Vasco Rossi - Vado Al Massimo

edited September 2021 in Year-1982

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ARTIST: Vasco Rossi
ALBUM: Vado Al Massimo
LABEL: Carousel Records
SERIAL: CLN 25095
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 1987, Carousel, 300-523-2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Vasco Rossi - vocals * Maurizio Solieri, Massimo Riva, Davide Romani, Tullio Iron - guitar * Claudia Golinelli, Andrea Righi - bass * Mauro Gherardi, Pierre Michelatti, Roberto Casini, Lele Melotti - drums * Mimmo Camporeale - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sono Ancora In Coma * 02 Cosa Ti Fai * 03 Ogni Volta * 04 Vado Al Massimo * 05 Credi Davvero * 06 Amore * 07 Canzone * 08 Splendida Giornata * 09 La Noia

Background

Following the recent Umberto Tozzi review one of our readers bought to our attention Vasco Rossi, who it appears usurps even Tozzi in the ranks of Italy's most well-known and famous rock star. It amazes myself that I'd never heard of Rossi prior to this, as he's shifted untold millions of albums and sold out massive football stadiums in Italy on a regular basis.

For those at Glory Daze, Rossi should definitely be of interest, with many of his albums containing AOR tracks of the highest order. Then again it seems Rossi's tried every trick in the book during his career, with excursions into heavy metal, hard rock, ballads, you name it this guy's done it.

Rossi's first album appeared in 1978 and subsequently he went on to become Italy's most notorious rock star, leading a drug and booze induced lifestyle which combined with controversial lyrics about women made him an anti-hero in the 80's. Looking at Rossi visually in the 1982 period this album was released in, he looks like a faded Italian football hero who'd been banned for match-fixing.

The Songs

Rossi was releasing albums at the rate of one a year, with this his fifth studio album since 1978. Translated into English the album title is 'I Go To The Maximum' which seems to fit Rossi's then excessive lifestyle.

This is a diverse set of songs, starting off with the bruising 'Sono Ancora In Coma' which is heavy enough to compete with the likes of UFO, AC/DC and Thin Lizzy to name a few. The Italian lyrics give it a Trust feel also, highly accomplished by anyone's standards.

By comparison 'Cosa Ti Fai' is lighter, bouncing along with extensive sax use, giving it a pop vibe along Joe Fagin lines which would have made it ideal for the incidental scenes in 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet.' Rossi gets sentimental on weepy ballad 'Ogni Volta' which makes for a stark contrast to what's already been heard.

The title track veers off into the often heard reggae crossover sound which permeated just about every artist's music in the early 80's. Is there anyone who didn't try it? This one is average, not really one for the record books unless that style tickles your fancy.

The unabashed heavy metal of 'Credi Davvero' has all the atmospherics of The Scorpions at their 70's best, another about-face but a welcome one. Rossi sounds best during these heavier tracks, with a definite swagger to his delivery.

'Amore' opens with synthesizer effects blaring before settling to a funk and horns extravaganza which isn't far off the Herbie Hancock album reviewed alongside this. Talk about variety. 'Canzone' is another piece of light AOR, this one at least containing some neat wimpy guitar lines that give it appeal.

Nothing can top the seamless West Coast of 'Splendida Giornata' which gives Greg Guidry a run for his money. Everything's there, the sax and synth solos, but most importantly a stupendous guitar solo which fades the track out. The melody on this one is off the charts, one of the finest I've ever heard by anyone in the West Coast oeuvre. This one has become one of Rossi's more famous songs and deservedly so.

'La Noia' is another ballad, very dreamlike but deceiving when you consider the title translated is 'Boredom.' The sax dominates once more, obviously Rossi's calling card in those days.

In Summary

However varied this album is, the results are staggeringly effective. It would have been easier to choose one of Rossi's late 80's high-tech albums instead, but there's plenty of time to get around to those gems.

That said 1989's 'Liberi, Liberi' is fantastic and would find massive favour among the faithful here. Rossi remains a superstar in Italy and it's amazing to see him performing in sold-out stadiums like the San Siro and the Stadio Delle Alpi in various videos on the internet.

Like Umberto Tozzi, all of Rossi's work has value to the AOR fan but as with this reviewed album he could pull anything off. This is what you call a rock star in every sense of the term.


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