Nov 29, 2013

181/917 Gianni Mascolo: Guardando il sole (Switzerland 1968)

Eurovision Song Contes entry number 181 is an example of an arrangement gone wrong. A song that sounds ok on record but turns into a nothing on live stage when arranger tries to make the song better than it actually is.

The recorded version of the Swiss entry from 1968 Guardando il sole starts with a distinctive guitar, piano and orchestral riff and the piano is prominent throughout the whole recording where the orchestra is nicely restrained. The recording ends with the same riff that opens the song making the song a well structured piece of entertainment. The composition itself is rather dull Italian ballad, but the arrangement on record manages to make it to an ok track . Unfortunately the single release of the song is so rare, that no good quality rip is available anywhere in the Internet. This is the best I found.

On stage the song is completely restructured and rearranged. The conductor Mario Robbiani is a good and experienced arranger, but he does not succeed in making a mediocre song a good performance, quite the opposite. The live version of Guardando il sole is an orchestral cliché after cliché and as the melody is what it is (or it isn't what it isn't), the Swiss entry is just three minutes of sheer emptiness. The only thing you remember of it is the brave effort by the singer Gianni Mascolo trying to make something out of nothing. It is sad that such a good singer is not given a better song.

On paper an Italian ballad sung by a strong male singer sounds good. But if the song or the arrangement gives you nothing to base your performance on, there is nothing you can do.

My points 1/5.

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