After years of legal disputes, Lucio Battisti’s songs have been finally released on Spotify
Last month, something long awaited by Italian generations of every age happened. After years of legal disputes, the discography of the legendary Lucio Battisti was finally released on Spotify and other streaming platforms.
Battisti is probably the most famous and innovative songwriter and composer in the history of Italian music, having sold more than 25 million albums. With his sweet and melodic voice, his creativity and guitar skills, he’s still a resounding presence for many Italians, like he were a family member.
Lucio Battisti was born in Poggio Bustone, in northern Lazio, on March 5, 1943 — one day after his colleague Lucio Dalla. After finishing high school, he started his career as guitarist with different bands, performing both in Italy and Europe. In 1966, Battisti met Giulio Rapetti, best known as Mogol. Even though he was not totally convinced by his abilities, he trusted him — and he won the bet. In 1970, with the song ‘Un’avventura’ (An adventure) they won the Sanremo Music Festival, giving birth to the myth of the Battisti-Mogol duo. The latter wrote memorable lyrics which perfectly fit with Battisti’s voice and perfectionist guitar arrangements. Songs like ‘La canzone del Sole’, ‘Acqua Azzurra, acqua chiara’, ‘Il mio canto libero’, ‘Con il nastro rosa’, quickly entered into the Italian collective imaginary. His heyday lasted until 1981, when they ended their artistic collaboration after producing twelve albums, now available online. The other six albums recorded by Battisti from 1981 until his untimely death in 1998, are less known because of their musical experimentation, on which critics and public had discordant opinions. As a matter of fact, this second phase represents Battisti’s complete retreat from public life. His last concert dates back to 1970 and his last interview was given in 1979 to Radio Swiss. In 1970 he declared:
I don’t go on tours or do performances because I feel like I am selling myself, appearing in a showcase. I want people to buy an album for musical reasons and not for the fascination of the artist
Battisti, indeed, conceived the artist as something totally detached by his art which, in his opinion, is the only thing that should be valued and possibly criticized. For this same reason, he never had a good relationship with the press, which had always judged and chased him for the latest gossip. Moreover, due to his lack of political interest and commitment in a period during which almost every artist — not to say all — were standing on leftist or leftish positions, Battisti was accused of being a fascist and even to financially support extreme right terrorist movements. Although he never publicly denied these allegations mainly due to his above mentioned extreme sense of privacy, this seems to be, according to many figures closest to him, only an urban legend.
Throughout the years, Battisti’s family has been definitely strict in releasing licenses and permissions in order to respect his will, but this time they didn’t manage or want to stop the process. There is still a big debate around this choice, but the majority of Italians thinks that nowadays his heritage is too great and too important not to be shared both in Italy — where he is still much-loved — and maybe one day also in the rest of the world.
If you want, you can start to listen to him now on Spotify.