Paolo Conte: The Best Of Paolo Conte 1974-1990 CD-New $52.99

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The Best Of Paolo Conte

This is a strange best-of. It features Paolo Conte‘s (the Italian Tom Waits and Serge Gainsbourg rolled into one) finest songs, but most of the tracks here are re-recorded versions of his RCA material and, to top it off, the disc is a remastered best-of, making the originals doubly absent. There is certainly charm in hearing the musically mature Conte sing “Elisir” once more, or “Sotte le Stelle del Jazz,” or “Bartali,” but there was something in those older versions, with their dime-store recording techniques, that somehow made them wilder and more untenable as recording industry product. The wildness, after all, is what gave Conte his rough charm. That said, certain tunes, such as the irrepressible “Happy Feat,” the gorgeous tango “Alle Prese con una Verde Milonga,” and the beat rant “Hemingway,” are served well by the re-recording, in that Conte has grown into them with a certain charm missing from the originals. Anyway you cut it, it’s still him — greasy and full of pronouncements about sex, death, jazz, and poetry. He scats, sings, talks, growls, and careens wildly across his tunes like a drunken sailor baying at the moon in places, and that’s what listeners love him for. So yes, this is a true best-of, with different nuances on the more vintage material that deepen and widen listeners’ view of Conte, the poet and jazzman.

Time
1) Elisir :: Elixir
2) Sotto le Stelle del Jazz :: Under The Stars Of Jazz
3) Via Con Me :: Come Away With Me
4) Boogie
5) Sparring Partner
6) Come Di :: Comedy
7) Azzurro :: Blue
8) Gelato al Limon :: Lemon Ice Cream
9) Happy Feet :: Happy Feet (Music For Your Feet, Madame)
10) Gli Impermeablili :: Raincoats
11) Max
12) Gong-Oh
13) Colleghi Trascurati :: Neglected Colleagues
14) Bartali
15) Alle Prese Con una Verde Milonga :: Dealing With A Green Milonga
16) Dragon
17) Hemingway
18) Ho Ballato di Tutto :: I’ve Danced Them All
19) Quadrille
20) Genova Per Noi :: Genoa For Us

Video: Paolo Conte – Via Con Me (1984)

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