Vasco Rossi, 1982 and "I go to the maximum"

Vasco Rossi, 1982 and “I go to the maximum”

“I'm going all out” is the fifth album by Vasco Rossi. It reached record stores on April 13, 1982 and is the preceding album “Bubbles” which in 1983 gave the rocker from Zocca the definitive affirmation that still stands today, more than ever. We remember the album by proposing the review we published two years ago on the occasion of the special edition released to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

It's difficult to write something about “Vado al massimo” that hasn't already been written and said in the forty years that have passed since the album's release. It is also difficult to explain what Vasco Rossi's fifth studio album represented for Italian pop-rock music of the time, four decades later. Perhaps it wasn't really that “watershed” mentioned in the press release issued on the occasion of the release of the special remastered re-edition of the album: there were more interesting and innovative things in the two previous albums, “Colpa d'Alfredo” and “We are alone us”, widely remembered and celebrated in recent years. However, “Vado al massimo” was a crucial album for the career of the rocker from Zocca: the perfect link between the Vasco of his early days, the one known mostly at a regional level, in Emilia, a little in Lombardy and a little ' in Piedmont, as he would have recognized, and that of the great national-popular and mainstream success of “Vita spericolata”, which would arrive shortly thereafter.

“A rather ugly idiot, unsteady on his legs, with the smoked glasses of a zombie, an alcoholic, a 'stoned' drug addict”: this is how Vasco Rossi appeared in the eyes of critics a few months before his participation in the 1982 Sanremo Festival with the song which would have given the title to this album.

The ferocious words are from the journalist Nantas Salvalaggio, who had founded “Panorama” twenty years earlier. Vasco will answer him in kind right on the Ariston stage, invited by the then artistic director of the event, the enlightened Gianni Ravera, who realized how much that Vasco da Zocca was a new character, of extreme break with the past and thus he officially declared that he wanted him to compete among the Festival participants. The dissing is from a rapper ante litteram: “Better to risk it than to become / like that guy, that guy / who writes in the newspaper”, smiles Vasco, mocking Salvalaggio with his verses, even without ever quoting him. That was the participation of the historic microphone accident: “Before the last chorus, on the pause of silence that precedes the finale, I was leaving with the microphone in my pocket to give it to Christian, the next singer. Instead the wire was too short and the microphone flew away – Rossi would have remembered – there is one thing I had learned, with my long apprenticeship on the stages: if you drop something on stage and go back to pick it up, for someone who is there and look at you, you're a moron. But if you drop something, but don't turn around, well, then you're a rock star. Those are the moments that can mark an entire career.”

Better to take risks, Vasco sang.

That in “Vado al massimo”, the album, he tried to overcome the boundaries that until then had characterized him only as a niche singer. Not only geographical, but also and above all musical. The song that gave the album its title was a reggae with a rock refrain: with the same formula Loredana Bertè had hit the charts three years earlier with “E la luna bussò”, boasting of having been the first to import the genre she had listened to in Italy. during a trip to Jamaica to see Bob Marley, still quite unknown but close to becoming a star. “Canzone” is a tear-jerking ballad, which still moves fans during concerts today, the result of the partnership with guitarist Maurizio Solieri: “I was thinking of my father while I was writing it. He had recently died and there was still his smell in the air. Then I diverted the conversation to the memory of a woman, not wanting to speak so publicly about my father. But the depth and intensity of the emotion came from there”, Vaschi's exegesis.

“Splendid day”, which marks the beginning of the collaboration with Tullio Ferro, from which “Vita spericolata” itself was born and in the following years also “Brava Giulia”, “Liberi liberi”, “Stupendo”, “Delusa”, “Vivere “, “Gli angeli”, “Sally”, up to “We are alone”, “Stupido hotel” and “The world I would like”, is an irreverent and light-hearted pop piece, with an almost Italian disco sound and verses destined to become d' common usage: “A splendid day / spoiled, lived, without respite”. A particularly intense ballad is also “Every time”, destined to become one of the most loved by the people of Blasco. More melancholic is “La noia”, lulled by acoustic guitars, which emblematically closes the album, underlining that desire to escape from the world of the province in which Vasco had remained confined until then: “I will suffer from nostalgia / but I have to get out of here ”.