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Franco Battiato

Rock Progressivo Italiano

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Franco Battiato Fleurs album cover
2.42 | 14 ratings | 2 reviews | 21% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. La Canzone Dell'Amore Perduto (2:27)
2. Ruby Tuesday (3:36)
3. J'Entends Siffler Le Train (3:09)
4. Aria Di Neve (2:52)
5. Ed Io Tra Di Voi (2:54)
6. Te Lo Leggo Negli Occhi (3:03)
7. La Canzone Dei Vecchi Amanti (La Chanson Des Vieux Amants) (3:25)
8. Era De Maggio (3:26)
9. Che Cosa Resta (Que Rest-T-Il De Nos Amour) (3 :27)
10. Amore Che Vieni, Amore Che Vai (2:27)
11. Medievale (2:37)
12. Invito Al Viaggio (7:26)

Total Time: 41:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Francesco Battiato / vocals, composer (11,12), arranger (1,2,10-12) & producer

- Michele Fedrigotti / grand piano, keyboards, backing vocals (2), arrangements (3-5,7-9)
- Angelo Privitera / keyboards
- Luigi Mazza / violin
- Alessandro Simoncini / violin
- Demetrio Comuzzi / viola
- Luca Simoncini / cello
- Saro Casentino / backing vocals (2)
- Simone Bartolini / soprano vocals (2,11,12)
- Manlio Sgalambro / recitative vocals (12)

Releases information

Album of covers for songs by Fabrizio De Andrč, Sergio Endrigo, Charles Aznavour, Richard Anthony, Jacques Brel, Jacques Trenet and The Rolling Stones plus two originals (tracks 11 & 12)

Sub-titled "Esempi Affini Di Scritture E Simili"

Artwork: Franco Battiato

CD Mercury ‎- 546 775-2 (1999, Italy)

Thanks to andrea for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FRANCO BATTIATO Fleurs ratings distribution

(14 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (21%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRANCO BATTIATO Fleurs reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars This album starts a series of cover albums in which Battiato revisits and reinterprets classics from his youth with particular attention to the French chansonniers like Richard Anthony and Charles Aznavour and Italian singers strongly influenced by them like Fabrizio de Andre. Fleurs is the French word for "Flowers".

"La Canzone Dell'Amore Perduto" is one of the early successes of Fabrizio de Andre' and it's probably because I'm too used to hear it from him, but I don't think Battiato has added anything to this song, also the arrangements are very similar to the original. I can understand the artist's pleasure in singing songs which may have had a meaning for him, but it's not always the same pleasure for the listeners.

It's not the first time that Ruby Tuesday appears in a Battiato album, the first time it was only a mention at the end of his 80s hit "Cuccuruccuccu Paloma". Now it's a full cover, slowered down, no drums and a voice very different from Mick Jagger with the addition of some operatic vocals and a background singer. A classic rock song transformed into prog. Not bad.

Long before David Gilmour, Battiato started digging into classic French songs of the early 60s. "J'Entends Siffler Le Train" is a song from the mentioned Richard Anthony. It shows a folk influence, not so Briton to remind of Alan Stivell, but there's a bit of celtic. I don't know the original so I can't compare it with this version, but it's not bad and Battiato sings better in French than in English.

"Aria Di Neve" is from another Italian "chansonnier", Sergio Endrigo, known for his connection with Brasilian authors like Vinicious de Moraes, but also known for having been considered one of the most boring Italian singers of the 60s, with a sad expression always stamped on his face. An underestimated artist IMO....but this song is very boring.

"Ed Io Fra Di Voi" has been a big success of Charles Aznavour. He sung the Italian version which I think has sold more copies in Italy than in France. I must admit that I like this song, I had it recorded on a tape when I was a child and I still remember the lyrics.

Again Sergio Endrigo, as author this time. "Te Lo Leggo Negli Occhi" was a hit single of some "Dino", a singer who released some singles in the early 60s. This song even if released in 1964 can still be heard on vintage radios, but it's very dated.

The first true "Chansonnier" arrives with "La Canzone Dei Vecchi Amanti" which is the Italian version of "La chanson des vieux amants" by Jacques Brel. Not a bad song with poetic lyrics, but no prog at all.

"Era De Maggio" is a poetry written in 1885 by a neapolitan poet and put into music by a guy whose name I don't remember. It became a classic of the neapolitan traditional music thanks to Roberto Murolo. Not for this site.

"Che Cosa Resta" is another French song (Que reste-t-il de nos amour). I don't know anything about the original, but I find it very boring, especially after all those sequences of minor chords. The only remarkable thing is the vocal effect on the first part of the song which sounds 30s, like "One More Kiss" from the Blade Runner soundtrack.

"Amore Che Vieni Amore Che Vai" is one of the masterpieces of Fabrizio de Andre'. It's inspired to the French chansonniers as well as the others, it's based on minor chords but you can hear the difference. Differently from the other De Andre' song, on this one Battiato's voice doesn't sound bad (I mean less good than the original).

"Medievale" is a full Battiato song whose lyrics are probably taken from a minor poet of the 13th century. This and the following song are the only valuable thing for who looks for the "normal" Battiato.

"Invito Al Viaggio" (Invite to journey) closes this excursion to France and surroundings. It's a poetry from Charles Baudelaire with music by Battiato and surely the best song of the album. The operatic vocals supporting Battiato's voice and the keyboard layer, the initial speech, belong to the best Battiato. There's a pause after 4 minutes, like a ghost track that is very reminding of the Kraut/Avant period. A track this, which values for the whole album, that means, if you find it on i-tunes or similar, download just this.

There's some good in this album but honestly I find it unecessary and a bit too boring.

Review by jamesbaldwin
2 stars I agree with octopus-4: this album is unecessary and a bit too boring.... but not bad.

Fleurs (Flowers) is a retro-operation, style Where Have All the Good Old times gone? (Recalling Kinks, Bowie, Elton John etc.). Battiato wants to sing the songs of his youth, the songs that he likes, that he listened when he was growin' up. But Battiato does not have a flexible or powerful voice, so his range of choice of songs to interpret is very limited. But as we know, the artist tends not to set limits and to throw away with ease (and unconsciousness) in any musical genre, and so sometimes gets the effect of demanding too much from his voice or from his English or French (or Arabic: fortunately here absent).

Here the result. "La Canzone Dell'Amore Perduto" is too much similar to the original (written by De Andrč) but De Andrč's voice is much better. "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones) is an experiment: no drums and the operatic voice of the soprano Simone Bartolini. A little bit proggy. Interesting but I prefer the original one. I never heard before "J'Entends Siffler Le Train", a French folk song, but it's not bad and I still agree with octopus-4: Battiato sings better in French than in English. "Aria Di Neve", by Sergio Endrigo, great Italian songwriter, is... maybe the worse of the whole album. Endrigo have written a lot of wonderful songs: why just this one, Franco?

"Ed Io Fra Di Voi", success by Charles Aznavour. Good song, but... I regret the voice of Aznavour... Again Sergio Endrigo, author of another "so and so" song: "Te Lo Leggo Negli Occhi". Melodic italian song, Sanremo festival style... I cant stand it. "La Canzone Dei Vecchi Amanti" by Jacques Brel. Good song. Chansonnier of high class. Battato resists. "Era De Maggio" traditional sung by Roberto Murolo. Very simple. "Che Cosa Resta" is at the same level of Aria di Neve

"Amore Che Vieni Amore Che Vai" by De André is one of the few songs in this compilation real fit to Battiato's voice. "Medievale" is written by Battiato and take higher the quality of the album, thanks to the interpretation of Battiato and Bartolini. "Invito Al Viaggio" (Invite to journey), lyrics by Baudelaire, music by Battiato, is possibly the best song of the album. The beginning with operatic vocals, keyboard and recitative (Manlio Sgalambro) are excellent.

Not a bad album, because Battiato is always original, but unecessary album of covers (except the last two good songs). Vote 6,5/7. Two Stars.

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