Ricchi e Poveri
With their breezy singable melodies, Ricchi e Poveri represent excellence in the Italian tradition at the time of globalization. Having sold over 20 million records, and the second vocal group after i Pooh, they are better known and more idolized abroad than them - especially in South America and Eastern European countries – and the vocal quartet boasts a popularity more than half a century old. Franco Gatti, Angela Brambati, Marina Occhiena (from Genoa) and Angelo Sotgiu (born in Sardinia but arrived in the Ligurian capital while still an infant) took their first steps in Genoa's beat scene before forming the group in 1967. The turning point came when they met Franco Califano, who became their producer and suggested the group's name.
After their debut at Cantagiro (1968) they came second in Sanremo with La prima cosa bella (1970), which became a timeless song. They returned to the Festival another eleven times - placing second again the year after with Che Sarà, winners in 1985 with Se m'innamoro - and achieved honours at numerous events - Festivalbar, Disco per l'Estate, Mostra Internazionale di Musica Leggera, and Eurofestival in Paris. They have also worked in theatre and TV and their songs have been used as themes for popular RAI (Una musica: Rischiatutto; Come Vorrei: Portobello) and Mediaset programs (Voulez vous danser: OK il prezzo è giusto). In the 1980s, the group - reduced to a trio due to Marina's defection due to personal conflicts - was living through its golden years, starting with the planetary success of Sarà perché ti amo, the best-selling single of 1981, 7 million copies, in the charts in various European countries. It was the beginning of an ascent that would take them on often sold-out tours - from the USSR to Australia - while the repertoire was veering towards danceable tunes in line with the dance mania of the time. In 2016, Gatti retired, but in 2020, all four were on the Sanremo stage again for a celebratory reunion. Inspired by vocal groups centred on marital ties like the Mamas & Papas and Abba, the Ricchi e Poveri helped export the Italian song abroad, as well as enjoying success with the local public and much wider audiences. The collection retraces the outstanding moments in their career in chronological order.