Gigliola Cinquetti

Mei Yau and I recently spotted the above album cover and were so mesmerised by the image that we had to check out the music of Gigliola Cinquetti right away. As it turns out, the picture is slightly misleading, as her music is actually extremely typical of the sort of mainstream pop that persisted in mainland Europe for many years, steadfastly ignoring most major developments in contemporary music. Therefore, not everything she recorded is quite up to the standard set by her stunning looks and album covers, but there are certainly some real gems to be found amongst the saccharine ballads and oompah-ish novelty songs. First up is a beautifully understated track from Gigliola’s self-titled debut album of 1964.

“Sull’acqua” by Gigliola Cinquetti

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the sort of music that she recorded, Gigliola Cinquetti twice represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, her first major international exposure came when she won the contest at the age of 16 with what remains her most well-known song, Non ho l’età (Per amarti). Personally, however, I much prefer the song that she performed at the 1974 contest – and which was narrowly beaten into second place by a certain Swedish band’s Napoleonic opus – . Unfortunately, this song was subsequently banned in Italy for fear that it might subliminally influence a referendum on divorce (!), so it has rather unfairly slipped into obscurity.

“Sì” by Gigliola Cinquetti

As well as her Eurovision appearances, Gigliola Cinquetti was a regular performer at Italy’s famous Sanremo Music Festival, winning the competition on two occasions. My personal favourite of the songs that she performed at this event is the wonderfully seductive and (ahem) mysterious Mistero from 1973. I felt I had to include the artwork for that year’s Sanremo compilation LP (with thanks to the excellent pensieri_p”33″ blog), on which Mistero was included, as it’s just so amazingly cool!

“Mistero” by Gigliola Cinquetti

Gigliola Cinquetti is now a television presenter on RAI International, and remains a well-known and much-loved public figure in Italy.

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7 thoughts on “Gigliola Cinquetti

  1. Wow, her voice is so much deeper on the last two tracks than on the one from her debut album–if you hadn’t told me, I would’ve thought they were two different singers! Thank you for exposing us to music we haven’t heard before. 🙂

  2. Sin duda es mucho lo que hay que decir de Gigliola como paradigma artistico por su genialidad, versatilidad pero psobre todo por conservarse como un verdadero ícono; amen de lo que inspira su personalidad.

    • Sí, despues de ver varias imágenes de Gigliola, esperaba que su música fuera tan encantadora como su belleza. Me puse muy feliz encontrar que cantó algunas canciones realmente increíbles.

  3. Hi there,

    mind a question about the sanremo 73 album:

    Who is this lady on the sleeve, have you got a clue? Is it Gigliola Cinquetti with light blonde hair?
    Or could it be that it is Britt Eklund?
    It doesn´t say anything on the cover, I have recently obtained the vinyl myself.
    I would appreciate it a lot if someobne can tell…

    Best from Dortmund/Germany, Lorenzo

  4. I have no idea who the lady on the cover is unfortunately, though I suspect that it is probably not Gigliola! Maybe you could ask the excellent blog http://cverdier.blogspot.com/, where I originally found the image, as they are extremely knowlegeable about these old releases.

  5. What a rare find. I was a young boy in 1975/6 when I first heard the English renditions of the songs, “Go…” and; “To the Door of the Sun.” It was the most amazing productions and music arrangements I’d ever heard and I must confess still today, appreciate the incredibly well written and arranged songs. As for Gigliola, I’d never seen pictures of her but loved what I heard as a blind man would love in purity of sound. Yes, she sounded that beautiful. Now I see it to be the truth.

    I would love to find these 2 songs again if anyone knows where I could look.

    Kind regards to all…

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