When I was growing up in Sweden, Europe was a slightly different place than it is now. Although unified in some way, borders with passport controls still separated each country. Traveling held a completely different magic then. Crossing from one state to another meant such a vast change; the political system might have been different as well as the currency. So was the language, the culture, the mentality of people, the cuisine and even some of the history. Everything was new and exotic.
As was the music.
Very few performing artists have managed to gain success in most of Europe with songs sang in their native language. Most pop artists would sing in English and managed to enter the European charts, despite the country of their origin. But very few singing in any other language could enjoy any extended success and most of them ended up as one hit wonders, soon to be forgotten.
There has been one exception, however. The charismatic Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, whose unique voice has been sounding in the aether for almost thirty years. His music is to me everlasting, never to age at all. There is something very romantic, captivating and utterly pensive about his sound. His style is abundant with candid humility, exceedingly removed from any flamboyance.
Looks and charisma aside, to me it has always been about his music. I am not so familiar with much of what he has done in the past decade, although it has always been easy to follow his productivity by the multitude of his hits and duets with other famous performers, that has received constant airplay over the years.
To this day, I still love to listen to his absolutely early work, which brings back the memories of my teens. It moves me back to the time, when my imagination was still very vivid and the future full of promises of adventures in far away, exotic lands.