1996 – 1997

1996

“SPIRITO DIVINO” came out in America with “Diamante”, an unreleased version of “Mama” and an introduction to the song “O.L.S.M.M”, (the non-religious organisation for the safeguarding and maintenance of marriage) were added to the tracklist.

A guest at Eric Clapton’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall, Zucchero sang “Before you accuse me”.

“SPIRITO DIVINO” was re-printed in Spain with a new version of the song “El Vuelo” and the addition of “Por culpa de quien?”.

Release of the mix “SENZA RIMORSO”.

The “SPIRITO DIVINO” tour took off again, starting from the United States and was a great success there, then going onto France and ending in Italian arenas; the band accompanying him was: Luciano Luisi (keyboards), Mario Schilirò (guitar), Derek Wilson (drums), Polo Jones (bass), James Thompson (horn section), Lisa Hunt and Mino Vergnaghi (chorus singers), while on the Italian leg Massimo Greco joined the group in the horn section.

The single “IL VOLO” came out, as a limited edition, to promote the Summer tour.

He won an award at the Sporting Club, Montecarlo during the “1996 World Music Awards” as Italian artist with the highest world sales for 1995, and was presented the award by Alberto Tomba and Maria Grazia Cucinotta. On this occasion, he sang “Il volo”.

He closed the traditional “1st of May Rock Festival”, in Rome, in front of a 400,000 strong public. For personal reasons Luciano Luisi, Zucchero’s trusted keyboard player was not present, Nico Caretta took his place.

He was invited on a French TV programme and sang an unreleased version of “Your song” and “Feels like a woman” with Noa.

Zucchero became the first Italian musician to be included in “The Faber companion to 20th-century popular music”, the most authoritative encyclopaedia of 20th Century music.

As ever, he took part in “Pavarotti International” and performed: “My love”, “Un piccolo aiuto” with Eric Clapton on the guitar and, along with all of the other guests, sang “Live like Horses”; the video was later released, along with a reduced version of the CD which excluded various songs like “Un piccolo aiuto”. The title would be “PAVAROTTI & FRIENDS FOR WAR CHILDREN”.

He took part in “La fete de la musique de la republique a Paris” as most successful artist of the year.

He was the only Italian artist to take part in the “Montreux Jazz Festival”, and performed straight after the mythical Little Richard.

He performed at the “World Rhythm Festival”, in Milan, with the legendary bluesman Buddy Guy as a guest guitar player.

Fourth edition of “Sugar Night”.

He took part in a tribute to Sergio Mendes called “OCEANO”: The song that was recorded was “Un oceano di silenzi”.

The “IFPI Platinum Europe Awards” were founded in Belgium with the aim of awarding all European artists selling more than a million copies. Zucchero won an award for having sold over 2 million copies of his album.

He started a new tour with the same band to promote a compilation of his most famous songs.

“THE BEST OF ZUCCHERO: SUGAR FORNACIARI’S GREATEST HITS” was released worldwide, a compilation of his most famous songs, and including three unreleased songs recorded with: Corrado Rustici (guitar), Luciano Luisi (keyboards), Polo Jones (bass) and Manu Katchè (drums), and again, the cover sleeve was printed in both English and Italian. The songwriters of the new songs were: Zucchero, Salerno and Difford.

Another European tour started; important dates were in Brunico, broadcast live on TV on a stage at 2,000 m above sea level, then the ‘Paradiso’ in Amsterdam, where the Rolling Stones recorded a live album, guests for various dates were Andreas Vollenweider and Soraya.

The new home video “THE BEST OF ZUCCHERO: SUGAR FORNACIARI’S VIDEO GREATEST HITS” was released.

1997

A limited edition of “THE BEST OF ZUCCHERO: SUGAR FORNACIARI’S GREATEST HITS”, with a CD single as gift, was released. The single songs were: “It’s all right (la promessa)” and “Nothing to lose”.

The “MENTA E ROSMARINO” single arrived on the shelves and included “Un piccolo aiuto” (featuring Eric Clapton), recorded at “Pavarotti International”.

The Spanish version of “THE BEST OF ZUCCHERO: SUGAR FORNACIARI’S GREATEST HITS” came out, translations of the unreleased songs were by: Andreu and Ortiz Martin.

Zucchero was invited onto a French TV programme and sang “The letter” with Texas.

“THE BEST OF ZUCCHERO: SUGAR FORNACIARI’S GREATEST HITS” continued onto Southern America, the United States and Europe, with a band made up of: Luciano Luisi (keyboards), Polo Jones (bass), Mario Schilirò (guitar), Derek Wilson (drums), Lisa Hunt (chorus), James Thompson and Massimo Greco (horn section).

A reduced version of the Greatest Hits was released onto the Southern American market with the title “12 EXITOS”.

A charity concert in support of the Rain Forest protection was organized in Carnegie Hall, New York, by Sting and his wife Trudy and saw many major artists participating; Zucchero performed “Va, pensiero” that went on to be included in the CD “CARNIVAL”.

A live TV concert for Telecom was performed in Naples, and alongside the usual musicians, there were: Manu Katchè(drums), Stevie Winwood (piano), Roberto Manzin, Giuliano Giannini (horn section), Vanessa Mulder and Veronique Mendy (chorus singers).

The tour ended with a huge FanClub meeting, guests on the last tour were Corrado Rustici, Stevie Winwood and Manu Katchè.

The “Prince valiant” OST arrived on high-street shelves under the title “PRINCE VALIANT ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK”, on it, Zucchero duetted with Alannah Miles on the song “What are we waiting for”.

Fifth edition of “Sugar Night”, Zucchero went on stage and sang “Il mare…”, “Rispetto”, “Va’ pensiero”, “Così celeste” and “X colpa di chi?”.

” THE BLUES COLLECTION” was released, and includes Zucchero and his band performing, alongside Buddy Guy, “Before you accuse me”, recorded at the “World Rhythm Festival”.

For the “Mostra del cinema di Venezia”, Zucchero performed, with Gerard Depardieu,the song “Un piccolo aiuto” that came out as a single in France: All profits went to Prof. Montagnier’s Foundation for Research and Prevention of AIDS.

Gerard Depardieu participated in the recording of the video “Va, pensiero”.

A guest to Bocelli, they performed a duet of “Miserere”, accompanied by the Italian Philharmonic Orchestra with Marcello Rota; the evening was recorded by an American TV crew and the video went on sale under the title “ANDREA BOCELLI: A NIGHT IN TUSCANY”.

“DEUCES WILD” was released – a tribute to B.B. King, Zucchero sang “Let the good times roll”, along with the legendary bluesman.

For Christmas, “THE BEST OF ZUCCHERO: SUGAR FORNACIARI’S GREATEST HITS” was released with an added song “Va, pensiero”.

“Mama” with Johnny Hallyday and “Un piccolo aiuto” with Gerard Depardieu were released, part of the updated French version of the album “THE BEST OF ZUCCHERO: SUGAR FORNACIARI’S GREATEST HITS”.


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