A voice that has surpassed all language barriers. A voice that has spoken to the hearts of millions across the globe. A voice that has sold nearly 50 million albums worldwide. This is the voice of Andrea Bocelli.
During Andrea’s unique career, he has performed for world leaders (Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XCI, President Clinton, President Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair, and many others); performed at the Academy Awards, The Grammys, and Live 8; and broken every record a classical artist could dream of. Andrea has done this by distinguishing himself from the pop music that dominates the charts today by creating a form of popular music that is not “classical,” yet is appealing to pop and classical music lovers alike.
Amore, Andrea’s newest release, was recorded late in the summer, under the Tuscan sky at Andrea’s home studio, where the breathtaking coastal and pastoral views inspired Andrea and the musicians to create an album dripping with beauty. The album’s concept came from Amore producers David Foster and Humberto Gatica, and co-producer Tony Renis. The result is the most beautiful love songs of the world, paired with the most romantic voice in the world. Foster called Amore “one of the most beautiful records I have ever been a part of,” while calling Bocelli, “one of the greatest singers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. An awesome voice; a musical genius.” Humberto Gatica commented: “When Andrea sings, he radiates sincerity, honesty, romance, and passion. The words may have been written by others, but when you hear him sing you know that he has made them his own. When he sings these songs, it’s from his heart; it is with his emotions and experiences, his joys and sorrows.”
Amore is not the first collaboration among Andrea, Foster, Gatica, and Renis. In 1998, the same group collaborated with Celine Dion to create “The Prayer,” which earned a Golden Globe award and was nominated for an Academy Award. On this new recording, the team has put together a stunning collection of love songs, featuring unforgettable songs with guest artists including superstar Christina Aguilera, the legendary Stevie Wonder and the incredible Kenny G.
Searching from the 1920s to the 1980s for songs in Italian, Spanish, and French, Andrea and the producers created a “who’s who” of great love songs. Andrea added some of his favorite international pop songs, including Italian classics “L’Appuntamento” and “Cuando Me Enamoro,” Latin American hits “Besame Mucho” and “Solamente Una Vez,” and French standard “Les Feuille Mortes,” which has become the much-loved English standard “Autumn Leaves.” Other highlights include “Can’t Help Falling in Love” (a live recording from Lake Las Vegas) and “Somos Novios” (“It’s Impossible” a breathtaking duet with Christina Aguilera). Together, these songs create a beautiful interpretation of classics made popular by musical legends such as Edith Piaf, Luis Miguel, Elvis Presley, and Frank Sinatra.
The result is a stunningly sophisticated collection of beloved love songs and pop standards that is certain to be the soundtrack for many couples on Valentine’s Day and beyond. On Amore, Spanish guitars flourish while traditional Latin percussion seductively keeps the tempo. Accordions and harmonicas offer charming melodies, while sometimes Andrea simply shares the spotlight with a grand piano. A dream album for Andrea to record, Amore marks the pinnacle of his musical accomplishments.
Born Sept. 22, 1958, in the Tuscan countryside near Volterra, Andrea was shaped by the region’s traditions and his parents’ insatiable thirst for their son’s success. The voices of the great Italian tenors swirled around Andrea’s childhood home. Greats such as Del Monaco, Gigli and Corelli set a high standard for Andrea, fueling his musical passion and increasing the intensity with which he pursued his dreams.
In albums such as Aria, Sacred Arias, Verdi, and Sentimento, Andrea brought his boyhood dreams of becoming a world-renowned singer to life. Carried by his dreams and voice, Andrea became the largest-selling classical recording artist in history. Andrea’s talent also has led him to work with some of the world’s most prestigious conductors and soloists, including Mo. Valery Gergiev, Mo. Zubin Mehta, Barbara Frittoli, and Fiorenza Cedolins.
In fact, Andrea’s success was greater than the classical charts alone could contain. With hits such as “Time to Say Goodbye,” a collaboration with international music icon Sarah Brightman, Andrea crossed over to the upper reaches of international pop charts. Albums such as Romanza, Sogno, Cieli di Toscana, and Andrea made music history on the U.S. pop charts. In 1999, Andrea joined The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, U2 and Garth Brooks as the only artists to have four albums simultaneously on the U.S. pop album chart.
“I’ve been presented with opportunities I once could only dream of, challenges I longed to confront, and experiences I will cherish forever,” Andrea said, “but while recording Amore, I realized that now is the perfect moment to arrive at an album of this repertoire, with the perfect producers, the perfect musicians, and the perfect selection of songs.”
Certainly, Andrea had the perfect musicians. With an amazing lineup of the world’s finest instrumentalists, Amore’s liner notes read like a compilation of the producers’ greatest picks: Dean Parks (Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, B.B. King) and Michael Thompson (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Mariah Carey) on electric and acoustic guitar; Ramon Stagnaro (Luis Miguel, Alejandro Sanz, Enrique Iglesias) on Spanish guitars, mandolin, charango, bajo-sexto and vihuela; Nathan East (Eric Clapton, Phil Collins) on bass; Vinnie Colaiuta (Sting, Marcus Miller, David Sanborn) on drums; Randy Waldman (Barbra Streisand, Kenny G, George Benson) on piano and keyboards; and Paulinho Da Costa (Prince, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock) on percussion. Mario Reyes also plays flamenco guitar for his second collaboration with Bocelli after his work on the last pop recording, Andrea.
Amore has the poise and content to touch the hearts of all types of music fans — those who have longed for more of the passion of Romanza, and those who have desired to hear Andrea interpret beloved pop classics. The album is a landmark achievement for Andrea, who throughout his success has remained a modest, humble person. “Despite the fact that I live in a fast-paced world,” Andrea said, “I live my life with a calm approach. I enjoy life’s simple pleasures and face every challenge with passion.”
One needs only to listen once to Amore to realize how magnificent the result can be when Andrea approaches a musical challenge with that passion.