Franco Battiato, my favorite Italian music artist, passed away on May 18. A true pioneer, he was able to bring an experimental edge to mainstream music in Italy. His oeuvre is incredibly varied. It ranges from avant-garde to new wave, from pop and rock to sacred music and beyond.
Battiato is considered a legend in his home country and his 1981 LP, La Voce del Padrone, was record-breaking. Despite the commercial success, he maintained remarkable integrity in his personal artistic journey and vision.
Battiato was also a poet, a painter, a filmmaker and, among other things, a scholar of spirituality. He spent much of his life pondering on the meaning of life and the existence of god. Like other music greats, including John Coltrane, the evolution of his music coincided with spiritual evolution.
He was also a vegetarian and strongly believed in reincarnation.
While Battiato has many fans outside of Italy, I feel he deserves to be better known. Therefore, I have put together a playlist of his music on Spotify, particularly aimed for those unfamiliar with his works.
The songs included on this “Franco Battiato for Beginners” are drawn from his earlier works to his latest, and feature many of his signature songs and lesser-known compositions.