Ivano Fossati, who also translated the lyrics from Portuguese.
In 1992, Fiorella Mannoia released the pivotal album I treni a vapore, which, as well as the title track by Ivano Fossati, also contains the popular tracks Il cielo d’Irlanda (“The Sky of Ireland”) by Massimo Bubola, Tutti cercano qualcosa (“Everybody Is Looking for Something”) by Francesco De Gregori and Inevitabilmente (Lettera dal carcere) (“Inevitably (Letter from Jail)”) by Enrico Ruggeri and Luigi Schiavone, which was used on the soundtrack of the film Caro diario by Nanni Moretti.
Her next album Gente comune was released in 1994. Highlights include the songs Crazy Boy, written for her by Samuele Bersani and Piero Fabrizi, Il culo del mondo (“The Arse of the World”) written by the Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso, who sang with her on this number, and Giovanna d’Arco (“Joan of Arc”), written for her by Francesco de Gregori.
On Belle speranze (1997) she collaborated with younger songwriters including Daniele Silvestri and Gianmaria Testa.
In 2000, Fiorella Mannoia was invited to the 50th Festival of Sanremo as Italian Super Host.
During the early to mid-2000s, she did a lot of touring, initially with Pino Daniele, Francesco De Gregori and Ron, and more recently solo. After the studio album Fragile (2001), Fiorella Mannoia released the live album In tour (2002) with Daniele, De Gregori and Ron. Returning to her cinema roots, she played a cameo role in the film Prima dammi un bacio (“First Give Me a Kiss”) (2003), a romantic comedy written and directed by Ambrogio Lo Giudice. In 2003, she dueted with Niccolò Fabi, recording the song “Offeso”, included in his album La cura del tempo.
In 2004, the solo live album Concerti (2004) was released, together with Due anni di concerti, a DVD recorded at the visually stunning Teatro Valli di Reggio Emilia. In 2005, she sang three songs at the Live 8 concert, Rome: Sally, Clandestino (written by Manu Chao), and Mio fratello che guarda il mondo (“My Brother Who Looks at the World”), written by Ivano Fossati
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