Wednesday, July 18, 2007

10.000: # 3 - Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina) - Domenico Modugno (1959)

Third in the top 10 of most covered Eurovision songs is, no surprise, another Italian classic and another Domenico Modugno song. Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina), writen by Modugno & Dino Verde, ended 6th at the contest and was another international hit for Modugno and many others. But the song failed to score in the US, where the biggest hit was for Jacky Noguez whose instrumental version (accordion) was a # 24 hit. In the UK the biggest hit was for Marino Marini only reaching # 24, and Modugno reaching # 29.
Domenico Modugno released at least 9 versions of the song. including versions in Spanish and German, re-recordings and live versions. All information on this, taken from the Eurovision Collectors Guide, is featured in the Piove document.
# 3
- Piove (Ciao Ciao Bambina)
- Domenico Modugno
- 351 versions listed
Some of the big names that recorded Piove: Caterina Valente, Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney, Connie Francis, Dalida and Ennio Morricone.
Eurovision stars: Peppino di Capri, Al Bano, Nunzio Gallo, Pino Gasparini, Claudio Villa, Vice Vukov, Emilio Pericoli, Jean-Paul Mauric, José Guardiola, Jaime Morey, Brita Borg, Gustav Winckler, Marku Aro, Grethe Ingmann and Katy Bødtger. The language count is now at 20.
DALIDAWith so many versions it's hard to pick some favorites, but one singer that belongs in this list is Dalida. The legendary French singer needs no introduction. (Or check for biography in 10 languages)
It's the typical superstar tragedy: All the world loves Dalida but her life comes to a tragic end (in 1987).
Dalida recorded in 10 languages and Ciao Ciao Bambina can be found in three: Italian, French* and German. She also recorded the Italian Eurovision songs from 1959 (Nel blu dipinto di blu) & 1960 (Romantica).
In the Eurocovers post about Gloria Lasso I already mentioned the alledged rivalry between Dalida & Gloria.
Another version I love is the Polish version by Sława Przybylska. I don't have much on the singer (my Polish is a bit rusty) but hers is just a great version of the song. Many versions open with a short cinematic orchestral impression of rain (Piove = it's raining) and in this one it's the best. And the parlando bits at 2:24 are lovely too, even if I don't know what it's all about.
This one is from a Polish Readers Digest CD box 'Królowe polskiej piosenki' but was originally released on a LP Sława Przybylska 'spiewa ulubione przeboje (Muza SX2641).
Of the next version I only know that the singer is an Hungarian actress, Zita Szeleczky, or Szeleczky Zita as they like to say in Hungary. I don't have any details on the recording supposed to be from an LP 'Zita Szeleczky Sings', but I included it for the lovely introduction before the song starts.

Instrumental versions, who needs 'em.
I think many of the instrumental covers of Eurovision songs can bore a person to death, and I can't tell one anonymous orchestra / keyboardwizzard or accordion jerker from the other. But it needs to be said that in the world of instrumental cheese / exotica a lot of fun is to be had too, and some of the big name Orchestra's or Hammond players made remarkable versions of your beloved Eurovision tunes.

Featured here is a version of Piove by the man whose name alone triggers a host of images (movies, album sleeves) to pop up in your brain straight away. Ennio Morricone, him of the Italian western soundtracks.
His orchestra, with the help of a lovely wailing lady, recorded Piove in 1964. The song can be found on the 2001 CD set Anthology 1959 - 1999 (BMG), celebrating 40 years of Ennio Morricone with loads of rare tracks and unreleased material.
More stunning intrumentals in the next Eurocovers 10.000 post. (10:000: # 2)

LOOKING FOR: André Hazes at 8 and チャオ チャオ バンビーナ
One version I'm looking for in particular is the one from a 1959 single by the late André Hazes. The man later became the peoples singer #1 in the Netherlands. Hazes also recorded Piove in the 80's but this was his very first single from 1959, released when he was 8 years old. If you can help me hear it, please let me know.
Other versions I'd love to hear are the Japanese ones by ペギー葉山, Peggy Hayama and by 鮫島有美子,Yumiko Samejima.

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