Nineties Bookmark and Share

It’s good to mention at this part of the story that although we didn’t mention them each time a lot of the first Italian pop artists keep making records throughout the seventies, eighties and nineties. Artists like Ornella Vanoni and Adriano Celentano have such a constant output in quantity. Some other artists have a glorious comeback in the nineties like Patty Pravo and Renato Zero. And some sadly pass away like Lucio Battisti and singer Mia Martini. The latter never had a huge impact on the pop scene during her lifetime. After her death in 1995 however a lot of colleagues paid homage to Mia (real name Domenica Bertè, sister of Loredana) and San Remo renamed it’s critics award to the Mia Martini award (of which she was the first winner in 1982 with the song E non finisce mica il cielo)

But there was also a lot of new talent who originated mid-eighties and grew out to national, and sometimes international, stars in the nineties. Performers like Mietta, Gerardina Trovato, Nek, Ron, Zuchero Fornaciari, Laura Pausini became very popular in the nineties. Italian pop/rock gets a boost from young acts like Bluvertigo and Subsonica. In the city of Pordenone a electro-punk underground scene thrives with Prozac+ and Tre Allegri Ragazzi Morti as the bands that stand out.

It will be no surprise that Italo Disco reformed itself itself Italo House in the nineties. The genre's main musical characteristic is its use of predominantly electronic piano chords in a more lyrical (yet still "clunky") form than classic Chicago House records. The best known example is Black Box's Ride On Time. Other successful Italo House producers are Mauro Picotto (former member of Capella), Robert Miles and Gigi D’agostino.

Italian hip hop started in the early 1990s. One of the first hip hop crews to catch the attention of the Italian mainstream was Milan's Articolo 31, then and still today produced by Franco Godi, who had written the soundtrack to the animated TV series Signor Rossi in the 1970s. The first star, however, was Jovanotti, who used rapping in otherwise traditional Italian pop. Some of his tracks were however pure hip hop, e.g. Il rap which sampled Public Enemy's Chuck D. Hip hop is especially characteristic of southern Italy, a fact which some observers have contributed to the southern concept of rispettu (respect, honor), a form of verbal jousting; both facts have helped identify southern Italian music with the African American hip hop style.

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