Andrea Bocelli’s albums: how successful were his past releases?
10 October 2018, 11:19 | Updated: 10 October 2018, 13:39
In his 60th year, Andrea Bocelli is about to release his 16th studio album, ‘Sì’. But how much do you know about his past albums?
Andrea Bocelli has released 15 studio albums, along with a host of successful compilation, collaborative and live albums. But how successful has each record been for the Italian tenor?
Il mare calmo della sera (1994)
Bocelli’s debut album, which translates as ‘The calm night sea’, was a classical crossover album which included the single of the same name. The album includes the songs ‘E lucevan le stelle’ (from Puccini’s Tosca) and ‘Vivere’ (feat. Geradina Trovato), and was certified Gold in the Netherlands.
The follow-up to Bocelli’s debut album, which features the best-selling single ‘Con te partirò’ (Time To Say Goodbye), topped the charts all over Europe that year. In Germany, Bocelli sold two million copies and was certified 4x Platinum, making it one of the best-selling albums ever in the country.
Viaggio Italiano (1997)
The tenor’s first purely classical album features some of the most popular opera arias and Neapolitan songs, including ‘Nessun Dorma’ and ‘O Sole Mio’. It was named ECHO Klassik Best Seller of the Year in 1997.
Aria: The Opera Album (1998)
Aria features some of the greatest tenor arias of all time, including ‘Che gelida manina’ from Puccini’s La bohème and ‘La fleur que tu m’avais jetée’ from Bizet’s Carmen. It won Bocelli another ECHO Klassik award that year for Best-Selling Classical Album.
Known as Dream in English, Bocelli’s fifth studio album sold over 10 million copies worldwide. Soon after, he was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards – the first and so far only time a classical artist has been nominated in the category since 1961.
The album includes ‘The Prayer’, Bocelli’s phenomenally successful duet with Céline Dion. After recording the duet, Dion said of Bocelli’s voice: “If God would have a singing voice, he must sound a lot like Andrea Bocelli”.
Sacred Arias (1999)
Bocelli went from strength to strength in 1999. Sacred Arias, featuring ‘Ave Maria’ and ‘Panis Angelicus’, was his most commercially successful classical album to date with over five million copies sold. And it also remains the biggest-selling solo album in classical music history.
Andrea Bocelli’s fourth classical album is made up entirely of arias by Giuseppe Verdi, including ‘La donna è mobile’ from the opera Rigoletto and ‘Di quella pira’ from Il trovatore. The album was an international hit and was certified Gold in the US and Switzerland, Platinum in Canada and Double Platinum in the Netherlands.
Cieli di Toscana (2001)
Tuscan Skies spent two weeks at No. 3 in the UK albums chart, the highest ever chart position for a foreign-language pop album. The album, made up of original songs, reached the top five in more than 10 other countries.
An all-round hit at award shows that year, Sentimento earned Bocelli two 2003 Classical BRIT Awards for Best Selling Classical Album and Album of the Year. It features Offenbach’s extremely hummable ‘Barcarolle’, as well as ‘La danza’ by Rossini.
Andrea was Bocelli’s fifth pop album, and featured the song ‘L’attesa’, written by Italian artist Mango. It peaked at No. 1 on the Dutch Albums Top 100, stayed there for 33 weeks, and ended up being certified Gold in six countries.
Amore was released as a Valentine’s Day album in 2006, and features Bocelli’s famous duet with Christina Aguilera, ‘Somos Novios (It’s Impossible)’. He also covers ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ and ‘Because We Believe’ on the album. In 2006, Bocelli was the seventh best-selling artist in the US, with over 2.5 million copies of his albums sold that year.
Incanto coincided with Bocelli’s 50th birthday, and pays a personal tribute to the musical traditions of the tenor’s homeland. It features mainly Neapolitan love songs from his childhood, including ‘Funiculì, Funiculà’ and ‘Granada’.
The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the 2009 Classical BRIT Awards, reaching No. 5 in Italy’s Top 50, and No. 7 in the World Top 40.
My Christmas (2009)
Bocelli’s Christmas album was a worldwide hit, selling over five million copies and becoming the best-selling holiday album of 2009. It features both English and Italian songs, including ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ and ‘Caro Gesù Bambino’.
Known and loved for his duets as much as his solo hits, Bocelli teamed up with Jennifer Lopez and Nelly Furtado for his 2013 release, Passione. The album even included a cleverly audio-engineered duet of ‘La Vie en Rose’ with the late Edith Piaf, who died in 1963. It entered the UK album charts at No. 9, making it his eighth album to reach the country’s top ten.
Cinema, featuring renditions of ‘Maria’ from West Side Story and ‘Moon River’ from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, was nominated for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards. As with many of his previous albums, Bocelli also released a Spanish-language version of Cinema, which was nominated for Album of the Year at the 17th Annual Latin Grammy Awards.
Set to be released on 26 October 2018, Sì will be Andrea Bocelli’s first album of all-new material in 14 years. The album, which will celebrate “love, family, faith and hope”, contains duets with pop singer Dua Lipa, classical crossover star Josh Groban and soprano Aida Garifullina, as well as the duet ‘Fall on Me’, performed with his son Matteo Bocelli. Listen to ‘Fall on Me’ on Spotify.
Andrea Bocelli has also released a number of compilation and collaborative albums, including Romanza (1997), Hymn for the World 2 (1998) with Cecilia Bartoli and Bryn Terfel, Requiem (2001), Werther (2005), Carmen: Duets & Arias (2010) and Notte Illuminata (2011).