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Romantic singer of Italian descent, one of the most succesful french singers in the sixties, scoring worldwide hits with chansons such "Vous Permettez Monsieur", "Tombe la Neige", "Inch Allah" ...


"Vous Permettez Monsieur"
50,5 sec. - 99 Kb.
song : Salvatore Adamo
Produced : ??.
Year : 1964
Record co. : Pathé

"Les filles du bord de mer"
50,5 sec. - 99 Kb.
song : Adamo
Produced : Oscar Saintal.
Year : 1964
Record co. : His Masters Voice

"Mes mains sur tes hanches"
30,7 sec. - 61 Kb.
song : Adamo
Production : Oscar Saintal
Year : 1965 : His Master's Voice

58,7 sec. - 115 Kb.
song : Adamo
Produced : A. Gogaguer
Year : 1967 : His Master's Voice



Little Salvatore moved with his parents from Sicily to Belgium at the age of three, in 1947. As so many of the immigrants who came to Belgium in that period, his destiny normally would have been to go work in the coalmines (just like Rocco Granata, with whom he competes the title of "most famous Italian immigrant with international career from Belgium"). Being a very bright student, however, he got the chance to go on to college or beyond. His passion for music crossed that path and would make him one of the biggest stars in the French-speaking world.

Right from his first hit, "sans toi ma mie" which he sung at the age of 20, in 1963, to this day, Salvatore Adamo has always remained faithful to the same style : this makes him known as the "chanteur romantique par excellence", with a characteristic, slightly broken voice (not the only feature that binds Adamo to Charles Aznavour). As he said himself, the biggest influences on his music-writing have been Victor Hugo, Jacques Prévert, Georges Brassens, the Italian canzonetta and the tango. Jacques Brel once described him as the "jardinier d'amour" (the gardener of love). But with "Inch'Allah" (about the conflicts in the Middle East) and his more recent writings, he has proven he can also write beautifully about other subjects than love.

During his long career, Adamo has sold over 90 million records worldwide. His period of bloom was of course the sixties (in 1964 he was the second biggest selling artist worldwide, behind some band called the Beatles), but he has continued to make and live of his music ever since. After the eighties there haven't been any new hits, but he never lost "his" audience in the run. Besides a string of hits in the french-speaking countries, a lot of the chansons from Adamo were also translated into Italian and Spanish ... and even into Japanese (for example: one of the most widely known karaoke classics in Japan is the song "Youki Wa Furu", which is the Japanese version of "Tombe La Neige"- the local "dreaming of a white christmas").

Part of the secret of Adamo is that he has always managed to appeal to new audiences : in 1993 he got an extreme boost in popularity here in Belgium thanks to a splendid adaptation Arno did of his song "Les filles du bord de mer". Arno about this in a Humo-interview : "During the recording of my new CD in Nashville, I had brought a Adamo-tape with me, just to make sure I didn't have to listen to country-music all the time. I'm open for everything that's good, and Adamo certainly is. He is a very good lyricist, and he is a very good singer. I've adored him since the very beginning, and I've remained faithful to him all the time, even during his lesser periods. He has written dozens of beautiful, sensitive songs that were both accessible for a big audience, yet very integer & personal at the same time". Still, Arno took a very different approach to the song (listen to his version and compare it with the original) : "That's because I think it's a very sad tale. I think that Adamo himself would have recorded it in a more melancholic way, if he had his way back then. But he had to take the tastes of his producers (Saintal, Gogaguer ..) into account, and they were people from the music hall (variété)."

Among the songs he has brought us are (charts position in Belgium included - found in Robert Collin "Het Belgisch hitboek 1959-1989"):
- Sans toi Mamie (1963 - high : 1, 8 months)
- Amour Perdue (1963 - high : 10, 3 months)
- N'est-ce pas merveilleux (1963, high : 1, 6 months)
- Tombe la neige (1963, high : 2, 4 months)
- Vous permettez Monsieur (1964, high : 1, 6 months)
- Quand les roses (1964, high : 1, 5 months)
- Si jamais (1964, high : 2, 5 months)
- Dolce Paola (1964, high : 1, 5 months)
- Les Filles du bord de mer (1964, high : 7, 4 months)
- La nuit (1965, high : 3, 5 months)
- Elle (1965, high : 5, 4 months)
- Mes mains sur tes hanches (1965, high : 2, 5 months)
- Viens ma brune (1965, high : 11, 1 month)
- J'aime (1965, high : 4, 1 month)
- Comme toujours (1966, high : 15, 1 month)
- Une mêche de cheveux (1966, high : 4, 14 weeks)
- Ton nom (1966, high : 6, 10 weeks)
- Inch'Allah (1967, high : 4, 15 weeks)
- Notre roman (1967, high : 14, 4 weeks)
- Une larme aux nuages (1967, high : 4, 14 weeks)
- J'ai tant de rêves dans mes bagages (1968, high : 19, 2 weeks)

In 1998, Salvatore Adamo came back to EMI (the record firm he had left in 1975) and recorded the album "Regards". On the CD, Adamo shows a new side of himself : the sociopolitical commentator. In "Laissez rêver les enfants" (let the children dream) he talks about the infamous Dutroux-case, "Salima dans le tramway" (Salima on the tram) talks about racism, and "Le village" (the village) is about the civil war in Bosnia. Adamo on this evolution in Het Nieuwsblad : "The public knows me as a musical poet, but apart from that I'm also a man of 54 who is concerned about what's going on. You could say there are some songs on the album that I had preferred not to have written."
The album is sold in Belgium with an extra CD on which Adamo sings two of the songs in Dutch. "Laat onze kinderen dromen" (again : Let the children dream) and "Ik zie een engel" (I see an angel) are translations of his own songs made by Jan Leyers (of Leyers, Michiels & Soulsister and My Velma).

2001 also became a little bit of an Adamo year again. First there was the release of a new full-cd "Par Les Temps Qui Courent" with 16 new - ever more personal - chansons, including the single "Etrange". In Belgium and France he had no trouble filling the great concert halls (Olympia, Vorst) a number of times. And the poetic singer also managed to use his celebrity to the benefit of Amnesty International and UNICEF (for which he is an ambassador). In the summer, Adamo received a knighthood from the Belgian King, as the first "popular" singer to receive this honour (together with Will Tura, and Jean "Toots" Thielemans)
In the fall, there was an event of a slighty different nature, as the first book written by Salvatore Adamo was published at the established publishing company Michel Albin : "le souvenir du bonheur est encore du bonheur" (the memory of happiness is also happiness), a semi-autobiographic story about a Sicilian Belgian, or as the publisher tells it: "The first novel of Adamo. A tender story, that invokes the memory of a little personal music. That of a low country where people have sun in their hearts, certainly if they were born somewhere in Sicily as Adamo and his hero Julien, and have come to search their fortune in a land of coal and mist. Picaresque, burlesque, sentimental, nostalgic, this book reveals, as does his author, a sensibility that resounds in roars of laughter."

Buy CD's of this artist at proxis

Albums :
- Sur la route des étoiles (Carrere, 1989)
- Rêveur de fond (Carrere, 1992)
- Paroles et musique (AMC, 1993)
- Pauvre libeté (AMC, 1994)
- La vie comme ell pass (Warner, 1995)
- Regards (EMI, 1998)
- Par Les Temps Qui Courent (EMI, 2001)
- Adamo d'Amour - ses plus grands succès (EMI, 1997)

Websites :
-, the official site (flash)
- Salvatore Adamo, Discos y letras - Spanish fan-site..
- German collection of Adamo-sleeves in the Sixties Schlager Cover Galerie
- Real-audio interview with Adamo in 2001 bij Radio 2 (dutch)
- Adamo about "Par les Temps Qui Courent" in Le Soir Illustré or Planet Internet (french)
- "Le Printemps d'Adamo", article in Le Monde
- "A La Mode d'Adamo", series of little articles in 2001 in La Libre Belgique
- "Passeport" of Salvatore Adamo at RFI Musique
- My review of "Les Temps Qui Courent"

Forum :
- Read the messages/questions about Salvatore Adamo
- Add your message, question, cd- or concertreview ... about Adamo




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Last update to this site : December 2001.

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