Antonella Ruggiero /
Matia Bazar
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15 November 1952

Antonella Ruggiero made her first recording, 'Io Matia' ('I Matia' in English), in 1974. Matia is the stage name for Antonella Ruggiero. Before this rare single she also collaborates (unofficially) with the group Jet in their LP vinyl record 'Faith, hope and charity' lending her leading voice in the choruses. It was from the union of some members of both the Jet and Matia that in 1975 the Matia Bazar was born.

In 1975 with Piero Cassano (voice and keyboards), Aldo Stellita (bass), Giancarlo Golzi (drums), Carlo Marrale (voice and guitars) they founded Matia Bazar. The unique voice of Antonella Ruggiero in concert with the innovative ability of the other musicians, led the group to achieve great popularity. Their debut single was 'Stasera che sera'. It took three more years to really break through to the main public though. This happened in 1978 when they won the San Remo Festival with '...e dirsi ciao'. They tried to expand their success the year after at the Eurovision with 'Raggio di luna' but the track ended…. Though not directly a winner their performance let to small European success for the singles 'Solo tu' and 'Tu semplicità'.

Matia Bazar would win San Remo two more times, with 'Vacanze Romane' (83) and 'Souvenir' (85). In 1985 they also had their biggest international hit 'Ti sento'. In 1989 Ruggiero left the group. She was replaced by Laura Valente untill 2000. Then Silvia Mezzanotte became the new singer till 2005 when she was again replaced by Roberta Faccani.

Antonella herself made her solo debut not untill 1996, with the album 'Libera'. Solo she is also a frequent competitor in San Remo.In 1998 with 'Amore lontanissimo', in 2003  with 'Di un amore', in 2005 with 'Echi d ’infinito' and in 2007 with 'Canzone fra le guerre'. In 1998 she re-records her Matia Bazar's classics on 'Registrazioni Moderne' with some of Italy's upcoming young acts like Bluvertigo, Subsonica and Timoria. In 1999 she joined with 'Non ti dimentico (se non ci fossero le nuvole)' dedicated to Aldo Stellita, former bass player of the Matia Bazar, who died prematurely in 1998.

Recently she undertook special tour programs like 'Sacrarmonia', a concert dedicated to sacred music of the world; 'Tribute to Amalia Rodrigues', a concert committed to the Portuguese fado and the Stralunato Recital Concert where she performs her most meaningful and famous songs. In 2009 she joins in on the tribute singe 'Domani 21/04.09,' for the victims of the earthquake in L'Aquila. She also performs at the tribute concert. In the same year German techno act has a big hit with 'Ti sento' on which (allegedly) Antonella re-sung the vocals. Besides her musical career she is active in the 'Giù le Mani dai Bambini' helping children against drugabuse. Over the decaded Antonella more and more focusses on pastoral music and drifts away from the regular pop idiom.

On the web:

- Antonella's website: http://www.antonellaruggiero.com
- Matia Bazars website: http://www.matiabazar.com

What do we think:

PR: Matia Bazar made some of the most popular Italian pop songs from the eigties. I still rember listening to the Europarade when 'Ti sento' was topping the charts. Thanks to the combination of the intruiging melody, the unique, high voice of the singer and that beatiful Italian language I became a Matia Bazar fan instantly. Personally, I lost myy interest in the group a bit when Antonella left the band to persui a solo career. She released some great records since then. The last few years, she turned away from pop songs to experiment with big bands and (semi-)classical repertoire. I respect her for experimenting and not wanting to repeat herself over and over again, but still I prefer her singing those great Italian pop songs... Listen to 1999's 'Sospesa' and you'll know what I mean.

DB: It took the band Matia Bazar a decade to find it's true form. Their seventies albums all have nice songs on them but also some that are...let's just say they were trying to mix progrock with pop and that wasn't always a good mix. Once in the eighties however things fell into place and they made some great Italian pop. It was the bands Achilles heal that they build their music around Antonella's unique and very high voice. Once she was gone, persuing a very interesting and succesfull solo carreer, the magic was gone.

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Les Rita Mitsouko (France)

Mecano (Spain)


Matia Bazar albums:
♪♪ - Matia Bazar 1 - 1976  

♪♪ - Gran Bazar - 1977

♪♪♪- L'oro dei Matia Bazar - 1977

♪♪ - Semplicità - 1978

♪♪ - Tournée - 1979

♪♪♪ - Il Tempo Del Sole - 1980

♪♪- Berlino Parigi Londra - 1981

♪♪♪♪♪ - Tango - 1983

♪♪♪♪ - Aristocratica - 1984

♪♪♪♪ - Melanchòlia  - 1985

♪♪♪ - Melò - 1987

♪♪♪ - Red Corner - 1989

Antonella Ruggiero's albums:
♪♪ - Libera - 1996

♪♪♪♪ - Registrazioni Moderne - 1998

♪♪♪♪♪ - Sospesa - 1999

♪♪♪ - Luna Crescente - 2001

♪♪♪♪ - Antonella Ruggiero - 2003

♪♪♪ - Sacrarmonia Live - 2004

♪♪♪ - Big Band! - 2005

♪♪ - L'abitudine della luce - 2006

♪♪ - Stralunato Recital (live) - 2006

♪♪ - Souvenir d'Italie - 2007

Genova, la superba - 2007

Pomodoro generico (with Roberto Colombo) - 2008

♪♪- Cattedrali - 2015

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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