The beginnings the 80s and the international success of “Ancora”
Eduardo De Crescenzo was born in Naples, February 8, 1951, in a popular neighborhood close to the “railway” of which he will tell us a lot in his songs. His is a family rich in artistic temperament: his father enjoyed playing the piano; the paternal grandfather was a theatrical impresario; his uncle, Vincenzo De Crescenzo, a poet, among other things, author of the legendary song “Luna Rossa” which was adorned with performances by Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Caetano Veloso… The encounter with music arrives very early: at the age of three he receives his first accordion as a gift and immediately plays it “by ear”; at five, child prodigy, he made his debut at the Teatro Argentina in Rome and began studying classical music with the maestro Giuseppe Bavota. He already has an important admirer, the ship-owner Achille Lauro – at that time mayor of Naples – who hears him play in a school play and, struck by his talent, he will become his first patron, financing his music school studies for some years. The studies were private because, at the time, the accordion was not recognized in conservatories. ROMA June 10, 1957.
The first competitions arrive, the “square parties” (the talent shows of those times), then the ensembles (this was the name of the musical groups between the 1960s and the 1970s). These are the years in which soul, blues and jazz invade the Nightclubs: Eduardo temporarily puts aside the accordion – which does not suit the prevailing American sound – and plays the piano or keyboards in the various groups that he joins. He simply captures the music that revolves around him; he has not yet understood completely the musical world that is within him and not even the power of “that voice” that will make him famous. Meanwhile the school continues. After the accounting school he enrolls in the Faculty of Law, gives eight exams, but music fills his thoughts…
Everything changes and becomes real one evening on December 1977: a friend, who believes in his artistic skills, accompanies him to the “Quattro 1″ studios of musician and producer Claudio Mattone in Rome. De Crescenzo sings a revised version of Vittorio Monti’s Czardas that he has so frequently played with his inseparable accordion. Mattone senses Eduardo’s vocal abilities, becomes his producer, and signs a contract with Dischi Ricordi; the project also includes Franco Migliacci. The audition piece “La solitudine” will be published by Dischi Ricordi in a limited number of copies, mostly destined for the “experts” but the team is already starting to work on his first very successful album. Inside is Ancora, the song chosen for the official debut on the Sanremo Festival stage in 1981, where his voice bursts like a hurricane! A prestigious jury, chaired by Sergio Leone, awards that young novice the Critics Award as Best Performer. “Ancora” it is one of those rare songs that immediately become an extraordinary event. In a few days, it becomes an international success and gives him fame. With millions of copies sold, it is still an evergreen loved and played all over the world. Many great artists will try to present it again; Mina and Vanoni in Italy, Mireille Mathieu in France – with the French adaptation of the text by Charles Aznavour – but as it happens with the “race leader”, the imprint of his interpretation will remain indelible.