Automobili, the concept album by Lucio Dalla
- Federico Riccardo
Ten years after the death of the Bolognese singer-songwriter, we celebrate his concept album dedicated to the automobile.Year 1976. The Bolognese Lucio Dalla has already recorded numerous songs, featured on five albums made in collaboration with his trusted lyricist, the poet and intellectual Roberto Roversi. His is a multifaceted activity and not only related to the musical sphere: he is an actor for several genre films and the protagonist of a show entitled Il futuro dell'automobile e altre storie, which is broadcast by Rai with a good public success. Dalla then decides to record some of the songs featured in the show and bring them together in a concept album called Automobili, against the wishes of Roversi, who signs the tracks with a pseudonym. The duo, following this episode, disbanded and from the next album Lucio Dalla signed his songs by himself.
The album is a sales success, due in part to the presence of one of Lucio Dalla's biggest hits: Nuvolari. In this song, Lucio Dalla impeccably expresses the frenzy of a car race, cadenced by an ever-increasing pace, but also the delicacy and genius of one of the greatest drivers in the history of world motor racing:[...] people wait for him to arrive for hours and hours. And finally when they hear the noise they jump up and wave to him, shout words of love, and watch him disappear. But the album Automobili is not just a tribute to this country's most important automotive figures. In the pieces that make up this mosaic, a very harsh critique of the car civilization and the society that was becoming faster and faster is visible. One example above all, the song Intervista con l'avvocato, which gives a merciless portrait of the economy, politics and society of the times. Yet, Dalla, as an incurable optimist, gives the album hope in the song Il motore del 2000, which goes like this: The engine of the year 2000 will be beautiful and shiny. It will be fast and quiet, it will be a gentle engine. It will have a calibrated exhaust and a smell that doesn't pollute. A little boy or girl will be able to breathe it. May the technological future that society is facing lead to the birth of a revolutionary clean engine? That it refers to the electric motor? We don't know, but the clues are definitely there.